Free Money Friday Every Day: Slim Pickings

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 5-9-1:

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.

  • Hampton +5 @ Campbell & O150.5 – Hampton scored 49 points. Their lowest of the season.
  • FGCU @ KENN U126.5 – 128.
  • JAC +9 @ UNF – System had been 17-6. Can’t win them all.
  • WIN -4.5 @ GWB – I said I hate betting on them, and sure enough they lost
  • NOP -3 hosting OKC – Zion had a massive night. It was like they didn’t want to win.
  • UTM @ SEMO O152 – 146. That’s 3 unders in a row for UTM. I cannot believe it.
  • Austin Peay pushed.
  • Lost both Sprinkles but won the MikePick2.

Today’s Picks (Yesterday’s Record)

There’s no NBA action tonight, and it is a very small NCAAB spread with no big name programs playing. Luckily, I love the Summit League.

NCAAB 181-197-5 (2-6-1):

  • Brown +7 @ Penn
    • Brown – 43.8%; Penn – 66.7%
    • The team that is poor covering the spread should be undervalued on the road in a conference game against a team that has been good against the spread.
  • North Dakota State -12.5 hosting IPFW & U139
    • Betting Trends
      • ATS – NDSU – 54.5%; IPFW – 43.5%
      • NDSU has lost 1 home game all season, to Utah Valley before Thanksgiving, but they are 2-3 ATS in home conference games.
      • IPFW has only won 3 road games all season. 5-8 ATS on the road. 4-6 ATS as road underdog. 2-2 ATS as road dog in conference.
      • NDSU has had 4/5 conference home games go over, and one game go under 139.
      • IPFW has had 1 out of 5 road conference games go under 139
    • On Court
      • Bison Ball
        • Season Summary
          • They play very slow and rarely ever turn the ball over (12th). They are very good at shooting free throws and 2 pointers, but they do not get offensive rebounds (325th). IPFW’s defense is good at one thing, defensive rebounding, and pretty good at not fouling. The NDSU offense should have their way.
        • Conference Summary
          • Things changed quite a bit for both teams during conference play. The Bison are the best team in the Summit League shooting inside the arc and at the free throw line. They are top 3 in the league in efficiency, effective FG%, and 3P%. The IPFW defense has stepped up also. They are top-2 in the league at forcing turnovers, defensive rebounding, opponent FT % (#1), block %, and steal % (#1). That means that IPFW is forcing a lot of turnovers, limiting 2nd chance opportunities, and typically fouling bad free throw shooters. Where NDSU has a huge advantage in inside the 3-point arc where they are making 59% of their shots, and IPFW is allowing opponents to make 55.3% of shots.
      • IPFW Ball
        • Season Summary
          • Bison are very #1 in the nation at limiting offensive rebounds. They are incredibly bad at forcing turnovers and pretty darn bad at defending the 3-point shot. They also don’t foul very often at all. The IPFW offense turns the ball over a lot and is middle of the pack at shooting from distance and from inside the arc. They rarely get to the free throw line which is especially an issue since they only shoot a tick over 68%. I don’t know how IPFW takes advantage of the NDSU defense that really isn’t very good. I guess 3-point shooting, but typically teams are worse at shooting 3s on the road.
        • Conference Games Summary
          • Things go from bad to worse for IPFW when you only look at these two teams in conference play. NDST is top 2 in the Summit League in efficiency, opponent effective FG%, defensive rebounding (1st), opponent 3P%, and opponent 2P% (1st). The one deficiency of this defense during conference play is forcing turnovers. The IPFW ranks last or 2nd to last in efficiency, effective FG%, turnover % (last), FT rate, 2P%, and FT% (last). IPFW is 2nd in the Summit League in offensive rebounding. Basically, IPFW will not be able to take advantage of NDSU’s one big defensive flaw, and their one BIG offensive advantage will probably be mitigated by NDSU.
    • North Dakota State should be able to make shots, but IPFW has been quite good at not fouling and forcing turnovers. IPFW probably won’t be able to make shots, and they turn the ball over a ton. The Bison should massacre the Mastodons, and since the Bison play so slow and the possibility of a lot of turnovers, I like the under.
  • South Dakota State -14.5 hosting Denver & O151.5
    • Betting Trends
      • ATS – SD State – 75% (3rd); Denver – 54.2%
      • South Dakota State has been a home favorite in 5 conference games. They covered in all 5.
      • Denver is 0-5 SU, but 4-1 ATS on the road in conference play. They have been an underdog in every game. They have been a double-digit dog 4 out of the 5 games and covered all 4.
