Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:00 AM EST odds are subject to change.
Purdue Fort Wayne -10 over SIU Edwardsville
Allen County War Memorial Coliseum - Fort Wayne, IN
1:00 PM EST. The Mastodons of Purdue Fort Wayne got whacked 76-57 in its opener against Michigan. As a 16-point pooch, the Mastodons failed to cover, thus, we get them at a discount here against another rather unknown in SIU Edwardsville, who is coming off a 85-57 win over Harris Stowe, a Division III team.
For head coach Brian Barone and SIU Edwardsville, the last two years have been unique. In 2020-21, the Cougars were forced to play 14 games in a 29-day span due to COVID. Last year, there was a nine-day stretch where they played five games. Within that stretch, the Cougars lost their best player to a torn ACL. Barone enters his fourth season as the head coach after spending three years on staff as an assistant. His overall record is 28-61, and SIUE is 17-38 in OVC play during his tenure. The lack of winning isn’t all on Barone. The fact is, nobody has won since SIUE joined Division I in 2008. In fact, the Cougars haven’t won more than a dozen games since taking the plunge. SIUE was 31-88 in four years under previous coach Jon Harris and won just 15 league games. Barone lost two starters — Shaun Doss Jr. (12.0 PPG) and Courtney Carter (8.0 PPG, 3.5 APG) — but he was able to retain most of his talent. Still, there’s a reason why SIU can’t win and it’s because good players want something better. These recruits and players are here because nobody else wanted them. This is a fertile recruiting area (Southern Illinois) with plenty of universities available to get recruited by so make of it what you will.
Jarred Godfrey is without question the best pro prospect in the Horizon League and one of the best in the country. Godfrey missed the Mastodons opener (personal reasons) against Michigan but he’s back today. Dude is a first-team all-conference talent. The basketball court is his domain. With Godfrey back in the lineup, this is not the same team as the one that lost to Michigan.
It was a February to remember for the Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons. Once the calendar flipped, this veteran-laden squad suddenly looked invincible — and for the final nine games of the regular season, that’s exactly what they were. An improbable nine-game win streak vaulted the Mastodons from 6-6 to 15-6 in league play, securing a share of the Horizon League title belt with Cleveland State. For head coach Jon Coffman, it marked his fourth season amassing 18 or more wins since becoming head honcho in 2014. Such success begets higher expectations, as does a returning roster that looks eerily similar to last year’s co-champs. A quartet of seasoned grad students will lead the charge — Damian Chong Qui, Jarred Godfrey, Bobby Planutis and Ra Kpedi — along with true senior and reigning Horizon Sixth Man of the Year, Deonte Billups. Coffman’s persistent patience with this nucleus finally paid dividends. Granted, Purdue Fort Wayne couldn’t seal the deal in the Horizon League Tournament, resulting in the Mastodons being awarded a respectable CBI berth as a consolation prize. There’s unfinished business for this bunch of super duper seniors. Their loyalty to Coffman and this program shines through in a collective commitment for one last stand and today we get them at a bargain basement price.
Purdue Fort Wayne -10 -106 (Risking 2.12 units - To Win: 2.00)