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February 2020

Free Money Friday Every Day: Home vs Road

By | Talent Columns, Views from the Couch | No Comments

As always, for more information behind each pick, watch Free Money Friday Every Day on the ESPN106.7 twitter account every weekday at 3 pm or listen to the Free Money Friday Every Day podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotifySticher, or espnau.com.

Yesterday 7-8:

Today is a new day with a new slate, so I don’t love to spend a lot of time looking at yesterday’s slate. There’s not a big reason to get too worked up over one day, but it is worth looking at what went right/wrong. I don’t really look at the Sprinkles in hindsight though because I don’t totally expect the team to win. That’s why I only sprinkle the ML. I believe they have a good chance, but I don’t expect the win.

  • PHI -7.5 @ CLE – the 76ers lost by 14. They mystify me.
  • Magic @ Hawks U226 – I was just wrong about this one, but I was also following two systems. I guess everything was wrong.
  • Evansville +15 @ UNI – They lost by 20. This was a poor ATS vs good ATS game. We were 22-7 in these games before yesterday, so it isn’t all that surprising to see some regression.
  • UND ML @ NEOM – THEY LOST BY 1 IN OVERTIME. I AM ANGER.
  • Vanderbilt +2.5 & ML hosting Mizzou – Mizzou finally got their first road win since Dec 7.
  • LSU ML @ Florida – LOST BY 15 WOW LSU WOW
  • UVU +6 @ Cal Baptist – They lost by 7. This was a poor ATS vs good ATS game. We were 22-7 in these games before yesterday, so it isn’t all that surprising to see some regression.

Today’s Picks (Yesterday’s Record):

NCAAB Picks/Analysis | NBA Picks/Analysis | Sprinkles | MikePick2 | Picks Recap

NCAAB 225-227-9 (5-3):

Mount St. Mary’s @ St. Francis (PA) | San Diego @ Gonzaga | Illinois @ Northwestern | Arizona State @ UCLA | South Dakota State @ North Dakota State Western Illinois @ Oral Roberts

Mount St. Mary’s @ St. Francis (PA):

  • Spread: St. Francis (PA) -9 (now -8)
  • O/U: 136 (now 137.5)

This is a Poor ATS vs Good ATS game. We went 0-2 in these games yesterday, but we are 22-9 in these games on the season. Like I said in the recap of yesterday’s picks, some regression makes sense; however, I’m still going to continue with the system because it has done so well.

Mount St. Mary’s has covered exactly 50% of their games this season, which barely gets them inside our optimal percentage. St. Francis (PA) has covered 70.8% of their games. That is comfortably above our 66% threshold.

The Pick: Mount St. Mary’s +8

San Diego @ Gonzaga

  • Spread: Gonzaga -25.5 (now -25.5)
  • O/U: 147 (now 149)

San Diego lost their last game by 29 @ St. Mary’s. In conference games during the regular season, unranked teams coming off a 15+ point loss have covered the spread 64% of the time when playing Top-5 opponents.

Normal people like betting Top-5 teams and fading teams after big losses. Oddsmakers know this, so they inflate the lines. We are going to do the opposite.

The Pick: San Diego +25.5

Illinois @ Northwestern:

  • Spread: Northwestern +6.5 (now +6)
  • O/U: 132 (now 133)

This is a super, super interesting game to me. Let’s dive into it:

Setting the Scene: Illinois is sitting at 18-9 (10-6), and Northwestern is a putrid 6-20 (1-15). The Wildcats have lost 11 games in a row by an average of 13.8 points per game. On Sunday, they lost to Minnesota at home by 26. Illinois won 7 in a row between Jan 5th and Jan 20th. They followed that up with four (4) straight losses before winning their last two games in Happy Valley against Penn State and at home against Nebraska. The Illini currently sit in 4th place in the B1G, half of a game behind Penn State and Michigan State for a tie for second place. Those two teams both won last night and Monday night, respectively. Illinois bested Penn State on Feb 18th in their only meeting of the season, but they lost in both meetings with Michigan State. Illinois needs this win to keep their hopes for the 2- or, more realistically, 3-seed in the B1G Tournament.

Trends: Illinois has been average ATS this season, covering in 52% of their games, but they do have some more positive trends working in their favor:

Illinois – 52% ATS on the season Northwestern – 10-16 ATS this season

1-0 ATS as a road favorite

3-5 ATS as a home underdog

9-4-1 ATS with 2-3 days off (played Monday)

4-7 ATS with 4+ days off (played Sunday)

6-4 ATS as away team

3-11 ATS at home
9-7 ATS in conference games

7-9 ATS in conference games

7-8-1 ATS after a win

8-11 ATS after a loss

2-3-1 ATS with rest disadvantage

4-6 ATS with rest advantage

On the Court: It’s no secret that Illinois has struggled offensively during conference play. They are currently ranked dead last in the B1G in effective FG%, 2P%, and 3P%. They are, however, ranked 1st in the conference in offensive rebounding.

The fascinating thing is that Illinois has actually been better on offense in their conference games outside of Champaign. Look at Table 1 for a breakdown of their home vs road numbers in conference games:

Table 1: Illinois Conference Home/Road Offensive Stats

Location Adj. OE EFG% TO% ORB% FT Rate 2P % 3P %
Home 105.0 43.3 15.8 34.8 29.4 43.7 28.2
Road 113.3 45.6 17 32.3 26.9 46.1 29.7

If you’re wondering if that is a strange phenomenon for a B1G team, you’re not alone. I thought the same thing, so I did some more digging. Check out Table 2 below for a comparison of how the entire B1G shoots at home vs on the road.

Table 2: B1G Teams Conference Home/Road Offensive Stats

Team EFG% H EFG% R EFG% Diff 2P% H 2P% R 2P% Diff 3P % H 3P% R 3P % Diff
PSU 47.6 50.3 2.7 46.9 48.1 1.2 32.5 35.9 3.4
Illinois 43.3 45.6 2.3 43.7 46.1 2.4 28.2 29.7 1.5
NW 45.6 46.8 1.2 43.9 46.1 2.2 32.4 32.4 0
MD 47.3 48 0.7 50.2 46.1 -4.1 29.2 33.3 4.1
NEB 46.8 47.2 0.4 44.9 47.7 2.8 32.9 30.9 -2
RUTG 47.9 47.7 -0.2 49.2 48 -1.2 29.7 31.4 1.7
MICH 49.7 49.4 -0.3 50.6 54 3.4 32.2 28.2 -4
MINN 46.9 45.6 -1.3 50 44.4 -5.6 28.3 31.6 3.3
MSU 51.6 50.2 -1.4 52.1 46.8 -5.3 33.9 37.5 3.6
IND 50.1 45 -5.1 48.2 46.3 -1.9 36.2 27.8 -8.4
IOWA 53.8 47.5 -6.3 50.5 52 1.5 39.2 26 -13.2
WISC 53.8 46.2 -7.6 48.5 45.8 -2.7 40 31.1 -8.9
PUR 51.8 42 -9.8 48.8 42.3 -6.5 38.7 27.5 -11.2
OSU 56.2 45.5 -10.7 52.4 42.4 -10 40.7 33.3 -7.4

Illinois is in orange. A positive difference means that the road statistic is better (higher) than the home statistic. You can see that Illinois is one of two teams that is better in all three shooting statistics, the other being Penn State. According to this data, which is from barttorvik.com, if a team is better at shooting either inside or outside the arc, they are usually worse in the other area, i.e. if a team is better at shooting 3-pointers, they are worse at shooting 2-pointers. But does this matter?

