In Like A Lion. Line Drills: March 1st

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to March!

We're winning just enough to keep betting. Your March 1st picks:


Miami (+11) at Buffalo

The RedHawks Winning Machine is taking their show on the road to do battle with Buffalo. TWO IN A ROW FOR MIAMI! That little five game losing streak they strung together is but a distant memory. Miami scored perhaps their most impressive win of the conference season on Wednesday, a 65-61 home win over Akron. Will Felder and Will Sullivan scored 16 points apiece and Quinten Rollins pitched in nine points, six assists, and six steals. The win marked the second time in the last five games that Miami covered against the spread.

MAC East leader Buffalo is running away with the division. Presently they hold a two game lead over Akron and Ohio, thanks to a 69-64 road win over the Bobcats on Wednesday night. Will Regan, Javon McCrea, Jarod Oldham, and Joshua Freelove all scored in double digits for the Bulls. Buffalo forced Ohio into 14 turnovers, while only committing 7. Buffalo's trending favorably for bettors. The Bulls covered ATS four times in the last five contests. This season Buffalo is 7-2 at home ATS, including 6-1 in conference play.

The Pick: Eleven is just too many damn points for me to lay. I think Buffalo wins, and comfortably, but Miami's effort the last two games tells me they'll give the Bulls their best punch. Take the RedHawks and the points.

Northern Illinois (+10) at Eastern Michigan

Northern Illinois is fresh off the biggest upset of the conference season to this point, a 74-66 win over Toledo on Wednesday night. Travon Baker scored 17 for NIU, and Jordan Threloff contributed 13 and ripped down 9 boards. The 74 points scored by the Huskies against the Rockets marked their highest offensive output of the conference season. NIU has covered ATS in four of the last five games, the lone exception being a 70-67 loss to Central Michigan on February 23rd. When playing in conference road games this season, NIU is 5-1-1 ATS.

The up and down season of Eastern Michigan continues. EMU is a team that has allowed 37 points in a win over Western Michigan, and 44 points in a win over Toledo this season. Still, with a loss Saturday the Eagles will find themselves in a MAC West tie with NIU at 8-8. Most recently EMU made short work of Central Michigan, 64-42 on Wednesday. It was a balanced attack from the Eagles who got 18 from Karrington Ward and 12 from Glenn Bryant. EMU easily handled the 10.5 point spread and covered for the third time in five games.

The Pick: The last time these two hooked up it was a 61-59 double OT thriller in DeKalb. I find it hard to believe either team is ever ahead by this many points. Take the Huskies and the 10.

Kent State at Ohio (-7)

Those streaky, streaky Golden Flashes. They ran off three wins in a row, but are presently owners of a two game losing streak last falling to Bowling Green 73-66 on Wednesday night. Kent State got 16 from Devareaux Manley and 14 from Kris Brewer, but were unable to overcome that little 1 for 12 performance Darren Goodson put up in 11 minutes. Kent State hasn't been a great play. They've covered just once in the last five games, as 2 point underdogs in a 75-63 win over Miami on February 19th.

Ohio slid to two games back of Buffalo in the MAC East following their 69-64 loss to the Bulls on Wednesday. The Bobcats were down a dozen at the half and 17 at one point. Nick Kellogg led all scorers with 18, and Jon Smith chipped in 11 in the loss. Ohio is now 2-3 in the last five ATS. In home conference games the Bobcats are 2-6 for the season ATS, and just 1-5 in the last six. The last time these two met Ohio left Kent State 59-53 winners.

The Pick: Ohio's inconsistencies are well documented, but I think the Kent State is closer to the team that lost the last two than the team that won the previous three. Saturday take the Bobcats, lay the seven.

Western Michigan at Toledo (-5.5)

This will be a fun one. The top two in the MAC West tangle in Toledo Saturday night. Western Michigan continues to be the hottest team in the conference, winners of eight in a row. The last win wasn't an easy one though, as the Broncos needed overtime to knock off Ball State 88-81 in Muncie. Shayne Whittington, Connar Tava and David Brown combined for 76 of the Broncos 88 points in a game the Broncos trailed by 7 with under four minutes remaining. The Broncos have covered their last five games ATS.

As we said earlier, Toledo was an upset victim on Wednesday, falling a game behind the red hot Broncos in the MAC West. Rian Pearson led all scorers against NIU, racking up 27 points in the loss. The Rockets were unable to overcome frigid 3 of 21 shooting from behind the arc. The loss against the Huskies was the fourth consecutive game in which the Rockets failed to cover. In each of those games Toledo was favored. For the season Toledo is 1-5-1 ATS when playing at home.

The Pick: This will be the toughest foe WMU faces all season. I think it comes down to the final minute. Expect Toledo to end the Western run. Take the Rockets, lay the points.

Bowling Green (+8) at Akron

Your Bowling Green Falcons certainly have a flair for the dramatic. They are 3-5 in their last eight, with five of those decisions being by three points or less. Wednesday night Bowling Green knocked Kent State 73-66 at home. Jehvon Clarke scored 21 for the Falcons who are tied with the Golden Flashes in the basement of the MAC East. Bowling Green is 3-2 in their last five ATS and 4-3 on the road in conference play this season.

Akron is on a slide, losers of three in a row. Presently the Zips are 9-6 in conference play and tied for second place in the MAC East. The losses keep getting worse, first Buffalo, then Ohio, and most recently 65-61 against Miami. Deji Ibitayo led the Zips with 14 points while Demetrius Treadwell had 12 points and 11 rebounds. Five consecutive games now the Zips have failed to cover against the spread, and at home ATS Akron is just 1-5 in conference play. Akron won the first matchup between these two, but failed to cover the 2.5 point spread.

The Pick: Akron's the better team, and I expect them to win, but with their recent slide Bowling Green will keep it close. Zips win, but the Falcons will be competitive. Take Bowling Green and the points.

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