Free Money Friday Every Day: Down the Stretch

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 5-3:

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.

  • Mavs -5 @ Bulls – lost by 2
  • HOU -10 @ Knicks – Knicks won by 2
  • Texas Tech/Baylor U129 – 60-60 at end of regulation

Today’s Picks (Yesterday’s Record):

Jump To: NCAAB Picks/Analysis | NBA Picks/Analysis | Sprinkles | MikePick2 | Picks Recap

NCAAB 236-238-9 (1-1):

Jump To: Purdue @ Iowa | Texas @ Oklahoma | Vanderbilt @ Alabama | Tennessee @ Kentucky | Cleveland State @ Oakland | Holy Cross @ Bucknell

Purdue @ Iowa:

  • Spread: Iowa -5.5 (now -5)
  • O/U: 140 (now 143)

Setting the Scene:

Purdue is 15-14 on the season and sit at 10th in the Big Ten at 8-10. Iowa is 20-9 and 11-7 in conference which puts them at 5th place. They can still get a Top-4 seed in the Big Ten tournament which would earn them a double bye.

Trends:

Purdue is 2-7 in road conference games with their only wins coming against Indiana and Northwestern. They lost to Nebraska on the road, just saying. They have only covered in one of those seven games. The Boilermakers are just 1-5-2 ATS as a road underdog, 2-7-2 ATS as an underdog and as a road team, 5-9 ATS after a win, 6-10-2 ATS in conference games, and 12-15-2 ATS on the season. Iowa is a perfect 9-0 in home conference games. They’re the only team left in the Big Ten that is undefeated at home in conference play. The Hawkeyes are 7-0-2 ATS in those 9 games. Iowa has covered in 69.2% of games this season, 84.6% of homes games, 83.3% of games as a home favorite, 80% of games as a favorite, 66.7% of conference games, and 56.2% of games after a win.

On the Court:

We are going to look at the two teams before and after Purdue beat Iowa by 36 on February 5th. I call it Pre-Beat Down and Post-Beat Down (Pre BD and Post BD). I realize that it’s just a bunch of numbers for which you did not ask. The “Change” column is really the only one that matters. I tried to highlight it the best that I could for you. The bold numbers are numbers that moved in that team’s favor, aka that team improved in that stat. The italicized numbers are numbers that moved in a negative way for that team, aka the team did the opposite of improve in that stat. Continue to the “Analysis” section for a breakdown of the data. The data is from barttorvik.com.

Purdue

Iowa

Stat

Pre BD Post BD Change Pre BD Post BD

Change

ADJOE

103.2 107.2 4 118.6 118.4 -0.2

ADJDE

90.6 95.9 5.3 98.1 94.8 -3.3
EFG% 43.8 45.1 1.3 50.3 51.8

1.5

EFG%D

48.7 48.6 -0.1 49.8 48.5 -1.3

TOR

16.3 17 0.7 16.4 16.6

0.2

TORD 20 16 -4 15.4 18

2.6

ORB

33.6

31.4 -2.2 33.1 29.4 -3.7
DRB 27.5 28.3 0.8 28.1 31.6

3.5

FTR

21.1 28.7 7.6 31.3 32.5 1.2
FTRD 25.8 38 12.2 31.1 29.3

-1.8

2P%

43.2 46.7 3.5 49.3 52.3 3
2P%D 49.4 44.1 -5.3 52.3 48.6

-3.7

3P%

31 27.6 -3.4 34.7 33.9 -0.8
3P%D 31.7 36.1 4.4 30.9 32.2

1.3

ADJ T 63.6 66.4 2.8 70.3 70.5

0.2

Analysis:

  1. Penn State got better offensively; Iowa basically stayed the same
  2. Purdue’s defense got worse; Iowa’s got better
  3. Both teams are shooting slightly better and defending shots slightly better.
  4. Both teams are turning the ball over just as often, but Iowa is turning over opponents more and Purdue is doing it less.
  5. Both teams are getting ORBs less Iowa has gotten DRB more often, but Purdue is grabbing them just as frequently as they were before the beat down.
  6. Purdue is getting to the line a lot more, but they are also fouling a lot more.
  7. Both teams are shooting and defending better from 2P range.
  8. Purdue is shooting and defending significantly worse from 3P range while Iowa is doing about the same from distance.

If you think that this could be because of the quality of teams they were playing, Purdue is 2-4 since the beat down with both wins coming against Indiana. They have played road games against Indiana, Ohio State, and Wisconsin, and they hosted Indiana, Michigan, and Penn State. Iowa is 4-2 since the beat down with wins at home against Nebraska, Ohio State, and Penn State. They won at Minnesota, but they lost on the road to Indiana and Michigan State. It would be easy to say that Iowa’s game against Nebraska would skew their stats in such a small sample size, but they had better numbers against Ohio State.

