Here's a quick look at three challenge bouts, and our thoughts as to how they might play out on Tuesday's CBB betting board. Let our Tuesday Locks help put you in the bonus with your NCAA basketball picks.
The concept may seen a bit contrived but at least the
ACC-Big Ten challenge offers up a dozen good college basketball games for
bettors to choose from over the next couple of nights.
Florida State -3 vs.
Minnesota (7:15 pm ET, ESPN2)
The Gophers play their first true road game of this season
Tuesday night in Tallahassee.
Minnesota, with nearly its entire team back after going
23-15 last year, is off to a 4-1, with wins over Richmond, Memphis and Stanford
and an 18-point loss to Duke.
Last Saturday the Gophers beat the Cardinal in the Bahamas
66-63 on three free-throws with one second to go.
Florida State returned just one starter this season, so the
'Noles are depending upon some young talent to grow up quick. But after losing
its season opener to South Alabama, FSU has won four straight, beating BYU and
St. Joe's along the way.
Total disclosure; We placed our NCAA Basketball picks against the 'Noles when they played the Cougars
and Hawks, thinking they might still be a bit green. They proved us wrong, at
least those two nights.
By the numbers Florida State has shot 52 percent from the
floor this season and almost 42 percent from 3-point land. Minnesota,
meanwhile, has shot 47 percent from the field but just 31 percent from long
Most NCAA Basketball odds shops opened the 'Noles as 2.5-point favorites for this
game, then bumped them to -3.5. We don't usually like to go with the flow, but
after getting burned twice already this year by FSU, we'll go with the
Seminoles, at the -3 Bookmaker was offering Tuesday morning.
Free NCAA Basketball Pick: FSU -3 at Bookmaker
Northwestern -4 vs.
Maryland (9:15 pm ET, ESPN2)
The 6-0 Wildcats, questing for their first-ever NCAA
tournament berth, host the 4-1 Terps, soon to be members of the other side of
Northwestern, with three starters back from last year's
19-win team, is perfect so far, although its toughest opponent was probably
Illinois State, whom the 'Cats just beat 72-69 in overtime down on South Padre
Maryland, meanwhile, only has two starters back from last
year's 17-15 team. They do have a nice incoming group of freshmen, so the goal
during this early season is to incorporate the new talent. So far the Terps have done well; they lost a tough
season opener to Kentucky by three points, and have since beaten four lesser
foes by an average of 16 points.
By the numbers so far this season these teams are pretty
even, except that Maryland is shooting just 31 percent from 3-point land and 66
percent from the line. On the other side of the equation the 'Cats are shooting
73 percent from the line. And free-throws could make the difference in covering
Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Northwestern at the -4 offered at Pinnacle
Indiana -9 vs. North
Carolina (9:30 pm ET, ESPN)
In the marquee game of the night the top-ranked Hoosiers
host the Heels.
Indiana has almost everybody back after going 27-9 last
year, but expectations are huge in Bloomington, and those can be tough to play
with. But the Hoosiers have weathered things so far, starting off 6-0, with
victories over, among others, Georgia and Georgetown. Most recent IU blasted
Ball State 101-53.
In the opposite corner, Carolina is in re-load mode, after
losing four starters from last year's 32-6 squad. The talent is there, of
course, it's just a matter of meshing. However, as is sometimes the case, that
could take some time.
So far the Heels are 5-1, beating five lesser foes fairly
easily but running into a buzz-saw in losing to Butler out in Hawaii.
Tuesday will be a good test for this young Carolina team,
playing a tough opponent at a tough place to play. And while the Heels have
been having some problems shooting the ball, especially from the line, we think
they're game for the challenge.
Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Carolina
plus the 9.5 points offered at 5Dimes