Free Money Friday Every Day: Power Conference Tournaments Begin!

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 2-5:

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.

Today’s Picks (Yesterday’s Record):

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NCAAB 260-263-10 (1-3):

Instead of listing picks by game, I am going to list them by conference for the next 5 days. I’m going to pick every Big Ten and SEC Tournament game, and most of the other big games. I’m also going to throw in some futures for every conference tournament. Let’s do this.

Jump To: SEC | Big 12 | Big Ten | PAC-12 | Big East | ACC

Jump To: Georgia vs Ole Miss | Vanderbilt vs Arkansas | Northwestern vs Minnesota | Nebraska vs Indiana | Utah vs Oregon State | Washington vs Arizona | California vs Stanford | Washington State vs Colorado

SEC:

Futures:

Auburn to Win SECT +280

Auburn has the easiest path to the championship of any team in the field. They have a double bye and then play the winner of Missouri vs Texas A&M. Auburn lost to both teams this season which makes me believe that they will have extra motivation for this game regardless of opponent.

If they win that game, they will play either #3 LSU, #6 South Carolina, #11 Arkansas, or #14 Vanderbilt. All teams that Auburn has beat this season. LSU is flailing right now having lost 6 of their last 10 games and four of their last seven. South Carolina is probably the most likely team to make the semi-finals out of these four, and Auburn matches up very well against them.

Then Auburn just needs to win the title game to cash our bet.

Sprinkle on Mississippi State to win SECT +1400

Mississippi State won 6 of their last 9 games to steal the 4th double bye. They play the winner of #5 Florida vs #13 Georgia/#12 Ole Miss in their first game. Florida might be playing without Kerry Blackshear, and if he does play, it’s safe to assume he won’t be 100%.

State also has maybe the most dominant player in the SEC in Reggie Perry. He has averaged a double-double in SEC play this season.

If they win their first game, they will play either #1 Kentucky, #8 Tennessee, or #9 Alabama. I don’t this it’s wise to assume anyone will beat the behemoth that is Kentucky, but we have seen it happen multiple times this season. Kentucky also doesn’t really care about the conference tournament. Coach Cal has said that all that really matters is getting ready for the NCAAT.

I think it’s unlikely that State will win the title, but I think they have the best odds of anyone that isn’t Kentucky or Auburn. I will gladly sprinkle them (0.5 unit) to win it all.

#13 Georgia vs #12 Ole Miss:

Georgia is not good. Ole Miss is actually pretty good. Georgia has the worst defense in the SEC based on adjusted defensive efficiency. Ole Miss is third in the SEC in adjusted defensive efficiency. Anthony Edwards has shrunk in big games against decent defensive teams this season (Ole Miss, Auburn twice). I think this stage is going to be too big for the freshman, Edwards. I will take the experienced guard duo of Breein Tyree and Devontae Shuler.

The Pick: Ole Miss -3

#14 Vanderbilt vs #11 Arkansas:

Only two teams are coming into the SEC Tournament on a win streak: #7 Texas A&M and #14 Vanderbilt. They have both won two games in a row.

Vanderbilt has been SO much better recently than they were all season. They also gave several teams some very good games during conference play. I realize that it is a tiny sample size of two games, but over the last week (the two-game win streak) Vanderbilt has played like a Top-4 team in the SEC. They beat Alabama and South Carolina. Both teams were in a position to play themselves into the NCAAT conversation, and the Gamecocks were potentially playing for a Top-4 seed in the SECT.

Here are some Commodore SEC ranks from the win streak: 4th in Adj. Offensive Efficiency, 2nd in EFG%, 2nd in FT Rate, 1st in 2P%, and 4th in 3P%. South Carolina has the best defensive efficiency during conference play, and Vanderbilt put up 83 points against them.

Arkansas is led by the 3-headed monster of Mason Jones, Jimmy Whitt, and Isaiah Joe. They are all very good basketball players. The Razorbacks have been a sexy pick in the SEC since before the season started, but all season they have underperformed.

