NCAA Basketball Picks: Bet Kent State +8.5 vs. Toledo

Jeff Grant

Friday, February 13, 2015 2:32 PM GMT

Friday, Feb. 13, 2015 2:32 PM GMT

Toledo is the hottest team in the Mid-American Conference, but it’s inability to cover the number as home favorites provides value to Kent State Friday night.

Impossible to Ignore
Toledo is focused on extending its season-high six-game win streak, but it’s hard to ignore its forgettable 0-7-1 ATS record as home favorites of 6.5 to 9 points the last two-plus seasons when making your college basketball picks.

The Rockets often fail to cover the number in this situation due to their lack of depth, as they rank 313th in the country in bench minutes, but they do have one of the league’s best starting lineups.

Four of five starters are averaging double figures, with Julius Brown leading the way at 16.7 points a contest.  The senior has been even better in his last four games at the John F. Savage Arena—averaging 21.8 points over that span.

 

Stingy Defense
Kent State earned a 67-60 victory over Toledo as two-point home favorites in the first meeting on Jan. 21, as it finished with a 32-24 advantage on the boards and held the conference’s second-best offense to 26 of 54 shooting from the floor.

The Golden Flashes are 45th in the country in limiting foes to 30.7 percent shooting from beyond the arc, and they’ve been even better over the last five games at 28.4 percent.

It’s important to point out that the program is 16-1 SU when holding opponents under 66 points this season.

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Close Encounters
The Rockets finished with a 9-0 SU record in games decided by four or fewer points last season, but they’ve dropped four of seven contests in that situation in 2014-15.

Toledo has disappointed college basketball handicappers down the stretch in games the entire year—despite have the 82nd most experienced roster in the country.

 

Plenty of Firepower
Kris Brewer, Derek Jackson and Devareaux Manley have combined to make 144 3-point field goals through 24 games, with five of those coming in the first meeting.

The senior trio has played a big part in leading the school to wins in six of the last eight meetings in this in-state rivalry.

 

Prediction
The Golden Flashes have covered the number in eight of their last 10 games as road underdogs of 6.5 to 9 points on the posted NCAA basketball odds, which fits nicely with the aforementioned struggles of the Rockets when laying such a number at this venue.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Kent State Golden Flashes +8.5 at Pinnacle

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