Friday proved to be another 3-2 day, as Morehead State and Johni Broome did it to Belmont again. The Bruins certainly won’t miss seeing Morehead State next year when they leave for the Missouri Valley, as the Eagles have now ended Belmont’s NCAA hopes in back-to-back years because of Broome coming up big.
And that proved a perfect example of past knowledge coming back to pay off. The average bettor wouldn’t have thought to trust the Eagles in this situation, as Belmont had the gaudy record and badly needed this game to make the NCAAs. But past success usually begets future results, and it happened again with Morehead State. And that’s why we study the games as much as we do, because we’re always looking for trends and data that can give us any edge we can find.
With that in mind, here are my picks for March 5.
VIRGINIA -3, -110
This game is all about effort, and Louisville isn’t giving anything that resembles it. I admit to being a little worried about Louisville actually coming up with something in their final game at home this season, but I plan a hard fade of the Cardinals in the ACC tournament because they’ve simply given up on the season at this point. Virginia is still playing with something resembling enthusiasm, and the Cavaliers need this to have any chance of playing their way back onto the bubble.
PURDUE -10, -110
Indiana is desperate. But Indiana is walking into an absolute bazooka coming up Interstate 65, because nobody in black and gold has forgotten what happened in Bloomington. Purdue has a chance to not only even up the score, but essentially knock the Hoosiers out of the NCAA tournament picture entirely unless Indiana can make a run in the Big Ten tournament. I think the Boilermakers are going to take full advantage of that.
SAINT PETER’S -7, -110
The Peacocks are back on track after a bit of a lull, and they’re now ATS winners in four straight contests. Saint Peter’s handled Fairfield just fine two weeks ago, winning that game by 11 and holding the Stags to 35% from the floor. The Peacocks should be able to do the job in Jersey City.
JACKSONVILLE-JACKSONVILLE STATE U126.5, -110
When a team comes through for me as often as Jacksonville has, I really want to see them find a way into the tournament. I really don’t want to see the Dolphins go down here, but they’ve got to go on the road to Jacksonville State in this one, and that means the best play is most likely to be the under, as both of these teams are incredibly slow-paced. The teams only met once, a 64-58 win for Jacksonville State, and I think this is another rock fight.
SACRAMENTO STATE +9.5, -110
I’m going to break one of my own rules here, because it appears that Montana is rapidly leaking oil after the Grizzlies got beat at home by Northern Colorado. The Grizzlies are just 2-4 ATS in their past six and two of those games were in Missoula. Sacramento State has covered five in a row and just gave Montana State a tight battle; the Hornets can keep this thing to single digits with how Montana currently looks.