Yes. It shows us that Illinois is one of the most consistent offensive teams in their conference. You basically know what you are going to get from this offense game-in and game-out. Look at Wisconsin, Purdue, and Ohio State. Those teams are completely different offensively on the road. They are so, so much worse.

Illinois is much better at defense at home, but they only drop from a top-2 defense at home to a top-5 defense on the road (conference ranks).

Northwestern is the worst team in the conference at both offense and defense at home, and it really isn’t that close.

Analysis: This should be a bloodbath. Northwestern isn’t going to be able to keep Illinois off the offensive boards, the free throw line, or the 3-point arc. Northwestern is allowing opponents to grab 32.3% of offensive rebounds and make over 40% of their 3-balls. Illinois has three players that shoot 30% or better from long range including one player who has made 40%. They don’t shoot 3s well as a team, but they have guys who can knock them down if you give them space.

The Pick: Illinois -6.5

Arizona State @ UCLA:

  • Spread: UCLA -2.5 (now -3)
  • O/U: 141

Setting the Scene: UCLA has quietly turned their season around since non-conference home losses to Hofstra and CS Fullerton. They sit at 17-11 and are 10-5 in the PAC-12. The Bruins have won 5 games in a row and 6 of their last 7. Mick Cronin’s squad has 3 games remaining in the regular season: hosting ASU, hosting Arizona, and @ USC.

DISCLAIMER: This next part is going to sound crazy, but I swear it’s true. They are currently in a three-way tie for 2nd place in the PAC-12 with Oregon and ASU and only a half game back of Colorado for 1st. They can still win the regular season title.

So can ASU. The Sun Devils are 19-8 (10-5) and have won 7 in a row (8 of 9). They have four games remaining: @ UCLA, @ USC, hosting Washington, and hosting Washington State.

On the Court: These two teams have been about the same during conference play. UCLA has been a little better on offense but a little worse on defense. UCLA plays slower than ASU.

Analysis: I think this is going to come down to who wants it more. UCLA has been the best team in the PAC-12 at offensive rebounding and 2nd best at getting steals. ASU has been the best in the conference at turning over their opponents. UCLA is playing at home. Usually teams turn the ball over less and control the pace of the game better when they are at home. If UCLA can do that, combined with their effort on the offensive glass, I think they be able to win and cover the spread in this game.

The Pick: UCLA -3

South Dakota State @ North Dakota State:

  • Spread: North Dakota State -4 (now -5)
  • O/U: 147.5 (now 145)

A few things about this game make no sense to me: the spread and the movement of the O/U. We’ll start with the latter. The over has gotten 95% of bets and 94% of money in this game, but the number has dropped between 1.5 and 3 points depending on where you look. It’s at 144.5 on BetMGM right now.

Setting the Scene: Now, the first thing that makes no sense to me. If you have paid attention to the Summit League at all you know that South Dakota State and North Dakota State are the two best teams. I have paid attention to the Summit League. I am 24-17 betting it this season, 18-7 since Feb 16th, and 4-1 last night.

South Dakota State is 22-8 and in first place in the league at 13-2. They have won 8 games in a row and are 12-1 since the first game of league play. They have covered in 6 of the 8 games during this win streak and 15 out of 18 games dating back to before league play started. This is their last game of the regular season. If they win, they win the Summit League regular season title.

North Dakota State is 20-8 and in second place in the league at 11-3. They had won 7 in a row before losing on the road against North Dakota on Saturday. They have two games left in Summit League play, finishing the season at home against Nebraska-Omaha on Saturday. If they win both games, they win finish tied with South Dakota State for 1st in the Summit League at 13-3. I don’t know if they would share the title or not because South Dakota State has already beaten North Dakota State this season, 77-74 on Feb 19th.

Trends: South Dakota State is one of the best teams in the country at covering the spread. They have covered in 71.4% of games this season, and their trend with the lowest cover rate is “with equal rest” at 54.5%. That means in the games that they are the worst at covering, they still cover more often than not. They are 11-4 ATS in conference games this season, and they are 5-2 ATS in road conference games.

North Dakota State has covered 52% of games this season. They have been good as a favorite, covering 61.1% of those games, but they’re only 3-5-1 ATS as a home favorite. In conference games they are 7-6-1 ATS, but they’re only 2-4 in conference home games.

Summit League home teams have not been good ATS during conference play. They are 28-38 ATS overall, 7-21 ATS in February, 20-23 ATS as favorites, and 4-14 ATS as favorites in February.

North Dakota State has averaged over 82 points/game at home during conference play. Those games have an average total of 154.7 with a max of 168, a median of 151, and a min of 142. They have been astonishingly consistent at home on both ends of the floor. They scored 80, 83, 82, and 83 points in their last four home games. They gave up 70, 76, 70, 74, 70, and 74 points.

South Dakota State has averaged exactly 79 points/game on the road during conference play. Those games have an average total of 152.43 with a max of 183, a median of 148, and a min of 131. They have been the opposite of consistent on the road on both ends of the floor. They scored between 94 and 70 in each game and gave up between 99 and 61 (3 times) in each game. Their median numbers are 78 points scored and 68 points given up.

On the Court: These are the two best teams in the Summit League at defense. They both rank in the Top 3 in defensive efficiency, opponent effective field goal percentage, opponent FT rate, and all three opponent shooting percentages (FT, 2P, 3P). South Dakota State doesn’t force turnovers (9th) and doesn’t rebound well on the defensive end (8th), but they do block a lot of shots (1st in block rate). North Dakota State is the best in the league at defensive rebounding, but they also struggle to force turnovers (8th in opponent TO%, 6th in block rate, 7th in steal rate).

On offense, both teams are very good, but South Dakota State is better. The Jackrabbits are #1 in the conference in offensive efficiency and every shooting percentage except FT. They are 2nd in offensive rebounding percentage. The Bison are 4th in efficiency, free throw rate, and 3P percentage; 2nd in effective field goal percentage and 2P percentage; and 1st in FT percentage.

