Find Out Why These NCAA Basketball Picks Stand Out from Monday's Slate

Steven Suarez

Monday, February 2, 2015 7:27 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 2, 2015 7:27 PM UTC

When placing our sports picks for tonight's college basketball action, which games should we look at closely? Here are two matchups that stand out.

North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Virginia Cavaliers
Say so long to that undefeated record. The Cavaliers were just handed their first loss of the season by Duke, and it's a result that could have huge implications in the ACC. Things are a lot closer now, and it's not like the schedule is getting any easier for Virginia.

Case in point: tonight's road game against Roy Williams' Tar Heels. Current NCAA basketball odds show UNC as the home underdog, and that's definitely an appealing option there. 

The Tar Heels have enjoyed another outstanding season, but they weren't able to sustain their lengthy winning streak in a road loss to Louisville. It was a gut-wrenching loss, considering UNC had gotten off to a ridiculously good start, only to surrender the lead and then lose in overtime. We've still been impressed by UNC though, as they're getting production from a lot of different places within their rotation. That kind of depth should serve them well down the stretch and heading into the postseason.

As for Virginia, they just suffered a similar loss against Duke. The Cavaliers were ahead with not long to go, but a late rally from the Blue Devils capped an unbelievable comeback. 

Though did just lose a heartbreaker against Louisville, the Tar Heels showed a lot of fight in that overtime loss and we don't think they're going to go downhill after that. They'll be back at home and eager to showcase their versatile talent. That's why we're taking UNC in this situation.

NCAA Basketball Pick: North Carolina Tar Heels +1 at 5Dimes

Kansas Jayhawks vs. Iowa State Cyclones
The other "big" game of the night pits Kansas against Iowa State, with the Jayhawks getting the huge advantage of being at home. Home-court advantage is a major factor, especially in college basketball, and that's played a part in Bill Self's team being favored by seven points this evening.

The Big 12 has been another roller-coaster this season, but Kansas and Iowa State have been two of the premier teams, which means tonight's contest should be all the more entertaining.

The Jayhawks are one of the elite teams in college basketball and have been backing that up lately, having won four straight games in conference play. They beat Oklahoma at home and Texas on the road, and then followed up those nice victories with wins over TCU and Kansas State. We haven't been seeing blowouts, but Kansas has been finding a way to get it done on a consistent basis.

For Iowa State, this is a huge opportunity to cause a big shakeup in the Big 12 regular season standings. Kansas is currently on top, but a win by the Cyclones would cause a chain reaction that could have massive implications. Iowa State checks in having won two straight games, topping Texas and then TCU to improve to 16-4 and 6-2 in conference play.

So where's the most value in tonight's matchup? We really like the Jayhawks as our NCAA basketball pick whenever they're at home and getting a within reason number at the top sportsbooks. They're mighty hard to beat on their own court, and while the Cyclones are one of the few teams out there that have the talent to cope, we just don't feel comfortable taking them in this very tough situation. Kansas has the talent, experience and know-how to win these types of games, and we've seen that on countless occasions in Lawrence. We'll be wrapping up our picks of the day by adding the Jayhawks to win by at least seven points.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Kansas Jayhawks -7 at Bovada

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