Digging the Mines: Finding CBB value (Tuesday 3/17/2015 - NIT games) - FanDuel picks

I’m back searching for more value deep in the FanDuel slate, with players priced at $6000 and under who shouldn’t be highly owned and could far exceed value. This NIT slate is going to be tough to decipher. There are a lot of smaller schools that we haven’t dealt with all season, but this is a fun slate to whet our appetites before the big Tourney gets started.

A few quick thoughts…I’ve seen a few of these teams this year, but not all. If you want to target certain games, I’d go with the Iona/Rhode Island, Central Michigan/Louisiana Tech and UTEP/Murray State games. I’d try to avoid the Miami/NCCU, GW/Pitt and the Montanta/Texas A&M games due to a slow pace and lower over/under. Central Michigan, Rhode Island and UTEP all get a nice tempo boost. The match-ups between big schools and small schools are always tough to read, even in the NIT. Take a look at how the smaller schools played against the big schools early in the season, but don’t just base your picks on just that. Ok, now let’s really dig….


Rayshawn Simmons ($5800), Central Michigan – The Chippewas go 9 and sometimes 10 deep, but Simmons is good for 25-30 minutes a night. He contributes across the board, with rebounds, assists and steals (2nd on the team in each category) and can score a bit here and there. CMU has one of the most efficient offenses in the country and gets to play in an up tempo game against La Tech tonight. I like their top four players (Fowler, Simons, Rayson and Simmons) to have good games tonight.

Cameron Wright ($5800), Pitt – Despite not wanting to utilize this game all that much, there are some nice prices and I do like a number of the available players, starting with Wright. He has scored 25+ FP’s in 3 of his last 4 games, and scored in double figures in 11 of 17. If Pitt is knocking down jumpers and 3’s tonight, Wright’s assist total will bounce back. I look for him to at least approach value in a tough, defensive game. I also like GW’s Joe McDonald ($6400).

Jared Terrell ($4500), Rhode Island – If you’re looking for someone to step up in one of the faster paced games, Terrell could be the guy. The Rams’ third leading scorer is a thickly built guard that can do a little big of everything and could be a tough guy to defend for Iona’s thinly built guards. Terrell’s had some big games this year and this is a prime match-up.

Kelvin Amayo ($5100), Iona – The Gaels usually player their starters 30+ minutes each, so it’s nice to see one of them for such a great price. Amayo isn’t the scorer some of his teammates are, but he hits the glass and has been piling up the assists lately. I expect Rhody to focus on Davis Laury, AJ English and Isaiah Williams, leaving Amayo and Scharac Casimir enough opportunities for big games tonight. Williams ($6600) and Casimir ($6400) are both fine plays tonight, though I lean heavily towards Williams as Casimir has struggled a bit since Williams returned from an injury.

Kenneth Smith ($4500), Louisiana Tech – Smith’s minimum price is too good to be true, but I’m not complaining. “Speedy” was Conference USA’s Player of the Year this season and is a fantastic play tonight in the up tempo game. While he’s not a great scorer, he has contributed there a bit more recently. What he does do well is set others up (double digit assists in 9 games) and create all sorts of havoc defensively. He’s a threat for 10 assists and 5+ steals any time he steps on the court, and isn’t a bad rebounder for a guard.


Jimmie Taylor ($5500), Alabama – Taylor has stepped up recently with four straight 20+ FP games. Illinois plays a guard heavy lineup so Taylor could find himself with a guy 6 inches shorter than him guarding him. I like him to continue his hot play tonight.

Erik McCree ($5400), Louisiana Tech – McCree is one of La Tech’s better scoring threats and has had some monster games this season. Central Michigan is not a very good defensive team, and both teams can really score. I like this to be one of the two or three highest scoring games tonight, and McCree’s price is too good to pass up.

