Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:45 PM EST.
Eastern Michigan +9 over TOLEDO
7:00 PM EST. The Rockets don’t deserve this billing but are getting it because they are 9-3 overall and have covered in six straight. Not only has Toledo covered in six straight but they have crushed the number in four of those six games by 16, 8½, 13 and 10½ points respectively. Toledo is 10-3. On December 4th, the Rockets played at Eastern Michigan and beat them by 17. Combine their record with their six covers in their last six games and throw in a frog-stomping over this same team and what you have is a confluence of factors influencing the price. It’s absolutely worth mentioning that Toledo was a -2½-point choice in Eastern Michigan in that aforementioned contest.
Last summer, the simultaneous graduation of Paul Jackson, Elijah Minnie and James Thompson stripped the Eagles of three multi-year starters. All that remained were a few holdovers and a ragtag group of JUCOs. Rob Murphy marched into battle knowing he was outmanned and outgunned – yet, he didn’t imagine ripping the band-aid off would be so painful. Things weren’t all bad at first. EMU snuck up on a few unsuspecting non-conference adversaries, knocking off North Texas, Valparaiso and Northeastern before the holiday break. Little did Murphy know; a long winter was descending upon Ypsilanti. The Eagles struck out seven straight times to open MAC play, free falling into last place in the league standings. Murphy’s bunch battled admirably in a few isolated incidents but qualifying a handful of losses as moral victories encapsulates how low the bar has fallen.
This year EMU is 3-3. In its first game of the year it lost to a great Michigan State team 83-67. That’s not bad at all. They also beat Akron as a 5½-point pooch last game out. In between MSU and Akron is a couple of postponed games and a couple of spread out games so this team has not been able to get into any rhythm. However, the Eagles did play three days ago and they played well, thus, there should be no rustiness here. This is a team that righted the ship with a moderate resurgence in February and March of last season. That said, last season was expected to be a bumpy transition period, so the lackluster results should be viewed through the prism of preseason expectations. This is not a weak team but it is billed as such here and we’re cautiously optimistic that the Eagles will be a thorn in the side of many MAC foes this year. More importantly, they are taking back inflated points based on all the above.
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Eastern Michigan +9 -108 (Risking 2.16 units - To Win: 2.00)