In Arkansas’s last five games (3-2 SU), their SEC ranks: 1st in adj. offensive efficiency, 13th in adj. defensive efficiency, 1st in EFG%, 1st in TO%, 14th in ORB%, 13th in opponent ORB%, 1st in FT Rate, 4th in 2P%, 11th in opponent 2P%, and 3rd in 3P%. They’ve been very good at offense but very not good at defense and rebounding.

I think it’s worth noting that Vanderbilt has been 4th in the SEC over the last five games in opponent FT Rate and 3rd in opponent 3P%.

Away from Bud Walton Arena, the Razorbacks are 5-8 and have lost their last five games. They beat Valparaiso (by 4) on a neutral court, and they have road wins over Georgia Tech (by 1), Indiana (by 7), Ole Miss (by 4), and Alabama (by 4).

This game also fits the Conference Tournament First Round Underdogs system that we are 4-3 betting this season. In the last decade and a half, teams that are underdogs of more than six points in the first round of conference tournaments have covered the spread 58% of the time when the line doesn’t move or moves against them.

I’m not buying Arkansas.

The Pick: Vanderbilt +9.5 & ML Sprinkle

Jump To: SEC | Big 12 | Big Ten | PAC-12 | Big East | ACC

Jump To: Georgia vs Ole Miss | Vanderbilt vs Arkansas | Northwestern vs Minnesota | Nebraska vs Indiana | Utah vs Oregon State | Washington vs Arizona | California vs Stanford | Washington State vs Colorado


Big 12

Futures:

Baylor to Win B12T +300

Kansas is the favorite, but on the offshore site that I use, they are -126. I don’t think that offers much value at all, so I’m looking at the only team that beat the Jawhawks in conference play: the Baylor Bears.

Baylor has been incredible all season. They were #1 for five weeks in a row. If anyone can knock off Kansas, it’s Baylor in the final.


Jump To: SEC | Big 12 | Big Ten | PAC-12 | Big East | ACC

Jump To: Georgia vs Ole Miss | Vanderbilt vs Arkansas | Northwestern vs Minnesota | Nebraska vs Indiana | Utah vs Oregon State | Washington vs Arizona | California vs Stanford | Washington State vs Colorado


Big Ten

Futures:

Wisconsin to Win B1GT +500

You’re going to give me the #1 seed at 5/1 odds? I will gladly take the team that has won eight games in a row, is full of experience, and is incredible at shooting 3-pointers and FTs.

I would be tempted to take Michigan State or Maryland if they didn’t have to play each other to get to the title game.

#13 Northwestern vs #12 Minnesota

This might be a bloodbath. It could get ugly very fast. I don’t understand why people are backing Northwestern. The line has dropped from -8.5 to -8. I’m all over Minnesota here.

Additionally, the under in first round Big Ten tournament games is 25-18 (58.1%) since 2005.

Minnesota has a very good defense, and Northwestern has one of the worst effective FG% in the country. When the two teams played less than a month ago, Minnesota held the Wildcats to 57 points.

The Pick: Minnesota -8 & Under 136

#14 Nebraska vs #11 Indiana

This game actually fits two different systems that we talked about last week: Conference Tournament First Round Underdogs and Conference Tournament: Good recent ATS vs Bad ATS. We are playing both systems tonight, so what do we do?

Well, the Cornhuskers have lost 16 straight games. They are so banged up that they had to put two football players on their roster just to fill their bench.

Additionally, the under in first round Big Ten tournament games is 25-18 (58.1%) since 2005.

Indiana opened as an 11.5-point favorite, but that line has jumped all the way up to 15. I don’t want to take a team to win a game in their conference tournament by 15 points, but, also, it’s Nebraska.

I feel too conflicted to pick a side in this game, so I am just going to take the under and call it a bet.