Analysis: This should be a very good, very close game. These teams match up well. I love the Jackrabbits. I think they are going to be the more motivated team in this game. Sealing a conference championship on your rival’s home floor would be absolutely incredible. The consistency of NDSU at home is great for looking at the total. Their last four home games have all fallen between 150 and 159, and South Dakota State’s offense is the best that will come to Fargo this season. North Dakota State hasn’t had an opponent score fewer than 70 points, and South Dakota State hasn’t scored less than 70 in this spot. I’m asking myself if I think that both teams will score their averages. I think the answer is no. 82 and 79 are too many points to assume against defenses this good. But do I think that both teams will get to 73 points? Absolutely.

The Pick: South Dakota State +5 & Over 145

Western Illinois @ Oral Roberts

  • Spread: Oral Roberts -13.5 (now -13.5)
  • O/U: 160 (now 159)

I’m going to make this short and sweet. I am incredibly angry at Oral Roberts still. Western Illinois is terrible. Summit League home teams have not been good ATS during conference play. They are 28-38 ATS overall, 7-21 ATS in February, 20-23 ATS as favorites, and 4-14 ATS as favorites in February.

Oral Roberts is quite good at offense. They are probably going to score 85 points. Will Western Illinois get to 75? Probably.

Western Illinois has covered their last 4 conference road games.

The Pick: Western Illinois +13.5 & Over 159


NCAAB Picks/Analysis | NBA Picks/Analysis | Sprinkles | MikePick2 | Picks Recap | Back to Top


NBA 73-71 (1-2):

Trail Blazers +10 @ Pacers:

This is a game that fits a system that we have been using. The system bets on a team playing on the road that did not cover the spread as an underdog in its last game playing against a team that did cover the spread in its last game. Historically, the system has won 55% of games. I am only 3-5 when tailing the system, but I don’t pick every game that it does.

In this game, I just don’t think the Pacers are 10 points better than the Blazers.


NCAAB Picks/Analysis | NBA Picks/Analysis | Sprinkles | MikePick2 | Picks Recap | Back to Top


Sprinkles 39-67 (1-3):

South Dakota State ML @ North Dakota State

See above.


NCAAB Picks/Analysis | NBA Picks/Analysis | Sprinkles | MikePick2 | Picks Recap | Back to Top


MikePick2 16-20 (1-0, 3 in a row, 4 of last 5, +0.43u):

There is no MikePick2 tonight because I don’t like any of the numbers. I am upset about it because I have been on fire with these lately.


NCAAB Picks/Analysis | NBA Picks/Analysis | Sprinkles | MikePick2 | Picks Recap | Back to Top


Picks Recap:

  • MSM +8
  • ILL -6.5
  • WIL +13.5
  • WIL/ORU O159
  • USD +25.5
  • SDKS +5
  • SDKS/NDSU O145
  • UCLA -3
  • Trail Blazers +10
  • SDKS ML

NCAAB Picks/Analysis | NBA Picks/Analysis | Sprinkles | MikePick2 | Picks Recap | Back to Top


Free Money Friday Every Day: Turning the Week Around

By | Talent Columns, Views from the Couch | No Comments

As always, for more information behind each pick, watch Free Money Friday Every Day on the ESPN106.7 twitter account every weekday at 3 pm or listen to the Free Money Friday Every Day podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotifySticher, or espnau.com.

Yesterday 4-9-2:

Today is a new day with a new slate, so I don’t love to spend a lot of time looking at yesterday’s slate. There’s not a big reason to get too worked up over one day, but it is worth looking at what went right/wrong. I don’t really look at the Sprinkles in hindsight though because I don’t totally expect the team to win. That’s why I only sprinkle the ML. I believe they have a good chance, but I don’t expect the win.

  • Ole Miss +9 – Push on FTs at the end.
  • Ole Miss +4.5 1H – lost by 7. Auburn’s best first half maybe all season.
  • Ole Miss/Auburn O141 – 125 total, Breein Tyree has his worst game of the season and Ole Miss turned the ball over like 100 times.
  • Ole Miss 1H ML – lost by 7.
  • UK/TAMU O129 – Push
  • TAMU +3 1H – lost by 9. I was just wrong about this one.
  • OKC -7 – blew a 20-point lead I think
  • Bama/MSST O159 – 153 total points.
  • Bama ML – lost by 7.
  • NCST ML – lost by 6.
  • NOP +7.5 – lost by 9.

Today’s Picks (Yesterday’s Record):

Navigate:

NCAAB Picks/Analysis | NBA Picks/Analysis | Sprinkles | MikePick2 | Picks Recap

NCAAB 220-224-9 (1-4-2):

Today’s Games:

Evansville @ UNI | Utah Valley @ Cal Baptist | Rutgers @ Penn State | Maryland @ Minnesota | Missouri @ Vanderbilt Denver @ IPFW | North Dakota @ Nebraska Omaha

Evansville @ UNI:

  • Spread: UNI -15 (now UNI -13.5)
  • O/U: 138 (now 135.5)

This is a Poor ATS vs Good ATS game. We have gone 22-7 in these games this season. Northern Iowa has covered 68% of games this season, and Evansville has covered a measly 38.5%. Evansville is on the road in a conference game, so we’ll happily take the 15 points.

The Pick: Evansville +15 (now +13.5)

Utah Valley @ Cal Baptist:

  • Spread: Cal Baptist -6 (now -6.5)
  • O/U: 150

Just like Evansville vs UNI, this is a Poor ATS vs Good ATS game. Cal Baptist has covered 68.2% of their games on the season, and Utah Valley has only covered 40% of games. Those are both comfortably within our optimal percentages, and since it is a road conference game, we will take Utah Valley.

The Pick: Utah Valley +6 (now +6.5)

Rutgers @ Penn State:

  • Spread: Penn State -6 (now -5)
  • O/U: 136 (now 137.5)

I was going to stay away from this game, but I have decided to fade the public in this game. Rutgers has gotten 20% of the bets so far in this one, so I will probably wait to make sure that number doesn’t increase a whole bunch. Keep an eye on my twitter to see when/if I pull the trigger.

The Pick: Rutgers +5 (probably)

Maryland @ Minnesota:

  • Spread: Minnesota -1 (now -1)
  • O/U: 131 (now 134.5)

I know what you’re thinking, “Big Ten home teams not named Nebraska and Northwestern have won 78.13% of games this season!” You’re correct. They have.

In fact, Minnesota is 5-3 at home in Big Ten play! However, their losses are to Michigan State, Iowa, and Indiana in 3 of their last 4 home games.

Maryland is 4-4 on the road with wins over Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan State in 3 of their last 4 road games.

Maryland’s loss to Ohio State on Sunday snapped a 9-game winning streak. They were 12-2 in their last 14 games before the Ohio State game.

Minnesota being a 1-point home favorite means that Maryland would be between a 2- and 4-point favorite on a neutral court. Since Maryland has shown that they can win on the road in the Big Ten, I am happy to take the Terps as a tiny road underdog.

In the interest of full disclosure, this is a “Fade the Public in Big Conferences” game. Maryland has received just 18% of bets which are accounting for 40% of money.

