With just 2 games on the NBA docket for Thursday, NCAA Basketball moves front and center with a variety of games to choose from for our NCAA Picks of the Day.
North Carolina State
(16-6, 5-4) at #4 Duke (19-2, 6-2)
Oh have the mighty have fallen! The Wolfpack were expected
to be contenders for the ACC Title and were clearly the 2nd best
team in the ACC Conference when this season started. After a 1 point loss to
the surprising Miami Hurricanes, the Pack are ranked just 5th in their own conference. Ever since their big win over Duke, N.C.
State has won 2 out of their last 4 games and we find them as a double digit
dog against the same Duke team at Cameron.
Lorenzo Brown is
The only way that this hurts N.C. State is through their
lack of depth. Tyler Lewis proved that he could step up to the challenge in
which he had 16 points and 5 assists against Miami (FL) and has added some
stability to the Wolfpack offense. Nonetheless, the Wolfpack can use all of the
ammunition that they can get against Duke at home and to see Lorenzo Brown in
the lineup would benefit them greatly, but I wouldn’t expect it.
Expect C.J. Leslie to come up big in this spot. Whether he’s
a disciplinary problem or not, he’s a consistent producer that can offset the
production of Mason Plumlee.
Role Players Taking
Everything is working well for Duke at the moment. They’re
come off of a 79-60 beating of the Florida State Seminoles in which Mason
Plumlee could rest for part of the game. Things are starting to come together
for the Blue Devils; Amile Jefferson has done an exceptional job filling in for
an injured Ryan Kelly and Quinn Cook and Rasheed Sulaimon are giving more than
expected on the offensive end.
Duke is still a team with a weak bench, but with Lorenzo Brown’s
status up in the air, the Wolfpack are equally weak where the bench is
concerned and the benches are a “wash”.
Duke is the better team, but 10.5 points is too much to
give to the Wolfpack for our basketball picks, despite their lack of recent success.
College Basketball Picks:
N.C. State +10.5
#21 Missouri (16-5,
5-3) at Texas A&M (13-8, 3-5)
A team plays a little harder when they know that their
chances of making the NCAA Tournament are slipping away and unless they go on a
huge winning streak, a victory over Missouri would be huge for the Aggies.
Missouri is a slight 3 point betting favorite on the road.
The Tigers are the better team and the NCAAB odds makers are trying to lure you
into taking the Tigers on the road.
If you look at the Missouri schedule, they haven’t had any
huge wins. Earlier in the season, the Tigers defeated an Illinois team that was
in the top 25 at the time, but the Fighting Illini have since dropped a bit and
are just 2-7 in the Big Ten. Missouri also holds victories over Stanford and
Alabama, but these teams aren’t world beaters. Texas A&M fits into the
teams that were previously mentioned.
While leading scorer, Laurence Bowers, tries to recapture
his offensive game, the Tigers don’t have a real go to guy. Guards Keion Bell
and Earnest Ross are both coming off of huge games against Auburn, but they’re
both inconsistent and the level of competition in this game is much higher. Look
for Bowers to take the reins back as the schedule gets tougher.
Hasn’t Met a Shot
That He Doesn’t Like
Texas A&M will rely upon the production of leading
scorer, Elston Turner. Turner has been off target as of late, but he continues
to keep hoisting them up. In his last 3 games, he’s
averaging 17 points per game on 17 of 50
from the field and 5 of 20 from beyond the arc. The Aggies need the offense and
you can expect more of the same from Turner against a Tigers team that doesn’t
allow many 2nd opportunities.
picks: Missouri -3 at 5 Dimes