There are nine Top 25 teams playing in college basketball action on a busy Wednesday schedule with No. 4 Duke at No. 8 Notre Dame the clear marquee matchup. Here are three totals from BetOnline's NCAA basketball odds that I recommend.
No. 4 Duke vs. No. 8 Notre Dame
Interesting how this line has moved on the NCAA basketball odds from an open of Notre Dame at -1 to Duke at -1.5 -- the Blue Devils always draw big action whenever they open as an underdog, which isn't very often. As for the total, this is one of the highest of the night and it should be as it's two of the nation's most efficient offenses. Duke (17-2, 4-2 ACC) ranks 12th in scoring (81.6 ppg) and seventh in field-goal percentage (.499). Notre Dame is ninth in scoring (81.9 ppg) and second in field-goal percentage (.521). The Irish lead the country at 1.25 points per possession. Two of the nation's best players are in this one as well and they likely will be first-team All-Americans. Duke freshman Jahlil Okafor leads the team in scoring (18.5 ppg) and rebounding (9.0), while shooting a crazy 67.1 percent from the field that's one of the nation's best. Notre Dame senior guard Jerian Grant was kicked off the team last season but has come back strong, averaging team-highs of 17.1 points and 6.2 assists. The winner of this game probably is decided by which star plays best. Duke's defense has been much improved since back-to-back losses to NC State and Miami in which Duke allowed a combined 177 points. Coach Mike Krzyzewski has largely switched to a 2-3 zone. Notre Dame (19-2, 7-1) is great from long range and thus would seem a perfect fit to give that zone problems.
NCAAB Free Pick: 'Over' 149.5 points. The 'over' is 6-1 in Duke's past seven following a win. The 'over' is 6-1 in the Irish's past seven at home.
No. 9 Kansas vs. TCU
This could be a bit of a trap game for the Jayhawks (16-3, 5-1 Big 12) as they come off a stretch of playing four straight ranked Big 12 teams, winning three of them, and face arch-rival Kansas State this weekend. KU ranks second in scoring offense (75.0 points per game), fourth in scoring defense (65.3 per contest), first in margin of victory (9.7 per game) and first in 3-point shooting percentage (39.4) in the Big 12. TCU (14-5, 1-5) was unbeaten in the non-conference schedule but that was totally misleading because the Frogs played a very week slate. The best victory probably was at Ole Miss. The Frogs gave up 86 points to West Virginia in their last game, but they are a very good defensive team usually. TCU ranks 15th in the nation in points allowed (57.3), 12th in blocks per game (5.8) and No. 2 in field-goal percentage defense (35.1 percent). This game won't be on campus but at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center, a district high school gym in Fort Worth that seats only 4,750. TCU is renovating its home gym this season.
NCAAB Free Pick: 'Under' 132.5 points. The Frogs are outmatched talent-wise so they will slow this down and try and keep KU in the 60s. The 'under' is 12-5 in TCU's past 17 overall.
Oregon State vs. No. 6 Arizona State
These schools played on Jan. 8 in Eugene and Arizona won 80-62 as T.J. McConnell scored a season-high 21 points for the Wildcats, who saw all five starters reach double figures. The victory was just the second in the past five meetings for Arizona. Joseph Young, the Pac-12's second-leading scorer at 19.3 points per game, led Oregon with 12. Arizona (18-2, 6-1 Pac-12) lost its next game after that at Oregon State, scoring a season-low 56 points, but has since won four in a row. The Cats put a 32-game home winning streak on the line here. They rank 12th nationally in field-goal percentage (.492) and Arizona has held 64 of its past 65 foes under 80 points. Oregon (14-6, 4-3) is an NCAA bubble team so this would be a big win. The Ducks rank in the Top 25 nationally in points, rebounds and assists but they are not good on defense. Oregon gave up a combined 193 points during its last road trip, losses at Washington State and Washington. Oregon is 1-4 away from home overall while allowing 82.0 points per game. The Ducks are 11-0 when holding the opposition below 70 points but I'm going to suggest the readers to take the 'over' as their NCAA basketball pick.
NCAAB Free Pick: 'Over' 143.5 points. The 'over' is 4-0 in Oregon's past four on the road. The 'over' is 6-2 in Arizona's past eight at home vs. teams with a losing road record.