The Pick: Maryland +1

Missouri @ Vanderbilt:

  • Spread: Mizzou -2.5 (now -2)
  • O/U: 142 (now 138.5)

Mizzou has won one (1) game on the road this season. It was December 7th against Temple. They have only covered the spread in two (2) road games this season. Vanderbilt has covered in 6 of their last 8 games. Those covers came against UGA, Tennessee, Miss State, LSU, Florida, and Kentucky.

The big edge for Vandy in this game is at the FT line. The Commodores are ranked 50th in the country in point distribution from the charity stripe. Mizzou opponents are #3 nationally in point distribution from the FT line. The Tigers foul a ton.

Vandy has been perfectly average against the spread in this spot. They have covered in 50% of their games this season, as a home underdog, with 2-3 days off, in conference games, with equal rest, and after a loss. They are just under 50% in home games and just over 50% as an underdog.

That is enough for me.

The Pick: Vanderbilt +2.5 (now -2)

Summit League 18-16 (10-4 last week):

Denver @ IPFW:

  • Spread: IPFW -7.5 (now -7.5)
  • O/U: 144 (now 146)

Setting the Stage: Denver is 2-12 in conference, and IPFW is 5-9. They are in 8th and 7th place in the league, respectively. The Mastodons are coming off a 2-point home loss to Nebraska Omaha, a game in which they were also a 7.5-point favorite. Denver is coming off a 4-point OT win against Oral Roberts at home. They were 6.5-point underdogs, and they scored 100 points.

Trends: IPFW is 9-5 at home this season, but three (3) of those wins have come against Manchester, Ohio Norther, and Judson College. So, against D1 opponents, IPFW is 6-5 and only 3-4 in Summit League play. They beat South Dakota on Jan 1, North Dakota on Jan 30, and Western Illinois on Feb 5. IPFW has covered 2 of those 7 Summit League games, against the two Dakotas.

North and South Dakota are both better than Denver, especially on the road. Denver has not won on the road all season (0-13, 0-7) and has only won once outside of their building (1-15). The Pioneers have covered 5 of their 7 road games in conference play. Their only two losses ATS came against W Illinois on Jan 11 and Nebraska Omaha on Feb 16. These last two paragraphs make it seem like W Illinois is good, but they are 5-19 (2-12) and, in fact, not good. This is unrelated, but I felt like it needed to be said.

Summit League home teams have only covered 7 out of 26 games in February, a whopping 26.92%. This is a very interesting game though because neither of these teams is very good.

Denver has scored an average of 73.7 points in their road conference games, and those game have had an average total of 157.57 with a max of 168 and a min of 147. Obviously, they haven’t had a road conference game under 144, and their defense seems to be the issue. They have given up 83.86 points/game in these 7 games.

IPFW has scored an average of 66.43 points in their home conference games, and those games have had an average total of 136.43 with a max of 160 and a min of 120. Only one (1) of their home conference games has gone over 144, the game that got to 160 on Jan 18th against Oral Roberts. ORU scored 92 points, the most IPFW has given up at home by 21.

On the Court: When you compare how IPFW has played at home during conference play to the rest of the Summit League, they rank 9th in offensive efficiency and turnover percentage; 8th in FT Rate, 2P%, and 3P%; 1st in defensive efficiency and defensive rebounding; and 2nd in opponent FT Rate. They also play at the 2nd slowest pace. Basically, they stink at offense, getting to the free throw line, and shooting, but they are great at defense and not fouling.

A major reason for the offensive struggles and defensive prowess may be because they play so slow. They use a lot of the shot clock which can cause an offense to take bad shots because they are running out of time. This would also impact their turnover percentage. Their non-steal turnover percentage is 293rd in the country and dead last in the Summit League, per KenPom. This means that they have a lot of turnovers that are “unforced”, things like shot clock violations, offensive fouls, traveling, etc. They also have had their shots blocked more often than any other Summit League team which could also be due to forcing tough shots at the end of the shot clock.

As I mentioned earlier, Denver has not won a road game all season (0-13, 0-7), and it isn’t difficult to see why when you compare how they have played to how the other Summit League teams have played on the road during conference play. The Pioneers rank 7th in offensive efficiency, defensive efficiency, opponent turnover percentage, and offensive rebounding; 8th in turnover percentage; and 9th in opponent free throw rate. They have played at the 2nd fastest pace. This means they struggle to score, defend, force turnovers, grab offensive rebounds, not turn the ball over, and not foul.

Some of these deficiencies might be associated with the speed at which at they play. Their tempo during conference play has been 72.6, per KenPom. If they had played at that pace all season, it would be 25th in the country. A lot of teams that play that fast have trouble being efficient, not turning the ball over, and grabbing offensive rebounds. A main issue for Denver is that the best teams that play that fast are good at forcing turnovers which creates more possessions for them. Denver is not.

Analysis: The way that IPFW plays should benefit Denver in this game. IPFW wants to slow the game down, but they turn the ball over a ton. Denver should get some extra possessions and be able to hang around in this game. Denver is going to have to step up on defense, but they should be aided by IPFW’s complete inability to shoot the basketball. I don’t think that IPFW is going to get to Denver’s opponent’s scoring average of almost 84 points. Their highest total in a home conference game is 75. Denver’s offense has scored fewer points each road game, so I think this game is going to end up somewhere around 70-65.

The Pick: Denver +7.5 & Under 146

North Dakota @ Nebraska-Omaha:

  • Spread: Nebraska-Omaha -5.5 (now -5.5)
  • O/U: 153 (now 154)

Setting the Stage: North Dakota is 13-15 (7-7), and Omaha is 15-14 (8-6). They are in 5th and 4th place in the league, respectively. North Dakota got a huge home win over North Dakota State as 4.5-point underdogs in their last game. Nebraska-Omaha is coming off a 7-point road win over Summit League bottom feeder Western Illinois. They were 4.5-point favorites.

Trends: Nebraska-Omaha is 11-2 at home this season and 5-2 at home during conference play. They are 6-4 ATS as a home favorite, 7-4 ATS at home, and 8-6 ATS after a win, but they are only 3-4 ATS at home during Summit League play. North Dakota is 4-11 on the road this season and 2-4 on the road during conference play with wins against Denver and W Illinois, the two worst teams in the Summit League. They are 5-9 ATS in conference games, 2-4 ATS in conference road games, 4-8 ATS after a win, 8-17 ATS on the season (one of the worst in the country), 5-13 ATS as an underdog, 4-11 ATS on the road, and 2-11 ATS as a road underdog.

Summit League home teams have only covered 7 out of 26 games in February, a whopping 26.92%.

North Dakota has averaged 74.83 points in their road conference games, and those games have averaged 155.5 points with a max of 169 and a min of 140. They have given up an average of 80.67 points and a median of 83 points.

Nebraska-Omaha has scored 80 points/game in home conference games, and those games have averaged 155.29 points with a max of 169 and a min of 141. They have given up an average of 75.29 points and a median of 78 points.

