NCAAB Play for 2/8

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Well a 2-0 day on Wednesday was undone by a step backwards and a 0-3 reverse sweep on Thursday. Normally the Friday slate doesn’t have much to offer but I was able to find one that I see some value with. Here’s what I’m playing…

Manhattan (+2): Manhattan I’ll admit isn’t a very good team but they are certainly an interesting one and I like their chances tonight. They now sit at 7-16 but have won 3 straight after a 4-16 start. Many teams will just kind of give up and go through the motions when they are 4-16, but to the Jaspers credit they are still fighting and playing hard. Their offense is awful and there’s no point in trying to deny that, so I wont. Defensively however they are actually better than D1 average and that’s mostly on the strength of how many turnovers they cause. Here’s a stat I’m sure you didn’t expect to come across today…. Manhattan is 3rd in the nation in forcing turnovers. Yes you read that right and no it isn’t a typo. They primarily will stick to harassing man to man defense and can do so because Masiello keeps rotating fresh bodies in there. They are 3rd in the nation in bench minutes played and while nobody on the team averages over 25 minutes per game, he has 10 players that average 13 minutes or more. Offensively their only real hope is from 3 point land. For as bad as they are overall on the offensive end they are actually respectable from deep. Stewart, Reynolds, Mack and Capuano are all solid 3 point shooters and combined those 4 check in at right around 40% from downtown. Their strength being 3 point shooting works out well in this one as Siena is one of the worst 3 point defense teams in the country. The Saints are 328th in the nation allowing opponents to shoot 38% from 3 and that’s the path for a shaky Manhattan offense to be able to do just enough to win what should be a very low scoring game. The pace should be snail slow and the game frankly will probably be ugly as hell. At the end of the day though money won here is just as green as if you bet Duke/North Carolina. Another edge worth noting is at the FT line. Coming along with all those turnovers Manhattan forces is a ton of fouls. They allow opponents to score nearly 26% of their points from the FT line which is 2nd highest in the nation. The good news for them is Siena only scores 11.8% of their points from the line and that ranks 352nd in the nation. On top of not getting there much, they don’t make them when they do. As a team they are 62% from the FT line and that’s 341st in the country. All of which works to Manhattan’s favor because on most nights opponents feast from the FT line against them and that shouldn’t be the case here. Ultimately these are two bad teams and the only solid unit for either side is that Manhattan defense. I think they can cause enough turnovers and knock down enough 3’s to win something like a 61-55 type of game.

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