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Mid-Money Madness: Cash in on Yoeli Childs’ return

Also be confident in Yale’s defense against Albany.

NCAA Basketball: Brigham Young at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Mid-Money Madness is back after a glorious Feast Week. We are trying to build on a 6-6 weekday record on the series, and there is still a lot of great mid-major basketball games on Wednesday’s slate. Here are few picks that we see if few edge in. Please gamble responsibly — we are not responsible for your rent money.

Here are the plays to follow or fade.

All games are listed in Eastern Standard Time.

James Madison @ Radford (-9.5)

Total: 151.5
Tipoff: 8 p.m.

Surpassingly, a 2-4 Radford team is nearly a 10-point home favorite over a 5-3 James Madison team. This matchups features two teams that play two opposite styles of basketball. James Madison loves to run and shoot a lot of threes, while Radford prefers to play more deliberate. The over has cashed in five out of the last six James Madison games.

However, the value may be on the under in this contest. Radford coach Mike Jones will stress on controlling the pace. Radford is above average at defending the perimeter ranking a modest 141st in defending the three point line. James Madison is seventh in the country in three point attempts per game. Radford ranks 304th in total pace and they rank 285th in effective field goal percentage. This means a lot of long, 30-second possessions that end up in missed shots. This is great for the under.

Expect Radford to control the pace and hold James Madison’s offense at bay. Expect a 70-61 type of game. No need to watch this brick contest; check the box score at the end of the game when you cash your ticket.

The pick: Under 151.5 (0.5 fnits)

Penn @ Villanova (-12)

Total: 152.5
Tipoff: 6:30 p.m.

There is nothing like Big 5 basketball in the City of Brotherly Love. This game is filled with juicy storylines. Villanova is looking for revenge against the Quakers after Penn upset the Wildcats at the Palestra last season. Penn’s win snapped a 15-game losing streak against the Wildcats, and it also ended Villanova’s 25-straight wins in Big 5 games. Villanova will be motivated for revenge.

Penn is coming off a long week out on the West Coast, participating in the Wooden Legacy in southern California. The Quakers had a modest performance, going 2-1 with a strong win against UCF and an acceptable 10-point loss to No. 12 Arizona. The Quakers have the talent to compete with the Villanova Wildcats, but this is simply a bad spot. We have already seen what intense travel has done to Michigan State and Michigan in their first games back after the holidays. It looks like we are going to see a similar result here as Penn as to play the Wildcats on Villanova’s campus, where the Wildcats are 28-11 ATS in their last 39 games.

Penn struggles defending the perimeter, as they’re ranked 282nd in the country. Villanova is still one of the best three point shooting teams in the country and they rank second in overall offensive efficiency. A motivated Nova team will rout the Quakers in this Big 5 contest.

The pick: Villanova (-7.5), first half (0.5 unit), -12 for the game (1 unit).

Yale (-5) @ Albany

Total: 130
Tipoff: 7 p.m.

The Yale Bulldogs are riding high after beating Vermont 65-62 over the weekend. It was the Bulldogs’ biggest win of the season, and they finally we able to get a marquee win after several tough close losses Penn State, Oklahoma State and San Francisco.

Yale is lead by its stifling defense that ranks sixth in defensive eFG%. The Bulldogs should dominate a struggling Albany offense that ranks 206th in overall efficiency and 226th in effective field goal percentage. The Great Danes have struggled despite playing a schedule that has a featured a single top 200 Ken Pom team this season. Yale is 8-1 ATS while playing a very tough schedule and they have covered their last three games as a road favorite. When Yale’s defense gets stops they like the get the ball in out in transition. Albany’s transition defense has been below average. Lock in the more talented, experienced and battle tested Bulldogs in this one.

The pick: Yale -5 ( 1 unit)

BYU (-2.5) @ Utah

Total: 144.5
Tipoff: 9 p.m.

The Cougars get their All-American forward back from suspension just in time to face Utah in the Holy War. Basically, Mark Pope doesn’t have to use 6’5 Jake Toolson to guard opposing bigs anymore. Without Childs, the Cougars have looked pretty good. They have a 6-3 record while registering wins against Houston, UCLA and Virginia Tech.

Childs will help BYU’s deficiencies in rebounding percentage and two-point defense. Also, many college basketball fans may fail to realize Childs is playing today, so there may be some line value in this line. This is the biggest mid-major game of the day and the Cougars are the obvious pick here. Scour the earth to find someone with Pac-12 Network to watch Childs dominate the Utes in this rivalry contest.

The pick: BYU -2.5 (2 units)