On the Court: Nebraska-Omaha has been very bad at defensive at home during conference play. They rank dead last in the Summit League in defensive efficiency, opponent effective field goal percentage, defensive rebounding, and opponent 2-point field percentage. The only thing they can do well on defense is force turnovers. They have been the best in the Summit League at forcing turnovers at home during conference play. They are also pretty good at not fouling, ranking 3rd in the conference in opponent free throw rate in such games.

On offense, the Mavericks have been just fine. They rank between 4th and 7th in every offensive statistic in home games during Summit League play except turnover percentage (3rd).

North Dakota is a super interesting team when they have played on the road in conference. They have been good at offense (3rd in Summit League in offensive efficiency), GREAT at offensive rebounding (2nd), getting to the free throw line (2nd in FT Rate), and shooting inside the arc (2nd in 2P%), but they have been terrible at shooting 3-pointers only making 25.2% which causes their effective field goal percentage to be 8th in the conference at only 49%.

On defense, the Fighting Hawks have been just as perplexing. They are 6th in defensive efficiency, but their opponent effective field goal percentage ranks 3rd in the conference. They have been very bad at defensive rebounding (8th) and defending the arc (9th in 3P%) where they have allowed opponents to make over 40% of their shots. Their defense inside the arc has been incredible. They have only allowed opponents to make 48.3% of their shots, good for 1st in the Summit League.

Analysis: I think that Nebraska-Omaha’s defensive ineptitude really leaves the door open for North Dakota in this game. If North Dakota can limit their own turnovers, this should be a close game. Both teams have not been good on defense, but both are very good at the few things they actually do well. I think this is going to be a very tight game. I think both teams are going to be able to score over their averages due to their opposition’s defensive issues. I think this is a game that could go either way with both teams ending up in the high 70s or low 80s. I cannot imagine that both teams will score below their season averages which is what they would have to do for this game to go under.

The Pick: North Dakota +5.5 & Over 153.5

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NBA 72-69 (1-2):

Celtics +5.5 @ Jazz:

The Jazz are not 5-points better than any good team right now, and Brad Stevens is still absolutely stupidly good as a road underdog.

76ers -7.5 @ Cavaliers:

We are going to fade the tanking team once again.

Magic @ Hawks U226:

I know what you’re thinking, “an under in a Hawks game? Are you crazy? They don’t play defense.” To answer your questions: yes, maybe.

This under fits two different profitable systems that I track, so I am going to take it.

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Sprinkles 39-64 (1-3):

Vandy ML hosting Mizzou

See above.

North Dakota ML @ NEOM

See above.

LSU ML @ Florida

Florida has been wildly inconsistent all season and even at home. They have allowed between 98 and 47 points. They have scored between 104 and 61 points. I have no idea what is going to happen in this game, but it should be fun and not at all surprising if LSU wins a must-win game for them.

Celtics ML @ Jazz

Brad. Stevens. Road. Underdog.

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MikePick2 15-20 (1-0):

Parlay: +120

  • Penn State ML hosting Rutgers
    • Rutgers is 1-6 on the road in Big 10 play. Their only win was against Nebraska on Jan 3rd. Their second win will not be against #16 Penn State on Feb 26th.
  • Arkansas ML hosting Tennessee
    • Arkansas is still a bubble team, and just got Isaiah Joe back from injury. He and Miles Jones are one of the best backcourts in the SEC. Fayetteville is a tough place to play, and the Vols only road SEC wins are against Mizzou on Jan 7th, Vandy on Jan 18th, and Alabama by 1 on Feb 4th. They had to overcome a 15-point deficit and shot 2-18 from behind the arc in the win over Alabama.

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Picks Recap:

  • EVAN +15
  • UVU +6
  • RUTG +5 (probably)
  • MD +1
  • VAN +2.5
  • DEN +7.5
  • DEN/IPFW U146
  • UND +5.5
  • UND/NEOM O153.5
  • Celtics +5
  • Sixers -7.5
  • Magic/Hawks U226
  • VAN ML
  • UND ML
  • LSU ML
  • BOS ML
  • MP2: PSU ML & ARK ML

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Free Money Friday Every Day: Not the Start We Wanted

By | Talent Columns, Views from the Couch | No Comments

As always, for more information behind each pick, watch Free Money Friday Every Day on the ESPN106.7 twitter account every weekday at 3 pm or listen to the Free Money Friday Every Day podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotifySticher, or espnau.com.

Yesterday 2-4:

Today is a new day with a new slate, so I don’t love to spend a lot of time looking at yesterday’s slate. There’s not a big reason to get too worked up over one day, but it is worth looking at what went right/wrong. I don’t really look at the Sprinkles in hindsight though because I don’t totally expect the team to win. That’s why I only sprinkle the ML. I believe they have a good chance, but I don’t expect the win.

  • ILL -13.5 hosting NEB – won by 12
  • LOU ML – were up double digits in the second half and lost
  • WVU -5.5 @ UT – lost by 10
  • MIA -6 @ CLE – lost in OT by 6

All in all, not the start to the week that we wanted. Really would’ve loved if that 0-2 in the NCAA was a 2-0. We’re back below 50% now, but I have faith that we can climb out of the 1 pick hole tonight. Let’s do this.


Today’s Picks (Yesterday’s Record):

To jump to a certain part of the article use the following links:

NCAAB Picks/Analysis | NBA Picks/Analysis | Sprinkles | MikePick2 | Picks Recap

NCAAB 219-220-7 (0-2):

To jump to a certain game use the following links:

Iowa @ Michigan State | Kentucky @ Texas A&M | Ole Miss @ Auburn | Alabama @ Mississippi State

Iowa @ Michigan State

  • Spread: Michigan State -8.5
  • O/U: 151.5

Strength on strength match-up. Iowa has the best offense in the Big10, and Michigan State has the best defense.

Iowa’s offense has been very good on the road during conference play, ranking in the top 3 in efficiency, offensive rebounding, and 2P%. They have been dead last in the Big10 in 3P% on the road in conference. Conversely, Michigan State’s defense hasn’t been very good at home during Big10 play. The only thing they have been elite at is making shots inside the arc.

Iowa’s defense has been very bad on the road during conference play. They are dead last in efficiency, opponent effective FG%, opponent 2P%, and opponent 3P%. They are second to last in defensive rebounding. Michigan State’s defense has been quite the opposite. They are top-3 in the Big10 at everything except forcing turnovers, not fouling, and defensive rebounding.

Michigan State is going to win this game, but I think Iowa will be able to keep it to single digits.

