Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:25 AM EST.
5:00 PM EST. The Hawks of Saint Joseph's were a popular pick last Wednesday night at George Mason spotting a small price. We were on the Patriots that night and cashed our ticket. Although the cover was unlikely late, the dagger for the Hawks came when Mason nailed a three-pointer with a second left to seal the two-point victory. That setback has now seen St. Joe's drop five of its last eight games, but just because the wins aren't there doesn't mean the effort is not. The Hawks have been on the wrong side of some close games lately including an 81-78 loss at Temple, 77-73 versus St. John's and an 87-81 overtime defeat at VCU in a game the Hawks led 75-71 with under two minutes to play. The average winning margin of St. Joe's opponents the last five games is just 5.2 points.
The Minutemen are 9-8 after an 86-79 overtime win versus LaSalle. Sophomore guard Luwane Pipkins is getting the lion's share of the attention after setting a school record with 44-points scored, but a closer look shows us that UMass was outplayed for most of that game and had to come from 21-points back just to force OT. While the Minutemen have won two straight in Atlantic-10 play, we cannot ignore the pitiful schedule that UMass has played this season. According to KenPom, the Minutemen's sked ranks 223rd in the nation. This team has lost to the likes of Quinnipiac among others. UMass also dropped its first two conference games to St. Bonaventure and George Mason respectively.
Unlike UMass, St. Joe's has played a much more difficult field with its strength of schedule ranking 122 spots higher than the Minutemen. Despite the weaker record, KenPom also ranks the Hawks 22-spots higher than UMass on its list of over 351 schools. It would be easy to look at the recent results between these two school's and side with the Minutemen, who have won three straight, including last year's A-10 tournament. However, those victories will have no more impact today then the five straight games St. Joe's won over the two years prior. The Hawks' stock is low while Pipkins and the Minutemen’s stock is soaring, but Pipkens is not likely to have a repeat record-setting performance. St. Joe's is the better squad, but the Hawks are not getting that credit in this market after burning their many backers earlier this week. We'll gladly buy low on St. Joe's and play them outright.
Open an account today at Pinnacle Sports and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.
St. Joseph's +117 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.34)