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Can the Vermont Catamounts not poke the Maine Black Bears during the first half? Handicapper John Hyslop takes a look at the first half prediction for tonight's game.

Vermont Catamounts vs Maine Black Bears Prediction: Don't Poke the Black Bears

It's March so we need some action on college hoops every night. That's just how March works. There's just something about betting on teenagers throwing a ball at a hoop that will get you going literally every time. It's crazy. Now we have a million different games we can look at so we're good there. For my money, I want teams that aren't great. I want teams from a small conference that not many people know exist. That's just how I roll. Luckily for us, the America East Conference exists. It's full of teams that not many people know exists and I think it's hard for the books to make lines. Literally, anything can happen. Tonight at 7:00 pm ET we're getting the Vermont Catamounts versus the Maine Black Bears and if we're being honest (we are), I think the books messed up.

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Maine Black Bears Team Total Over 26.5 *First Half (-105) (Bet $105 to Win $100)

*Odds available at DraftKings at time of publishing*

I'm at DraftKings but this can also be played at Barstool. The only difference is Barstool wants -113 and DraftKings only wants -105. I like the -105 myself. It remains to be seen if any of the other books will jump in on this one but I think 26.5 at -105 is the best we're going to get so we might as well go in now.

What can I really say about this one other than buckle up? As gambling connoisseurs, we should be looking for only the finest of bets. Not only do we want our bets to win, but we also want them to last and possibly end on the last play. That's called the jackpot. I think we have that here.

I'll start by complimenting the Black Bears by saying they're not that bad. Sure they're 20+ point dogs at home tonight. Sure they've only won six games all season. But they're getting better. Particularly in the first halves of games which is exactly where we need them to be not that bad tonight.

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Their total tonight is only 26.5 for the first half. That means they only need to get to 27 in the first half for us to win. They've done this in each of their last six games. Against good teams, bad teams, fast teams and slow teams, they get to at least 27 before the break.

The reason they are scoring a bit more early in games is because they are finally making shots. Can't score if you don't put the ball in the basket. That's just how basketball works. Over their last three games, their effective field goal percentage is 52%. That's a full five percentage points higher than their mark on the season (47%). The kids are getting better people.

I get that Vermont is actually good but how "up" can they possibly be to go on the road tonight and play a team that's only won six games all season? We all saw them go on the road and let Hartford hang 40+ on them earlier this month. Last month this same Maine team poured in 37 in the opening frame. I'm not saying the Black Bears will do that again but I bet they get at least 27 tonight.

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Article Author


John has spent the past 20+ years betting sports on a daily basis and is considered by many to be a walking sports betting encyclopedia. From obscure player props to sides and totals, if there is an angle, John will find it. His work has appeared on Rotogrinders and he has been a regular on sports talk radio stations across the country. Based in the US, John operates a blog & podcast, Sports Bets Beers, which covers betting angles in the NFL, NBA, MLB, & NHL.


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