The Pick: Iowa +8.5 (now +8.5)

Kentucky @ Texas A&M

  • Spread: Kentucky -6.5
  • O/U: 129

TAMU excels in three key areas that, if things go well, should help them mightily against a Cats team that will probably be looking ahead to welcoming Auburn to Rupp on Saturday:

  • Getting to the FT line. They are 9th in the nation at FT rate, and Kentucky is known to foul. Getting Nick Richards and co in foul trouble will really help the Aggies.
  • Not fouling. Kentucky is incredible from the FT line, but TAMU should be able to limit the number of FTs that the Cats shoot. The Aggies are #37 nationally in opponent FT rate, and they have allowed opponents to shoot fewer than 15/game this season. They have made more FTs than their opponents have attempted this season.
  • Forcing turnovers. The Aggies rank 27th in the country in opponent TO% at 22.7%. In conference home games, they have been even better, turning over their opponents 26.3% of the time. This could especially be huge for the Aggies since Ashton Hagans, Kentucky’s primary ball carrier, has averaged 4 turnovers/game over his last 9 games.

This will be TAMU’s second Quad 1 home game during SEC play. The first was an OT loss to LSU on Jan 14. That is not a very big sample size. Since a Quad 1 home game is a game played against #1-30 in the current NET rankings, and LSU is currently #29, I expanded my parameters to include Quad 2 home games. TAMU has played 4 top 75 team in the NET during conference play. That still isn’t a great sample size, but it is better than 1. In those games, TAMU is 1-3. They have allowed an average of just over 80 pts/game and scored 75 pts/game. Their average margin of victory is -5.75.

This will be Kentucky’s 8th Quad 3 or better road game in SEC play. They are 5-2 in those games. They are averaging 75.57 pts/game and allowing 70.71 pts/game for an average margin of victory of 4.86 points.

Why does this matter? Let’s look inside the numbers of how TAMU and Kentucky have played in those games. Quad 1/2 home games for TAMU, and Quad 3 or better road games for UK, both in SEC play. These are their rankings in the SEC for the described games, i.e. TAMU is 4th in the SEC in offense in Quad 1/2 home games during conference play, and Kentucky is 2nd in the SEC in offense in Quad 3 or better road games during conference play.

  • Total Offense: Only 3 SEC teams have been better offensively than TAMU: Mizzou, Mississippi State, and Auburn. Only LSU has been better offensively than Kentucky.
  • Total Defense: No SEC team has been worse on defense than TAMU. Kentucky has been 6th in the SEC in defense.
  • Turnovers: No team has been better at forcing turnovers than the Aggies, and only Auburn has been better at not turning the ball over. Kentucky ranks 5th in offensive TO% and 12th in defensive TO% which means they won’t turn you over, but they have been susceptible to turning the ball over at times.
  • Free Throws: TAMU is 4th in offensive FT rate behind Arkansas, Mississippi State, and Mizzou, and they are first in defensive FT rate. They do not foul. Kentucky is 3rd in offensive FT rate, and 10th in defensive FT rate. They get to the line quite a bit, and they will foul you, too.
  • Rebounding: TAMU is 7th in offensive rebound % and dead last in defensive rebound %. Kentucky is 7th in offensive rebound % and only Arkansas has a worse defensive rebound %. Neither of these teams are particularly good at rebounding.
  • Shooting: TAMU is 4th in effective FG%, 3rd behind Alabama and UGA in 2P%, and 5th in 3P% at 36%. Kentucky is 2nd in effective FG% behind LSU, 8th in 2P%, and first in 3P% at 44.7% (which I don’t think is sustainable).
  • Defending Shooters: TAMU is dead last in opponent effective FG%, 12th in opponent 2P% (only ahead of South Carolina and Mizzou), and last in opponent 3P% at 44.2%. Kentucky is 1st in opponent effective FG%, 1st in opponent 2P%, and 6th in opponent 3P% at 30.9%.

Summary: Both teams have been very good offensively in these situations. TAMU relies heavily on turnovers defensively, but they have been very good at forcing them. Kentucky shoots the lights out on offense but will turn the ball over.

We have seen Kentucky come out of the gates slow in a few conference games against bad teams this season (see Ole Miss, Vanderbilt…twice), but then they blow the other team out in the second half. With their minds possibly on the huge game on Saturday, I think something similar could happen tonight. Maybe even some early foul trouble.

It is also worth noting that at the time of writing this, 96% of money has come in on the OVER in this game causing oddsmakers to bump it up from 127.5 to 129.

The Pick: TAMU +3 1H & Over 129 (opened 127.5)

Ole Miss @ Auburn

  • Spread: Auburn -9
  • O/U: 141

Auburn has not been winning by 5 at halftime since Jan 25th against Iowa State. They haven’t led by 5 at the half in a conference game since Jan 22nd against South Carolina. They’ve only done it twice in SEC play, the South Carolina game and against UGA on Jan 11th.

In the 8 games since the Iowa State game, Auburn’s average margin at halftime is -6.5 points. In 14 conference games, their average halftime margin is -3.42 points.

Auburn without Isaac Okoro is not good enough to beat Ole Miss by 9. I don’t care where the game is played. They had to come back from down 20+ to beat Ole Miss in the Pavilion earlier this season.

Also, both teams can score. A lot.

The Pick: Ole Miss +4.5 1H & Ole Miss +9 (now +8.5) & Over 141 (now 142)

Alabama @ Mississippi State

  • Spread: Miss St -4
  • O/U: 157.5

Bama has had 65% of their games go over this season, and Miss St has had 70% of theirs go over.

Alabama hasn’t had a road game go under 160 since Jan 22nd.

Mississippi State hasn’t had a home game go under since Mizzou scored 45 points against them on Jan 14th. It’s their only home conference game to go under.

The Pick: Over 159 (now 157.5)

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NBA 71-67 (2-1):

Thunder -7.5 @ Bulls

We are going to continue to fade tanking teams at home. Also, OKC is 38-18 ATS and 21-5 ATS on the road while the Bulls are just 12-17-1 ATS at home. Plus, Otto Porter, Denzel Valentine, and Wendell Carter Jr are all out for the Bulls.

Bucks -1.5 @ Raptors

Bucks have not lost the second game of a back-to-back this season and are 6-1 ATS. They are 31-4 SU and 22-13 ATS (62.9%) in conference and 21-4 SU and 15-10 ATS (60%) as a road favorite. They’ve been steamrolling through the NBA this season.

Pelicans +7.5 @ Lakers

Pelicans have been so, so much better with Zion, and I think there is a huge revenge factor in this game for the Pelicans. There is the obvious of getting back at Anthony Davis for not wanting to play for the team, but there is also all the former Lakers who I think will try to stick it to LeBron for shipping them all off.

Anthony Davis is probable, but it’s hard for me to think he won’t play. The Pelicans are remarkably healthy right now.

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Sprinkles 38-61 (0-1):

Ole Miss 1H ML @ Auburn

See above.

Alabama ML @ Miss St

This would be a massive win for Alabama’s tournament resume, and when a team can get as hot as Alabama can from 3-Point range, it’s almost always worth a sprinkle. (Plus Alabama is still covering at their insane rate on the season).

