Yesterday, I explained that I didn’t love much on the slate. Today, I’m feeling much better than tonight’s action. On days where you aren’t feeling anything, it’s okay to take a night off or sprinkle some money on games to watch them. You don’t have to bet every single day because games are on!
Anyway, we’re back with three plays today, and I’m ready to continue a great season of betting.
All odds via BettingPros consensus
Brown vs. Merrimack: Brown -136 Moneyline
(7:00 PM ET tip)
The Brown offense is average. The Bears are shooting a 48.1 percent effective field goal percentage along with 32.2 percent from downtown and 48 percent from inside the arc. There’s nothing to rave about with Brown’s offense, but there’s also nothing to talk down on either.
Brown is 7-4 on the year and has won three straight games against solid division-I opponents. Earlier this year, the Bears came close against North Carolina and almost knocked off Colorado on a neutral court. Meanwhile, Merrimack has been blown out by teams like Rutgers and Army and has one of the worst offenses in college basketball. The Warriors are shooting an effective field goal percentage of 44.9 percent and have only earned 18.7 percent offensive rebounds on the year.
Merrimack also shoots 32.3 percent from long range and just 42.6 percent from inside the arc. Both teams will be able to force turnovers in this game, but I’d like to think Brown can handle Merrimack’s pressure on the ball and active hands a bit more on the offensive end.
Brown’s got more depth and height and should get to the line at a higher rate and earn more rebounds and shoot at a higher percentage. All of that favors Brown here at -136.
St. Louis vs. Belmont: St. Louis -125 Moneyline
(8:00 PM ET tip)
St. Louis has been solid this season. The Billikens have two losses to top 50 teams, but other than that have won a bunch of neutral games and road games this season. They’re coming off a home loss to UAB, 77-72, but again, UAB is a top 50 team in the nation, and the game finished 77-72. St. Louis can hang against those teams.
Belmont is another top-tier team. The Bruins might not be a top 50 team, but they’re ranked higher than St. Louis in KenPom. The Bruins have losses to Ohio, LSU, and Dayton. All three of those games were either on the road or on a neutral court. While Belmont has some wins on the road this year, it seems as though it’s a bit more difficult for the Bruins on the road.
Everything Belmont does, St. Louis can do just a little bit better. Belmont rarely fouls, but St. Louis knows how to get to the line at a high rate. Belmont rarely turns the ball over, but St. Louis will always find ways to force turnovers, even against some of the top teams in the nation.
Also, Belmont shoots the three at a higher rate than St. Louis. That’s more opportunity for St. Louis to grab defensive rebounds and hold Belmont to just one shot per possession.
Loyola Marymount vs. Tulsa: Tulsa -145 Moneyline
(9:00 PM ET tip)
Tulsa has lost three of their last four games to Utah, Oral Roberts, and Boise State. You can’t even be mad about that. Tulsa played three teams that most teams will struggle with this year. However, The Golden Hurricane also has wins against Rhode Island and Oregon State and can win games against good competition, especially at home.
Tulsa hasn’t played the best defense this season, but Loyola Marymount will turn the ball over at an extremely high rate, which is the one area that Tulsa does well. Tulsa has earned 24.1 percent of turnovers on the defensive end, while Loyola Marymount gives up 21.8 percent of turnovers per game.
With both defenses struggling to get stops, there’s a good chance that Tulsa gets more fastbreak opportunities and scores plenty of points off turnovers. To me, that’s the difference between this game. Both teams can shoot foul shots at a high rate, and while Tulsa struggles to get to the line against Loyola Marymount, most teams don’t have difficulty getting there.
I like Tulsa at home to get the job done.
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