Cedrick Lang ($6000), UTEP – Lang has scored in double figures in 5 of 6 games, and has 20+ FP’s in 7 of 9. The big man gets an undersized Murray State frontcourt in a tempo up game for UTEP. If he can stay out of foul trouble, he has a great shot at a double-double tonight.

Jonathan Fairell ($5300), Murray State – The big senior has really stepped his game up of late, scoring 20+ FP’s in 6 of 8 games. He does, however, find himself in foul trouble way too often. He gets a solid UTEP lineup that is one of the more prolific teams in getting to the free throw line this year. If he can stay on the floor, he has a good shot at 4x value.

I don’t see a ton of value at forward tonight, but you may also consider the Stanford bigs, who have struggled of late. Reid Travis and Rosco Allen are both minimum price, and with Michael Humphrey still banged up, should have plenty of opportunities to return to form against a poor rebounding UC Davis team.

Ryan Manuel ($5300), SMU – 16.4 FP’s
Jalyn Patterson ($5400), LSU – 23.7 FP’s
Shep Garner ($5400), Penn State – 9.7 FP’s
Geno Thorpe ($5600), Penn State – 10.5 FP’s
Sterling Brown ($5600), SMU – 16.2 FP’s
Quenton DeCosey ($5800), Temple – 30.1 FP’s
Isaac Hamilton ($5900), UCLA – 11.2 FP’s
London Perrantes ($5800), Virginia – 15.7 FP’s
JJ Frazier ($5000), Georgia – 13.7 FP’s
Farad Cobb ($5400), Cincinnati – 12.9 FP’s
Kenny Chery ($6000), Baylor – 29.2 FP’s

Aubrey Dawkins ($5800), Michigan – 12.4 FP’s
Trey Lyles ($5400), Kentucky – 13.2 FP’s
Trashon Burrell ($5500), Memphis – 25.4 FP’s
Cannen Cunningham ($5100), SMU – 10.8 FP’s
Max Bielfeldt ($5300), Michigan – 13.2 FP’s
Ross Travis ($5700), Penn State – 24.3 FP’s
Calvin Godfrey ($5500), Memphis – 23.9 FP’s
Landen Lucas ($5600), Kansas – 14.7 FP’s
JayVaughn Pinkston ($5600), Villanova – 9.1 FP’s
Michael Carrera ($5400), South Carolina – 15.6 FP’s
Dustin Hogue ($5300), Iowa State – 14.5 FP’s

If anybody has anything else on any of tonight’s games, feel free to share! Good luck everyone.

About the Author


    • 2015 FanDuel CFB Playboy Mansion Finalist

    Outstanding article with fantastic insight once again, bbjay, as we head into these uncharted waters of the small schools. This actually reminds a lot of college football when some of these small school guys would put up ridiculous numbers.

  • bbjay20

    Thanks Marjac

    It’s definitely along those lines, but I think this is tougher. In football, those dudes were putting up those numbers against other small schools. I’m just hoping some of these guys put up numbers.

  • VinnyT87

    I am hesitant to select any player from a power conference and top 4 seed. It is rare to find a major-program team snubbed from the field of 68 that finds the motivation to squash a 6-8 seeded NIT team. Often times it’s these mid-major guys grateful to be playing in a legitimate postseason tournament that play with more motivation. Those teams could only afford 1-2 slip ups whereas the #1-#2 seeds in the NIT had atleast 3-4x as many opportunities to prove they belong in the field. I expect to see more polished performances out of Montana, Murray State, Iona, Bucknell, St. Francis, Charleston Southern etc.

  • VinnyT87

    ^^^I know Murray State is a 4 seed, but I expect them to play with a similar chip on their shoulder as the other underdogs playing 1st rd. road games

  • bbjay20

    Right, but we see big conference teams win the NIT every year. Some of the small teams just aren’t good enough to handle even mediocre power conference teams, even if they aren’t motivated.

    I hate to guess which kids/coaches/teams really care about the NIT and which are just mailing it in. It’s impossible.

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