Detroit (-9) at Robert Morris
Growing up outside of Pittsburgh, it is never easy to fade a hometown team, but Robert Morris is in a prime spot to do just that. Robert Morris just played their final home game of the season, an 86-81 loss to Oakland after beating that same squad 88-82 in 2 OTs. Robert Morris has played four OTs in the last three-of-four games across eight days.
The Colonials may see fatigue factor into the second-half if they do not quit on the season as they sit a 4-12 SU overall and 3-10 in conference play. On the other hand, Detroit sits at 9-9 SU and 8-6 in conference play. Detroit won six straight games leading up to their loss to Cleveland State on Saturday. This matchup will be the first of the last two home games of the season for Detroit.
Over the last 10 games, there are some screaming discrepancies outside of their overall records. Detroit is averaging 79.0 points per game over the last 10 games (37th) and Robert Morris 70.4 (173rd). Detroit is hitting 49.46% from the field in that 10-game span, ranking 15th in the country. They also rank fourth in the nation with 43.66% from three and second with 11.7 makes per game.
For Robert Morris, they are 249th at 42.46% from the field over 10 games and 78.0 points allowed per game, ranking the 31st-most. In conference play, Robert Morris ranks last in defensive rebounding percentage (33.3%), second last in average defensive possession (17.7) and ninth in three-point defense percentage (37.0%). Detroit is hitting 38.2% from beyond the arc on the season (23rd) and 40.7% in conference play (1st).
Robert Morris is 1-9 SU (10%) over the last 10 games and 2-8 ATS (20%). Over the last five road games, Robert Morris is 1-4 ATS (20%). Detroit is 8-2 SU (80%) and 7-3 ATS (70%) in that span and I see a double-digit victory incoming. NBC's Edge's Top trend for Detroit headed into this game is their ATS play versus a team with a losing ATS record. Detroit is 12-1 (92.3%) in the last 13 games entering this situation.
Detroit is currently ranked sixth in the conference, but with two games remaining, they can climb as high as the fourth seed. If they do, they will have a first-round bye rather than hosting a first-round matchup as the sixth seed. In games decided by five points or less, Robert Morris is 2-7 SU (22.2%) this season and this will be only the second all-time meeting between the two programs. Detroit won the only meeting 71-59 in 2009 and I like them to take the second game decisively as they still have tournament seeding to play for and Robert Morris nothing.
Game Pick: Detroit -9 (1.5)
St. Louis (-5.5) at Dayton
I have been eyeing this game up for weeks as the Billikens have been improving with each game. St. Louis has been elite over the last four games averaging 54.0 points per game and 52.3 over the previous three on the defensive end winning all four.
St. Louis takes their four-game winning streak into Dayton, looking to even the season series up. In the first meeting, St. Louis had their hiatus, playing their last game on Dec. 23 and the next one coming on Jan. 26. Over a month off due to COVID and the first opponent in their return was Dayton at home.
The Billikens started a tad bit slow, trailing by five entering halftime, never able to take the lead after storming back to tie the game at 55 with 4:31 remaining. Dayton went up 63-57 over the next two minutes and led 69-59 with 1:10 left. St. Louis ran out of gas and found themselves in a similar situation the next game, ending with the same result.
St. Louis lost the following game at La Salle, 82-75 trailing at halftime and on. The Billikens got revenge on the Explorers (La Salle), Tuesday, winning decisively, 78-57. I expect more of the same here against Dayton as these squads jockey for A-10 position. St. Louis has three games remaining in conference play following this contest and Dayton has two.
NBC Edge's top trends for this matchup are convincing for this matchup. St. Louis is 15-4 (78.9) ATS in their last 19 games against a team with a winning ATS record. For Dayton, the Flyers are 19-10 (65.5%) to the Over in the last 29 games against a team with a winning ML record.
In the first meeting, these two combined for 146 points, hitting the Over of 134.5. Dayton (+9) covered the first meeting and for this rematch, the total is slightly lifted at 136.0, while St. Louis comes in at -5.5 favorites this morning, opening at -3 overnight. The -5.5 and -6 is a large spread for this matchup going from -3 and it should continue growing as St. Louis is likely hitting their stride. I am going to parlay Detroit's Moneyline (ML) with St. Louis' for -123 odds on FanDuel.
Yuri Collins is also questionable to join Jordan Goodwin in the backcourt which would be a huge positive for St. Louis.
Game Pick: Detroit ML and St. Louis ML Parlay (1u)
Cal Baptist at Grand Canyon (-9)
Grand Canyon has gotten it done offensively, averaging 78.2 points per game over the last five contests (51st), but the defense has been the consistent anchor all season. Grand Canyon has held every opponent to a lower shooting percentage than their average outside of Houston this season.
