Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:00 PM EST
Nitro: On ESPNU in the USA/Canada Sports group.
AUSTIN PEAY -3 -110 over Murray St
9:00 PM EST. Murray State has developed into somewhat of an OVC powerhouse over the past 20 years or so and last season enjoyed yet another banner year in program history. The Racers split the OVC regular season title with Belmont and knocked the Bruins off in the OVC Tournament Championship to earn their second straight bid to the Big Dance. This year, Murray State is atop the OVC once again with an 11-1 record to go along with a 18-6 overall record. This is a very recognizable mid-major taking back some points against a relative unknown, which instantly caught our attention. With March Madness around the corner, this is the time of year that the market starts to pay attention to this sport. The man in the street will see Peay favored over Murray State and instantly take the points, which will in all likelihood end up as a loss. You see, Murray State has played the 335th ranked Strength of Schedule (SOS) in the country. The Racers do not have a notable win all year and even lost to Tennessee by 19. The Racers are a pedestrian 5-4 on the road after playing one marshmallow after another.
By contrast, Austin Peay’s SOS ranks 61st in the country. That’s a massive upgrade in competition compared to State and it’s not like the Governors are losing. Peay is 10-2 in the conference and 16-9 overall after playing some extremely stiff competition. The Governors have the best player on the court in Terry Taylor. His efficiency numbers are off the charts. There’s never really been anyone quite like Taylor. He’s literally unstoppable in OVC, able to score from anywhere at any time and play all five positions on the floor. A more battle tested Austin Peay is spotting a smaller price than they should be here and therefore get this call to cover.
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AUSTIN PEAY -3 -110 (Risking 2.20 units - To Win: 2.00)