At the end of the day, this is a Poor ATS vs Good ATS game, but I really do think this is going to be a very close contest. Iowa has clearly gotten better since the wake-up call against Purdue about a month ago, but it isn’t like Purdue has been sitting around getting worse. I don’t think Purdue is going to be able to do enough to win this game; Iowa is so good at home. I do think they’ll hang around.

The Pick:

Purdue +5

Jump To: Purdue @ Iowa | Texas @ Oklahoma | Vanderbilt @ Alabama | Tennessee @ Kentucky | Cleveland State @ Oakland | Holy Cross @ Bucknell

Texas @ Oklahoma:

  • Spread: OU -6.5 (now -7)
  • O/U: 132 (now 133)

Setting the Scene:

Texas heads into Norman at 18-11 and 8-8 in conference. They’re 4th in the Big 12 despite some midseason troubles that included losing Jericho Sims for the season. They have won and covered four games in a row. Oklahoma is also 18-11 and 8-8 at 4th place in the conference. They had lost three in row before impressive wins and covers over Texas Tech (at home) and West Virginia (on the road) in their last two games. The two teams played in Austin on January 8th, and OU won by 10 as 3-point underdogs.

Trends:

Texas is 13-16 ATS on the season. They have covered four games in a row and 7 of their last 10. Their applicable trends ATS: 6-3 as away underdog, 6-4 as away team, 10-7 with equal rest (both teams played Saturday), 7-5 with 2-3 days off, 9-7 in conference games, and 7-6 as an underdog. They are only 7-10 ATS after a win.

Oklahoma is 13-16 ATS on the season. They have covered their last two games and 6 of their last 10. Their applicable trends ATS: 9-7 in conference games, 10-8 with equal rest, 10-10 with 2-3 days off, 6-8 as home team, 6-8 as the favorite, 7-10 after a win, and 4-6 as a home favorite.

On the Court:

These two teams are average Big 12 teams. Oklahoma is slightly better, ranking 4th and 5th in offensive and defense efficiency, respectively. Texas is right behind them at 7th and 6th. Oklahoma has been elite during conference play at not turning the ball over, not getting their shots blocked, and not fouling. They rank 1st in the Big 12 at all three. Texas ranks 2nd in the Big 12 at 3-point shooting, knocking down over 35% of their triples. OU is allowing opponents to made one-third of their shots from behind the arc. The other place that the Longhorns has a slight edge is defending inside the arc. OU is very good there, making over 49% of their shots during conference play, but Texas has only allowed opponents to make 46.7% of attempts.

The weaknesses of these two teams match up pretty well. Texas has the worst FT Rate in the conference, but OU is the best in the conference at not sending teams to the line. OU is the worst team in the conference at forcing turnovers, but Texas turns the ball over the 7th most frequently. OU doesn’t turn the ball over, but Texas doesn’t rely on forcing turnovers, they rank 7th. OU may have an edge on the offensive glass because Texas ranks 9th in the league at preventing offensive rebounds, but OU is last in the league at grabbing offensive rebounds.

Analysis:

I think this is going to be a battle. Both teams need this win for their NCAA Tournament hopes. It would be a bigger win for Texas than OU, and I think that matters this time of year. If I’m right, this game will be close and come down to the wire. We might even see OT.

The Pick:

Texas +7 & Over 133

Jump To: Purdue @ Iowa | Texas @ Oklahoma | Vanderbilt @ Alabama | Tennessee @ Kentucky | Cleveland State @ Oakland | Holy Cross @ Bucknell

Vanderbilt @ Alabama

  • Spread: Alabama -14 (now -12)
  • Total: 162 (now 155.5)

Setting the Stage:

Vanderbilt has been the worst team in the SEC this season. They are only 9-20 (1-15) and have lost 7 games in a row. They’ve covered 3 of those 7 games and 6 of their last 10. Alabama was a bubble team, and, if they can make some noise down the stretch, they could play their way back onto the bubble. That starts by dominating Vanderbilt. Alabama is 16-13 (8-8) and are 19-10 ATS on the season; however, they are only 7-6 ATS as a home favorite.

Trends:

Vandy has averaged 62.6 points in their last 7 conference road games. Alabama has averaged 81.6 points in their 8 conference home games this season. That includes outliers of 68 vs Tennessee and Texas A&M. If you take those two games out, Alabama has averaged just over 86 points/game.

Alabama has also given up 75 points/game at home during conference play. It is worth noting that they range from giving up in the 60s to Mississippi State, Auburn, and Tennessee to giving up over 80 points to South Carolina, LSU, and Arkansas. Vandy has given up over 79 points/game on the road during conference play. They’ve allowed fewer than 71 points just once, @ Tennessee, and over 80 points in 5 of their 8 games.

I removed Vandy’s first road conference game (@ Auburn) from their scoring stat because it was the only game they scored more than 70 points (79), but I didn’t remove it from their defense stat because they gave up 83 points which is a relatively normal amount for them.

