By: Hunter Schmidt
Welcome back! I realize it’s Friday and I missed Triple Threat Thursday. I’m going to make it up with a column we can call “Six Pack Friday,” because I’m sure most of you will be indulging in a few while gambling tonight. Those of you who might be interested in following along with all of my picks, I post them daily on the Action Network App. Username is “hunterrschmidt”.
Pennsylvania/Cornell: Under 139 and Pennsylvania -5.5
This pick is strictly based on trends, where we have seen seven out of the eight Pennsylvania road games under the closing total this year. On the flip side, Cornell hasn’t hit the over in a single home game this year going 0-5-1. Pennsylvania is averaging 67 points per game on the road this season, nearly seven points less than their season average. While their offense doesn’t travel well, their defense sure does. They rank 23rd in the country in total points allowed giving up only 66 points per game, while forcing teams to shoot 40% from the field, and just under 30% from three. Cornell is a very good defensive team at home, only giving up 60 points per game, while forcing teams to shoot under 40% from the field and less than 25% from three. This is an early afternoon game on a Friday where we won’t see much of a crowd. Good luck getting your kids up for this game. I expect a low scoring game with both teams struggling to shoot the ball. Cornell is 2-6-1 ATS in their last nine while playing Pennsylvania, and just 1-5 ATS this year at home. Pennsylvania has some huge wins this year against teams like Villanova, Temple and Miami.
Kellan Grady. Grady is one of the best mid-major players in the entire county averaging just over 17 points per game. Davidson is starting to click in the last few weeks (4-2 ATS in their last six) which is no surprise from a Bob McKillop coached team, one of the most underrated college coaches in the country. This team struggled without Grady for a stretch in December (lost vs. Temple, at Wake Forest, and at North Carolina), but since he returned they are 6-1 SU with their only loss coming at St. Joseph’s by one point. St. Bonaventure has beaten the teams they are supposed to so far this year, but get throttled by teams that can actually put the ball in the hoop. Davidson can truly perform and they have a good shot at winning the conference. Jalen Poyser, the third leading scorer for the Bonnies, is questionable tonight with a head injury. Only laying one point with Davidson is great value and I fully expect them to get the conference road win.
Northern Kentucky -3.5
Northern Kentucky has covered all three games in this series so far by an average score of 81-64. Northern Kentucky has won 9 out of their last 10 games and continues their dominance against the Horizon League. These teams played at the beginning of conference play and Northern Kentucky coasted to a 92-77 victory, which also has me leaning towards the over of 143.
Maryland/Wisconsin: Under 131.5 and Maryland +5
Ethan Happ is an absolute problem down low, but Maryland has the big men to defend him with Jalen Smith and Bruno Fernando. Maryland won this game 64-60 a few weeks ago at home, and I expect another low scoring affair at the Kohl Center tonight. Maryland has played well on the road this year shooting 45% from the field and 38% from three. They also average 38 rebounds per game, which is a key stat, as second chance buckets can kill you against the Badgers. Wisconsin plays much better at home on the offensive side of the ball. Maryland is 5-1 ATS on the road this year and in what should be a low scoring affair, I’ll gladly take the five points. The under has hit in 8 of the last 10 games in this series and we’re seeing another low total for this Friday night tilt. The total has gone under in four of the last five Maryland games and five of the last five Wisconsin games. Peak Big-10 conference play trends.
Be sure to do your own research as well and let me know what trends you guys like for tonight’s game.
Thanks for reading and best of luck!
Cover photo via: Tommy Gilligan/USA Today Sports
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