College basketball schedule today has 25 games
This is a much bigger Friday card than what we usually see, as a few extra conferences are in the mix, including the Atlantic Sun. The A-Sun finishes the regular season tonight and tips off its conference tournament on Monday. We’ll have previews of several conference tournaments with picks to win, darkhorse candidates and more. But, first, let’s look at this 25-game Friday card. (Tracking sheet)
Here are some thoughts on the February 24 card (odds from DraftKings):
Southern Miss won the first meeting 67-58 back on Jan. 28, as things seemed to play out close to expectation. I have similar expectations for this one, even though Southern Miss ventures out on the road to face Texas State. I also feel like Southern Miss has the chance to improve offensively in the rematch.
Southern Miss doesn’t get to the rim a lot, but has been effective when doing so with a 65.4% FG% on Close Twos as defined by Bart Torvik. Their shot share, however, is only 33.3% on those types of shots. Texas State allows a 40.8% shot share on Close Twos, which ranks 321st in the nation. Southern Miss was 8-of-11 at the rim in the first game.
The other thing I notice about this game that I like is that Texas State took 24 mid-range jumpers in the first game and 10 3-point attempts. They’re shooting just 35.2% on Farther Twos as defined by Torvik and are shooting just 31.4% from 3. Southern Miss forces opponents into a 3 on 38.6% of shot attempts, so Texas State is likely to have to take a lot of long jumpers.
Why? Because Southern Miss’s shot share against on Close Twos is 31.8%, which ranks 47th in the country. Texas State shouldn’t inside much and be forced into a bunch of tough shots, which was the case in the first game when they scored just 58 points. I’m on the Golden Eagles to get the season sweep and the cover.
Pick: Southern Miss -2.5
Queens and Liberty just played on Wednesday and there were 162 points scored in a game played to 70 possessions. That total was 146, so we’ve seen a mild adjustment here with Liberty in a huge home favorite role. The thing about Liberty that makes this total an intriguing over bet is that they’ve allowed themselves to play faster over the last few games. I don’t think their recent tempo increase is being factored into the line.
For the season, Liberty is 321st in adjusted tempo per Torvik, but they’ve played to an average adjusted tempo of over 68 possessions in their last five games. Four of their last six games have had at least 70 possessions and another had 69. This is the A-Sun’s best offense going up against a Queens U. defense that cannot stop 2s or 3s. The Royals rank 289th in 2P% defense and 308th in 3P% defense.
Queens also plays at a top-50 adjusted tempo. Maybe Liberty makes some defensive adjustments here in hopes of rounding back into form for the conference tournaments, but they are not going to get stopped much on offense. They were 29-of-59 from the floor in Wednesday’s game and I expect them to do better than that here.
For Queens, senior star Kenny Dye has averaged 18.2 points per game, but was only 3-of-15 from the floor for nine points in Wednesday’s matchup, yet his team scored 77 points. I think this one goes over the total as Liberty looks to have some fun with the seniors, including Darius McGhee, who had 35 in Wednesday’s game.
Pick: Over 147
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