Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:30 AM EST.
Semifinals of the MAC Tournament - Quicken Loans Arena - Cleveland, Ohio
7:00 PM EST. Toledo has been trending up the last few seasons and finally got over the hump with a very strong 23-10 record that included a 15-5 mark in the MAC. The Rockets won nine conference games last season and eight in 2015-16, which makes this year's edition the strongest since the 2014 team that shared a MAC regular season championship with WMU. The Rockets appeal in the market isn't likely to be high today after they failed to cover in both of their tournament games thus far. In the quarterfinals, Toledo gutted out a 71-69 win over Miami (OH), and if that wasn't close enough, yesterday, the Rockets got by Eastern Michigan 64-63 after freshman Marreon Jackson buried a 3-pointer with just nine seconds to go. The Rockets have got a pair of serious scares so far in this conference tournament, but they should be battle-tested after having to walk through fire to get to this semifinal.
If you watched the Bulls celebrate after yesterday's 78-61 win over Kent State, you might have thought they just punched their ticket to The Big Dance with all the hooting and hollering that was going on. However, that was just the quarterfinals and there is still much work left to do. Buffalo is a popular mid-major in the market because they play a very high tempo offense. It also doesn't hurt that the Bulls have easily covered their first two games of this MAC tournament, at least on paper. While Buffalo's high octane offense can be entertaining to watch, it also leaves the Bulls open to vicious counter attacks, as turnovers and sloppy play are also a hallmark of coach Nate Oats' squad. Even when the Bulls have a big lead they cannot slow down and park the bus. Instead, they try to score every eight seconds no matter what the score or situation. With the Bulls, a lead is never safe which is why it's impossible to recommend spotting points them. They also play a style that is vulnerable to falling behind by 15 or 20 points. We faded Buffalo yesterday and had to rip up our tickets, but we’re sticking with it here against this sloppy and defenseless team.
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#537 Toledo +6½ -106 (Risking 2.12 units - To Win: 2.00)