Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 4:05 PM EST odds are subject to change.
Norfolk St -8½ over Monmouth
OceanFirst Bank Center - West Long Branch, NJ
7:00 PM EST. Monmouth is 0-3 with losses to #19 Illinois, #18 Virginia and Seton Hall. After playing that trio, the Hawks are supposed to be 0-3 so the market is going to overlook three losses to three quality programs. What the market may not realize is that Monmouth didn’t just lose, they weren’t even in the same hemisphere as its opposition. Seton Hall played the worst possible game they could’ve played against the Hawks and beat them by 27. Illinois and Virginia beat Monmouth by 38 and 47 points respectively and both those teams went to their subs very early. It’s one thing to lose or even get blown out but this is more than that. The Monmouth Hawks have virtually one of the worst teams in America and they’ll be playing one of the best mid-majors in the country. Because Norfolk State is also winless with two blowout losses, the market does not like them as eighty-point road favorites. We love ‘em because they should be twice that.
Norfolk State has played four games but it's first two were glorified practices against Division II schools. The Spartans' next two games were losses to Division I teams but those two teams were #5 Baylor and #8 UCLA. UCLA is so good that they might even be ranked #1 at some point this year or at the very least a top-3. Norfolk State hung with Baylor. They ended up losing by 17 but they were down just eight at the half and were down by just 13 with seven minutes remaining. The Spartans hung 70 points on one of the best defenses in America. Things were a little tougher for Norfolk at UCLA in a 30-point loss but the Bruins hit almost 60% from the floor and 44% from three point land. Incidentally, Norfolk State hit 2 of 14 three-point shots.
Last season, Norfolk State went 24-7 record (12-2 in conference) and earned its second-consecutive NCAA Tournament berth. The Spartans led the MEAC in both offensive and defensive efficiency. With 11 players returning, they have positioned themselves to win the league yet again and maybe even run the table. The Spartans are loaded, they’re well coached, they crush weak competition and trust us when we strongly suggest that the Hawks are very weak opposition. Price on the fav here is a steal.
Norfolk St -8½ -105 (Risking 2.10 units - To Win: 2.00)