Best NCAA Basketball ATS Picks For Saturday, January 28

Matthew Jordan

Friday, January 27, 2017 6:54 PM UTC

Friday, Jan. 27, 2017 6:54 PM UTC

Is there any way this weekend's NCAA basketball action around the country can top Tuesday night when No. 1 Villanova, No. 2 Kansas and No. 4 Kentucky all lost? March Madness arrived early! Here are three games I recommend for Saturday.

DePaul At No. 16 Creighton (-19)

You can't help but feel bad for Creighton. The Bluejays might have had their best team in years before their heart-and-soul and most important player, point guard Maurice Watson Jr., went down with a season-ending torn ACL on Jan. 16 vs. Xavier. Creighton was able to win that game, but this looks like a lost club since, losing last Saturday at home 102-94 to Marquette and then getting routed 71-51 at a bad Georgetown club on Wednesday. The Hoyas had lost 16 straight Big East games to schools not named DePaul or St. John’s. Creighton shot just 34.5 percent overall and an ugly 1-for-18 from 3-point range in its lowest-scoring game of the year. With Watson, this was one of the nation's top offenses, and he led the country in assists. DePaul could be just what Creighton needs as the Blue Demons are again the worst team in the Big East. Their lone conference win was at home by a point over Providence in the final seconds -- and only because a PC player missed a layup at the buzzer. DePaul did hang with No. 13 Butler last Saturday, only losing by a point in OT. Creighton has won the past four in the series and covered all four.

NCAAB Free Pick: DePaul +19Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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No. 6 Florida State At Syracuse (+2)

FSU avoided the carnage of top-ranked teams losing Tuesday night only because the Seminoles were in action Wednesday and they were blasted 78-56 at Georgia Tech. In all honesty, though, you could almost see that loss coming, if not perhaps the margin  of victory. FSU players likely were physically and emotionally spent after playing all ranked teams in the previous six games and winning five of them. And it was only Florida State's third true road game of the season. FSU went on a stretch where it missed 18 consecutive shots in the first half and had just 15 points at the break. Syracuse was lucky to get an NCAA Tournament at-large bid last year and then made it all the way to the Final Four. However, at 12-9 overall and 4-4 in the ACC, the Orange have work to do to go Dancing again. They are  0-3 vs. ranked teams this season, losing each by at least 17 points. SU does come off an 81-76 home win over Wake Forest on Tuesday. It win marked the first time this season that the Orange had rallied from a halftime deficit (down 32-29). Syracuse had been 0-7 when trailing after the first 20 minutes. Andrew White scored a season-high 27 points. SU is 12-2 at home this season. Florida State and Syracuse split last year, each winning at home. The Orange are 5-0 ATS in their past five at home this season.

NCAAB Free Pick: Syracuse +2Best Line Offered: Heritage

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Central Michigan At Kent State (-7)

Why look at a game between two Mid-American Conference teams that probably won't make the NCAA Tournament? If you haven't seen Central Michigan play, the Chips are fun to watch. They average 88.9 points per game, which is fifth in the country. A large portion of that nightly comes from junior guard Marcus Keene, who leads the nation at 29.9 points per game. He has three games this season of at least 40 points, including a national-best 50-point outing last Saturday against Miami of Ohio. It was the first 50-plus game since South Dakota State’s Nate Wolters 53 on Feb. 7, 2013. Keene didn't play last season after transferring from Youngstown State. The last time anyone averaged 30 points for an entire season was 20 years ago when Long Island’s Charles Jones put up 30.1 per contest. Keene is shooting a solid 46.5 percent overall and isn't just a shoot-first ball-hog as he averages 5.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game. Alas, CMU is just 13-7 overall and 3-4 in the MAC because it allows 83.1 points per game, almost last in the country. Kent State's star is forward Jimmy Hall, who is a rare player to lead his team in scoring (18.1 ppg), rebounding (10.7 rpg) and assists (2.5 apg). In his past four, Hall is averaging 23.3 points on 66 percent shooting and 11.0 rebounds. This is the only scheduled meeting between CMU and Kent State. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings.

NCAAB Free Pick: Kent State -7Best Line Offered: SportsBetting

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