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Free NCAA Pick Wednesday

#841 Miami, FL +4.5 over Virginia Tech 8:00 PM CT

It has not been a strong season for the ACC and Jim Larranaga is on his way to another disappointing season at Miami. The Hurricanes have as many conference wins as last season already however and have played its best in the past week with consecutive wins. Miami does have an ACC road win and has had to play mostly heavyweights on the road taking losses at Louisville, Duke, and Florida State in ACC road games. Miami won by 10 hosting Virginia Tech with a big edge in rebounding and interior scoring and those advantages should again show up with a massive frontcourt size edge for the Hurricanes. A transition season for Virginia Tech was expected but the team picked up a big November win for Mike Young beating Michigan State. A respectable 5-3 start in ACC play followed but the Hokies have now lost five of the past six while losing four times at home in ACC play. Virginia Tech beat Pittsburgh last weekend to snap a five-game slide but offensive rebounding was a clear problem with the Hokies the worst in the conference on the offensive glass. Virginia Tech takes care of the ball but is a lousy 3-point shooting team despite being more reliant on shots beyond the arc than any team in the ACC. Virginia Tech has also struggled despite opposing teams shooting only 66 percent at the free throw line against them. Miami has played the most difficult ACC schedule at this point in the season and is only one win short of the Hokies who have had one of the lightest conference paths. Another win for the Hurricanes won’t be a surprise in this series.

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Free NCAA Pick Saturday

#626 Kent State -7 over Ohio 12:00 PM CT

Ohio has a top 100 road win at St. Bonaventure but that win was back on November 5. In MAC play the Bobcats are 1-4 on the road with only a two-point win at Eastern Michigan in a game that featured a big comeback and a massive free throw edge. Ohio enters this game off back-to-back wins but both games were at home against lesser MAC foes. Now back on the road the Bobcats could struggle having gone 4-7 through one of the weakest schedules in the MAC so far. Kent State is only 6-5 in MAC play but grades as a far better offensive performer through a difficult conference schedule so far. The Flashes are coming off back-to-back narrow losses and all five MAC defeats have come by single-digit margins as this team could easily have a stronger record. Kent State is 10-2 at home this season and is one of the best shooting teams in the conference, particularly from long range connecting at nearly 37 percent from 3-point range. The Flashes are also the best 2-point defense in the MAC as there should be clear advantages for the home team in this contest. Kent State has a veteran roster that is one of the most experienced teams in the nation and the Flashes won both meetings last season while winning nine of the past 12 in this series. Ohio last won at Kent State in 2014 and home court should hold again.

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Big E won 20* picks Wednesday and Thursday and is 11-5 in 15* and higher selections this season! Big E has a big play in the Big Ten scheduled for Saturday!

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Free NCAA Pick Friday

#877 Illinois-Chicago +11 over Wright State 8:00 PM CT

Illinois-Chicago owns an ugly 12-14 overall record but the Flames have found some rhythm in Horizon play with a 6-2 run with one of those losses coming by just a single point. On the run of solid play Illinois-Chicago has been on the road a lot with five consecutive road games at one point but as it stands the Flames have won four of seven road games in league play with only one loss coming by more than two points with that being the first conference road game of the season. Illinois-Chicago stunned Wright State at home in mid-January with a 76-72 win despite a sloppy effort with 19 turnovers and a deficit at the free throw line. Illinois-Chicago scored inside with ease with a front court with three starters 6’8” or taller as Michael Diggins, Jordan Blount, and Braelen Bridges combined to make 19 of 28 shots. Wright State shot just 36 percent in that game as the interior points were very difficult to find. The small Raiders lineup is likely to have problems again in this matchup and this is a hefty home favorite price in Dayton. Wright State has lost two home games this season and while the team is 7-0 at home in conference play there have been some close calls along the way with six of those games decided by 13 or fewer points. Scott Nagy’s team has drawn the second weakest schedule in the league so far and Illinois-Chicago grades as the second best defense in the conference though a tougher schedule despite sitting in the middle of the pack. Turnovers are a concern for UIC in this matchup but the Flames look likely to hold their own on the boards while scoring inside with success against a lineup that is the worst in the conference defending 2-point shots. Illinois-Chicago has won three in a row in this series and Wright State has just one win in by more than seven points in the past seven meetings.

