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Courtside Players Club (2/24/24)

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CBB

(5 Picks).


12:00PM EST: Houston -2.5 (3 Units), Under 136 (2 Units).


Never easy winning on the road in conference play but Houston matches up well against Baylor. Houston has the #1 defense in CBB while Baylor grades out 4th in Adj O. Houston's "struggles" come on the offensive side of the ball where they're 16th in Adj O but Baylor's very weak defensively, ranking 90th in Adj D.


Baylor features a ton of elite perimeter shooters and shoot 39.6 % from deep, 4th best in NCAAB. Houston has one of if not the best 3-PT defense in NCAAB. They're 14th in opponent 3-PT % and are the top Power 6 team in that category. They're 2nd in PPP defending Catch & Shoot 3's and 1st in PPP defending 3's off the Dribble. Houston should be able to keep them in check from deep.


Offensively Houston shouldn't have an issue scoring here. They just hung up 73 on Iowa State, the 2nd best defense in NCAAB. 2 games back they faced a Texas defense that ranks 47th in Adj D and they scored 82. The Cougars should get plenty of putback opportunities in this game as well. Houston's 2nd in CBB in offensive rebounding % while Baylor sits just 167th in defensive rebounding %. Houston doesn't beat themselves either. They're 5th in CBB in turnovers per game. They also rank 4th in opponent turnovers per possession. Baylor's 170th offensively in turnovers per possession. Even if Houston isn't overly effective from the field, they should have extra possessions on Baylor today.


This game will be played at a slower pace. Houston is 347th in Adj T while Baylor's 291st. Should help mitigate the total free throw attempts even if the refs get a bit whistle happy. Baylor and Houston rank 302nd and 210th in transition offensive frequency and live in the half court.


3:00PM EST: Cincinnati +5.5 (3 Units).


Cinci is a very long athletic team, and they have a knack for hanging around. They're just 5-8 in Conference play this season but just 1 of those 8 losses came by more than 5 points. It was a 9-point loss to a very good Iowa State team. Cinci has one of the top defenses in the Country ranking 26th in Adj D. They're also 5th in total rebound rate and 8th in offensive rebounding %. TCU is only 122nd in defensive rebound %. TCU's either lost outright or won by 5 or less in 9 of their last 11 games. Cinci's defense keeps them in games and the TCU defense isn't elite, just 50th in Adj D. Should be a tight game and Cinci's proven they travel just fine. They're 4-4 SU on the road but would have covered this number in every single road game.


4:00PM EST: (UNC) Armando Bacot Under 15.5 Points (4 Units).


UNC and Virginia couldn't be much different. The Tarheels love to run and gun while Virginia owns the slowest pace in the Country. As a result, this game total's down at 130.5. The lowest total in a UNC game this season was 145.5 and 19 straight games have had a total north of 151. Player Props are simply based on season averages. Bacot hasn't gone over this point total in 6 straight road games as it is. Then there's the Virginia matchup specifically. HC Tony Bennett knows how important it is to slow down Bacot and they've done a very good job of that. Bacot's started 7 games against UVA in his long collegiate career. He got hurt early in one of them so we're excluding that. He failed to score more than 11 points in 5 of those 6 games.


4:00PM EST: UK/ALA Under 176.5 (4 Units)


This will of course be a high scoring affair, but we have this total a bit too high. We're bullish on the new look Kentucky defense that's shown up to play the past few games. John Calipari is too good a coach for the Kentucky defense to be as terrible as it was. They weren't phenomenal on the road their last time out against LSU but they still held to tigers below their season average from the field. That was a prime let down spot following their massive road win @ Auburn the game prior. Speaking of, they went into Auburn and held one of the best offenses in the Country to just 59. Game prior to that they held an Ole Miss offense that ranks 36th in Adj O to just 63. Took them a while but they're becoming respectable on the defensive side of the ball and that's all we need here. With them at Home hosting the #1 team in the Conference we trust the defensive intensity to be there for a full 40 minutes. If they can get some stops, they'll slow this game down enough. As quickly as Kentucky likes to move, they're just 346th in PPP in transition offense. Alabama's 23rd in transition defense. They'll be some running and gunning in this game for sure, but Kentucky should operate primarily in the half court today.

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