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NCAA Basketball Picks: Thursday Night Locks

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Thursday’s college basketball slate has a short card ofaction, with the No. 23 Wichita State Shockers featured against the TennesseeVolunteers. Wichita State heads to Knoxville undefeated with a 9-0 SU record,while Tennessee has cashed at 3-1 ATS in its last four games.

Volunteers look to stop streak

Wichita State’s latest victory came in Saturday’s 80-54triumph over the Northern Colorado Bears, cruising to cash as a 21 ½-point homefavorite. The Shockers lit up the rims with 55.6 percent field shooting,including a 12-for-24 clip from three-point land.

Shockers forward Cleanthony Early notched a team-high 16points, while mate Chadrack Lufile logged 10 of his squad’s 28 rebounds.Wichita State’s Malcolm Armstead and Fred Van Vleet united for nine assists,while freshman Nick Wiggins logged a season-high 14 points in 18 minutes ofaction. 

Image previewTennessee has been off since a Dec. 5 setback against theVirginia Cavaliers, dropping the affair, 46-38, as a 4 ½-point road dog. Thelow-octane duel saw the Volunteers held to 28.8 percent field shooting, whileboth squads combined to hit a sparse 4-of-27 shots beyond the arc. 

Volunteers guard Trae Golden was the sole member of hisroster to reach double figures, finishing with 11 points. Tennessee’s JoradanMcRae logged team-highs of three assists and two steals, while adding one ofhis side’s three blocks.

The NCAA Basketball odds makers at opened Tennessee as a one-point homefavorite, while other betting shops first listed the matchup as a pick’em. I ambacking the Volunteers, looking for Golden and Co. to end Wichita State’swinning streak. 

Tennessee’s most recent home date came last month againstthe Oakland Golden Grizzlies, holding its visiting foes to 28.6 percent fieldshooting in a 77-50 victory. Golden ranks third in the Southeastern Conferencefor assists (4.6 APG), while Wichita State has managed just 62.5 PPG away fromhome. 

Tennessee has enjoyed a long-standing home-courtadvantage, cashing at 12-4-1 ATS in its last 17 games at Thompson-Boling Arena.For your NCAA Basketball picks, look for the Volunteers to collect again at a low premium here, adding to their6-1 spread record in their last seven spots that followed a defeat. 

NCAA Basketball Pick: Tennessee -1 (


Blue Raiders head to Belmont on ESPN3

Thursday’s card also contains an early tip between theMiddle Tennessee State Blue Raiders and Belmont Bruins. Middle Tennessee Statehas a 3-2 spread record in its last five ‘board’ battles, while Belmont enterson a 0-4 ATS slide.

Middle Tennessee State notched its fifth win in six gameswith Saturday’s 65-62 victory against the Mississippi Rebels, while fallingshort of cashing as a four-point home favorite. Blue Raiders mates MarcosKnight and Raymond Cintron united for 24 points, hitting a combined 9-of-18field buckets.

Belmont’s latest ‘board’ affair took place on Dec. 1against the VCU Rams, with the Bruins edged out as 7 ½-point road dogs in a75-65 defeat. Bruins guard Ian Clark knocked down 10-of-10 shots from thefield, including a 3-for-3 mark beyond the arc.

The College Basketball betting lines listed at opened Belmont as a 2 ½-point home favorite,with initial betting action on Middle Tennessee dropping the number a ‘hook’ totwo. I am tailing the early ‘steam’ here, backing the Blue Raiders as shortdogs.

Middle Tennessee State has gone 2-1 ATS in its last threespots away from home, with the only losing ticket falling short by one point inthis month’s 82-77 overtime defeat against the Akron Zips. The Blue Raiders are14-6-1 ATS in their last 21 non-conference games, while Belmont has beenovervalued with a 1-7 spread record in its last eight games against squads withwinning records.

Look for Middle Tennessee State to hand Belmont anotherlosing ticket here, continuing the Bruins’ slide at the betting windows.

NCAA Basketball Pick:  MiddleTennessee State +2 (