BANKER (New Orleans vs. SE Louisiana)
The Southland has been one of my favorite conferences to bet all season. The teams in the southland play some of the most physical and up-tempo basketball that I have ever seen and physicality plus a faster tempo equals more shots, more free throws and more points, which is a great recipe for overs. New Orleans in particular, has been an over machine this season. New Orleans is one of the fastest paced teams in the country as they are currently ranked 11th in the nation in lowest average time of possession at 15.5 seconds so they really push the ball in transition and take shots early in the shot clock. Another thing that they do extremely well is draw fouls and get to the free throw line.
They are ranked number 1 in the country in foul rate drawn on offense so they should be able to get to the line frequently in this game. They face SE Louisiana who has not been good on defense this season. SELA is currently ranked 339th in adjusted defensive efficiency, 335th in defensive effective field goal percentage, 346th in defensive rebounding percentage, and 350th in defensive 2-point percentage. Those are horrendous defensive numbers and New Orleans is a team who loves to score in the painted area as 84.3% of their total points come by way of free throws and 2-point baskets. SELA also plays very fast as well as they are ranked 64th in lowest time of possession at 16.7 seconds. SELA also does a really good job of getting fouled and getting to the free throw line as they are ranked 12th in the country foul rate drawn on offense. This should be a very fast paced game and I think this total is set a bit too low, so I am rolling with the OVER 156 here. Score Prediction: 87-81 New Orleans
Arizona has been a cash cow for many people this season with how explosive their offense has been and now they face a Colorado team in a revenge spot. Colorado was nearly 10-point underdogs when they mounted a very impressive 2H comeback and ended up defeating Arizona by nearly 20 points. This was by far Arizona’s worst performance of the season, and I expect a much more focused effort from them tonight. Colorado has been playing some of their best basketball of the season lately, but it is incredibly hard to beat a team like Arizona even one time, let alone twice in a row. Arizona is currently ranked 7th in the country in overall adjusted offensive efficiency, 13th in offensive effective field goal percentage, and 5th in 2-point percentage. Their first game vs Colorado was arguably their worst offensive performance of the season and I expect them to shoot much better this time around. Score Prediction: 79-67 Arizona
Northern Colorado is a team who I have not bet on much this season, but they have a very explosive offense and think they are in a perfect spot here. Northern Colorado has already lost to Portland St twice this season, both times as heavy favorites and I do not expect them to take this game lightly. Northern Colorado’s strength this season has been their offense as they are currently ranked 6th in the country in offensive effective field goal percentage, 11th in 3-point percentage, and 14th in 2-point percentage. Those numbers are very impressive, and I am not sure Portland St will have an answer on defense as they have really struggled in that category this season. Portland St is currently ranked 279th in effective field goal percentage defense, 331st in defensive rebounding percentage, 333rd in defensive foul rate and 320th in defensive 3-point percentage. This should be a very high scoring and entertaining game but I think Northern Colorado will come out on top and advance. Score Prediction: 86-79 UNCO