Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 5:00 PM EST.
7:00 PM EST. In college hoops, no two records are created equal. With over 300 Division I schools and hundreds more in NCAAB, the opponent pool is vast for many of these programs and we've seen it again and again over the years how coaches load up on cupcakes to try and gain traction in the market with an impressive win total. Enter the Falcons of Bowling Green who are 13-5 and sit atop the Mac East standings with #14 Buffalo at 5-0. To the untrained eye, that is going to be mighty impressive company, as the Bulls burst onto the national scene in last March's NCAA's and they've continued to roll here in 2018-19 (as their national ranking would indicate). However, the Falcons are not the dominant side they appear to be after a 9-1 run over the last 10 games. Firstly, Bowling Green has played seven (all wins) of those 10 games on its home floor, which is a significant advantage at this level. Secondly, while the quality of their conference competition cannot be controlled, the Falcons have played a very weak non-conference schedule that ranks 318th in the nation of the 353 Division I schools. Finally, when taking a look at the Falcons full body of work, MAC opponents including, there isn't a signature win among them. A double-digit win at Kent State is arguably the Falcons best win this season, but that result can be easily countered with their 82-64 loss at lowly Cleveland State. Last season, Bowling Green was a much better team than their record would have indicated, but head coach Michael Huger made sure that wasn't the case this season with a schedule loaded with easy winners. Now, the Falcons are actually much worse than their win total would have you believe and we are going to take advantage, as they head out on the road and take a big step up in MAC competition.
Preseason expectations can be a pain in the rear end, just ask coach Rob Murphy, as his team was pegged to be one of the favorites to take home the MAC West title this season and finally punch a ticket to The Big Dance. To say that hasn't entirely gone to plan would be an understatement. Eastern Michigan is just 8-10 overall and 2-3 to start the conference portion of its schedule, but the Eagles have been through the meat grinder after playing a murders row of opponents that includes three games against Top-25 competition and two more games against teams ranked in the top five. Scheduling the likes of Duke and Kansas has the Eagles playing the fifth-toughest schedule in America heading into tonight, while they've already played Buffalo twice to start MAC play. Because of its record, EMU is undervalued, but it is battle-tested, which is precisely what we are looking for in an underpriced favorite. Murphy knows the only way his team is going to get a postseason bid is through the MAC Tournament and a conference championship and he's done everything he can to make sure his team knows what it takes to be an elite squad. After two straight road losses to Buffalo and Akron, the Eagles should be eager to get back on their home floor where they blasted Kent State 95-61 as a very small home favorite. EMU was undervalued in that game and won in a rout and now it is priced similarly against the high flying Falcons. We're suggesting a similarly lopsided result in favor of the superior home side is very much on the table.
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#612 EMU -1 -110 (Risking 2.20 units - To Win: 2.00)