Betting Value Found in Road Dogs for Tuesday's NCAA Basketball Picks

Darin Zank

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 3:52 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015 3:52 PM GMT

We don't go exclusively with visiting teams for our free college basketball picks; it's just that more often than not, that seems to be where the betting value resides. We came up with three Picks of the Day for Tuesday, and it just so happens they're all visitors.

George Washington vs. VCU
The Rams, the preseason favorites in the Atlantic 10, host the Colonials.

VCU has won 11 games in a row, including its last three in a row on the road, most recently winning at St. Louis Saturday 63-61 on a hoop in the final seconds. But as the perceived bullies of the A-10 the Rams have been battling some tough spreads lately, and coming up short. Over its last five games VCU has beaten Davidson but lost ATS at -10; beat St. Joseph's but couldn't cover at -16; beat Duquesne but lost ATS at -14; and beat the Billikens but couldn't cover at -12.

We think something similar might happen tonight.

GW, meanwhile, hoped to make a run in the A-10 this season, and so far it's not doing too bad a job. The Colonials have won four games in a row, after defeating Duquesne last time out 74-59, covering as 14-point favorites on the NCAA basketball odds. So George Washington has won ten of its last 11 games, and trails the first-place Rams by just a half-game in the conference standings.

This just looks likes a game in which home-court advantage has been overrated. Also, George Washington can play some defense, and VCU is a bit troublesome from the FT line, hitting at just 63 percent for the season. A few missed free-throws could make the difference as to who cashes in tonight. We'll take the points with the Colonials.

Free Basketball Pick: George Washington +8 at Pinnacle

 

Baylor -4 vs. Oklahoma
The Cowboys, who let us down last time out, host the Bears.

Oklahoma State started 10-2 this season, but is just 3-4 in Big 12 play, after losing at Kansas State Saturday 63-53. We backed the Cowboys with a free pick as three-point underdogs, but they trailed right out of the gate and never really threatened to rally for a cover. It didn't help that they shot just three-for-14 from 3-point range.

So OSU has lost three of its last four, and looks like it might live down to preseason expectations, which called for a lower-division finish in the Big 12.

Meanwhile Baylor, after suffering some significant off-season personnel losses, also seemed headed for a long conference season. But since losing their first two conference games, to Oklahoma and Kansas, the Bears have won four of their last five games, after beating the Sooners Saturday 69-58. Baylor trailed that game by four points midway through the second half, but finished with a 29-14 run.

Normally, we might make a bounce-back play on Oklahoma State in this spot. But at the moment the Bears are the better team. We'll go with the underdog here, and we don't even need the points.

Free College Basketball Pick: Baylor +150 on the moneyline at 5Dimes

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Fresno State vs. San Diego State 
The Aztecs and improving Bulldogs hook up for a Mountain West bout out in San Diego.

The Aztecs went off as the preseason favorites to win the MWC again this season, and so far they haven't done too much to damage those expectations. SD State started 10-3 this season, with wins over Utah, BYU and Pitt, the losses coming against Arizona, Washington and Cincinnati. The Aztecs then won five of their first six conference contests, but last time out lost at Colorado State 79-73.

The Bulldogs returned four starters this season from a team that won 21 games last season, but they started very poorly, losing six of their first seven games, as they played through the absence of point guard Cezar Guerrero. But they started to get their act together, and since the turn of the year, with help from Guerrero's return, have won five of their last six games, the only loss coming in overtime against Wyoming. Last time out Fresno State beat Nevada 66-62, getting to 5-2 in conference play.

Bottom line here, San Diego State might still win the MWC, and is still the better team in this match-up, but this spread seems a bit steep. The early line movement, from Aztecs -14 to -13, indicates others think the same. We don't often like going with the betting flow, but in this spot it looks like the right call, especially with Fresno State back at full strength. Also, FSU just beat San Diego State three weeks ago 59-57, taking that game straight-up as a seven-point home dog. The Bulldogs might not win Tuesday night's game, but we like the points so add them to your NCAA basketball picks.

Free College Basketball Pick: Fresno State +14 at Pinnacle

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