NCAA Basketball Pick on Austin Peay to Break Through

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, December 15, 2014 3:27 PM GMT

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Monday.

 

You will not see us backing a favorite that is 2-7 vary often, but we will on Monday due to the home team having faced a tougher schedule so far as the Troy Trojans (4-3, 0-2 away) pay a visit to those Austin Peay Governors (2-7, 1-1 home) at the Warfield Dunn Center in Clarksville, TN at 8:00 ET. This game can be viewed at ovcdigitalnetwork.com.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Austin Peay as a modest home favorite for this contest with the current line at -2½ with odds of -119.


Improvement Expected in OVC
Austin Peay is not expected to contend with the Ohio Valley Conference powerhouses in Belmont and Murray State for any conference titles, but the Governors are still expected to be competitive and improved from the team that went 12-18 overall and 6-10 in OVC play last season, as they are deep in the frontcourt after adding two junior college transfers in the high scoring Khalil Davis and Assane Diop, and they have a polished freshman in Josh Robinson.

Troy comes off of an 11-20 season that included going 6-12 in the Sun Belt Conference, and on the surface it would seem the Trojans are improved with their 4-3 start and entering this game being the winning NCAA Basketball picks in three straight games. However they have beaten nothing while literally facing one of the weakest schedules in the country, and they are now playing a true road game after going 0-2 in their first two road contests.


Come Off of Loss to Lipscomb
Austin Peay has made a habit of scheduling tough non-conference schedules and this is not the first time the Governors have started slowly. In fact they could be feeling a case of déjà vu here as they started 0-9 a couple of years ago before finally breaking into the win column vs. Arkansas State, who like Troy also hail from the Sun Belt Conference!

This Governors’ team has not quite started that badly at 2-7, but it only has one win vs. a Division I school in Brown from the Ivy League on a neutral floor in Las Vegas. Still, Austin Peay has faced a good schedule ranked 92nd in SOS that has included losses to Illinois, Stephen F. Austin, Western Kentucky and Southern Illinois, although it does come off of probably its worth loss of the season to Lipscomb here at home 68-59 on Saturday.

That could put the Governors in a “buy low” situation here as Troy is actually ranked 46 spots lower than Lipscomb on the Pomeroy Ratings at 262nd overall, and the aforementioned young talent could now get a chance to shine vs. a very giving Troy defense that is ranked 303rd in the country in defensive efficiency, especially playing here at home.


Have Faced 330th Ranked Non-Conference SOS
Conversely the Trojans could be overvalued a bit right now with the three-game winning streak, especially with the first two wins coming at home vs. an Alcorn State team ranked 331st out of 351 Division I teams on Pomeroy and vs. an even worse Central Arkansas team ranked 347th, and those were followed up by a win over a Division II team in Fort Valley State.

In fact Troy has faced an SOS ranked just 330th overall, and that easy schedule makes the poor defensive numbers that much more alarming. And as mentioned the Trojans have come up short in both road tests so far, and while one of those was certainly forgivable at Georgia, the other was at 226th ranked Southern Miss.


Troy Turnovers Could be Death Blow
Finally, not only have the Trojan struggled defensively vs. weak opponents but they have also been extremely sloppy with the basketball offensively, ranking 310th in the nation in offensive turnover percentage at 23.3 percent vs. a national average of 20.1 percent. The Governors could make them pay for that sloppiness as they are above average defensively forcing turnovers 21.1 percent of the time.

And that was vs. a much stronger schedule than what Troy has faced, so look for Austin Peay to break through with a crowd-pleasing home win while covering the small spread on Monday.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Austin Peay -2½ (-119)