NCAAB Pick: Eastern Kentucky vs. Liberty Under 141.5 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)
Champ Week is here – sort of. Most conferences, including the Big Six, still have a game or two left to play in the 2022-23 Division I men’s basketball regular season, but they’re already off and running in the Sun Belt, the Big South, and elsewhere.
Heck, the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament is already down to the semifinals. And as luck would have it, that’s where we’ve found the biggest potential profit margin for Thursday’s college basketball picks.
- Eastern Kentucky vs. Liberty: Under 141.5 (-110) at BetOnline
- Quinnipiac vs. Fairfield: Over 135.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports
- Middle Tennessee vs. North Texas: Under 121 (-110) at Bovada
Eastern Kentucky Colonels vs. Liberty Flames
Thursday, March 2, 2023 – 07:00 PM EST at Liberty Arena
There’s no question that Liberty is the class of the A-Sun; they’re 14-point favorites over Eastern Kentucky as we go to press, but we’re hammering that 141.5-point total on the NCAAB odds board at BetOnline, with the Flames projected to win 76-62 or thereabouts.
Why Is the Total So High?
Probably because this is expected to be a butt-kicking. On February 11, Liberty beat Eastern Kentucky 83-73 as 13-point home favorites, easily outgunning the 141-point total. Ah, but back on January 8, the Flames actually lost 62-59 to EKU (Under 140) as 9.5-point road faves, proving once again that anything can happen in college hoops.
Thursday’s score will probably fall somewhere in between. The Colonels have the under at 17-10-1 this year, powered by the No. 226-ranked offense and No. 126 defense on Ken Pomeroy’s efficiency charts – although they do rank No. 41 in adjusted tempo at 70.6 possessions per game.
Liberty (under 14-13-1) also has a suitable profile for this pick, checking in at No. 52 on offense, No. 42 on defense, and a don’t-rush-me No. 313 in tempo (64.9 possessions per game). And we probably don’t have to worry about overtime, either. Probably.
NCAAB Pick: Under 141.5 (-110) at BetOnline
Quinnipiac Bobcats vs. Fairfield Stags
Thursday, March 2, 2023 – 07:30 PM EST at Leo D. Mahoney Arena
The MAAC Tournament doesn’t tip off until next Tuesday, and all 11 teams make it in, but seeding is up for grabs when seventh-place Fairfield (under 15-13) hosts fourth-place Quinnipiac (over 15-13). Over 135.5 is the easy choice here for your NCAAB picks, with the computers liking the Bobcats to win 70 or 71 to 68.
Didn’t Their Last Game Go Under?
Points were harder to come by on February 3 when Quinnipiac beat Fairfield 66-51 (under 135) as 4.5-point home faves. But the Stags shot 1-of-16 from downtown and the ‘Cats 6-for-21.
Chances are that won’t happen again. Granted, Fairfield only shoots 28.7% on 3-pointers (No. 357), and they only allow opponents to shoot 28.1% (No. 4), while Quinnipiac’s perimeter defense is quite effective too at 31.0% allowed (No. 42). But the Bobcats usually shoot 35.8% from behind the arc (No. 91), and they’re really fast ‘Cats at 70.2 possessions per game (No. 48).
NCAAB Pick: Over 135.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders vs. North Texas Mean Green
Thursday, March 2, 2023 – 08:00 PM EST at The Super Pit
Nothing at stake yet in Conference USA either ‘til Tuesday, and North Texas (13-13-1 totals) has already clinched the 2-seed for Champ Week, while MTSU (over 15-10-2) will be either No. 3 or No. 4. But this is all about the under, even if there’s a low 121-point total.
Why Is the Total So Low?
Because the Mean Green are playing. They’re not just last in Division I in tempo; at 58.6 possessions per game, North Texas is nearly two possessions slower than No. 362 Charlotte. The Blue Raiders are positively electric by comparison at 67.3 possessions per game, but that’s still just No. 189 in Division I, and both these teams are better at defense than offense.
North Texas won their January 7 meeting 56-51 (under 119) as 3-point road faves. They’re projected to take the rematch 63-56.
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NCAAB Pick: Under 121 (-110) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.