Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:15 AM EST.
UC SANTA BARBARA -27 over Chicago State
The Thunderdome, Santa Barbara
4:00 PM EST. As has been the case every season under Joe Pasternack, UCSB is a legitimate Big West title contender this season and a near-mortal lock to finish in the league’s top three. Amadou Sow is already a star, he scores at will in the post and is a dynamite lob threat off pick-n-rolls. We’re not going to discuss the Gauchos much here other than to inform you that they’re a very decent program with a great coach and at least one NBA prospect and maybe two. No, my friends, this wager is a fade against Chicago State, who has its own story.
Four players have been selected out of Chicago State in NBA draft history, 0 in the first round (0 during the last 10 years), 0 in the second round and 0 among the top 3 picks. The last time a player out of Chicago State was selected in the NBA draft was in 1983. That was Sherrod Arnold in the 9th round by the Dallas Mavericks. Arnold would not come close to ever playing in an NBA game.
Chicago State U is located in the South Side of Chicago in a poverty-stricken neighbourhood. If you are a high school player and have options to go play college basketball at the division I level, Chicago State isn’t even your last choice, unless you’re from the hood. A player from outside the neighbourhood would sooner play at a Division II school than play at Chicago State. It’s a dangerous neighbourhood and it’s very difficult for the Chicago State program to schedule home games because no teams want to play there. Chicago has played two home games this year against St. Thomas, a first year Division I team that made the leap from Division III to Division I and became the first team in the history of the NCAA to make that leap from Division III to Division 1. After the game, the St. Thomas' players collectively agreed that “We’re never going back there”. Its other home game was against SIU Edwardsville.
The graduation rate at the university is 17%. The average salary of graduates is $17,000, which is below poverty level. The facilities are unfunded and run down and the school itself can barely remain open. Chicago State closed its athletics last year amid the pandemic and Chicago State men’s basketball would not play another game after Dec 20th.
Now these kids are traveling to California and we’re 100% sure that the university did not fund this trip. No, it was funded by UC Santa Barbara or the NCAA but in no way could the university afford to send this group to California. Furthermore, these are poor kids with poor families and we mention that because gambling is legal. Think about it. With no chance of ever playing professionally, would it be so farfetched to assume that perhaps they don’t give a fuck if they lose by 15 or 50 when they can put a handful of money in the pockets of their families and friends? We’re not going to say the game is fixed but gambling is everywhere and these kids are 100% fully aware that you can bet on these games. Do what you want with that information.
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UC SANTA BARBARA -27 -105 (Risking 2.10 units - To Win: 2.00)