BANKER (Coppin State vs. Howard)
The MEAC is one of the lower-level conferences in college basketball but every year it is one of my favorite conferences to bet. In this game, 2 of the better teams in the conference face off so we should see much higher quality basketball than normal. In the first matchup between these two teams, Coppin St had one of the more improbable comebacks of the season. Coppin St was down by 20 points in the second half at one point and was down by nearly 8 points with a minute left and somehow found a way to win the game straight up. I think Coppin St will be able to carry that momentum into a strong 1H tonight. Both teams play at a very fast and frenetic pace and there should be a lot of fast breaks and open 3s.
If Coppin St can knock down outside shots, I think they have another solid chance to win this game outright. Coppin St plays at the 14th fastest pace in the country and Howard is only ranked 217th in adjusted defensive efficiency and 354th in defensive rebounding rate. Coppin St should be able to hit the boards early and often for numerous second chance opportunities. Tyree Corbett is the best player for Coppin St who is a matchup nightmare at 6’7. He is too quick for oversized bigs and can overpower undersized guards so I think he will have a big night against an undersized Howard team. Howard has also struggled to cover spreads this season as a big favorite and think they will have trouble pulling away in this one against a very pesky Coppin St squad, especially in the first half so tonight I am rolling with Coppin St First Half +4.5 at -110 for one of my favorite picks of the day.
Usually, I find value on parlays with huge plus money odds for these but tonight I am going a different route with 2 favorites who I think should win fairly easily. Southern Utah is a team out of the Big Sky conference and has a very up tempo and explosive offense. They can put up nearly 90-100 points every time on the floor and I simply don’t think Northern Arizona has the firepower to keep up. NAU is currently ranked 288th in adjusted offensive efficiency, 245th in offensive effective field goal percentage, and 329th in 2-point percentage so they really struggle to score the basketball. On the other side of the ball, NAU is not much better as they are ranked 324th in adjusted defensive efficiency, 284th in defensive effective field goal percentage, and 27th in 2-point percentage. Southern Utah should be able to score at will on this team as they are in the top 100 or just outside the top 100 in nearly every major offensive category. NAU also gave them a run for their money in the first matchup and I think SUU will be much more prepared this time around.
Texas Southern is probably the best team out of the SWAC this season and are usually the class of that conference. They even went on the road and beat Florida this season by 15 points as nearly 24-point underdogs. They play suffocating defense and the way they play reminds me of Houston, with their tenacity on defense and with offensive rebounding. Texas Southern scores by committee as they do not have a double-digit scorer on their roster. This is one thing I like about them because they have balanced scoring and do not need to rely on one guy for their offense to run smoothly. In this game, they face Arkansas Pine Bluff who is probably the second worst team in the conference (To Mississippi Valley St) and are one of the bottom 10-15 teams in the country. I think Texas Southern will be able to take care of business here and should be able to come away with a solid road conference win here.