NCAAM Pick December 7, 2020 – George Washington Colonials at UMBC Retrievers

The biggest driving factor in my bet on TCU yesterday in their game with Oklahoma was the fact that the public had moved the line a whopping three and a half points towards the Sooners. What was once a tight number had been so inflated by public betting action that all I needed for TCU to do was not get blown out of their home floor to cash my ticket.

When I looked back at last year and saw that Oklahoma struggled badly on the road against some inferior competition and that TUC had three outright wins over top-20 teams at home, it made me like a play on TCU even more. So, I faded the public and backed the Horned Frogs and expected Jaime Dixon’s team to do enough to keep this game close and cover at home.

And that is exactly what happened. The Horned Frogs had Oklahoma on upset alert all game long, leading late in the second half. This was a 2-point game with under a minute left to play, and while TCU wasn’t able to pull off the outright upset, they did manage to cover the number and cash our ticket.

Once again, this was a case of the public not realizing that too much of a good thing is not a good thing. Those sharps that took the Sooners -2-points at the opening number got paid. But the public who kept hammering it and moved it all the way to Oklahoma -5.5-points, lost their bets. There is nothing I enjoy more in sports betting than fading the public and cashing tickets. For today’s free daily betting pick, we will look for another spot to get on the other side of the betting public, when the UMBC Retrievers host the George Washington Colonials.

Today’s Game

  • George Washington Colonials (1-2) at UMBC Retrievers (1-1)
  • UMBC Event Center, Baltimore
  • 1:00 PM PST
  • TV: N/A

The UMBC Retrievers host the George Washington Colonials tonight in a non-conference matchup between teams from the America East Conference and the Atlantic-10 Conference. UMBC rose to national fame in 2018 when they became the first-ever sixteen seed to knock off a one seed in the NCAA tournament, when they eliminated the Virginia Cavaliers in an upset for the ages. The Retrievers followed up that historic upset with a 21-win season in 2019, but were down last year, finishing just 16-17.

For George Washington, the Colonials are coming off of back-to-back 20-loss seasons and have started slow again this year, with early losses to Navy and Hampton. GW is expected to finish near the bottom of the A-10 standings this season in what should be a rebuilding year in head coach Jamion Christian’s second year at the helm.

Spread:

  • UMBC Retrievers (+1)
  • George Washington Colonials (-1)
Money line:

  • UMBC Retrievers (-103)
  • George Washington Colonials (-118)
Total Points:

  • Over 146.5 (-110)
  • Under 146.5 (-110)

George Washington Colonials (1-2)

Many were hoping that George Washington was going to turn the corner this year in the A-10, after a rebuilding year last year that saw several of the Colonial’s best players bolt the program. And while there is more talent on this roster this year than last year, the results just haven’t been there yet. Despite playing a schedule ranked 265th in the nation, GW still has a losing record. The loss to Hampton was particularly ugly as they lost at home to the 335TH ranked Pirates.

Jameer Nelson Jr is expected to be the star of the show for George Washington this year, and the kid with the famous name, his dad was a former All-American standout at St Joe’s, leads the team in scoring. Nelson Jr is an excellent perimeter defender, with 10 steals in just three games this year. But he has struggled to take care of the ball, with 8 turnovers and an assist to turnover ratio of just 1-1.

UMBC Retrievers (1-1)

When you look at last year’s down year at UMBC, it was mostly injury related. The Retrievers were expected to compete with Vermont at the top of the league, but with three starters suffering season-ending injuries early in the year, UMBC struggled. This year, they return all of those guys and will have one of the most experienced rotations in the America East this season.

UMBC will start all upperclassmen, and in total, they have 10 juniors and seniors on the roster. Head coach Ryan Odom has done an amazing job of building this program in Baltimore, and this could be another year that ends with a trip to the NCAA tournament, as they are loaded with experienced players. While it is hard to ever expect a team out of the America East to win a game in the tournament, we all saw what happened the last time the Retrievers went dancing!

Who Do I Like?

Kenpom has UMBC winning this game at home by 3-points. So, when the line opened up with UMBC laying -4-points, it was likely slightly inflated, but not a lot. But the public hasn’t seen it that way, as they are hammering all over the Colonials in this game. The line has been on the move all morning long, and shockingly, the number has now flipped, with GW laying -1-point.

Again, the public sees something that they like, and they take it WAY too far! To be able to get UMBC as home dogs, where they are 2-0 ATS this season, shows outrageous value. As a general rule, teams playing in the A-10 are going to be much stronger than teams from the America East. But when you have a team that could win the America East playing against a team that could end up finishing dead last in the A-10, I am not sure that the A-10 is that much stronger of a league.

The Bet

I am fading the public yet again and backing the Retrievers at home. This will be a close game for sure, but George Washington has been awful to start the season. Losing at home to Hampton was one of the worst losses in recent memory for the program, and when I see that the Colonials are 0-2 ATS on the road, it makes me like UMBC even more. You never want to go too far back when looking at trend bets, as each year these teams are different, but GW is 0-5 ATS in their last 5-games against America East competition.

I am not ready to say that UMBC is back this year and ready to dance again, but they are experienced and really well-coached. They gave Georgetown all that they could handle in the season opener and rebounded to pick up a win in their last game against a St. Francis team that is ranked similarly to this George Washington squad. Give me the UMBC Retrievers tonight at home, as they win and cover as home dogs!

The Bet: UMBC Retrievers +1

My Pick
UMBC Retrievers +1
Jason Gray / Author

Jason is a true Las Vegas insider as he has called the sports betting capital of the world his home for sixteen years. Jason started out his career in gaming by running the biggest poker tournaments in the world and managing some of the biggest sportsbooks on the strip. Jason has transitioned out of casino operations and has been covering sports betting for the sports geek for just over two years. His main focus is on baseball, college basketball, and the NFL