College Basketball Picks & Best Bets: Friday, February 19th
No ranked NCAAB teams take the court on Friday night. That is not much of a surprise, as we have another loaded weekend and it does not mean that we are not going to have some really exciting games to watch.
Toledo vs. Buffalo might have more points than any game this season and Vermont vs. UMBC features the best team in the America East conference… in a rematch from a game played just yesterday. We have a rematch in the Mountain West too.
Here is a look at the games to check out…
February 19 College Basketball Betting: Best Bets
Vermont vs UMBC, ESPN3, 5:00 PM ET
Matchup: Vermont Catamounts (9-3 SU, 5-6-1 ATS) vs. UMBC Retrievers (13-4 SU, 10-6-1 ATS)
Spread: Vermont -3.5 (-110), UMBC +3.5 (-110)
Total: Over 137 (-106), Under 137 (-114)
Moneyline: Vermont -175, UMBC +142
These teams are tied atop the America East standings at 9-3. These teams played on Thursday and Vermont was the victor, winning by 9. That game closed at Vermont -4 so it makes you wonder what is really setting the line for this game today, there might be some baiting by the oddsmakers. I know it is tough to beat a team two games in a row but at the same time, we have seen a lot of that this season.
UMBC is having a good season, this is not a good matchup though. The Retrievers play a low-scoring style which can be very effective but when they play the Catamounts they are playing a team that is even more effective on defense and with more juice to their offense. If they have to score 70 or more points to win I am not sure how they get there.
Betting Advice: Take Vermont.
Saint Louis vs Dayton, ESPN2, 7:00 PM ET
Matchup: Saint Louis Billikens (11-3 SU, 9-5 ATS) vs. Dayton Flyers (11-7 SU, 10-8 ATS)
Spread: Saint Louis -6 (-116), Dayton +6 (-104)
Total: Over 136 (-110), Under 136 (-110)
Moneyline: Saint Louis -260, Dayton +215
The Billikens are in fifth in the A10 but since they have the same number of losses at top team VCU they might be in better shape than you think. After their long layoff, they dropped their first two games, but are now riding a four-game winning streak and have covered in three of their last four. That first game after the layoff was a home loss to Dayton so they could have revenge on their mind here.
Consistency has been a challenge for Dayton this season. It is kind of surprising given they have Jalen Crutcher and Ibi Watson, a super productive backcourt duo that gives them a chance to beat any team in the league. This team is well-coached and always plays a physical style that you have to overcome. I pegged them to beat SLU off that layoff and they did. I am not calling another upset but you should back the Flyers again tonight. The game will be close.
Betting Advice: Take Dayton (Best Bet).
Toledo vs Buffalo, ESPN2, 9:00 PM ET
Matchup: Toledo Rockets (17-6 SU, 17-6 ATS) vs. Buffalo Bulls (9-6 SU, 8-5-1 ATS)
Spread: Toledo +2 (-110), Buffalo -2 (-110)
Total: Over 162 (-110), Under 162 (-110)
Moneyline: Toledo +110, Buffalo -130
The top of the MAC is really competitive and right now Toledo holds a half-game edge. The Rockets average 80 points per game thanks to a lineup where everyone scores at least 12 points per game. Top scorer Marreon Jackson could be more efficient, but he has the ball in his hands all game it seems and it not shy about shooting it. He had a triple-double in their recent win over Miami (Ohio). He gives them a shot to win in any arena in the MAC.
Buffalo only sits 5th in the league standings but they are on the rise. They have won three in a row and four of five while covering in each win. They score even more than the Rockets, 82 points per game, with a similarly balanced approach, four players are scoring more than 13 points per game. I am not sure there is an at-large team in the MAC but Buffalo might make a case if they take down the Rockets and keep soaring. They should be favored in their final games too so they could really build some momentum.
Betting Advice: Take Buffalo.
Utah State vs Boise State, FS1, 10:00 PM ET
Matchup: Utah State Aggies (14-6 SU, 12-6 ATS) vs. Boise State Broncos (17-4 SU, 12-7-1 ATS)
Spread: Utah State +1.5 (-110), Boise State -1.5 (-110)
Total: Over 140.5 (-110), Under 140.5 (-110)
Moneyline: Utah State +106, Boise State -124
The top four teams in the Mountain West all have three losses. Utah State is in that group at 11-3 in the league after a loss to Boise State on Wednesday. The MWC is really hard to evaluate this season because there is such a big gap after the tops teams like the Aggies and Broncos. I can see a bounceback but this game could also easily look a lot like the previous loss.
Boise State is 13-3 in the MWC and atop that leading group. They have won three in a row and have not lost a game at home this season. Derrick Alson Jr. is leading the team in scoring at 17 points per game. He is 6’9” but just 190 pounds. He can stick the jumper though, making 42% from three. Comfortable at home he should lead the team to another win.
Betting Advice: Take Boise State.
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