Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:00 PM EST.
7:00 PM EST. The Blackbirds of LIU have some market presence after an NCAA Tournament appearance last season, but they are just 7-7 and 1-1 after two games of conference play. That mediocre record is even more concerning when you see that the Blackbirds have been pecking at the bones of some weak competition after playing the 297th toughest schedule in the nation according to KenPom. The best team LIU has played this season is San Francisco in which they were a 16-point pooch and the Blackbirds got blasted 84-52. No disrespect to the Dons, but nobody is going to confuse them with one of the tops schools in America. LIU has won two of its last three games, but considering it was taking back seven points in a 60-57 win at Fordham to start that run of meager success, we have to consider the Blackbirds price inflated because LIU cannot be favored here against the Red Flash.
St. Francis was picked to win the NEC in the preseason coaches poll, but at 5-8, it appears coach Rob Krimmel and his team are underachieving. However, an in-depth dive shows Krimmel is doing everything he can to get the Red Flash tournament ready. That's not just the NCAAs either, as the only way St. Francis or any other NEC team is going to punch a ticket to the big dance is through a conference championship and an at-large bid. Last season, Wagner was expected to walk through to the tournament, but LIU got hot at the right time and stole that seat. Back to St. Francis, as the Red Flash have already been through the wringer after facing Buffalo, UCLA, North Carolina and Virginia Tech. Three of those four Power Five conference teams are currently ranked in the Top-25. Because of that fact, St. Francis has played the fifth toughest non-conference schedule in the country according to KenPom. The Red Flash are undervalued because of their losing record, but they are battle tested and are an absolute steal taking back points against their much weaker conference competition.
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St. Francis +3½ -108 (Risking 2.16 units - To Win: 2.00)