NC State ML @ UNC

If NC State wins this game, they will have beaten both Duke and UNC this season. Plus, they lost UNC at home, so is a little revenge in order? It’s worth a sprinkle.

OU ML hosting Texas Tech

Beating Tech would give OU a huge win for their tournament resume, much like Alabama. Plus, they are playing at home, and Tech has had their offensive struggles this season.

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MikePick2 14-20 (0-0):

Parlay: +105

  • UK ML @ TAMU
  • SMU ML hosting Memphis

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Picks Recap:

  • Iowa +8.5
  • TAMU +3 1H
  • UK/TAMU O129
  • Ole Miss +4.5 1H
  • Ole Miss +9
  • Ole Miss/Auburn O141
  • Alabama/Miss St O159
  • OKC -7.5
  • MIL -1.5
  • NOP +7.5
  • Ole Miss 1H ML
  • Alabama ML
  • NC State ML
  • OU ML
  • MP2: UK ML & SMU ML

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Free Money Friday Every Day: Best Week Ever

By | Talent Columns, Views from the Couch | No Comments

As always, for more information behind each pick, watch Free Money Friday Every Day on the ESPN106.7 twitter account every weekday at 3 pm or listen to the Free Money Friday Every Day podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotifySticher, or espnau.com.

Weekend 19-17 +3.09u:

Today is a new day with a new slate, so I don’t love to spend a lot of time looking at yesterday’s slate. There’s not a big reason to get too worked up over one day, but it is worth looking at what went right/wrong. I don’t really look at the Sprinkles in hindsight though because I don’t totally expect the team to win. That’s why I only sprinkle the ML. I believe they have a good chance, but I don’t expect the win.

It’s Monday, so we are looking back at the Weekend (Fri, Sat, Sun) and the past week (Mon-Sun). I’m not going to go through each pick, but I am going to look at what went well and what did not.

Last Week:

  • 40-31 +8.86u
  • 10-4 (+5.1u) in the Summit League
  • 27-12 (69% +12.13u) in College Basketball
  • 8-10 (+0.1u) in Sprinkles
  • 2-4 on MikePick2

You can see, I had an incredible week. It was one of the best weeks that I have ever had in basketball betting. It was the best week of the season, by far in College Basketball. It looks like I need to be more selective in my ML Sprinkles because I don’t have to be even 50% to be in the positive units range. A two game swing here or there could change a lot. Also, it wasn’t a great week for the MikePick2. Maybe I need to change what I’m looking for in games that I pick for the MikePick2.

So let’s take what we learned and apply it to this week. We will keep the Quality over Quantity mantra that we had last week because it seemed to work pretty well. Also, the extra research into games seems to be paying off as well. Also, I still don’t forgive Oral Roberts.

Today’s Picks (Weekend Record):

NCAAB 219-218-7 (11-6 +3.6u):

A solid weekend and a very good week got us over 50% for the season. A number we have been chasing since I changed my tracking metrics a few weeks ago. I am elated. Now, we are gunning for that 52% mark. Last week, I picked 39 college basketball games. If I pick 38 games this week, I will have picked 475 on the season. In order to get to the 52% goal, I will have to have won 247 out of 475 games. So, this week’s goal is to go 28 of 38. Last week, we went 27 of 39, so it is definitely doable; however, it will not be easy. We’re attempting to follow up a 69% week with a 73.68% week. Let’s do this. Time to start out with a 2-0 day. Here are the picks:

  • Illinois -13.5 hosting Nebraska
    • Illinois is 5-2 in conference home games. Nebraska is 0-7 in conference road games.
    • That has nothing to do with the spread, but it makes you wonder why Nebraska has been so putrid on the road this season.
    • Well, they can’t defend, rebound, or get to the free throw line. Those are 3 major things that help you win on the road.
    • Illinois has struggled to score at home during conference play, but they have made up for it with incredible defense and rebounding. Also, they don’t foul. Kofi Cockburn, Illinois’ dominant 7-footer, should be able to do whatever he wants against a way overmatched Nebraska front court.
  • West Virginia -5.5 @ Texas
    • West Virginia has lost 4/5. They have lost 5 road games in a row and 6/7 road games in Big12 play. The offense is the issue, as it usually is when teams are struggling in road games. The defense has still been the typical very good West Virginia defense.
    • Texas had lost 4 in a row before wins over TCU and Kansas St, two of the worst teams in the Big12. Texas is just not very good, AND they lost probably their best player for the season. Without Jericho Sims, the Longhorns will probably get dominated inside by West Virginia’s very good frontcourt.
    • I think West Virginia is probably undervalued here due to their road struggles in conference this season, and Texas’s back to back wins. Remember, WV beat UT by 38 in Morgantown. The Mountaineers desperately need a win, and I think they get it tonight.

NBA 69-66 (4-5):

It was a weird week in the NBA with no games until Thursday, and everyone coming off a week off for the All-Star Break.

  • Magic +4 @ Nets
    • This is a Road Dog off ATS Loss play. I like it a lot with the Nets recently losing Kyrie for the season. I know that they are used to playing without him, but they still aren’t very good. The Magic aren’t very good either. I think this should be a very close game, so I will happily take the Magic +4.
  • Heat -6 @ Cavs
    • We went 2-4 fading tanking teams last week, but I am confident that number will turn around in no time. I don’t have as much faith in the Interim Coach Bump for the Cavs now that some time has passed, and the Heat know they have to start playing better coming into the playoff stretch.
  • 76ers -8.5 hosting the Hawks
    • The 76ers are the most bizarre team in the NBA. They are incredible at home and against good teams. They are terrible on the road and against bad teams. It is very, very strange. For this game, I expect the 76ers to cover. They have been one of the best teams in the league at home, and the Hawks are terrible on the road, only covering 33% of road games on the season. This seems like a game that Trae Young goes for 45 in a double digit loss.

Sprinkles 38-60 (3-5)

  • Louisville ML @ FSU
    • Louisville is #11, and they are going on the road to take on a Florida State team that is quietly ranked #6. The spread on this game is FSU -2.5. That means that the oddsmakers consider Louisville the better team, but FSU is playing at home. Usually, home court advantage is between 2 and 5 points. Florida State’s should be above 3.5.
    • I look at that think there must be value on sprinkling who oddmakers consider the better team.

MikePick2 14-20 (2-1):

  • There’s not one tonight. I don’t like the numbers. Sorry.

The Lunch Break interviews Chris Vannini

By | ESPN 106.7 News | No Comments

Chris Vannini of The Athletic joins Painter, Justin, and Josh Vitale to talk the most recent college football coaching news.

The guys talk about Colorado football’s hiring of Karl Dorrell as their new head coach, Mel Tucker’s hire at Michigan State, and the legacy of Mark Dantonio.

Finally, they talk about how the University of St. Thomas is attempting to jump their football team from Division III to Division I.

