Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 3:00 PM EST.
Seattle +140 over WASHINGTON STATE
For Nitro Subscribers - Pac-12 Network in the Canada/USA sports group.
9:00 PM EST. The Redhawks fly under the radar because they play in the WAC, which is a conference that has little to no national exposure. While Seattle might be an unknown commodity in this market, it is very much deserving of your attention. Unlike its opposition tonight, Seattle is loaded with veteran talent led by seniors Myles Carter, Delante Jones and Morgan Means. It also features a quality scorer in redshirt junior guard Terrell Brown, who averaged over 14 points and nearly seven rebounds a game last season. The Redhawks are primed to be true bracket busters if they can make a splash here in 2019-20. Head coach Jim Hayford is very optimistic, "With our age and our experience, we have a chance to be a really, really good team in March." We couldn't agree more and a Power Five victory would look nice on their resume.
The Ernie Kent era in Pullman came to an end after a disastrous 11-21 season, which was good for an 11th place finish in the Pac-12. The Cougars hired Kyle Smith to replace Kent after Smith led his San Francisco Dons to three straight 20-win seasons. It was at San Fran that Smith gained recognition for using both analytics and tried and true coaching techniques. That strategy is all good and fine when you have a group of players that were together for years, as the Dons were during Smith's best run. This year's Cougars were projected to finish second to last in the Pac-12 preseason poll and their coach admitted his young team is going to need time to grow, "We've got a talented team, we're just not experienced yet. In San Francisco, we were a top 60 team, but those guys played together for three years. That's worth a lot." The Pac-12 is a Power Five conference, but it has been the weakest of the bunch for years. While all things are not equal, last night, UCLA struggled with Long Beach State and was down late in the second half before squeaking out the win. The Bruins were 17½ point chalk. You may read that this is a "revenge" game for the Cougars because the Redhawks beat them in Seattle last season, but ignore that nonsense. Seattle is better this year than it was last, while the Cougars are worse and are installing a new system. Early in the season is a great time to find bad lines. Backing a known program from a major conference over a relatively unknown squad like Seattle at a seemingly short price like this is going to have a lot of appeal to an unsuspecting market on a light night of hoops action. However, make no mistake, regardless of venue, mid-major or not, the value here is on the Redhawks.
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Seattle +130 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.80)