Ball St visits Kent St tonight for the first of 2 meetings between these MAC rivals over the next 3 weeks. The Golden Flashes were the MAC representative in the NCAA Tournament last year but have struggled to this year to the tune of 9-10 and a 3-3 record in conference play. Ball St made a splash this year with their massive upset over Notre Dame as 18 point underdogs they too own just a 3-3 record in conference play. Nonetheless, we are more impressed with the Cardinals this year despite their 4 returning starters underperforming from long range. An important factor to consider is that 2005 is the last time the Cardinals won against the Golden Flashes in this series which is quite a long time for conference rivals. However, this is the first time in a long time that Ball St will have the better team and we believe this is one they have specifically prepared for. It is in that regard we see their last game, a disastrous 71-53 loss to Miami (OH), as a positive as they were likely focused on tonight's game. We feel the hosts have gotten a bit lucky in close wins against Ohio and Western Michigan and believe they could easily be at the bottom of the MAC at 1-5! In any case, we have a suspicion the Cardinals find their stroke tonight against a poor defensive team!
After a poor start to the season, Davidson has picked it up in conference play with 5 consecutive wins after losing to Richmond in their A-10 opener. The Wildcats are coming off an impressive 83-73 win over St. Bonaventure on Friday. Dayton has been steady considering they have a new coach this year and complete turnover on their roster but are coming off 2 rough losses to St. Joseph's and Rhode Island. Despite this, we feel this Flyers team is starting to get it together and has faced some tough competition of late. On the other side, we're still a bit skeptical of the Wildcats as they haven't faced the toughest of opponents in conference play although we do have to credit them for their 10 point win against the Bonnies. Nevertheless, the Wildcats are a perfect 6-0 at home but a pedestrian 3-5 on the road and we feel this is a good spot to sell high on this team and buy low on the hosts. The only injury concern is Jordan Pierce for the Flyers as he has sat out the previous 2 games due to disciplinary issues but the big man's presence will be a bonus if anything!
It hasn't been a rosy start to the Big 12 season for TCU as they sit as just 2-6 after another close loss over the weekend, this time to Kansas St. On the other side, West Virginia took out their frustrations of back to back losses to Texas Tech and Kansas with an 86-51 drubbing of a short-handed Texas on Saturday. Nonetheless, the Mountaineers are still one of the best teams in the country and at 5-2 in conference play, should have more than a fair chance of winning the Big 12 despite being 1 game behind Kansas. The Mountaineers bring their aggressive pressing defense and are relentless on the perimeter and on the boards. The Horned Frogs have one of the best offenses in the nation but we feel they are outmatched here and have had issues closing out games on numerous occasions.
When Irina Falconi is on the ball she can look quite good. However, the 27 year old American suffers from massive lapses of concentration, and her good tennis can turn to erratic without any reason. Falconi beats herself often, and she’s simply not a person you want to trust. Amanda Anisimova is just 16 years old. Nevertheless, she’s already beaten the likes of Kayla Day and Christie Ahn, plus she qualified here in good style. The former French junior finalist (2016) has the potential to be a good player going forwards, and on that note she’s someone we want to side with here.
Wild card Danielle Collins is basically stepping up from college tennis, but the signs are she’s ready. Afterall, she beat higher ranked players such has Danka Kovinic and Irina Khromacheva at qualifying for the recent Aussie open, and she’s got past the likes of Stefanie Voegle and Tatjana Maria in the past. To get straight to the point, Marie Bouzkova doesn’t look that good and she needed 3 sets to get past Christiana Ferrando in the last round. Match simply looks winnable.
ASTRUM finishes second too often, and he’s just modest at best. LITTLE WINGMILL battled on for a win last time out, but it was a horrible race and he’s reverting too hurdles here. FLOW WITH EVE is with the right stable, but so is his stable companion BISOUBISOU. We believe Olly Murphy knows what he is doing taking 6 pounds off the 6 year old, so even odds of 2/1 are more than fair!
Please note this is a free betting tip and not to be confused with our Elite service, if you want to subscribe to that paid service visit Elie Tips. MONDO CANE comes from a stable that haven’t had a winner for 213 days, he’s an unlikely type to change that. ACHILL ROAD BOY is making a long journey south and that could pay off. Afterall, this is a really bad race, and dropping back in trip on conditions that should suit will make life easier. WOOD PIGEON remains frustrating, while WISH IN A WELL is moderate at best. TOWER OF ALLEN might need to drop a few pounds!