Nelly’s is on a 26-13 run for 66.7% the past 24 days. Don’t miss Saturday’s selections or consider joining for March Madness or the rest of February. Nelly’s is on a 178-123 6-year run in March and April college picks including three straight huge March runs. We are 34-18 in the NCAA Tournament the past three seasons including 13-5 in the Round of 64!

Bobby Dalton is 2-0 in XFL action and his first 10* of the season is ahead for Saturday! Counting the NFL, Dalton is on an 11-0 football streak in sides and totals after a big finish to the playoffs. Dalton has also gone 10-1 in his basketball 10* Best Bets since January 22!

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Free NCAA Pick Wednesday

#840 Texas A&M +6 over Florida 7:30 PM CT

Many pegged Florida for national contention this season but the Gators have lost nine games while going only 6-4 in SEC play. Florida did beat Auburn but that is the only top 45 win of the season. Florida is 2-5 on the road this season and this will be a second straight road test after losing badly at Ole Miss over the weekend. Texas A&M has struggled to just 11-11 this season but this is a .500 team in SEC play in a transition season under Buzz Williams. The home loss to LSU came in overtime and the defense has offered some promise for the Aggies, grading as the second best defensive efficiency team in the conference. The offense has problems but Aggies have good size leading to good offensive rebounding numbers. Florida also rates as one of the worst defensive teams in the conference as the opportunity to best the season averages will be there. The Aggies create turnovers at a high rate on defense and have had some bad luck with SEC foes connecting at nearly 78 percent on free throws against them.

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Free NCAA Pick Saturday

#673 Virginia +7.5 over Louisville 3:00 PM CT

At 11-1 Louisville appears to have control of the ACC but the path has been one of the lightest in a down year for the conference. The Cardinals are balanced but there are few things in ACC play that the team has been the best at among the 15 teams. The one exception is an outrageous 45 percent 3-point shooting rate that won’t be sustainable. That is five percent better than the 40 percent season average for Louisville that checks in at fourth nationally.

Louisville has played many of the worst teams in the ACC already and still is mostly playing close games with five of the past eight games decided by 10 or fewer points including a big comeback on Wednesday night at home vs. Wake Forest. Virginia has won three in a row to climb back into the NCAA Tournament discussion while still a viable threat to finish in a top tier spot in the ACC. As usual this is one of the nation’s best defensive teams holding foes to 29 percent 3-point shooting. Virginia has five wins away from home this season including three ACC road wins while the team’s four ACC defeats are by 7, 8, 4, and 2 points respectively.

Virginia is 14-3 all-time vs. Louisville with nine straight wins in this series including four straight wins on the road. Only once all-time has Louisville defeated Virginia by more than three points and that was back in 1990. The offensive numbers for Virginia are problematic but the Cavaliers will slow the pace of this game to a crawl to minimize the possession count. Louisville has had trouble scoring inside this season and the 3-point shooting rate for the Cardinals looks certain to go down in this contest as the points will be appealing.

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Free NCAA Pick Tuesday

#630 Texas Tech -9 over Oklahoma 8:00 PM CT

Beating Oklahoma State isn’t overly consequential this season but the Sooner bested their rival 82-69 on Saturday for an impressive home result, leading wire-to-wire and leading by 20 at one point in the second half. A lot went right with 12 3-point makes and a 50 percent shooting game overall against a Cowboys team that has slide to 0-8 in the Big XII. Oklahoma is 4-4 in league play but the wins have all come against the bottom half of the league. The Sooners have lost three straight road games and are 2-6 in true road games this season with the last road win nearly a month ago.

