March 28, 2017
There is one pick today.
Take Central Florida +3 spread (buy the half point) against TCU for 3% of the bankroll.
The TCU Horned Frogs and the Central Florida Knights will face off in the NIT Semifinals tonight in what should be a very interesting matchup. Both teams come into this contest playing extremely well, but both have taken very different paths to get here. Since knocking off the Kansas Jayhawks in the Big 12 tournament, the TCU Horned Frogs have used an offensive spark to completely run through the competition in the NIT averaging nearly 80 points per game in this tournament. They have looked impressive, there is certainly no doubt about that, but it's important to remember that they are playing in the NIT Tournament for a reason. They struggled down the stretch of the regular season, losing 8 of their last 10 games to completely miss the Big Dance. This team does still have its issues and we believe they will be exposed in this contest against arguably the best defense they have seen all season long.
Central Florida is a team that arguably should have made the field of 64 this season. They are a young team with a new head coach that has really made huge strides this season. The Knights entire game plan revolves around playing solid, fundamental basketball which focuses around defense. On the season, the Knights are holding teams to just 61 points per game on 36% shooting from the field. Out of the 35 total games that they have played this season, they have only let 9 teams score more than 70 points which shows just how impressive this defense has been. The Knights have also been one of the best rebounding team in the country as they grab an average of 41 boards per game which ranks them 5th in the nation. One of the biggest reasons for their success on the glass is because of the presence of Tacko Fall. Fall is Division I's tallest athlete at 7'6 and 300 pounds. Fall is a force under the basket and one of the biggest reasons for the Knights success defensively. No team has been able to find an answer for him and we don't believe TCU will in this contest either.
The Horned Frogs have had a nice run in this tournament, however we believe their journey ends tonight. As impressive as they have been on the offensive side of the ball, they have struggled on defense, allowing teams to score an average of 77 points per game on them over their last 5 games. Meanwhile, Central Florida has been locked in defensively over the last 6 weeks and comes into this contest with a ton of momentum. Central Florida has had arguably the toughest road to get to this point in the tournament having to best a red-hot Illinois State team on the road while also matching up against Illinois in the second round. We expect this to be a fairly low scoring contest which plays directly into the game plan of UCF. We expect Central Florida to pull off the outright victory which gives the points even more value.
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