As we expected the Hokies had a difficult time against Florida St on Saturday as they were dominated on the boards and lost by a score of 91-82 despite shooting 53.3% from the field. Tonight they face another athletic team with plenty of size and length and who also rebound the ball extremely well. This will again be an issue for the Hokies and we expect much the same result unless they can shoot immaculately from the floor. Our only concern is that the Tar Heels aren't the best coached team and often unprepared, thus just 1 win ATS in their last 7, but we feel the match up is too much in favor of the visitors here!
Since they only have 6 points on the board, the chances of Köln escaping the relegation zone are probably remote. With that said, at least they won their last match against Wolfsburg and their are plenty of other teams that will continue to struggle. Whatever the outcome, only a win today will help their situation. On a positive note the hosts are at least seeing players return from injury. With regards to todays team news, the likes of Risse, Horn and Bisseck will need to pass the doctor. Bittencourt, Cordoba, Maroh and Queiros are confirmed absentees, but they only played 26 games between them this season. Players returning include strikers Yuyu Osaka and Simon Zoller, plus defender Jonas Hector is now available. Köln warmed up with a friendly win against Hertha Berlin (1-0), so they should be fully revved up here. Borussia Monchengladbach failed to qualify for European football, and they were recently knocked out of the German cup. That means Dieter Hecking’s side have just the league to concentrate on, and on that note they could go second or third with a win today. However, the visitors have only won eight of their seventeen games to date, and they are 3-2-3 on the road. Furthermore, they lost back to back away games and have a negative goal balance of 14-17. This is a local derby with just 44KM separating the two clubs. The visitors are 8-1-2 against Köln over their last 11 meetings, and 4-1-2 since the hosts were promoted back to the Bundesliga. During the same period matches at this stadium played out 1-1-1. Gladbach were a little fortunate to win the reverse fixture (1-0), and they will be up against a very motivated team here. With home advantage and their strongest team for a while we can imagine the hosts making this interesting!
Virginia enters this game as the #2 team in the country and is a perfect 6-0 in conference play with their only loss to non-conference opponent West Virginia, another top 5 team in the country. The Cavaliers have another top defense this year and Tony Bennett's pack line system has been tough to crack. Wake Forest has struggled mightily in conference play with just 1 win against an ACC opponent but there are some things in play that we feel give the Demon Deacons a chance to make this game competitive. Wake Forest size in the middle with their 2 7 footers already give them a good rebounding edge but should give them some crucial 2nd chance opportunities on the offensive glass and this is one of the areas that the Cavaliers struggle a bit with their zone-like defense. The Demon Deacons also spread the floor and move the ball well with good shooters in the backcourt although they will of course be tested against an excellent perimeter defense. The Demon Deacons are limited on defense but the Cavaliers prefer to play very slowly and we feel this is a large number given the circumstances. Wake has clearly struggled but against a team with a somewhat similar profile in Syracuse (though of course not nearly as polished as Virginia), the Demon Deacons were able to pick up their only conference win earlier this year, downing the Orange at home 73-67. While a win might not be too realistic, we believe the Demon Deacons have some favorable matchups to keep this within single digits. All the better that this will be a nationally televised standalone game in what should be a sold out arena!
Iona nearly had a meltdown on Friday, blowing a double digit 2nd half lead but in the end, held off Monmouth for their 5th win in a row and 6th in conference play. The Gaels sit at 6-1 in conference and are tied with their opponent today, Canisius, for the lead in the MAAC. In fact, it was the Golden Griffins that dealt the Gaels their only conference loss back in late December and we can't imagine things will be too much different this time around besides the obvious home court advantage for the Gaels. Iona's defense has been lacking and we believe the visitors to be the more well rounded team. There should be no shortage of motivation as this is for the lead in the MAAC and we believe the Griffins can keep this within a single possession.
Siena is just 2-5 in conference play but the Saints have shown some encouraging signs lately, including an outright win over a very good Canisius team and nearly pulling off an upset on the road against Iona. We took a chance on Quinnipiac against Niagara and despite holding a large lead in the 2nd half, the Bobcats were atrocious down the stretch and couldn't even cover the spread at the end. As you would expect, the Bobcats don't do much of anything well and their rebounding is quite poor although when these teams met earlier in the year, the Bobcats did manage a surprising 32-21 rebound advantage. Nevertheless, we consider this an anomaly and in fact, as it ended with a Quinnipiac win, we believe this will give the Saints even more motivation to return the favor. Saints to win comfortably.