YTD: 122-119-6 (Finally back to back winning days to get this week going. Again, trying to bank as much as possible before shit really picks up over the weekend)
Eastern Kentucky -1.5
Note: We are officially entering the best 3 week stretch of the year. We have conference tournaments starting tonight. The regular season is ending in major conferences this week too. Next week we have all the major conference tournaments underway and then bam the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament. Just the best. I'll give out some conference tournament picks as I see them and anything sticks out. Either way let's go, it's here.
Tennessee State vs Eastern Kentucky (-1.5/148.5)
First things first, this is a neutral court game where Tennessee State played an OT. game last night and won. Now they have to play an EKU team that wants to get up and down the floor as fast as possible. I do think the 'well they are playing back to back' is a bit overrated, but when a team wants to push tempo it's something to monitor. The real reason I like EKU here? They thrive on forcing turnovers. EKU is 19th in the country at forcing turnovers, which results in free points for them. On the other hand? Tennessee State is 350th out of 353 teams in turning it over. That ain't a good recipe when you get tired legs too.
Pick: EKU -1.5
Longwood vs Hampton (+1/150.5)
Staying on a neutral court, but heading to the Big South here. These two teams split the regular season, but I'm going to rely on Hampton having the two best players on the court. Jermaine Marrow and Ben Stanley both scored over 22 per game and both are in the top-8 of scoring in the country. The question will just be if Hampton's defense, which ranks 349th in the country can show up at all. The reason it might be able to? Longwood is 337th in offense. The other main thing to watch here is Hampton's ability to take care of the ball while Longwood forces turnovers nonstop.
Pick: Hampton +1
Boise State vs UNLV (-1/142.5)
This is technically a neutral court game but the MWC Tournament takes place in Vegas. This is a home game for the Rebels, who have played well to end the year. They obviously have the win over San Diego State, but they also their last 5 and 6 outta 7. One of those wins was over this Boise State team. Bryce Hamilton is going to be the most talented player on the floor and he has a good sidekick in Amauri Hardy. Again, this feels like a toss up, but UNLV is playing better to end the year, has the most talented player and is essentially playing a home game.
Pick: UNLV -1
Wyoming vs Nevada (-10/142)
Going to stay out with the MWC and another Nevada team. Wyoming is bad, man. The fact that they beat Colorado State yesterday is nothing short of ridiculous. Now they have a quick turnaround to play a Nevada team that's playing really well with a legit star in Jalen Harris. Wyoming is one of the worst teams in the country at defending the 3pt line while Nevada just kills teams from there. They are 55th in the country in 3PA/FGA and 7th in the country in percentage. Playing a letdown spot here for Wyoming. I don't believe they are a Cinderella out in the MWC.
Pick: Nevada -10
Illinois at Ohio State (-5.5/132)
This ultimately comes down to if Illinois wants to win a share of the Big 10, they have to win this game. A loss eliminates them. I know that Columbus is going to be wild. I know how good OSU is playing. I know that Chris Holtmann is excellent at taking away what you want to do. But, I do think that Kofi Cockburn - if he doesn't get in foul trouble - can bother Kaleb Wesson. Illinois also is excellent at running you off the 3pt line, which Ohio State is sneaky good at on offense.
Pick: Illinois +5.5
Conference Tournament Futures already given out
North Florida +300 to win A-Sun
St. Francis (PA) +140 to win NEC