Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:15 PM EST.
9:00 PM EST. What we have here is the first place NCU Bears with a record of 9-5 and 3-0 in the conference playing the EWU Eagles with a 3-11 overall mark to go along with a 1-2 conference record. As a result of EWU’s poor record, we now get to take back significant points in a game the dog can win outright in. The Big Skye is a top-heavy conference with Montana, Weber State, and Northern Colorado being the dominant three teams and right now those three are running, 1, 2 and 3. However, there is a fourth team that is supposed to be in the mix too, and that team is the Eagles. Don’t ignore that NCU went 9-5 out of conference and lost to some weak teams.
EWU’s 3-11 mark is largely due to an over-ambitious non-conference schedule that was ranked 60th in strength in the country out of 353 teams. Northern Colorado’s Strength of Schedule ranked 260th. In his first year as head coach for EWU, Shantay Legans, who was an assistant for former EWU coach Jim Hayford before he left for Seattle University, was just one game short of reaching the NCAA Tournament, and had a big non-conference win at Pac-12 Stanford. The Eagles have depth at the all-important guard position, they return four starters from last season and Legans figures to be much more comfortable with the players in his system heading into his second season. EWU was picked fourth in both media and coaches’ preseason Big Sky polls and it’s also worth noting that they return proven commodities in the frontcourt. After earning All-Big Sky conference honorable mention last year, 6-foot-8 big man Mason Peatling has been joined by 6-7 Jesse Hunt, who is already averaging double-digits per game. The Eagles took a very difficult non-conference slate route before conference play, which has them prepped more than their opponent tonight. Colorado is 3-0 in the conference but they were playing with fire in two of those wins and if the Eagles hang around early against them, their preparation strongly suggests that they’re not going away.
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#843 E. Washington +8 -110 (Risking 2.2 units - To Win: 2.00)