Tom Stryker’s Free Basketball Play March 16th


#712 BYU (-11′) over Long Beach State at 9 PM EST
On a 7-6 SU and 3-10 ATS run in its last 13 games including a loss to San Francisco in the quarterfinals of the West Coast Conference Tournament the last time it was on the floor, BYU head coach Mark Pope will have his kids emotionally ready to defend the Marriott Center and cash this ticket. Long Beach State arrives as a pointspread darling on a sizzling 16-3 SU and ATS run. However, the hefty price on this matchup is sure sign that the Beach will be in trouble in Provo’s altitude (4,551′).

There are a couple of power angles that support this Best Bet. First, as a non-conference host running the floor against a foe that arrives without steam off a straight up loss, the Cougars own a money-making 30-14 ATS record. In this situation priced as a favorite and matched up against an opponent that owns a team won/loss percentage of .350 or higher, the Stormin’ Mormons improve to a proud 23-1 SU and 20-4 ATS. Second, when playing at home in the NIT Tournament, BYU has inked a reliable 9-1 SU and 8-2 ATS mark in its last 10 battles.

Since the start of the 2019-20 season, true road games have given Long Beach State fits. In this setting, the Beach holds a weak 9-27 SU record. Also, when priced as a double-digit underdog and fighting a foe that holds a team won/loss percentage of .501 or better, head coach Dan Monson’s troops hold a feeble 10-130 SU and 56-81-3 ATS record including a surprising 2-39 SU and 13-28 ATS tally provided Long Beach State carries a team won/loss percentage of .500 or better. Finally, when playing in a postseason tournament (other than the Big West), the Beach sports a woeful 0-9 SU and 2-7 ATS record.

Coach Pope made the point that there were 270 college basketball teams that were done playing for the season and challenged his kids to bring home one of the two championship banners (NCAA and NIT). The home versus road dichotomy will be the difference in this contest. Take BYU. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.

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