Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:00 AM EST. Odds subject to change.
Jersey Mike’s Arena - Piscataway, NJ
Streaming: FS1 (Fox Sports 1)
Georgetown +10 over Rutgers
8:30 PM EST. The elephant in the room here is Georgetown’s collapse against Holy Cross on Saturday night, in which new head coach Ed Cooley’s team blew an 11-point lead with eight minutes to play, falling to the Crusaders 68-67. Somewhere, former Hoyas head coach Patrick Ewing must have been proud, as it was a collapse on a level that he and his Georgetown teams had become known for during his past and long forgotten tenure. We kid (kind of), but the Hoyas of the last few seasons had become famous for blowing leads and not showing up to games they absolutely should win, and that reputation is not going to fade away so soon, and it’s certainly not going to fade tonight after that disaster on Saturday night in the District of Columbia. We must note that the Hoyas were a -17½-point favorite against the Crusaders in that game, and while it's easy to make jokes, it was one bad night at the office, and better days are coming for Cooley, who is such an improvement over Ewing that it's impossible to quantify. Cooley’s strength has always been his ability to change what he does on a nightly basis and game-plan for specific teams. G-Town can compete here.
The Scarlet Knights were on pace last season to punch a third straight ticket to The Dance, but a brutal February sunk those dreams as Rutgers finished 19-15, and 10-10 in the B1G. Perhaps a tougher schedule would have been enough to drag the Knights over that finish line, but they played a weak non-conference schedule and therefore had to reap what head coach Steve Pikiell had sown. A trip to the NIT was the norm for the Knights, who didn’t make an NCAA Tournament from 1992-2021, but after getting that taste, the expectations have changed in Piscataway (it’s March Madness or bust).
Rutgers had a brutal offseason where the transfer portal decimated the roster. Star shooter Cam Spencer transferred to UConn, starting PG Paul Mulcahy went to Washington, and leader Caleb McConnell graduated. Those made up 60% of the Scarlet Knights' scoring last season and will not be easily replaced. Rutgers also lost five other rotational players, leaving them thin and young. Pikiell can rave about his freshmen all he wants, but it remains to be seen just how much of the void left by the “Big 3” can be filled with those fresh faces.
The Knights are 2-1 to start the year, but it does not appear as if Pikiell learned his lesson from last season, as he’s scheduled games in which the Knights have been the betting favorite, including Princeton (-6½), Boston University (-22), and Bryant (-14½). Now, Rutgers is a double-digit favorite over Georgetown, which for the Hoyas, is a 27½-point swing from one game to the next, which is madness. We’re going to be scooping up the inflated points on offer here, but do not be shocked if the Hoyas go into Jersey and win this game outright.
Georgetown +10 +101 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.02)