I was asked awhile back if I’d rather attend the FCS Championship Game in Frisco, Texas or the Summit League Tournament in Sioux Falls, S.D. My answer was and always will be the Summit League Tournament.
Obviously, North Dakota State (my squad) makes it to Frisco every single year and don’t get me wrong, it’s one hell of a party down there in South Fargo. But being able to watch, bet (offshore) and drink beer for hours inside the Denny Sanford Premier Center is the best experience a basketball fan could want.
I spent a handful of years on media row in college covering NDSU for the student-run newspaper but this year good ole @PumbaCakes and I are headed down south as fans. The plan is to meet up with our good friend and rival @WkndAtBertschys – known South Dakota State fan. I’ll be tweeting, blogging and slinging both men’s and women’s bets while we are down there, so make sure to follow along @KotaCapperPace.
Summit League Conference Tournament: Day 1 Bets
#8 Denver (13-15-1 ATS) vs. #9 North Dakota (15-14 ATS)
- Season series: 1-1 (Denver won 78-71 and covered -5.5 on Jan. 14 and UND won 86-63 and covered -3.5 on Feb. 9.)
- Both games went over the totals of 140 and 146.5
- Denver: 6-12 ATS in conference play (10-7-1 to the over)
- UND: 9-9 ATS in conference play (12-6 to the over)
- UND -1, 149.5
- Denver money line (even)
- Line movement: UND opened as a PK, total opened at 148
- Denver is getting 51 percent of the bets and 89 percent of the money, while the under is getting a good chunk of the bets (71 percent) and money (78 percent)
UND made 15 3-pointers on Jan. 14 and still lost by seven points on the road to Denver. It probably didn’t help that they went over three minutes without scoring late in the second half but it was a game that they could’ve and probably should’ve won. Both teams come into today’s game with some momentum as the Fighting Hawks won five of their final seven games, while the Pioneers beat South Dakota and Omaha to close out the regular season.
If UND can get going from beyond the arc, I think they can come away with an easy win here. The Fighting Hawks’ offense is clicking and they are 12-1 to the over in their last 13 games. But I expect a slow start for both teams. It’s the first game of the tournament and when these two teams played previously this season both first half totals ended in the low 70s. The Fighting Hawks are back in the tournament after missing out last season, so I could see some jitters. Denver isn’t a good 3-point shooting team but on the defensive end they allow opponents to shoot 33.4 percent, which is middle of pack in the nation. If shots aren’t falling for either team, this could be a slow start for the first game in Denny Sanford Premier Center.
Pace’s Pick: 1H under 70.5 (-110)
#7 Kansas City (14-13 ATS) vs. #10 Omaha (16-13 ATS)
- Season series: 1-1 (UMKC won both matchups but failed to cover -7 on Jan. 26)
- UMKC beat Omaha 75-59 as a 4-point underdog on Dec. 31 and the total went over 132.5. On Jan. 26, the total went under 132.5.
- UMKC: 8-10 ATS in conference play (9-9 to the over)
- Omaha: 8-10 ATS in conference play (12-5-1)
- Omaha -1.5, 134
- UMKC money line (+105)
- Line movement: UMKC opened as a 1-point favorite
- UMKC is getting 52 percent of the bets and 89 percent of the money, while the over/under is split and 52 percent of the money is on the over.
How can you confidently head to the betting window and put your cash on a Roos team that’s lost and not covered seven of their last eight games. On the flip side, the Mavericks have lost 10 of their last 11 games but have covered four of them. Neither of these teams are moving the meter for any bettor but one team has to advance to the quarterfinals. UMKC has scored 50 points or less in three of its last five games but at some point they have to get out of this funk, right?
The reason I like the over in this game is because if UMKC wants to win, they have to hit some shots. It’s now a one game season for both teams and if the Roos can’t put up points, I think Omaha can carry us to this over. The Mavericks have scored 70 or more points in five of their last seven games, so while UMKC has struggled offensively, I still think this could be a 75-65 game.