College Basketball Betting: Friday Picks
Saint Peter's Peacocks at Iona Gaels
Saint Peter's is having a perfectly miserable season in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), winning only one league game in its first eight outings. Maybe that is why the NCAAB betting odds opened up with them as 17 point underdogs for this matchup The Peacocks sit at the bottom of the standings below a Siena squad that, while 2-6 in the league, is 4-15 overall. Saint Peter's is a more respectable 6-12, but in conference play, the Peacocks have been worse than the Saints. It's really hard to see how Saint Peter's will find enough defense to hold back the Iona Gaels, who love to push the pace and play 94-foot racehorse basketball under head coach Tim Cluess. Dictating tempo is going to come a lot more naturally for Iona at home to begin with; it's always easier to control the pace in your own building as opposed to a foreign one. However, the raw disparity in talent between the two teams will make it hard to choose Saint Peter's under any circumstance whatsoever. Iona is lying in wait for Saint Peter's and should be able to not only win this game, but win it in a particularly convincing manner.
Free Picks: Iona
Loyola (Maryland) Greyhounds at Manhattan Jaspers
The main thing to realize in this contest is that Loyola won the MAAC Tournament last season and knows what it takes to make its way to the top of this league. The Greyhounds are a battle-hardened team under head coach Jimmy Patsos, a former assistant to Gary Williams at the University of Maryland when the Terrapins won the 2002 national championship. Loyola will be playing on the road, but it will be facing a 5-13 Manhattan squad that just hasn't been able to find a groove at any point this season. The Jaspers have not won back-to-back games at any point in their 2012-2013 slate. They have lost four of their last five contests, and their best stretch of the season came back in late November, when they won two of three games. Manhattan has won only twice since Dec. 9 – that's not a slump, but a drought. It's an indication of deep-set weaknesses that aren't about to go away. Take Loyola here.
Free Picks: Loyola (Maryland)
Green Bay Phoenix at Milwaukee Panthers
This is going to be a contest between two in-state teams and the line hasn't budged from the original 6 point difference each way that the books opened with. One could make the argument that the two teams are not Green Bay and Milwaukee. Rather, one could say that Green Bay will be playing against itself on Friday night. Green Bay is 4-2 in the Horizon League at the moment. The Phoenix are in third place in their conference, behind only Valparaiso and Wright State. Green Bay is 4-0 at home in the Horizon League and 0-2 on the road. Since this is a road game, Green Bay's consistency and focus will be tested, but Milwaukee might not offer robust opposition. The Panthers are 1-4 in the Horizon and 5-14 overall, reflective of a squad that has just not found answers – or generated improvement – over the course of the college basketball season. If Green Bay can keep its nerves, the Phoenix should win. It might not be easy, but take the points for one of your college basketball picks.
Free Picks: Green Bay -6