Free Money Friday Every Day: 8 Games, 11 Picks, 5 Sprinkles

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 3-4:

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.

  • Ole Miss +1.5 & ML – lost by 3, and they were just putrid in the closing minutes. Tyree had an open 3 to send the game into OT and missed.
  • OU +3 – they lost by 11. I knew this was going to happen. I told y’all yesterday that if I bet on OU they would get killed.
  • PSU ML – Penn State put on a master class on how to lose a close game at home.

Today’s Picks (Yesterday’s Record):

NCAAB 195-208-7 (2-2):

  • Texas A&M +10.5 @ Alabama – Opened BAMA -11.5, now 10.5
    • ATS Records: TAMU – 41.7%; Bama – 72%
    • I am 17-7 betting Poor ATS teams on the road in a conference game against Good ATS teams.
    • Bama was on a 4-game losing streak ATS from Jan 25th to Feb 4th and have now covered 3 in a row. They are back to their covering ways.
    • This is going to be a fascinating game between two teams that play opposite styles of basketball. Alabama has one of the fastest tempos in the country. TAMU plays the slowest of any team in the SEC. Bama relies on offense and shooting while TAMU relies on defense and getting to the FT line.
  • LA Monroe +7 @ Arkansas St – Opened ARST -8, now -7/7.5
    • ATS Records: LA Monroe – 40.9%; Arkansas St – 68%
    • I am 17-7 betting Poor ATS teams on the road in a conference game against Good ATS teams.
    • Arkansas St is not good defensively. They rank in the bottom half of the Sun Belt in every defensive category except one, and they are in the bottom 2 in defensive efficiency, opponent effective FG%, opponent offensive rebound %, opponent FT rate, and opponent 2P%.
  • DePaul +4.5 hosting Villanova – Opened NOVA -5, now -4.5
    • I am 3-5 fading the public in major conference games this season.
    • DePaul has only gotten 15% of bets (2:33 pm central). That is comfortably below the 25% threshold that we like.
    • Because of the low percentage and Villanova’s name brand, I am comfortable locking this pick in now.
  • Cal +6 @ Wazzou – Opened Cal +5, now consensus is +5.5/6
    • Cal has received 17% of bets as of 2:43 pm central time.
    • I am 3-5 fading the public in major conference games this season.
    • Since 17 is not close to 25, I went ahead and pulled the trigger on this one, also. When I looked a few hours ago, Cal had gotten 22% of bets. The fact that the number has gotten smaller also makes me feel like I can bet it now.
  • SDSU -3.5 @ UND & O149 – Opened SDKS -4.5, now -3.5/Opened at 151, now 150
    • This is another one of those lines that I just do not understand. South Dakota State is the best team in the Summit League and not just by record. KenPom has 10 advanced stats for offense and defense. South Dakota State is #1 in the Summit League in 5 offensive and 5 defensive categories. They are 2nd in two other defensive categories.
    • The Jackrabbits are below average at 3 offensive and 3 defensive things. On offense, they turn the ball over an above-average amount and have the ball stolen from them at a conference high rate. They also rank 7th out of 9 in FT shooting %; however, they make 73.5% of their FTs which really isn’t bad. It would rank in the mid-80s nationally if they had done it all season. They have been better in conference play than over the season. On defense, they are below average at turning over their opponents, steal %, and opponent offensive rebound percentage. So really, they are below average at 1 offensive thing and 2 defensive things. It just so happens that they are dead last in the conference at those things: getting the ball stolen from them (and thus TO%), opponent offensive rebound percentage (so defensive rebounding), and stealing the ball from the other team (and thus opponent TO%) (it is worth noting that they are #1 in block %, so they generate turnovers that way).
    • The issue for North Dakota is that they aren’t built to take advantage of those few flaws. The Fighting Hawks have been slightly above average at forcing turnovers during conference play, exactly average (5th out of 9) at offensive rebounding, and way below average (8th) in TO%.
    • These two teams played on Jan 15th in Brookings. South Dakota State was a 7-point favorite. They won 87-66.
    • While I don’t think that the Jackrabbits will win this game by 20, I do think they will win rather easily. I would be remiss not to mention that South Dakota State is tied for 3rd in the country at 19-7 ATS (73.1%) this season.
    • Also, North Dakota has only had 2 conference games go under 149 points, so I will take the over.
  • NDSU +1.5 @ SDAK & O149.5 – Opened SDAK -1.5, now 1.5/Opened 151, now 149.5
    • This is a game between the current #2 and #3 teams in the Summit League. The Bison are 10-2 in conference play, and the Coyotes are 9-4.
    • The two teams are very similar. Neither team turns the ball over, turns their opponents over, gets offensive rebounds, or allows their opponents to get offensive rebounds. Both teams are very good offensively, ranking in the top-3 of the league in efficiency, effective FG%, 3P%, and 2P%.
