Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:45 PM EST.
7:00 PM EST. As far as value bets go, this one might be one of the better one’s this year. You see, Duquesne has very little market presence or credibility, as its last trip to March Madness was way back in 1977. The Dukes have been an afterthought in the A-10 for decades. Furthermore, the Dukes have lost eight straight to Richmond and now this home favorite is only spotting two lousy points to a team that has done absolutely nothing for more than 40 years. Duquesne’s 11-5 record thus far is not holding much weight either because it played the 330th ranked out-of-conference schedule in the country.
After a wild coaching search last offseason that ultimately ended with the satisfying hire of Keith Dambrot, this Duquesne team finished near the bottom of the standings in 2017-18 while waiting for a plethora of transfers (including one from Memphis) to become eligible in 2018-19. Now, this team has those transfers, two stud returners (one in the backcourt and one in the frontcourt), and a strong incoming class around which they can build. The Dukes will climb toward the top echelon of the A-10 sooner rather than later. Duquesne is 2-1 in the conference with wins over St. Joe’s and Fordham. Its only loss was to A-10 favorite Davidson and that loss was on the road and it was by just four points. Dambrot has re-energized the Dukes’ fanbase and given the talent he’s quickly accumulated in Pittsburgh, the excitement is justified. Five transfers, seven freshmen, and two returning studs in Mike Lewis and Eric Williams form a promising core and the potential for Duquesne to compete near the top of the A-10.
Judging by the line and the movement between last night and today, it appears to us that the market is overlooking how bad the Spiders are and instead is focused more on fading the Dukes. That’s a mistake. Richmond is 7-9 overall and 1-2 in the A-10 and they actually may end up at the bottom of this conference when it’s all said and done. This program is sinking fast and it starts with their lame coach, Chris Mooney. We have no idea why he’s still employed, as he’s made just two NCAA Tournaments in 13 years. Bringing back Mooney after last year is sort of mind-boggling. In his defense, the Spiders were one of the youngest (343rd in experience) and thinnest (342nd in bench minutes) teams in the country but so what. He’s had talent prior and has done very little with it. This year, two key players transferred (one of whom was dismissed) and that 7-9 record is actually flattering, as the Spiders out-of-conference strength of schedule ranks 336th (!) in the country.
The Spiders best win came against a lousy Wake team. It’s second best win came against a brutal George Washington team and that’s a key here because that was a 20-point win and it was the last time the Spiders played. The market is heavily influenced by the most recent result, which heavily works in our favor here because we get the vastly superior team taking back a price.
Richmond has a 11-point loss to Rhode Island and a 24-point loss to Dayton. Its last three wins came against GW, High Point and South Alabama. The Spiders other victories occurred against St. Francis (Brooklyn), IUPUI and Coppin St. This is a Spiders’ squad that got whacked by Hampton by 20 points and that has one bad loss after another to a bunch of weak programs. Mooney’s insistence on playing man-to-man does not work because the team lacks size and depth. The players have to avoid fouls to stay on the court, which in turn allows for easy driving lanes and weak challenges at the rim. The Spiders are dangerously thin once again, thus, an already clueless coach has his work cut out for him, as he’ll be battling his own fanbase along with the traditional challenge of, ya know, trying to defeat other basketball teams. If the rain doesn’t wash this coach/Spider out, the Dukes will. Do not miss this wager because it has a much better chance of winning than losing and it has been in our sights for a couple of weeks now.
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#793 Duquesne +122 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.44)