College Basketball Picks: Top Plays For Saturday November 11th

Jay Pryce

Saturday, November 11, 2017 1:51 PM UTC

Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 1:51 PM UTC

No. 14 Notre Dame is the only ranked team in action on Saturday, as it squares off against DePaul for its first road opener in nearly 20 years. The Fighting Irish feature in our top college basketball picks of the day, as well as a play on the St. Joe’s-Toledo tilt.

No. 14 Notre Dame (-9) vs DePaul

The Fighting Irish own an 8.2 points differential over the last three seasons, chalking up 26, 24, and 32 wins and a pair of Elite Eight appearances (2015, 2016). Since joining the ACC in 2013, head coach Mike Brey is bringing in better talent, some calling this year’s crop of recruits (PG Prentiss Hubb, SG Robby Carmody, SG Dane Goodwin, and C Nate Laszewski) his best yet. Look for the underclassmen to excel under the guidance of three starting seniors, including last year’s leading scorer and NBA prospect forward Bonzie Colson (17.8 ppg). The media named Colson ACC Preseason Player of the Year, after topping the conference in rebounds (10.1 rpg) and posting the second-most points in the 2016-17 season.

Notre Dame is 17-0 SU all-time in season openers under Brey, but is making its first one on the road, as DePaul opens its new home Wintrust Arena. The Blue Demons are making few strides since Dave Leitao took control of the team in 2015. For the second year in a row, Big East coaches picked DePaul to finish last in the conference. Leitao hopes three transfers (Austin Grandstaff, Marin Maric, and Max Strus) can make a difference, but question marks abound.

The Fighting Irish are 9-1 SU and 6-4 ATS in the last 10 meetings. Brey’s men average 83.8 points per game, the total going ‘over’ in the last eight straight. Under Leitao, the Blue Demons are 0-21 and 8-12-1 ATS versus teams with a winning margin greater than 5.5 points from the previous year. They’ve lost all but four by double digits.  Notre Dame averaged 8.0 last year and is expected to be as good, if not better this season. For our NCAA basketball pick, lay the 9 points with Notre Dame for your best bet.

Free NCAAB Pick: Notre Dame -9Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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St Joseph’s (PA) vs Toledo (-1)

St. Joe’s 2016-17 season is one to forget. The Hawks went 11-20 SU and 12-17-1 ATS, tying for fewest wins since legendary head coach Phil Martelli took the reigns in 1995. Injuries marred the squad much of the season, but is nearly at full strength to begin the year with only forward Charlie Brown out (fractured left wrist) of the lineup.

The Hawks topped Toledo 77-76 at Hagan Arena in last year’s season opener, failing as favorites to cover a 2.5-point spread on the oddsboard. The Rockets lose three significant starters from that effort, including its two leading scorers Jonathan Williams (19.6 ppg) and Steve Taylor Jr (15.3 ppg). Head coach Tod Kowalczyk has a knack for uncovering new points-getters in his attacking ball-screen offense, but the chemistry may be off with Williams and Taylor Jr. graduated. The pair created many opportunities via their own talents. 

Since 2006, Martelli’s men are 4-1 SU and 2-3 ATS versus Mid-American foes. We expect St. Joes to have a slight rebounding and defensive edge tonight. Pick the Hawks straight up for a tough road victory.

Free NCAAB Pick: Saint Joseph's (PA)Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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