You can follow Chris on Twitter (@ChrisVannini) and listen to his podcast “Green and White Noise” anywhere podcasts are located. You can listen to Painter and Justin on “The Lunch Break” weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. CST on ESPN 106.7.

Free Money Friday Every Day: ORU…I hate you

By | Talent Columns, Views from the Couch | No Comments

As always, for more information behind each pick, watch Free Money Friday Every Day on the ESPN106.7 twitter account every weekday at 3 pm and every Sat/Sun at 10 am or listen to the Free Money Friday Every Day podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotifySticher, or espnau.com.

Yesterday 7-4:

Today is a new day with a new slate, so I don’t love to spend a lot of time looking at yesterday’s slate. There’s not a big reason to get too worked up over one day, but it is worth looking at what went right/wrong. I don’t really look at the Sprinkles in hindsight though because I don’t totally expect the team to win. That’s why I only sprinkle the ML. I believe they have a good chance, but I don’t expect the win.

  • Oral Roberts -6.5 @ Denver – They lost by 4 in OT. 100-96. Coming into this game, Denver was 1-11 in conference play, and they had lost 18 of their last 19 games. Oral Roberts gave up ONE HUNDRED (100) POINTS. Oral Roberts allowed Denver to shoot 61.4% from inside the arc, and Denver made 25 out of 29 FTs (86.2%). Denver out-rebounded Oral Roberts 42-37, but they turned the ball over 16 times! Those 16 turnovers meant that Denver turned the ball over on 19% of their possessions, that is so high. The worst part? Oral Roberts was up 67-55 with 9 and half minutes left in the game, AND they were up 88-83 with SIXTEEN (16) (8*2) (4*4) SECONDS left in the game. Their win probability was 98.6%. Like I said, they lost by 4 in OT. Their loss cost me a perfect week in the Summit League and last night’s MikePick2. I am so angry at the Golden Eagles; I can barely put it into words. They lost a game in which they scored NINETY-SIX (96) (48*2) (32*3) (24*4) (16*6) (12*8) POINTS! 96! Look at this win probability chart from KenPom:

  • MEM -1 @ SAC – They lost by 4. I didn’t watch this game, so I am not sure what I should be angry about, not gonna lie.
  • MIA -6.5 @ ATL – They lost by 5. Trae Young only scored 50, so it’s hard to be too mad about this one. Oh wait, JUST KIDDING. MAYBE DON’T LET THE OTHER TEAM’S BEST PLAYER SCORE 50 POINTS IN A GAME FOR WHICH YOU HAD THREE FULL DAYS TO PREPARE. THE HAWKS HAVE ONE GOOD PLAYER AND A BUNCH OF OTHER REALLY YOUNG GUYS THAT MIGHT BE GOOD BUT ARE JUST ALRIGHT RIGHT NOW. STOP THE ONE GOOD PLAYER. Sorry, I am still very angry with Oral Roberts.

All things considered (I hate you, Oral Roberts), yesterday was a great day. I am on fire right now. Since Monday, I am 24-13. I went 9-1 in Summit League games this week (not counting the portion of the MikePick2 because I consider that 1 MikePick2 lost not a loss on each portion of the MikePick2). Since the first Monday in February (the 3rd), I am 80-76. Let’s keep it rolling.


Today’s Picks (Yesterday’s Record):

NCAAB 208-212-7 (6-1 (freaking Oral Roberts)):

  • Penn -2 @ Dartmouth
    • Dartmouth can’t score. They rank 300th or worse in points per game, adjusted efficiency, offensive rebound %, FT rate, and free throw %. Penn’s defense is actually pretty good. They are 1st in the Ivy League in opponent effective FG% and opponent 2P%; 2nd in the Ivy League in defensive efficiency, opponent FT rate, and opponent FT%; and 3rd in opponent 3P%. That basically boils down to this:
      • Penn’s defense restricts the scoring ability of their opponents by not allowing them to make shots anywhere on the floor, not fouling, and, on the rare occasions they do foul, not fouling good free throw shooters. This means that Penn probably isn’t great defensively inside.
    • If one team can’t score, it will probably be hard for them to win. That’s called analysis people.

NBA 66-63 (1-2):

  • Pacers -6.5 @ NYK
    • The Knicks are what we call a team that is tanking. We are going to continue Fade Tanking Teams even though we lost 2 out of 3 doing so last night.
  • Mavs -4 @ Magic
    • The Mavs are just the better team in this game. The Magic are 8-18-2 ATS this season as underdogs and 10-17-1 ATS at home. They have really struggled against teams that are better than they are, and they have struggled to cover at home.The Mavs are 18-8 straight-up and 18-6-2 ATS on the road. They have been killing it away from American Airlines Center this season. Also, Luka.
  • Nuggets +2 @ OKC
    • The Nuggets are getting Mason Plumlee and Michael Porter Jr. back from injury, and they are currently own the 2nd best record in the Western Conference. Denver is 9-0 against division opponents this season and have the 3rd best ranking against division foes according to teamrankings.com.

Sprinkles 34-54 (1-0):

    • Saint Louis ML hosting VCU
    • St Peter’s PK @ Manhattan
      • For starters, St. Peter’s has covered the spread in 17 out of their 24 games this season. That is 70.8% and T-6th in the country. They are 9-1 ATS as a road underdog, 9-3 ATS as the away team, 11-4 ATS in conference games, and 5-2 ATS in conference road games. Manhattan, on the other hand, is 5-4 ATS at home, 3-3 ATS as a home favorite, and 7-7 ATS in conference games. So, they are almost exactly average.
      • Peter’s is relatively great defensively. They are #1 in the MAAC in efficiency, effective FG%, 2P%, and block% defensively. They are 2nd in opponent turnover %, 3rd in steal%, and 4th in opponent 3P%. That bodes well against a Manhattan offense that is 9th in the MAAC in efficiency, effective FG%, and 3P%, offensively. They are 11th in the MAAC in FT% at a staggeringly low 59.7%. If this is a close game, St. Peter’s should have an edge.
      • On the other side of the ball, this should actually be a good match-up. The Peacock’s offense is pretty good, but they turn the ball over way too much. The Jaspers’ defense is between pretty good and good, but they struggle to limit offensive rebounds, to not foul, and to defend the 3-point arc.
      • This game opened at St Peter’s +1.5, and it has moved to a PK. I was going to take St. Peter’s +1.5 and sprinkle them on the ML, so I will only sprinkle them as a PK, now.
    • Cavaliers ML @ Wizards
      • The Wizards are one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA, and I expect the Cavs to get a bit of an interim coach bump here. Give me the Cavs trying to prove they were correct for all wanting their coach fired.
    • Nuggets ML @ OKC
      • See above.

MikePick2 12-19 (0-1 (O. R. A. L. R. O. B. E. R. T. S.)):

    • Parlay: +135
      • Mavs ML @ Magic
      • Pelicans ML @ Blazers
        • No Dame for the Blazers tonight.