Free College Basketball Picks Friday 2/21/2020 and Opening Line Report
It's a sub-par slate for Friday college basketball this week. There are just three games that include two teams with winning records. While there's other value plays out there, these three games have the most excitement. For February 21, we'll cover the Northeast Conference for the first time ever, as Merrimack takes on Sacred Heart in what could be a defining moment for the conference. The Mid-American will feature Kent State's home floor on national television as they take on Buffalo. Kent State lost by 21 points in their last game, but that should be far from the case this time around. Plus, there's also an A-10 matchup that should be a fantastic finish. Here are the early leans for Friday's small slate.
Sacred Heart vs. Merrimack 2/21/20 (-3, TBD)
This is Merrimack's first season at the Division 1 level, and they haven't disappointed. Although they're not tournament eligible, at 18-10 Merrimack is leading the NEC conference in the standings with a 12-3 record. Merrimack is coming off a loss to Bryant on the road and have played four of their last five on the road. At home, they're 8-2 straight up. Sacred Heart is on a two-game winning streak and are 9-5 in conference play. This game will come down to Sacred Heart's offense vs. Merrimack's defense. Merrimack allows 60.2 points per game but scores only 62.8 points per game. Sacred Heart averages 74 points a game. I'll ride the home team's defense in this matchup.
Key trends: MRMK are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 vs. Northeast.
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Early lean: Merrimack, Under
Buffalo vs. Kent State 2/21/20 (-4.5, 150.5)
Here's a MAC game that will make its way to national television on ESPN2. Buffalo is rolling currently with three straight wins against Central Michigan, Toledo, and Ball State. Kent State just got rolled over by Eastern Michigan after scoring just 49 points in the contest while allowing 70. The game before that, Kent State scored 87 points on Ohio at home. The 21-point loss seems like an outlier at this point. With Kent State at home, on national TV, they're going to put up a really good fight. Kent State is 11-2 straight up at home this season and should find a way to win this one too.
Key trends: BUFF are 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 Fri. games.
Early lean: Kent State, Under
VCU vs. Saint Louis 2/21/20 (+1.5, 136.5)
VCU has now dropped four of their last five games to the heavy hitters of the Atlantic-10. VCU might be the worst of the top tier in the A-10, but St. Louis has also had some struggles. The Billikens have dropped three of their last four games and took an upsetting loss to UMass, 67-63. That wasn't supposed to happen. For the most part, this game is evenly matched. Road teams have struggled in the A-10 recently (unless you're Dayton.) St. Louis should be able to win the rebounding battle and squeeze by with a victory against VCU at home.
Key trends: VCU are 2-10-1 ATS in their last 13 Fri. games.
Early lean: VCU, Over
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