After last season’s near national title, Chris Beard had significant work to do this season at Texas Tech, needing to replace a number of key players. The Red Raiders have eight losses already but five of those defeats against top 20 caliber teams. The two home losses came by five points vs. now #1 Baylor and in overtime by two points vs. Kentucky. Last Saturday Texas Tech lost by only three in Lawrence vs. highly-ranked Kansas and in the last home game the Red Raiders blasted a highly ranked West Virginia team with 89 points.

The line on this game has been adjusted a bit too high but the Red Raiders have won by a combined margin of 63 points in three Big XII home wins and while these teams are both 4-4 in the conference the records and numbers suggest dramatically different teams. Texas Tech is a top four team in both offensive and defensive efficiency despite a much more difficult schedule so far and the Red Raiders are #1 in the Big XII on offense and defense in 3-point shooting percentage. That will be critical against a Sooners team that is second in the conference in 3-point attempts. The Red Raiders are five percent better at the free throw line and much better at creating turnovers as well. Some evening buy-back looks possible with this line jumping from 7.5 to 9 and if it slips back downward the Red Raiders may be play-able at more than a free pick level.

Nelly’s Basketball is 17-5 since January 21 for a huge run in the heart of the season. We won our first top play of the season last week and have another great college 2* opportunity ahead Tuesday night. Pay after you win for $25 or join us for the rest of February for $199. We’ve won in all three months this season and have a winning record in 12 of the past 15 months of February historically.

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The Big E is on a big basketball run the past seven weeks, winning again last night. A 10* Biggie will be up for Tuesday before huge games Wednesday and Thursday. His 15* Game of the Month is scheduled for Wednesday (3-0 in 15* picks) and his 20* Big Sky Game of the Year is scheduled for Thursday (6-2-1 in 20* picks).

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Nelly’s Free Saturday Pick

#786 Syracuse +7 over Duke 7:00 PM CT

The past five meetings with Duke for Syracuse have featured a win and three single-digit losses as the Orange have played the Blue Devils tough in recent years. Syracuse is coming off a one-point road loss on Tuesday at Clemson but will have an opportunity to bounce back in a big way on Saturday in this marquee home game. Syracuse has lost four home games this season but the past two defeats came by a combined total of five points. This team has great offensive efficiency numbers despite the low-scoring pace and has a clear size edge defensively in the starting fives, particularly with Wendell Moore injured. Duke also lost its last road game at Clemson and the only ACC road wins were at Virginia Tech, at Miami, and at Georgia Tech as this will be the toughest ACC road game the young Blue Devils have faced. Duke’s ACC path grades as the 15th toughest slate out of 15 teams at this point in the season yet statistically Syracuse in a 6-4 ACC start has compared favorably with Duke. Syracuse is a top 5 ACC team on offense and defense in the ACC and has a 13 percent edge in free throw shooting while featuring a lower turnover rate. Duke could continue to climb up the ladder as a top ACC and national threat but the Blue Devils haven’t proven much in conference play so far and could be overpriced as a popular road favorite in the prime time slot.

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Free NCAA Pick Wednesday

#809 Alabama +5.5 over LSU 6:00 PM CT

LSU has certainly had some good fortune on its way to a 15-4 mark, rebounding nicely amidst lower expectations after a Sweet 16 season a year ago that was marred by controversy surrounding Will Wade. After a mediocre 7-4 start to the season the Tigers have won eight in a row including a perfect 6-0 start in SEC play. The noteworthy wins over Arkansas, Mississippi State, and Florida all came at home and all came by a grand total of five points combined. LSU has now won six straight games by no more than four points including an overtime win but will lay at least five tonight hosting Alabama.