      • South Dakota State has had 3 out of 5 home conf games go over. 2 went over 151.5.
      • Denver has had all 5 conference road games go OVER, and only 1 went under 151.5 (149).
    • On Court
      • Jackrabbits have the ball
        • Season Summary:
          • The Jackrabbits are a very efficient offensive team. They shoot incredibly well from inside the 3-point arc, making 56.4% of their shots which is 5th This will be a big issue for a Denver team that is one of the worst teams in the country at defending inside, allowing opponents to make 55.6% of their 2-point shots. Where Denver has an edge would be rebounding. They are a top-30 team in defensive rebounding, only allowing opponents to get 24% of potential offensive rebounds. Unfortunately for Denver, SD State doesn’t rely on offensive rebounds. They are a rather middle of the pack team at grabbing offensive boards. Basically, Denver allows their opponents to shoot well everywhere, to shoot incredibly well inside the arc, to get to the free throw line a lot, and to not turn the ball over. That does not bode against a very good, very efficient offense like South Dakota State’s.
        • Conference Play Summary:
          • San Diego State clearly has the best offensive in the Summit League during conference play, ranking #1 in efficiency, effective FG%, and 3P% (at a staggering 43.6%). They are 2nd in the league at 2P% at 58.8% and 3rd in offensive rebound % at 26.9%. The Denver defense has been pretty good during conference play, ranking in the top half of the Summit League in opponent effective FG%, opponent 3P%, opponent 2P%, opponent offensive rebound %, and steal %. Their main issue is that they foul a lot, and they foul good free throw shooters a lot. Expect the Jackrabbits play offense inside out, getting the ball inside and getting fouled or kicking out to knock down 3’s at their insane clip.
      • Pioneers have the ball
        • Season Summary
          • South Dakota State is only good in two places defensively: defending the 3-point arc and not fouling. They are very bad in one area: forcing turnovers. Unfortunately for Denver, their offense relies on getting to the free throw line a lot. They don’t shoot well from the free throw line, so they really need to get to the line often to make the trips worth it. They have been a top-45 team at getting to the free throw line but against a team that doesn’t send their opponents to line that could be a major issue. Denver also only shoots a middle-of-the-pack 33.1% from behind the arc, which tells me that they will probably struggle against a very good Jackrabbit defense at defending out there. Denver is a top-10 team at not getting their shots blocked, but South Dakota State doesn’t block many shots. It appears that Denver’s offensive flaws match up with South Dakota State’s defensive flaws, and their “strengths” either don’t mitigate South Dakota State’s strengths or don’t do anything to take advantage of South Dakota State’s flaws.
        • Conference Games Summary:
          • South Dakota State also has the best defense in the Summit League. They are #1 in the conference in efficiency, effective FG%, opponent FT rate, opponent 3P%, and block %. They are #2 in the conference in opponent 2P% and opponent FT% (this means on the rare occasion that they do foul, they foul bad FT shooters). It is worth noting that they are 9th in the league in turnover % and 8th in opponent offensive rebounding %. The only things that Denver’s offense is good at is getting to the free throw line, 3rd in the Summit League in FT rate, and block %. Their 5.1% block % is 1st in the Summit League. Just like when you look at the season numbers for both teams, you do not see anywhere where a strength of Denver is mitigating a strength for South Dakota St. The Jackrabbits aren’t going to put Denver at the line. I’m not sure how much it will matter that the Pioneers don’t get their shots blocked, and the Jackrabbits block a lot of shots.
    • South Dakota State should score at will if they can limit turnovers. The best game comparison when looking at this Denver team is when they played North Dakota State in Fargo on Jan 25th because North Dakota State and South Dakota State are very similar defensively. They were tied 41-41 with 13 mins left in the 2nd They lost the next 6 minutes by 16, going down 64-48, before losing the game 82-70. Denver let NDSU shoot 53% from 2-point range and almost 47% from 3. NDSU went to the line 32 times. South Dakota State should murder Denver. I’m going to take the over because I don’t think Denver is going to turn the ball over, so they should have opportunities to score.