BANKER (Central Michigan vs. Akron)
At first glance, this looks like a really ugly play, but I think Central Michigan is actually in a really good spot to put up a strong 1H performance here. Akron has been playing really well lately as they are 4-0 in their last 4 games and 11-4 in their L15 but let’s take a closer look at their home vs away splits. Akron is very surprisingly 0-10 ATS on the 1H spread in their last 10 home games. I don’t bet trends a lot but at this point, it’s a little past a trend and just their prerogative at this point. Then tend to start very slow at home and then come back in the 2H as they are 7-3 straight up in those 10 games. Central Michigan has also been playing much more competitive as of late. All the metrics will point to CMU being a horrendous team but we have to look past the numbers.
This Central Michigan team nearly beat Toledo on the road (lost by 2), nearly beat Kent St at home (lost by 2), defeated Miami OH on the road (won by 14), and nearly defeated Ohio at home (lost by 9). They covered all of those games easily and more importantly, covered each of those 1H’s with ease. Over the last month, this CMU team has been playing much better against better competition and I think they will have a competitive start here tonight. In their first matchup with Akron, we saw a low scoring game where CMU eventually covered after rallying in the second half to cover the number. I think the momentum will be reversed tonight as I think Akron will start slow at home allowing Central Michigan to start fast in the first half. Score Prediction: 38-35 1H Akron
Winthrop is a team who I have faded most of the year as they have been dreadful on the road this season but now that the conference tournament is here and all Big South teams are on a neutral court, I think this is the spot to back them. Winthrop is a very talented team who had some roster turnover from last year as Adonis Arms transferred to Texas Tech and Charles Falden went to JMU. They were 2 of their top scorers but Winthrop has bounced back nicely due to the addition of Cory Hightower from WCU and the emergence of DJ Burns. Winthrop is also in a revenge spot here against a High Point team who beat them handedly at home back in late January. High point needed overtime to beat a very weak Hampton squad and I think Winthrop should be highly motivated in this game after getting embarrassed in their first matchup with High Point. I don’t trust Winthrop to cover 7 points, but I think they are a great parlay piece today. Score Prediction: 75-69 Winthrop.
Got a little creative with this Missouri St 1H angle for the second half of the parlay but I think Missouri St should get off to a strong start tonight. Missouri St has a very prolific offense as they are currently ranked 22nd in overall adjusted offensive efficiency, 20th in offensive effective field goal percentage, 28th in lowest turnover rate, 42nd in 3-point percentage, and 25th in 2-point percentage. It is very impressive to be in the top 50 in nearly every major offensive category and they have had a lot of success against Valpo this year as well. Valpo struggled on defense as they are currently ranked 235th in defensive efficiency, 281st in defensive effective field goal percentage, 261st in defensive 2-point percentage, and 286th in defensive 3-point percentage. They are not a good defensive team, and I don’t think they have the firepower to keep up with Missouri St on offense. Score Prediction: 41-34 1H Missouri St.