Free College Basketball pick on Purdue University as they take on St, Mary's in the first round of the Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament. See why we are expecting the Boiler Makers to walk away with the cover here.

The NCAA Basketball odds for this game have already seen the greatest line movement, and I believe that we will see the public continue to sway to the support of St. Mary's. Sports bettors, like sheep, have a great tendency to follow trends. It is seen in the stock market and internet frenzy of the late 1990's, the real estate bubble, and on a far lesser scale with irrational exuberance, sports betting trends like this one.

For those new to my articles and research, whenever a game starts to see more than 75% of all sports picks being placed on one a given team it triggers an 'irrational exuberance' red flag. What this means is that there is just too much action on one side of the game, and as we known, sportsbooks do not go bankrupt and the public is known to be the loser at the window.

So, when I have a graded 10* play form the simulator and research to start with, excessive betting situations that are on the opposite side serve to reinforce my confidence of the 10* play. It is not necessary to have this added technical situation for a 10* graded play to be valid, but it sure does help.

The College Basketball Betting Line

Purdue vs. St. Mary'sThe college basketball lines opened with Purdue installed as a 1.5 point favorite and the line as steadily moved in the opposite direction, now making St. Mary's a two or 2.5 point favorite for this game. More than 76% of the bets being made at the twelve sportsbooks I monitor are on St. Mary's, and as mentioned triggers the 'contrarian' play.

Since we are on Purdue, I would suggest waiting to place your NCAA basketball picks until Thursday afternoon and see where this line finds an equilibrium level. I think you will see three and possibly 3.5.

Now, it is important to note, that a 10* graded play is one that I strongly believe has the potential to win by seven or more points against the spread. So, a half point is not going to change the grading nor my confidence. However, it never hurts to work for the best possible line.

St. Mary's was awarded an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by winning the West Coast Tournament. They are 28th in the nation based on RPI, but a questionable 102nd in strength of schedule. They are 3-6 all-time with no Final Four appearances in Tournament history. They lost in the third round of the 2011 Tournament to Duke by the score of 72-49.

Their head coach Randy Bennett has done a great job building a program that can now compete on a national level and defeat conference rival Gonzaga. He has attained a 235-117 record in 11 seasons at St. Mary's.

Purdue got an at-large bid from the tournament committee this year and have posted a 21-12 season record. They have a RPI of 47th in the nation and a strong strength of schedule ranking of 28th. Purdue has extensive Tournament experience with an all-time 34-25 record and two Final Four appearances. Under the leadership of head coach Matt Painter, the Boilermakers have gone 159-76 spanning seven seasons.

Robbie Hummel is the leader of this team averaging a team-high 16.8 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game. Early in the season, it appeared that his second surgery for a torn ACL was going to be just too much for him to overcome, but, like so many great athletes, he produced big down the stretch and led his team to a bid for this event. Over the last seven games, he averaged 22.6 points per game and shot 50% form the field leading all Big Ten players during that span.

Purdue is first in the nation committing just 8.7 turnovers per game and despite a lack of size on defense will rebound the ball well against St. Mary's. This combination of fundamentally sound basketball will be the dominant reasons Purdue wins this game.

My pick: Take Purdue as a 10* Titan Play.