The Pick: Under 144

Jump To: SEC | Big 12 | Big Ten | PAC-12 | Big East | ACC

Jump To: Georgia vs Ole Miss | Vanderbilt vs Arkansas | Northwestern vs Minnesota | Nebraska vs Indiana | Utah vs Oregon State | Washington vs Arizona | California vs Stanford | Washington State vs Colorado


PAC-12

Futures:

UCLA to WIN P12T +700

UCLA was on a tear to end PAC-12 play. They won 7 games in a row before dropping their last game of the season by 2 on the road against USC.

In their last 8 games, their PAC-12 ranks:

  • 3rd in Adj. OE
  • 4th in Adj. DE
  • 2nd in ORB %
  • 4th in opponent ORB%
  • 2nd in FT Rate
  • 1st in Opponent FT Rate

It took some time for them to figure out Mick Cronin’s system, but they have been clicking on all cylinders recently. They ended up 2nd in the conference, earning a first-round bye. They play the winner of #10 Cal and #7 Stanford. If they win, they will likely play an ASU team that they just beat on February 27th. Win that game, and they’re in the finals. Let’s go Bruins.

#9 Utah vs #8 Oregon State

Oregon State has an incredible senior guard, Tres Tinkle, that has been electric lately. Oregon State has beaten bad teams this season and lost to good teams. Utah is a bad team.

The Pick: Oregon State -3.5

#12 Washington vs #5 Arizona

We talked about this system last week. Since 2005, teams that have gone 2-0 ATS in their last two games have gone 312-247-11 (56%) ATS when facing an opponent that has gone 0-2 ATS.

The Pick: Washington +6

#10 California vs #7 Stanford

In the last decade and a half, teams that are underdogs of more than six points in the first round of conference tournaments have covered the spread 58% of the time when the line doesn’t move or moves against them.

The Pick: Cal +9.5

#11 Washington State vs #6 Colorado

In the last decade and a half, teams that are underdogs of more than six points in the first round of conference tournaments have covered the spread 58% of the time when the line doesn’t move or moves against them.

The Pick: Washington State +10

Jump To: SEC | Big 12 | Big Ten | PAC-12 | Big East | ACC

Jump To: Georgia vs Ole Miss | Vanderbilt vs Arkansas | Northwestern vs Minnesota | Nebraska vs Indiana | Utah vs Oregon State | Washington vs Arizona | California vs Stanford | Washington State vs Colorado


Big East

Futures:

I am terrified of the Big East. Everyone has beaten everyone this season. This should be a wild tournament, but I am not confident enough to bet on anyone.

ACC

Futures:

Their tournament already started, so I missed my opportunity to take a future on the tournament. I really blew it on this one.


Jump To: SEC | Big 12 | Big Ten | PAC-12 | Big East | ACC

Jump To: Georgia vs Ole Miss | Vanderbilt vs Arkansas | Northwestern vs Minnesota | Nebraska vs Indiana | Utah vs Oregon State | Washington vs Arizona | California vs Stanford | Washington State vs Colorado

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NBA 83-85-1 (0-2):

I’m going to be taking some time off from betting the NBA, so that I can focus on college basketball for the conference tournaments and the NCAAT.


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Sprinkles 47-78 (0-0):

Vanderbilt ML vs Arkansas

See above

UNC ML vs Syracuse

I think UNC is getting an inflated line at -3 because they are a blue blood that dominated last night. I also might be falling subject to that logic thinking that UNC will win the game, but I will put a sprinkle on them despite them being the favorite.


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MikePick2 18-23 (1-0):

Parlay +155

  • Ole Miss ML vs Georgia
  • Oregon State ML vs Utah

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Picks Recap:

  • MISS -3
  • VAN +9
  • MINN -8
  • NW/MINN U136
  • NEB/IND U144
  • ORST -3.5
  • WASH +6
  • CAL +9.5
  • WSU +10
  • VAN ML
  • UNC ML
  • MP2: MISS ML + ORST ML

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