Pennsylvania (2-9) at #17 Butler (10-2)
When searching for matchups to add to my NCAA Basketball picks, I typically look for a competitive game where I believe that there is a slight edge to be found. Make no mistake about; this isn't an interesting from a fan's perspective, but from a bettor's perspective, this game is golden.
The NCAA Basketball odds makers at 5Dimes Sportsbook currently list Butler as a 21 point betting favorite. This is a Butler team that has beaten the likes of Indiana, North Carolina, Marquette, and Illinois.
The Bulldogs and senior guard Rotnei Clarke (18.1 ppg) take on a Pennsylvania team that is coming off of a 5 point loss to Wagner. Let's face it; Butler is on a different level than Penn. The Quakers have lost 4 consecutive games, and the only legitimate team that they've faced this season is Penn State, to whom they suffered a 58-47 loss.
Pennsylvania will be without leading scorer Fran Dougherty due to injury. Dougherty averages 15.7 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, and his absence will be too much for the Quakers to overcome. Look for Butler to blast Penn out of the building in this matchup.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Butler -21 at 5Dimes
Davidson (7-5) vs. Duke (12-0) at Charlotte, North Carolina
When I first looked at the NCAA Basketball betting lines for this lopsided game, I thought that someone had made a mistake. Make no mistake about, it's confirmed. Guard Seth Curry returns to his hometown, and he is coming off of a huge 31 point performance in a 90-77 win over Santa Clara. This is Duke's final game before inter-conference play on Saturday and they want to go into Saturday with momentum. Also note that Duke has beaten Davidson 23 straight times.
This is a Blue Devils squad that has also beaten powerhouses such as Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio State, and Temple this season. Davidson does have two games in common with Duke, as they beat a sub .500 Vanderbilt team, 75-62 and the Wildcats lost to Gonzaga, 81-67. The Wildcats actually have more depth than Duke, but the talent level isn't even comprable to that of Duke. Davidson will rely on their two leading scorers, forwards De'Mon Brooks (15.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg) and Jake Cohen (12.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg).
No disrespect to Davidson, but their starters matchup poorly against the Duke starting. Duke relies heavily on their starters to wear down opponents, and thus far their plan of attack has been successful. Davidson is a decent basketball squad, but they are not worthy of the price tag that they are getting against the top team in the country. Look for Duke to cover the 13.5 point betting spread and win easily.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Duke -13.5 at 5Dimes