Amidst an NFL Sunday sports bettors also get a healthy slate of college basketball to play with. Here's a quick look at three games that catch our attention, and our take as to how they might play out against the betting lines.
North Carolina State
-9.5 vs. Oklahoma State (6:30 pm ET, ESPN2)
The highly-regarded Wolfpack take on the Cowboys in the
finals of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament.
NC State, with four starters back after going 24-13 last
year, is off to a 3-0 start to this season, with victories over Miami-Ohio,
Penn State and Massachusetts. On the season the Pack has shot a ridiculous 56
percent from the field as a team, and 45 percent from 3-point range, but a
concerning 62 percent from the free-throw line.
OK State, meanwhile, with four starters back from last
season's 15-18 team, is also 3-0. The Cowboys opened with a 73-65 victory over
UC-Davis, then beat Akron 69-65. Friday night OSU defeated Tennessee 62-45,
winning outright as four-point dogs.
So far the Cowboys are shooting just 40 percent from the
floor as a team, but are holding foes to 33 percent. OK State is also shooting
just 31 percent from long range, but 78 percent from the line.
NC State has a lot going for it, with experience and talent
and depth, and it should win this game. And if the Pack can just make their
free-throws they should cover the spread. We'll go with Coach Gottfried's
troops at the -9.5 (-102) being offered at 5Dimes.
NCAA Basketball Pick: NC State -9.5 at 5Dimes
New Mexico -7 vs.
George Mason (6 pm ET, CBS Sports Network)
The Lobos and the Patriots play a second-round game at the
Virgin Islands Paradise Jam.
New Mexico, which returns three starters from a team that
went 28-7 last year, is off to a 2-0 start to this season, but it hasn't been
pretty or profitable. The Lobos opened with an 86-81 victory over Davidson,
then beat Illinois-Chicago 66-59, but shot 41 percent from the floor in the
first game, 40 percent in the second game and failed to cover the spread both
games. They have, however, held their two opponents to a combined 39 percent
George Mason, meanwhile, returns two starters from a team
that went 24-9 last year. This year the Patriots are 2-1, having beaten
Virginia by four points, losing to Bucknell by five points and beating Mercer
by three points. GM has shot 47 percent from the field and held foes to 40
This looks like it should be a good close game, and possibly
low-scoring. And if points are hard to come by, having six of them helps in
trying to cover a spread. So we'll take the Patriots at the +8 that the NCAA basketball odds makers at
Legends are offering.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Geroge Mason +8 at Legends
Colorado -2 vs.
Murray State (8:30 pm ET, ESPN2)
The 3-0 Buffaloes run with the 3-0 Racers in the
championship game of the Charleston Classic in South Carolina.
Colorado, which only has two starters back after going 24-12
last year, opened with a 74-59 victory over Wofford, then defeated Dayton
67-57, and Friday night beat No. 16 Baylor 60-58, hanging on for the victory
over the Bears despite going just four-for-18 from the FT line.
On the season the Buffs have shot almost 45 percent from the
field, and 41 percent from long range, but a shaky 59 percent from the stripe.
Murray State, meanwhile, lost three starters from a team
that went 31-2 last year. The Racers started this season with an easy victory
over D2 Brescia, then beat Auburn by 20 points, and Friday night knocked off
St. John's 72-67, rallying from seven points down with seven minutes to go for
the victory. MSU only shot 42 percent from the field Friday and went 10-for-30
from 3-point land, but held its own on the boards and only committed 10
Again, this should be a good close game, but in close games
free-throw shooting can make all the difference. We'll add Murray State to our evenings NCAA Basketball picks, getting 2.5 points at Legends.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Murray State at 2.5 at Legends