College Basketball Free Picks (12/2)
UNCG vs Duquesne (+2, 141.5)
To start out with this one, we have both these two teams ranking low in adjusted tempo, which is vital when looking to bet a total score. Less possessions = less points. There are other things to factor in of course, such as defense & foul rate, but this is a metric I like to start with.
The UNC Greensboro Spartans rank 236 in adjusted tempo and the Duquesne Dukes rank at 221. But this is just a small sample with Duquesne with just one game this season under their belts and UNCG with two. Let’s take a quick look at last season’s tempo for these two teams respectively-
Both teams bring most of their core back from last year and also played at a slow pace in 2019-20 season, ranking in the bottom half of tempo for last season.
Based off of this, and the early sample size this season, I expect both teams to play at a slow pace today and see no reason why they shouldn’t.
Duquesne is a solid defensive team and, as mentioned, brings back a lot of their squad from last season. They were a little rusty on both sides of the ball in their first game but I expect this to improve in their second game. UNCG is similar with returning players but they did lose a few significant players from the 19-20 season
Their head coach, Wes Miller, in his 10th season and his teams have frequently ranked near the top of the defensive standings over the last 4-5 seasons.
The sharp money is on the under, which is usually not a bad sign and the total has already moved from 143 to 141.5, with 38% of the bets on the under but 85% of the actual money (as of 1:11am EST).
Yes, there is 1.5 points of value lost, but this should still be a play down to 140 (go no lower). I wouldn’t be surprised to see this one end up under 139 by tip off at 6pm EST. I think Duquesne pulls this one off and you can expect a 69-65 type of game today, with the under hitting.