Best ATS Picks For Saturday, February 25

west virginia tcu

Matthew Jordan

Friday, February 24, 2017 9:11 PM UTC

Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 9:11 PM UTC

It’s already the final full college basketball weekend of the 2016-17 regular season. Most mid-major conferences conclude their schedules ahead of their conference tournaments next week. Here are three games I recommend Saturday.

No. 25 Wichita State At Missouri State (+13)

The Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title will be decided Saturday. Wichita State is tied atop the MVC at 16-1 with Illinois State. If the WSU and ISU both win or lose, the tiebreaker would go to the school with the highest RPI rating because they split in the regular season. Illinois State has the better RPI but could easily lose Saturday at the third-best team in the conference, Northern Iowa. The third-place Panthers are a dangerous team so getting the MVC Tournament’s top seed would mean avoiding UNI in a potential conference semifinal matchup. That tournament begins Thursday in St. Louis. Wichita State will make the NCAA Tournament regardless of what happens there, but Illinois State might not. ESPN currently projects the Shockers as a No. 8 seed. Wichita State beat Evansville 109-83 Tuesday, its third 100-point game this season. It’s the first time the school has reached triple digits three times in a season since 1982-83. Wichita State also improved to 62-2 at home over the last four seasons. Only Arizona has a better home win percentage in that span. But the Shockers, who are on an 11-game winning streak overall, won’t be playing at home again this year. Missouri State is sitting solo sixth in the MVC. It lost at Wichita State 80-62 on Feb. 9. MSU was 8 of 28 shooting (29 percent) and committed 14 of its 21 turnovers in the first half, trailing 48-21 at the break.

NCAAB Free Pick: Wichita State -13Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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No. 12 West Virginia At TCU (+5.5)

Vital Big 12 game for TCU. ESPN lists the Frogs as the last at-large team in the entire field as things stand. They have an RPI rating of 53. TCU is going the wrong way in losing four straight for the second time this season in Big 12 play. On Wednesday, Coach Jamie Dixon’s club lost 87-68 at Kansas. TCU was down just one at the half and two with about 16 minutes left before KU broke it open. The Jayhawks got a bit of home cooking from the refs in that they attempted 27 free throws to 12 for TCU. The Frogs haven’t beaten a ranked team yet this season and this will be their last chance as they close at home vs. Kansas State and at Oklahoma. West Virginia is tied for second in the Big 12 with Baylor and Iowa State. Finishing second or third means avoiding Kansas until the Big 12 Tournament title game. The Mountaineers beat Texas 77-62 on Monday behind 24 points and 10 rebounds from Jevon Carter and a career-high 23 points from Lamont West. It was the first time this season WVU had two 20-point scorers. Starting forward Esa Ahmad sat out with back spasms and is day-to-day. West Virginia beat TCU 82-70 on Jan. 7. Carter scored nine of his 13 points during a decisive 16-4 run. WVU is 10-0 against TCU since the schools joined the Big 12 in 2012. The Frogs have dropped 21 straight vs. ranked teams. They may win this outright but I’ll surely take the points.  

NCAAB Free Pick: TCU +5.5Best Line Offered: Heritage

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Northwestern At Indiana (-4.5)

In Tuesday’s “High/Low Picks” story here at SBR Forum, I wrote that Indiana’s game at Iowa was a must win for the Hoosiers to have any shot at the NCAA Tournament. However, IU lost its fifth straight game and seventh in the past eight, 96-90 in overtime. Indiana blew an early 13-point lead and committed 22 turnovers. That guaranteed the Hoosiers will finish with a losing record in the Big Ten a year after winning the regular-season conference title. Coach Tom Crean is a goner – this is IU’s home finale. As I’m sure you know by now, Northwestern is the only Power 5 school yet to make the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats are in as things stand now – projected as a No. 9 seed by ESPN. NU is making things interesting, though, in losing four of six. It was blown out at a bad Illinois team on Tuesday. The Wildcats, who were swept by Illinois, had only 18 second-half points. A win here probably is enough for Northwestern, but a loss could be deadly as it closes the regular season with tough home games vs. Michigan and No. 14 Purdue. The Wildcats beat Indiana 68-55 on Jan. 29. At the time, it was their sixth straight Big Ten win. The slump started the next game.

NCAAB Free Pick: Indiana -4.5Best Line Offered: SportsBetting

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