Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:15 PM EST.
8:00 PM EST. The Norse of Northern Kentucky we're high on many preseason prediction lists to finish near the top of Horizon League standings and this program has not disappointed. NKU is tied with Wright State for first place in the conference with a 13-3 record. As the #4 seed in last season's conference tournament, the Norse went all the way and secured an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, which was incredible for a program that was playing DII ball five years earlier. Top-seeded Oakland was upset and did not get a ticket to the dance. So although both NKU and Wright state have 20-wins this season, the only path to the Madness will come through the Horizon League tournament. The Norse has secured a top-4 spot in the conference tournament which is significant, as they are guaranteed a first-round bye.
The Flames have been quietly amassing talent over the last few seasons and everything is coming to fruition here in 2018. Chicago is 12-4 in conference play, which is a big improvement over last year's seven-win squad. The Flames are third in the Horizon, but at 12-4 are just one game back of the leaders with home games against both Wright State and NKU left on the sked. The Flames have been overshadowed by both of those clubs this season, but don't sleep on UIC. Chicago has a fantastic opportunity to win a regular-season title with back-to-back home wins this weekend. It's unlikely that they’re going to be flat. These two teams met earlier this season in Highland Heights with the Flames getting doused in an 86-51 defeat. A 35-point beat down is highly influential and is going to raise some eyebrows in the market. That opens the door for us to sweep up some nice home points again. The Flames were taking back seven points that night at BB&T Arena, and now they are getting a similar price in their home barn tonight. That's value, friends.
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#838 ILLINOIS-CHICAGO +5 -110 (Risking 2.20 units - To Win: 2.00)