Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:10 PM EST.
7:30 PM EST. The Ohio Valley will duke it out at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana, which is a change of scenery after playing 23 of the last 24 tournaments in Nashville. Neither of that city's colleges play in the OVC, so there isn't going to be a clear home court advantage. However, the trip to Evansville is rather short for many of these schools including SIU Edwardsville, which is just 2½-hours away down I-64. The Cougars come into this tournament as the #8 seed after finishing the year 9-20, but their road to Evansville wasn't a traditional one. You see, in the Ohio Valley only the top eight teams make the conference championship, and SIU Edwardsville finished the year in a three-way tie for ninth at 5-13 with both Eastern Kentucky and UT Martin. Southeast Missouri State was the real eighth-place squad, but the Redhawks were not eligible for postseason play after the school fell short of the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate standards. With the Redhawks out, the tiebreakers kicked in, and UT Martin was eliminated because of its 21 losses. Eastern Kentucky actually ended the season with a better winning percentage than the Cougars at 11-20, but an 85-82 home loss to SIUE earlier in the season eliminated EKU. To say the Cougars are playing with house money would be a major understatement.
Spotting points with bad basketball teams is not a betting strategy we encourage. As a favorite on the road this season, Tennessee Tech has been a low percentage play by losing outright to these Cougars and Morehead State and failing to cover a similar price in a neutral site game against Nebraska Omaha. Eating points with a team that has scored fewer than 70 in each of its last three games including just 57 against Jacksonville State in its regular-season finale is not a very appealing proposition. The discrepancy in the win/loss column between these two teams surely has the market looking towards the chalk, but this is a new season, and everyone is 0-0. Lastly, Tech finished #2 in the country in the luck quotient category according to KenPom. Edwardsville gives up less defensive rebounds and fewer turnovers, which is what upsets are made of. We’re going for the kill and playing this pooch to win outright.
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#756 SIU Edwardsville +184 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.68)