Capper's Top Value NCAA Basketball Picks

Darin Zank

Thursday, November 27, 2014 5:27 PM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014 5:27 PM UTC

Amid the turkey and the football and the bickering and the brandy Thanksgiving offers up a slate of college basketball for chronic bettors – like ourselves – to play with. Here's a couple of free college basketball picks we cooked up for today.

North Carolina -4/153 UCLA
The 3-1 Heels and 4-1 Bruins, both coming off their first losses of the season, meet at the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas.

North Carolina just got upset by Butler Wednesday night 74-66, while UCLA lost to Oklahoma 75-65.

Carolina led the Bulldogs Wednesday by three points at the half, but immediately fell down by five and never recovered. In the end the Heels had shot just 39 percent from the floor, went just 18/32 from the FT line, gout outrebounded 57-40 and committed 19 turnovers. No wonder they lost.

UCLA led the Sooners 48-45 midway through the second half Wednesday, but got outscored 30-17 from there. In the end the Bruins had shot just 38 percent from the field, made just four of 17 shots from behind the arc and nine of 21 free throws. When you look at the NCAA basketball odds, keep in mind that through its first five games UCLA is shooting a respectable 47 percent from the floor and 39 percent from the long range, but just 64 percent from the line.

Carolina, meanwhile, hasn't been much better, shooting 46 percent from the floor, just 27 percent from 3-point range and 66 percent from the line. The Heels have three starters back from a team that won 24 games last year, and should make a run at 30 wins this year. UCLA, on the other hand, has just one starter back from a team that won 28 games last season, and took a particularly hard hit in the backcourt. So we like Carolina for our NCAA basketball pick, at what looks like a very manageable spread.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Tar Heels -4.5 at BookMaker


Georgia Tech -3/129 vs. Marquette
Two basketball schools trying to get back to the NCAA tournament meet as the 3-0 Georgia Tech takes on 2-2 Marquette on a neutral court in Kissimmee.

Georgia Tech, with two starters back from a team that went 16-17 last year, is 3-0 this year, with an 80-73 victory over rival Georgia and, most recently, a 78-69 win over IPFW last Friday. The Yellow Jackets shot 53 percent from the field against the Mastodons, although just 11/25 from the free-throw line, which kept them from covering the line as nine-point favorites.

So through three games the Wreck is shooting 47 percent overall, but just 54 percent from the stripe. But they're also playing some good defense, and they've been tough on the boards.

Marquette also returns just two starters from a team that went 17-15 last year. The Warriors – errr, the Eagles opened with a win over Tennessee-Martin, a loss but a cover against Ohio State, a 97-89 loss to Nebraska-Omaha as 17-point favorites, and most recently a 62-57 victory over New Jersey Tech, but a loss ATS as 20-point favorites.

So far this season Marquette has allowed opponents to shoot 52 percent from the floor and 38 percent from 3-point range.

Bottom-line; both these teams are going through rebuilding phases, but Georgia Tech is about a season or two seasons ahead of Marquette. So we like the Yellow Jackets in this spot, the favorite at the short spread.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Georgia Tech -2.5 at 5Dimes

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