Grand Canyon ranks second defensively in three main categories for conference play, effective field goal percentage (42.8%), two-point percentage (44.7%) and three-point percentage (26.7%). The three-point shooting will tell all in this game for both teams, but I will get to that.
Cal Baptist has played three true road games all season, ending in 0-3 SU (0%) against USC (95-87 OT) in the season opener and Utah Valley (77-50 and 81-77). Adding in semi-away games which the home team could not play at their desired home arena because of COVID, Cal Baptist is 1-1 SU (50%) splitting at New Mexico State, winning 85-75 and losing 97-70.
Cal Baptist ranks second in the country with a 41.1% three-point shooting percentage, but on the road, that has not traveled with the team. Outside the USC game, in which they attempted 41 three-pointers and made 20 of them (48.7%), there has not been much success.
At/Vs New Mexico State (97-70 loss): 6/12 (50%)
At/Vs New Mexico State (85-75 win): 8/19 (42.1%)
At Utah Valley (77-50 loss): 3/13 (22.2%)
At Utah Valley (81-77 loss): 4/18 (23.0%)
At USC (95-87 OT loss): 20/41 (48.7%)
Cal Baptist has shot 41/103 from deep (39.8%) in five road games, which seems impressive, but without the USC outlier performance, those numbers drop to 21/62 (33.8%). If the Lancers are not hitting three-pointers, I cannot see them keeping this matchup single-digits.
At home, Grand Canyon is 8-1 ATS (88.8%) on the season and over the last 13 games, Grand Canyon is 11-2 ATS (84.6%). Cal Baptist is 1-4 ATS (20%) and 1-4 SU (20%) SU on the road this season, while Grand Canyon is 5-0 (100%) ATS in the past five games as a home favorite.
I will back Grand Canyon here as NBC Edge's model ranks this as one of the top spreads to bet on tonight. The Antelopes have been dominant at home and if they limit the Lancers' three-pointers, I like another cover here for Grand Canyon. The spread has been moving down so wait and see if we can grab a -7 or -8 number from the -9 on FanDuel now.
Game Pick: Grand Canyon -7 or 8 (1u) if spread gets there - Live Bet Game if not
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Top Games to Bet this Weekend:
Tennessee at Kentucky: Saturday at 1 PM ET
Tennessee is coming off a dominant 20-point victory over South Carolina, giving them the fourth spot in the SEC standings. The Vols are one game back of second place in the conference and have a favorable opportunity to get it this weekend.
Kentucky ranks eighth with a 6-7 SEC record but enters with two straight wins over Auburn and Vanderbilt. That was a significant win over Auburn as they are 5-8 and in 10th place. Vanderbilt is 2-9 SU and last in the SEC, so not much credibility in that win for Kentucky.
Tennessee has split the regular-season series for two straight seasons with Kentucky, last sweeping the Wildcats in 2017-18. Kentucky lost 82-71 at Tennessee and looks likely to be swept this season. If the spread exceeds +7 for Kentucky as home dogs, consider them.
Texas Tech at Kansas: Saturday at 2 PM ET
Texas Tech versus Kanas Part II will be a rematch of two Big 12 hopefuls chasing after Baylor. Kansas escaped the first meeting of the season in Lubbock, 58-57 on Dec. 17. Two months later and the Jayhawks are 9-6 SU (60%), while the Red Raiders are 8-4 SU (66.6%) with two losses to West Virginia, one to Baylor and one to Oklahoma State - all quality opponents.
In this rematch, Kansas will be favored for being the home squad but not by much. On paper, this is a pick-em game with two stellar defenses and above-average offenses when they want to be. Kansas has won four of the last five games versus Texas Tech. The Jayhawks also sit second in the BIG 12 at 10-5 in conference play, while Tech is sixth at 6-5.
Michigan at Ohio State: Sunday at 1 PM ET
This will be the most anticipated matchup of the weekend as Michigan and Ohio State meet. Ohio State being the home team, will get a -1 or -2 point spread more than likely if not tagged as a home dog versus Michigan. Ohio State covered and beat Penn State in State College on Thursday, while Michigan beat Rutgers by seven, failing to cover.
Michigan was swept by Ohio State last season and won the only meeting in 2018-19. Over the last five meetings, Ohio State has won three-of-five and four straight in Columbus, dating back to 2015. That alone will draw tickets as well as both squads ranking top three in the Big Ten standings with Illinois sandwiched in between them.
The Buckeyes are playing their best basketball of the season and are 9-1 SU (90%) at home this season, the only loss a 67-65 close call with Purdue. Michigan is 4-1 SU (80%) on the road this season with a 22-point loss at Minnesota. They are both ranked first and second offensively in numerous categories, so if the Over/Under is 145.0 or below, consider the Over.