Northern Kentucky sits at 7-1 in conference play and are co-leaders of the Horizon League along with Wright St. The Norse's lone loss of the season came against Wright St and in the reverse fixture against Oakland, it was the Norse that came out on top 87-83 despite trailing by 6 at halftime. If you remember we made that a MAX Bet and I don't like it quite as much this time but still believe hosts are the right side here. I'm very high on the hosts this year and Oakland's defense is a real liability this year. The Golden Grizzlies have been the more renowned team as 2nd fiddle to Valparaiso in recent years so this line is still a bit based on reputation. Again, this should have the Norse's full attention and I believe they win comfortably by double digits.
Detroit is still struggling to find any traction in the Horizon League as they sit in next to last place at 2-6 in conference play. The Titans did put up a fight against Oakland last game, closing to within a possession late in the game but ultimately came up losers 92-86. 2 rotation players, Tariiq Jones and Jaleel Hogan were recently declared academically ineligible for the season after missing the last 3 and 4 games respectively and they do represent a solid 18 ppg but I don't think they're too important as the Titans have other players to step up. Wright St is leading the conference with Northern Kentucky at 7-1 but I think they're playing a bit over their head here. The Raiders backcourt is a bit undersized and I think Kam Chatman will be very hard to stop. Raiders are a defensive oriented slow paced team as is. I think 12.5 points is pretty hard to cover here.
The Fighting Hawks have been in good form, winning 3 of their last 4 and are coming off a narrow 94-91 loss to Northern Colorado on Saturday. Eastern Washington has struggled a bit of late losing 2 of their last 3 but are still in decent shape at 4-3 in conference play. Both teams are coming off extended rest and the visitors have been shooting extremely well of late. Look for the Fighting Hawks to push the pace and the Eagles to get their shooting back on track against a team that's very poor defending the perimeter.
Green Bay has dominated this match up but this team is far removed from the Horizon League Tournament champion from 2016 and rank as a bottom 50 team in the entire nation. To be fair, Cleveland St does as well but we feel the Vikings have shown better in conference play thus far, as they have either covered the spread or lost by 4 points or less in 7 of 8 games against Horizon League opponents. The Phoenix have lost 7 of their last 8 games with the lone win coming in overtime against Milwaukee. With home court advantage, the Phoenix are rightfully the favorites but no more than a few points!
Ohio St has been in terrific form winning 8 in a row and 13 of their last 14. However, we believe they've overachieved a bit and a key player Keita Bates-Diop is currently questionable with an illness for tonight. Even were he to suit up, we believe he will likely be less than 100% and this Penn St team is one of their best teams in quite some time despite struggling in conference play. As the Lions are underdogs, we believe they won't be feel too much pressure and will make this a competitive game.
Delaware has struggled the last 2 games losing 63-90 and 64-76 but they get a bit more favorable match up against a Charleston team that prefers to play at a very slow pace much like the Blue Hens. The Cougars are 5-3 in conference play but haven't been particularly convincing of late, barely getting by a very poor UNC-Wilmington team and getting a completely undeserved win and cover against Hofstra. They should get Delaware's best here!
In the first round Nicole Gibbs came from a set down to beat Julia Boserup, and on a point of note she won the third set by a one-sided 6-0. We are actually finding it hard to put in words how that match played out has Boserup seemed to suffer a bout of stage fright. In concluding, we will simply say Gibbs is playing below her best and this is likely to be tougher. Anna Schmiedlova lost the first set to Francesca Schiavove, but she had no problems winning the second and third by an easy 6-2 6-1. If we had one critic about that match it would be directed at the serve of Schmiedlova (broken 5 times), something she will need to clean up here. Nevertheless, it was nice to see the 23 year old Slovakian hitting the ball well, and it should at least give confidence going forwards. We like these odds!
The difference between our paid picks and these free bets is value. Some of these are too short to make them a big bet, and that applies to this fella. With that said, NIGHT OF GLORY would have killed this lot on the flat, and his first effort over hurdles was in better company than this. Add to that, he’s lightly raced and comes from a stable who do well with limited runners in national hunt. FALCON SUN doesn’t come from the flat, and he certainly improved from race one to two. Nevertheless, the well bred selection should handle the ground and that could be enough!
It’s difficult to see beyond the two at the head of the market. Afterall, VENGEUR DE GUYE has a big weight and is more prone to finishing second, while TRUST THOMAS hasn’t run well enough in his last two races and his regular jockey chose to ride UNE VALOROSO. The latter beat WHITSUNDAYS at Bangor a couple of races back, but the McCain runner has a 3 pound pull for two lengths. That suggests it should be close, but we believe WHITSUNDAYS will run out a comfortable winner. We say that because his opponent has been poor on his last four visits here, while WHITSUNDAYS ran his best race at this track.
HELEN SHERBET won well over seven furlongs here 16 days back, but that doesn’t convince us she needs this mile. COULDN’T COULD SHE will find this considerably harder from an 11 pound higher mark. MR CARBONATOR only scrambled home at Wolves, so a 5 pound rise looks tough. SHARP REMINDER has interesting now that she’s racing at Southwell. James Tate’s filly simply looks like she will be best suited by this surface, and if that’s the case she’s well treated!
Don’t think you should be betting anything at 2/1 in these ‘’dash for the cash’’ races at Southwell. SOMETHING LUCKY might be 2 pounds good in the h’cap, but that means little in sprints. In a fine game of margins i’m expecting seven times course winner CROSS FIRE to get one on the board. Scott Dixon has his team in cracking form and being drawn in the middle gives Kieran O’Neill all the options.
In a battle of two dregs of the CAA, we have 6-14 UNC-Wilmington hosting 6-15 James Madison. At 3-5 and 2-6 respectively, the Seahawks and Dukes occupy the 8th and 9th position in the CAA with only Drexel below them. The Dukes have been doing better of late, picking up their 2 wins in their last 2 games against Elon and Drexel though the Seahawks just picked up an upset win over Towson as well, winning 73-71 in overtime. The Seahawks have also covered in 4 straight but I can't accept them as favorites here given how poorly they defend. There's one player of note to watch for the Dukes and it's again Joey McLean as he is questionable for tonight but James Madison has played well without him and have generally done well on the road, even suffering hard luck overtime losses to William & Mary and Hofstra. I think they have good chance to win outright.