Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:30 AM EST odds are subject to change.
Texas Southern +9 over Samford
Pete Hanna Center, Birmingham, AL
3:00 PM EST. Samford is 4-0 but they have played the 341st ranked Strength of Schedule (SOS) after four games. The Bulldogs of Samford have played three Division III teams in Anderson (SC), Spring Hill and Belhaven College before they played Alabama A&M, who is ranked 340th out of 363 D-I teams. Samford pulled off a similar feat last year when they opened its season with two games against Division III opponents. It wasn’t until the 9th game of the year (against Alabama St) that they won by more than 9 points, which is the price we’re getting here. The first game after those cupcakes, Samford would lose by 22 points to San Francisco, 77-55.
Samford is a definite threat in the Southern. They just missed an auto-bid last season but they did overachieve to a great degree with a 21-11 record. They should be even better this year, as they return a wealth of production, with five of its top six scorers back and eight of its top 10. That includes a bonafide star in Ques Glover, a former Florida transfer who earned first-team all-conference honors in his first campaign in Birmingham. Still, there is a price to pay for scheduling games against complete marshmallows and now the Bulldogs will take a giant step up in class when facing Texas Southern.
Unlike Samford, Texas Southern schedules non-conference games against juggernauts. Thus far, the Tigers have played San Francisco (lost by 13), #25 Texas Tech, Arizona State, Oral Roberts, #3 Houston and #13 Auburn. Texas Southern lost by just 16 to Auburn and they beat Arizona State. The Tigers have played the 15th toughest SOS in the country which is 326 positions higher than Samford’s SOS. This is nothing new for Texas Southern, as the Johnny Jones method prevails over and over again. His secret sauce isn’t even really a secret — and yet, seemingly no one else can replicate it.
First, he corners the market on talent, size and experience. Then, he deploys that talent, size and experience against the best of the best in a grueling non-conference slate. During that time, the high-profile list of Jones’s victims includes Baylor, Oregon, Texas A&M, Wyoming and Florida. Hardened by the relentless non-conference training, the head coach’s warriors typically lay waste to SWAC opponents. Samford is the equivalent of a SWAC opponent. They’re a great mid-major but, so, too is Southern. Recent results and misleading records has this pooch taking back too many points and we’re on it in a game they can win outright.
Texas Southern +9 -109 (Risking 2.18 units - To Win: 2.00)