NCAA Basketball Picks & Odds
Ivy League play dominates the college basketball landscape tonight and we've got two picks that we feel give us an excellent chance of beating the sportsbooks. Can we take advantage of the value?
Columbia Lions vs. Pennsylvania Quakers
Our first college basketball pick will come on the Quakers, who will be playing host to the Lions as underdogs.
Current odds have Columbia favored by 3.5 points – so far this season the Lions are 9-7 SU overall and they've gone a solid 5-3 away from home, while covering the NCAA basketball spreads in three of the four road contests that have had publicly released lines.
We primarily like this play because the Quakers will be getting back their best player for tonight's game: Fran Dougherty.
Dougherty has been out since late December due to mono, but appears to finally be strong enough to return to game action. Before going down with the illness, he was averaging a team-best 15.7 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, while shooting 52.5 percent from the floor
With Dougherty's return, a lot of the scoring burden will come off of Miles Cartwright, who's the only other Quaker averaging in double figures this season. It was also good to see players like Darien Nelson-Henry, Henry Brooks and Tony Hicks step up their games while the team's top offensive option was out, so this team could start making much more noise now that Dougherty's back.
Recent history also tells us that Pennsylvania has had Columbia's number. The Quakers have won three straight games in this series, while covering the odds in two of those matchups.
We're sure a lot of the college basketball betting action will be flowing in on the Lions, given that they've got the much better record and are favored by a small margin, but this could very well be a trap. The Quakers should be buoyed by the return of Dougherty and we feel they'll show up tonight.
Pick: Pennsylvania Quakers +3.5
Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers vs. Valparaiso Crusaders
Our second selection involves a huge deal of points, but we still like the look of the value. We are picking the Crusaders to once again crush the Panthers and cover the college basketball lines in the process.
As of now Valparaiso are favored by as many as 18.5 points on the NCAAB odds boards, which is sure to steer away a lot of potential backers. That's a great deal of chalk, no matter how much disparity there is between these two teams.
Still, the Crusaders are looking like the team to beat in the Horizon this season. They're 16-6 SU (11-8 ATS), while the visiting Panthers are comfortably in the basement of the conference at 5-17 SU (7-12-1 ATS).
Paris Gulley and Jordan Aaron have been the lifelines of Wisconsin-Milwaukee this season, but it's going to be extremely tough if one of those guys isn't hitting their shots tonight. Valparaiso has looked good defensively this season, allowing 62.2 points per game, as opposed to the Panthers who are giving up 70.2 PPG.
The Crusaders will also have the best player on the court in Ryan Broekhoff, whom Wisconsin-Milwaukee is all too familiar with.
Broekhoff exploded for 26 points, 10 rebounds and four assists in Valparaiso's 76-52 win over the Panthers close to three weeks ago. The 6'7” forward is averaging 16.9 points and 8.4 rebounds per game and is connecting on a ridiculous 45.1 percent from three.
With Broekhoff in menacing form and the Crusaders already having demolished the Panthers once this season – Valparaiso shot 49.2 percent and Wisconsin-Milwaukee was at 34.0 percent in the earlier meeting – we believe the home team is the right side, despite the large spread. Back the Crusaders.
College Basketball Pick: Valparaiso Crusaders -18.5