Analysis:

It is at this point that I ask myself if I think that Alabama’s incredibly fast paced offense will score 85 points. The answer is yes. Vanderbilt gave up at least 85 on the road to Ole Miss (86) and South Carolina (90), and they almost gave up 85 to Florida (84), Auburn (83), and Mississippi State (80). The more difficult question is whether I think the Commodores will get to 70 points. They’ve only done it twice on the road in conference play: 79 against Auburn and 70 against Mississippi State. I think that they will. Alabama’s defense has been the 12th best in the conference over the last 3 weeks. The Crimson Tide really rely on forcing turnovers defensively. They struggle to defend if they can’t force them. Vanderbilt is actually pretty good at not turning the ball over, and they are going to get a lot of possessions because of Alabama’s pace.

The Pick:

Over 156

Jump To: Purdue @ Iowa | Texas @ Oklahoma | Vanderbilt @ Alabama | Tennessee @ Kentucky | Cleveland State @ Oakland | Holy Cross @ Bucknell

Tennessee @ Kentucky

  • Spread: Kentucky -9 (now -8.5)
  • O/U: 131 (now 131)

Setting the Scene:

Tennessee is having a disappointing season. They are only 16-13 (8-8) and enter this game 4-7 in their last 11 games. Kentucky is playing their best basketball of their 24-5 season. They wrapped up an SEC Regular Season Championship with a win over Auburn on Saturday. They have won 8 games in a row and 13 of their last 14.

Trends:

Tennessee has gotten 21% of the bets in this game so far. That number has been dropping. It was at 23% around noon CT today.

On the Court:

Kentucky is better at just about everything. This is a very bad match-up for Tennessee.

Analysis:

This is purely a Fade the Public in Big Conferences play. We are 4-6 on these this season.

The Pick:

Tennessee +8.5

Cleveland State @ Oakland

  • Spread: Oakland -7 (now -7.5)
  • Total: 129.5 (now 131)

Underdogs of between 6.5 and 19.5 points have covered the spread 58% of the time in the first round of conference tournaments if the line doesn’t move or moves fewer than 5 points against them.

The Pick: Cleveland State +7.5

Jump To: Purdue @ Iowa | Texas @ Oklahoma | Vanderbilt @ Alabama | Tennessee @ Kentucky | Cleveland State @ Oakland | Holy Cross @ Bucknell

Holy Cross @ Bucknell

  • Spread: Bucknell -13 (now -12.5)
  • Total: 144.5 (now 141.5)

Underdogs of between 6.5 and 19.5 points have covered the spread 58% of the time in the first round of conference tournaments if the line doesn’t move or moves fewer than 5 points against them.

I know what you’re probably thinking, “Wait, this line moved in their favor.” That is true, but I am taking it because the opening line was Holy Cross +13, and the consensus is still +13.

The Pick: Holy Cross +12.5


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


NBA 78-75 (4-2):

76ers @ Lakers -12.5:

It’s no secret that the 76ers play like a lottery team on the road. Today is no different when they travel to take on the Lakers. The 76ers will also be without Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Josh Richardson. I really do not like their chances to cover without possibly their three best players. I am not afraid of Shake Milton.

Warriors +16 @ Nuggets:

The Warriors are Road Underdogs coming off an ATS Loss. We are 4-5 on these bets this season, so I’m on this one to get us to 50% on the season betting this system.

Wizards @ Kings -5.5:

The Wizards on the third game of a West Coast road trip, but that is not why I’m fading them today. The Kings have been on a tear since the All-Star Break. They are 5-1 SU and ATS. The lone loss coming against OKC in the middle of playing 3 games in 4 days and 4 games in 6 days on the road.


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


Sprinkles 42-70 (1-0):

Penn State ML hosting Michigan State

Penn State is 6-2 at home during Big Ten play. Their only losses are to Wisconsin and Illinois. Michigan State has been as good as those two teams on the road during conference play, notching 5 conference road wins this season. The Spartans have won their last 3 conference road games, against Illinois, Nebraska, and Maryland. I think that could lead to slightly too much value, but I am not confident enough to take Penn State even on such a short line. Therefore, I will just sprinkle the Nittany Lions in a huge conference game.

Mississippi State ML @ South Carolina

Mississippi State is 3-3 on the road in SEC play, and this would be a massive Quad 1 win for their tournament hopes. I expect State to come out motivated, and I like their chances to beat this South Carolina team that has home losses to Boston, Houston, and Stetson.


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MikePick2 16-20 (0-0):

Parlay: +114

  • Iowa ML hosting Purdue
    • See above.
  • Marquette ML @ DePaul

DePaul is 2-14 in conference. Today is not the day that record gets better.


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Picks Recap:

  • PUR +5
  • TEX +7
  • TEX/OKLA O133
  • VAN/BAMA O156
  • TENN +8.5
  • CLEV +7.5
  • HC +12.5
  • Lakers -12.5
  • Warriors +16
  • Kings -5.5
  • PSU ML
  • MSST ML
  • MP2: IOWA ML+MARQ ML

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