Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:45 AM EST
Big Ten Tournament - United Center - Chicago, IL
7:00 PM EST. If the committee were to select the field today, Penn State would 100% not be in while we’re not sure about the Gophers. Some experts suggest that Minnesota will be in while others suggest that Minnesota needs a win or two in this conference tournament. Penn State needs to win the Big-10 conference to get in, while Minnesota does not, yet the Nittany Lions are favored today? Why?
If Penn State were a bubble team (and they’re not) they would be a team with a 14-17 record and would have the highest NET (49) and http://KenPom.com adjusted efficiency (39) ranks of any of the hopefuls on the bubble. The Nittany Lions started Big Ten play 0-10; they finished 7-3. If Penn State goes on a deep Big Ten tournament run, you’ll be the one explaining it to your friends of why it wasn’t that weird after all. This team is good, they’re dangerous and they’re a bargain today.
If the Golden Gophers win, they’ll add a Quadrant 1 victory to their résumé, but one with the cachet of a result against a team that definitely isn’t going to the NCAA Tournament (for whatever that’s worth). If they lose, Minnesota’s at-large bona fides will be loudly called into question. The upside, though, is that a team with just three losses outside Quadrant 1 (all of which reside in Q2) can’t add a bad loss no matter what happens in Chicago on Thursday evening. That’s the literal story but a loss here will be bad one no matter what the dynamics are and the Gophers damn well know it. Pressure wise, Minnesota feels the world on their shoulders while the Lions are “fee rolling”. Furthermore, Penn State is the better team and the oddsmakers know it.
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#717 Penn State -3 -105 (Risking 2.10 units - To Win: 2.00)