Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:15 AM EST.
4:00 PM EST. The Monarchs of OD are sitting in first place in the C-USA with a 6-2 conference mark and a 16-5 overall record. The Monarchs also have a win over Syracuse, which put them in the market spotlight for a day or two back in mid-December but man, is this team ever overvalued. A win over Syracuse means little, as the Orange simply could not hit an open shot that day. The Monarchs overall body of work is unimpressive at best with their next best win occurring against who exactly? Northern Iowa? VCU perhaps? Western Kentucky? Incidentally, ODU played Northern Iowa twice and split those games. When the Monarchs played St. Joe’s, they were walloped by 15 and then lost to Oregon State too. ODU’s other losses were to Marshall, and FAU. 16-5 on paper looks good but truly, that they are not 20-1 is disturbing. ODU’s out-of conference and overall strength of schedules ranks 328 and 301 respectively.
UTSA has a fraction of the market appeal that ODU has because nobody really knows the former. ODU has pedigree and history, as they’ve been around since the 1930’s and have numerous tournament appearances over the past 30 years or so (11 to be exact). However, we;re suggesting that UTSA might be the better team. For one, Roadrunners HC, Steve Henson was masterful on the sidelines for UTSA last season and continues to be so. UTSA’s out of conference, strength of schedule ranks 44th in the country. The Roadrunners are just 11-9 but in conference, they are 5-2. The Roadrunners lost a dynamite scorer in Deon Lyle, but everyone else of importance is back with a full year of experience mastering the spread and shoot system under Henson. Henson’s decision to completely reinvent UTSA’s offense from an interior-focused, methodically paced style into an exciting ‘run and gun’ system epitomizes his coaching wisdom. After attempting the 3rd fewest three pointers and playing at a medium-paced tempo in 2017, Henson rebranded his squad to emulate the school’s mascot - that is to say, the ‘Roadrunners’ ran, ran and ran some more and we would not be surprised if they ran all over the Monarchs.
Finally, we love this spot for the host, as ODU will play its third straight on the road before they’ll host a showdown with the team in second chasing them. Not only are the Monarchs the second best team here, they are in a tough scheduling spot (3rd straight on road) with a big lookahead game on deck.
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#656 TEXAS SAN ANTONIO +115 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.30)