Free NCAA Basketball Picks: Lock Marshall -5.5 Against Louisiana Tech

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, March 3, 2016 6:56 PM GMT

The LA Tech Bulldogs travel to visit the Marshall Thundering Herd in Huntington. This is the first meeting of the teams this season. Who will be our NCAA basketball pick tonight?

Louisiana Tech vs. Marshall 7:00PM ET
Former Larranaga Asst., Eric Konkol, has taken over the reins of the Bulldogs for former HC Mike White, who is now shepherding the Florida Gators. Konkol had big shoes to fill with a team who had won 27 or more games each of the 3 previous seasons. He has been successful in that regard, as the Bulldogs 22-7 SU this year, including 11-5 SU in CUSA action. Again this year, their Thomas Assembly Center home has been a major ally. They are 16-1 SU at home, pushing the record at Thomas to 59-2 SU L4Y. On the road, however, has been a different story.

Though they began the year with an upset of Ohio St. (who was still retooling) in Columbus, they then lost non-con dates at Memphis by 26 and Ole Miss by 19. In a similar way, when facing quality CUSA teams on the road, they lost by 14 at Florida Int’l, 11 at N. Texas and 11 at UTEP. In those 5 road losses against quality teams (all by double digits), they allowed an average of 91 PPG. The only road wins for the Bulldogs in the conference have been against bottom of the barrel, S. Miss, Rice and UTSA. Tonight, they must face high-powered, highly motivated Marshall quite possibly without key interior contributor, Eric McCree (knee), who averages 16/7.   

 

Betting Preview
The hungry Herd await! For, in their rebuilding year of last season, under then 1st year HC D’Antoni, they were eaten alive by these Bulldogs in a trip to Ruston by a score of 81-57.  But, this is in no way near the same team, who was 11-21 SU last season. Following a 0-6 SU, 1-5 ATS start, the Herd fully integrated a pair of quality transfers and caught fire under the open court ways of D’Antoni. There is no question that the Herd is one of the teams, who has profited the most from the shorter shot clock and the open court play. For the season, they are averaging 85 PPG, knocking down 10 triples per game, while dishing out an average of 17 assists per contest. After the 0-6 SU, 1-5 ATS start, they have since gone 15-8 SU, 19-4 ATS. Today, they return to Cam-Henderson Arena, following a pair of road losses to league leaders UAB and Mid-Tenn. They are 10-1 SU most recently here (only loss to league leader UAB) with a recent 8-1 ATS mark as home chalk. All conference home victories have been by 15 or more points. The conference home blitz puts their 2-year home record on this floor to 13-3 ATS.  

This selection has a lot going for it. At 15-14 SU, a victory tonight all but ensures a winning record and a post-season bid, possibly to the NIT. That victory also would avenge an embarrassing loss last season. Yet, it would come as no surprise to anyone who has read this analysis, considering the huge home/road dichotomy which favors the home-standing Herd. I invite you to put the NCAA Basketball Odds in your favor and join me in my NCAA Basketball pick on Marshall tonight.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Marshall -5.5
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle