Free College Basketball Picks: Monday NCAAB Value Plays

Steven Suarez

Monday, February 18, 2013 2:52 PM GMT

Monday, Feb. 18, 2013 2:52 PM GMT

What kind of value is out there to take advantage of tonight? Let's examine the college basketball odds before coming up with two plays for Presidents' Day.

West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Kansas State Wildcats 

The Mountaineers face a tough task tonight when they play a surging Wildcats team in Manhattan this evening. The NCAA Basketball odds have been released and have Kansas State favored by double digits over West Virginia, with the total at 127.

Jeff Grant has already shared his free picks for this matchup, and we are here to revisit this game and find the best value.

There's no doubting the coaching ability of Bob Huggins, but he's got an extremely young team on his hands this season, one that's struggling to stay afloat in the Big 12.

While the Mountaineers have won four of their last five, they've done so against the weakest teams in the conference. They beat Texas Tech (9-14 SU) twice and then TCU (10-15) and an under-performing Texas team (11-14 SU), so it's hard to get overly excited about their recent performances.

In total, the Mountaineers have gone 5-9 SU in games outside of West Virginia, while posting a 6-7-1 ATS mark.

They run into a Kansas State team that's gone 12-1 SU and 7-3 ATS on their own floor this season. Their only defeat came by four points at the hands of arch-nemesis Kansas.

The Wildcats are putting it all together at the right time. They've gone 5-1 SU (4-2 ATS) over their last six, beating the likes of the Bears, Iowa State and Oklahoma, and their sound defense – they've allowed 57.8 PPG on 40.4 percent shooting at home this season – should be able to stifle the young Mountaineers.

We were really impressed with how the Wildcats took it to Baylor over the weekend and we think they'll keep the good times rolling in Manhattan. The Wildcats have won their last three home contests (Baylor, Iowa State, Texas) by an average margin of 18.3 points, so let's add them to our college basketball picks for tonight. 

NCAA Basketball Pick: Kansas State Wildcats -10.5

[gameodds]14/221259/43/us[/gameodds]

Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Villanova Wildcats

Life without Eli Carter begins tonight for the Scarlet Knights, who are faced with a road matchup with Villanova. 

As of now the Wildcats are favored by 10 points at most of the top online sportsbooks, while the total can be wagered on at either 130 or 130.5. The OVER has gone 10-1 in the last 11 head-to-head meetings between these teams, but that doesn't automatically mean it's the right play. 

Rutgers was hit hard when Carter went down in the loss to DePaul, though it was encouraging to see Myles Mack try to will Rutgers to a win. He had 28 points on 11-of-19 shooting, yet the Scarlet Knights still lost by six on the road.

As tempted as we are to take the Wildcats against a Rutgers squad missing their best player, that angle can sometimes come back to bite you. Oftentimes we see teams pick it up after an injury to a key piece, so we are going to go elsewhere with our sports picks.

We like the value on the UNDER, as the only way the Scarlet Knights will be able to keep this game close is by really locking things down defensively. They don't have the luxury of relying on Carter anymore, so everyone else is going to have to raise their level of intensity, and that starts on the defensive end. 

Rutgers is averaging only 58.2 PPG over their last five, and that was with Carter on the court for a majority of the time. They could have a ton of trouble scoring the ball against a Villanova squad that's surrendering 59.0 PPG (on 39.2 percent shooting) over their previous five. 

The UNDER has gone 6-4 in Villanova's home games this season and has also hit in six of seven road matchups featuring Rutgers. Let's roll with this total play tonight.

NCAA Basketball Pick: UNDER 130.5

[gameodds]14/221258/43/us[/gameodds]

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