Willie’s NCAAB season picks record: 29-24-2 (+3.75 units)
Monday, 9 p.m. ET
Free NCAAB Pick: Northern Colorado ATS
Best Line Offered: BetOnline
We have to wait another week for the return of Big Monday, and what a great NCAA basketball odds card we’ll have seven days from now. Until then, we’re stuck with a weak fixture to begin the season’s 10th week. No offense to the Eastern Washington Eagles and Northern Colorado Bears, who close the short slate in Greeley.
Atop the Big Sky standings and off to a 3-0 start on the conference schedule, Northern Colorado draws the chalk line for tip at Bank of Colorado Arena. With both sides sporting “over” leans up to this point, Monday’s scoreboard hurdle is set in the low-140s.
Bears Survive Saturday Scare
One of the more positive things that can be said about the Eagles is they’re road-tested. Unfortunately for Eastern Washington, none of those tests have been passed with defeats in all eight road tilts, and just one ATS win in the last 11 contests played at hostile gyms. While Eagles fans are licking their wounds after falling to North Dakota State in the FCS Championship Game on Saturday, coach Shantay Legans and his hoopsters are lamenting a 74-71 loss at Idaho this past week as small road favorites. The Eagles trailed by as many as 22 in that one as defense continues to be their Achilles.
It’s a quick turnaround for Jeff Linder and the Bears, who hosted that same Idaho squad Saturday night and needed overtime to get past the Vandals, 83-79. Closing as 15-point chalk at Heritage, Northern Colorado was sluggish to begin the contest and ultimately left 15 points at the charity stripe to lead to the ATS loss after beginning conference play with consecutive road covers. Thanks to extra play, Saturday’s final got past a 147-point total to continue that trend for Bears home games, now 18-7-2 O/U/P the last 27 at BOC Arena.
Underdog Has Covered 12 Of Last 17 Encounters
This has been a pretty even series, Northern Colorado holding a slim 11-9 edge all-time and the schools splitting their two meetings a year ago, the Bears covering both contests. Eastern Washington has won six of the last eight matchups, however, four of those victories by double-digits. It has been a little more than a year since the Eagles and Bears opened their 2017-18 Big Sky slates at Bank of Colorado Arena, Northern Colorado skating to an 88-75 decision as 5½-point chalk.
Can’t say that either side gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling as far as an NCAA basketball pick goes. My hope is, however, that getting right back on the floor after underperforming Saturday is the best medicine for the Bears.