Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:00 PM EST odds are subject to change.
Hytche Athletic Center, Princess Anne, MD
Howard -103 over Maryland Eastern Shore
7:30 PM EST. Overall, both Maryland Eastern and Howard are a game under .500 so on the surface it appears like this game is a tossup. The price suggests it’s a tossup too. When we look at rankings, we see that Howard is ranked 277th while UMES is ranked 286th, so that, too, puts these two teams as near equals. When we look at each team’s non-conference Strength of Schedule (SOS), we see UMES’ SOS is ranked 39th while Howard’s SOS ranks 150th. While UMES has played a tougher schedule, it does not matter because the Hawks of Maryland Eastern got steamrolled in just about all of them.
UMES lost to Charlotte by 33, they also to ODU and Virginia by 19 and 27 respectively. They lost to Liberty, George Mason and Duke by 20, 13 and 27 points respectively. The Hawks only half decent win was against Temple (ranked 144th in the country) but one game among all the others is not enough to convince us that the Hawks are evenly matched up here.
You may recall that we bet Howard a few weeks ago when they were taking back 13½ points versus Yale. The Bison would get destroyed that day, 80-46 but their two best players were a very late scratch so that result can be thrown right out the window. Furthermore, both Elijah Hawkins and Shy Odom (they’re both back), who both missed the Yale game also missed four other games. During that span, Howard’s ranking dropped significantly so its 277th ranking is misleading and yet they’re still ranked higher than UMES. Finally, Howard, when healthy, has been very competitive against strong competition. They have several edges here, they’re superior and we get them at a discount because of a lot of misleading numbers.
Howard -103 (Risking 2.06 units - To Win: 2.00)