Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:00 AM EST.
Semifinals of A-10 Conference Tournament - Capital One Arena - Washington D.C.
1:00 PM EST. St. Joseph's is playing like a team on a mission after winning seven of its last eight games including yesterday's 68-49 thumping of George Mason. A five-game losing streak that started in January and culminated in a 91-62 pounding at Davidson on February 6th has long been forgotten by Coach Phil Martelli and company, as has last season's disappointing 11-20 campaign. The last time the Hawks made it to the A-10 semis, they went on to win the whole shebang and earn a trip to the NCAA's so this is not unfamiliar territory for this veteran squad. In addition to returning the majority of their big-time contributors, the Hawks were able to add freshman Taylor Funk, who stepped up big time with a double-double against Mason in the quarterfinals.
The "revenge" angle is one of the most overused and useless angles in sports wagering, but it's a low hanging fruit for pick sellers and pundits. The storyline coming into this game is that the Rams had their senior night spoiled after the Hawks pasted them by 30-points, but it's easy to forget that URI had just clinched the A-10 regular season championship. The Rams are the #16 team in the country and will no doubt be headed to The Big Dance next week, so they need this conference tournament like they need a hole in the head. URI limped through a 76-67 win over VCU, but that game was much closer than the final score would indicate, as the Rams led by just four points with 2:35 to go before edging out the 9-point win. Now URI is being asked to spot a similar price today against a tough St. Joe's that has its season on the line. Motivation was an issue for the Rams down the stretch, as they lost two straight to end the season after winning the league title. Spotting points with a team whose head and hearts aren't totally in it is not a bet we can recommend making, as so many teams this time of year that are going dancing underachieve in the conference tournament. URI was ripe to get beat yesterday and they’re ripe today also.
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#519 St. Joseph's +7½ -106 (Risking 2.12 units - To Win: 2.00)