Alabama is 12-7 behind new head coach Nate Oats who led Buffalo to NCAA Tournament wins the past two seasons. Alabama has won four straight games and has six top 100 wins in the last month for a nice run that puts the Tide into the NCAA Tournament conversation. Only the season opening loss came outside the nation’s top 100 and the Tide have four wins away from home this season. Alabama defeated Auburn and lost close games with Florida and Kentucky in matchups vs. top SEC contenders.

An Alabama offense that pushes the pace will go up against a LSU team that ranks 11th in the SEC in defensive efficiency despite the perfect record while Alabama is actually second in the conference. No team has been better in the SEC against 2-point shots while no SEC defense has been worse than LSU in defending the 3-point shot allowing over 27 percent. Alabama takes a great deal of 3-point shots and should have favorable looks in this matchup.

LSU’s ability to close out close games makes the Tigers a worthy favorite but given the slim recent margins vs. similar or lesser caliber teams the points are appealing in this rivalry that is usually much more consequential on the football field.

Nelly’s is on a 10-2 run since January 21 and we had a pair of underdogs that both won outright last night. We went 3-0 in Wednesday’s 2/3 offer last week and we hit 83% on top plays last season. Join us for a big play tonight or sign up for all picks through Feb. 29 for $199 with Nelly’s posting a winning record in 12 of the past 15 months of February including a 53-33 combined record the past two years.

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Free NCAA Pick Saturday

#702 San Francisco +4 over BYU 5:00 PM CT

14-7 San Francisco is 0-2 vs. Saint Mary’s in a 3-3 WCC start but both games vs. the Gaels were close while every non-conference loss came in a competitive game as well. All three home defeats have been top 100 caliber results and there is a lot to like about the offensive numbers for the Dons with strong shooting numbers all over the floor. Half of BYU’s losses this season have been overtime games but the only road win in the past two months came Thursday at Pacific. BYU is now drawing a third-consecutive road game on Saturday and a Cougars team reliant on 3-point shooting will face one of the top 3-point defenses in the WCC. San Francisco looks likely to dominate the rebounding in this game and have great interior scoring opportunities with some clear size advantages in this contest. Home wins over Yale, Southern Illinois, Sam Houston State, California, and Santa Clara provide support of a quality edge at War Memorial and the Dons won both meetings with BYU last season. A pair of huge home games are lined up next week for BYU making this a challenging spot on the schedule for the Cougars to be in top form, having scored 69 and 74 in the past two road games after scoring in the 90s in the past two home games for a clear contrast.  

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Free NCAA Pick Saturday

#612 Kentucky -9 over Alabama 11:00 AM CT

Kentucky is sitting outside the normal top 10 radar the program has constantly sat in under John Calipari with three early season losses including the stunning November home loss to Evansville. The Wildcats shouldn’t be ruled out as the top SEC threat as usual however and the current three-game winning streak is an impressive one, beating Louisville as well as starting 2-0 in SEC play with convincing results. Alabama rates similarly to Missouri and Georgia teams Kentucky has defeated in the last week but the Tide are coming off a stunning 21-point win over Mississippi State on Wednesday and this will be a difficult road test for Nate Oats in his first season at Alabama after his great run at Buffalo. The pace has been fast for the Crimson Tide but this squad is reliant on 3-point shooting and will face an elite defensive team in one of the nation’s toughest venues. Alabama has zero top 50 wins this season and the only road win of the season came at Samford while allowing 87 points. Alabama lost by 18 in the SEC tournament in the last meeting with the Wildcats and while a lot has changed for both teams the gap between the programs remains similar.

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Big E has gone 4-0 in his highest rated selections in basketball this season with a 3-0 record in 15* picks and an underdog winning outright in his first 20* of the season Thursday. Add to a 32-19 run with today’s 10* and 20* plays including his 20* Conference Game of the Year in the Big XII!

Bobby Dalton has had a strong start in 2020 including winning his first six picks of the New Year. Get tonight’s 10* pick in college basketball!

FOOTBALL action is up for the Divisional Round as well with several big picks Saturday & Sunday in the NFL!