Dave’s Free Play, Saturday 11/28/15
No commentary tonight, as the available hours are being spent breaking down Saturday college basketball games, one of which I’ll use as today’s free play.
My Friday was a nice followup to the 3-0 Thursday. The two CBB plays missed but I won my only football play, picked up a little less than two units in the NBA and nailed an NHL parlay. Altogether, +2.3 net for the day and I’ll be looking to add to that today. Five college football games on tap, including a 1.5x play, and there will be at least a couple college buckets, with a couple others in the possible category right now. The NHL and NBA work has yet to be completed.
For info on how to get all my plays, contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll provide details on the guarantee that’s offered as well as the costs.
The free play on the Pelicans missed and it’s becoming clear at this point that team is in the no-play zone right now. Too tough to get good lineup info in advance in the NBA and New Orleans just can’t stop getting guys hurt. Today’s comp is on a college basketball game few will care about, but they’re all marquee material to me if I prefer a side.
577 LOYOLA MARYMOUNT at 578 SE MISSOURI STATE
Take: LOYOLA MARYMOUNT -1
These two teams figure to have the equipment put away by the time March Madness rolls around. But I like the direction one of these programs is heading and I’ll be giving them a play today.
Mike Dunlap inherited the proverbial bare cupboard at Loyola Marymount. The Lions took their lumps last season, and there figure to be more growing pains this season. But Loyola does appear improved as Dunlap’s coaching begins to take hold. This guy has a really good rep amongst hard core bucketheads, and it looks to me like there has already been some substantial improvement from last season.
A quick check of the stat sheets from the early games indicates a pretty clear pattern developing. Loyola is winning the possession battles on a regular basis. They’re forcing mistakes by the opposition and not giving the rock away themselves. This has always been a really big stat for me in handicapping games. If I believe I’m going to be able to snare a handful of extra opportunities in a closely lined game, I’ll usually be very interested in making a play.
Loyola hasn’t made the most of those extra trips, as they are not really adept at putting the ball into the basket, and that’s something that needs to change. But winning that turnover battle on a regular basis indicates focus and effort and teams that own this trait can frequently end up overachieving.
SE Missouri has gotten off to a very rough start as Rick Ray inherits the coaching reigns from Dickey Nutt. Ray spent the last three seasons getting beat up on a regular basis at Mississippi State. I don’t think it’s possible to really give an accurate grade to Ray’s tenure in Starkville. He took over a program in utter shambles and was simply overmatched for the most part in the rugged SEC.
But the Redhawks have not gotten out of the gate well this season, and there are some startlingly awful numbers tat could come into play here. SEMO has been one awful shooting basketball team so far. The ugliest stat of all is at the free throw line, where the team is somehow at 46.4%. That’s #351 out 351. Contrast that with Loyola, which is knocking down its charity tosses at 78% and there’s a definite edge for the visitors.
The upside for SEMO is that they’re finally playing a home game after absorbing four losses on the road. That figures to generate some positive vibes. But I’m having trouble making a good case for the Redhawks when sizing up the matchups.
Loyola is the bigger team, and they’re also the deeper team as Dunlap has done a great job of getting lots of guys involved in Lions games thus far. Loyola also appears to have found a dynamic floor general in transfer Brandon Brown, who was a sensation at the JUCO level and has thus far made a sweet transition to this next level. Another newcomer, redshirt junior Adom Jocko, has also been impressive thus far.
Bottom line is that this being the home opener is about the only advantage I see for Southeast Missouri. The Lions look to be the stronger entry to me and I’ll admit to being on the prowl for spots to back Dunlap. This is one of them, as I’m taking Loyola Marymount today.