    • The reason I am on North Dakota State in this game are as follows:
    • South Dakota is the worst team in the Summit League at defending the 3-point line where the Bison shoot over 35%.
    • North Dakota State has had a top-2 defense in conference play, and they thrive at not fouling and not letting opponent score inside the 3-point arc (opponents have shot 48.9% from 2P range, #1 in SL).
    • Dave Richman’s squad’s only liability on defense are that they don’t turn their opponents over, but South Dakota rarely turns the ball over anyway.
    • On the other hand, Todd Lee’s Coyotes’ squad only gets offensive rebounds 16.8% of the time. That is last in the Summit League, and the Bison are the best team in the conference at limiting offensive rebounds.
    • This game will probably be a dog fight right down to the end. That favors North Dakota State because South Dakota is 333rd nationally in bench minutes. God forbid this game go to overtime because the Coyotes will be gassed.
    • North Dakota State has had 8 out of 12 conference games get to 150 or above. South Dakota has had 10 out of 13 conference games and 12 of their last 14 games get to at least 150 total points. I will take the over.
  • Rutgers -1 hosting Michigan – Opened RUTG -1, now -2.5
    • Strength on Strength match-up. Michigan’s offense is one of the best in the Big10 in everything except FT rate, offensive rebounding, and 3P%. Rutgers defense is one of the best in the Big10 in everything except FT rate and opponent FT % which means they foul too much and usually foul good FT shooters.
    • On the other side of the ball, neither team is very good. They have both been between mediocre and bad at almost everything during conference play. The only thing Rutgers has been elite at is not getting their shots blocked. The Wolverines haven’t been elite at anything.
    • I’ll take the Big10 team at home because Big10 home teams not named Nebraska or Northwestern have won 69 (nice) out of 87 games (79.31%). Nebraska and Northwestern are both terrible at basketball this season and are a combined 3-11 at home. They are the only two teams in the conference without a winning home record. Three Big10 are undefeated at home during conference play: Maryland, Iowa, and, you guessed it, RUTGERS. I don’t see that changing tonight.
  • AUB -3 @ UGA & U150 – Opened AUB -2.5, now -4/4.5
    • There is no way to sugarcoat how lost Auburn’s defense looked without Isaac Okoro on Saturday against Mizzou, especially in the first half, or how bad Auburn was from behind the 3-point arc (1-17 5.9%). That performance makes this a must-win for Auburn if they want to stay in the race for the regular season SEC title.
    • Here are the bright sides for the Tigers:
    • It’s almost impossible for them to shoot as poorly from beyond the arc as they did against Mizzou.
    • In the first Auburn/Georgia game, it was Allen Flanigan who defended future lottery pick Anthony Edwards for most of the game. Edwards had one of his worst games of the season, shooting 6-15 (2-9 from 3) from the floor and 4-11 at the FT line with 3 assists and 3 turnovers.
    • Georgia’s defense has been one of the worst, if not the worst, during conference play. They are last in the SEC in opponent effective FG% and opponent 2P% and 10th in opponent offensive rebound % and opponent 3P%. This is a great game for Auburn to get right offensively.
    • Georgia is not good at offense either. They turn the ball over too much and are almost as bad as Auburn at shooting 3-pointers. This is especially good since Auburn is 13th in the SEC allowing opponents to make 37% in conference play.
    • Auburn should have an advantage inside. Austin Wiley could have another big game if he stays out of foul trouble. Auburn has been better lately at getting the ball to their big man inside.
    • Georgia has scored 75 points or less in every SEC game except 3: vs Alabama (who plays no defense and plays at a ridiculously fast pace), @ Kentucky (I don’t understand this one), and vs Tennessee (mid-January when Tennessee was terrible). Auburn has had 6 of their last 7 games go over 150; however, they played overtimes in 4 of their last 6 games, managed a respectable 73 points (5.9% from 3) against a decent Mizzou defense (without Okoro), and scored an average of 67 points/game in regulation away from Auburn Arena this season.

Sprinkles 31-51 (1-1):

  • Butler ML @ Seton Hall
    • Butler has road conference wins over St. John’s and Providence. The Big East continues to cannibalize itself.
  • North Dakota State ML @ South Dakota
    • See Above
  • TCU ML @ Texas
    • Both of these teams are not good. I think TCU has every chance to win this game.
  • Providence ML @ Georgetown
    • Providence has road conference wins against DePaul, Marquette, and Butler.
  • South Carolina ML @ Mississippi State
    • South Carolina NEEDS this win to try to get that ever important 4th seed in the SEC Tournament. Frank Martin might just terrify his team into winning this game.

MikePick2 12-17 (0-1):

  • Parlay: +136
    • Rutgers ML hosting Michigan
    • Minnesota ML hosting Indiana