One of the hardest things to do in sports betting is to change what you know about a team after almost a season’s worth of information. But when new information presents itself often enough, it has to be done.
And that brings me to Montana. If you’ve read these blogs regularly, you know that the Grizzlies have been one of my automatic bets whenever they play in Missoula. Or at least, they were until Northern Arizona came north and beat them there. OK, one outlier, no big deal, especially after the Grizzlies then beat Portland State and Montana State at home. Sure, they’d lost at Idaho and Southern Utah, but they were still rock-solid in Missoula.
But then it happened again, as the Grizzlies weren’t even competitive against Northern Colorado. That doesn’t happen with Montana, so when Sacramento State rolled into Missoula, I was ready and faded the Grizzlies at home, breaking one of my main rules. And what happened? Not only did the Hornets cover the 9.5 points, they won the game outright.
And that is the importance of being open to new information. Montana’s served me well all year, but I will be fading the Grizzlies in the Big Sky tournament next week. For today, here are my plays for March 6.
LONGWOOD +3.5, -125
The Lancers still get absolutely zero respect despite a 25-6 record overall and an 18-9 ATS mark against D-I teams. Winthrop is still seen as the Big South’s king, despite Longwood winning the regular season battle and going 15-1 in the league. The Lancers can reach the NCAA tournament for the first time, and I think there’s a good chance it happens.
MARYLAND +6.5, -115
Montana has been leaking oil. Michigan State is gushing it. The Spartans are 2-8 ATS in their past 10 games and look like they’re going to be both one-and-done in the Big Ten tournament and the NCAAs. This group just has not come together for Tom Izzo at any point of the season. Maryland, on the other hand, has won four of its past five and should have made it five of six if not for allowing Purdue to barely escape. The Terps are playing well right now and will not be an easy out in Indianapolis.
LOYOLA-CHICAGO -5, -110
This is the final game in the Missouri Valley for the Ramblers, who are leaving for the Atlantic 10 next season. They won’t miss Drake, who has been a bit of a jinx team for them, winning three of the past four matchups. But the one was last year at Arch Madness, and Loyola has long been a team that steps up in big games. This one’s personal for me, as I used to cover Loyola assistant coach Amorrow Morgan during his playing days at Idaho State, and regardless of my bets, I’m pulling for him to coach in the NCAAs for the first time.
IOWA +3.5, -110
When one team has plenty to play for and the other doesn’t and you’re getting points with the team with more to play for, it’s usually wise to take the points. Iowa has a chance at a double bye in the Big Ten tournament with a win, while Illinois is locked to the No. 2 seed no matter what happens. The Fighting Illini will be motivated to finish the regular season strong, but the Hawkeyes are playing better than anyone in the league and need it more.
BINGHAMTON +7.5, -110
For whatever reason, New Hampshire just is not comfortable at home. The Wildcats have exactly one win at home by more than six points, and that was over a Maine squad that was so pathetic that it failed to qualify for the America East tournament. Binghamton lost twice to New Hampshire, but did so by nine at home and four on the road. The Bearcats can keep this within three possessions.