Free NCAA Basketball Picks: Pair Of Valuable Dogs To Crash The Books

Darin Zank

Monday, December 28, 2015 3:54 PM GMT

Monday, Dec. 28, 2015 3:54 PM GMT

College hoops offers a limited slate for our NCAA basketball picks, but this capper found value in a pair of dogs. And this being the season of sharing and all, we share them here with you.

Playing the Home Dog with Belmont
Belmont, an early-season favorite to win the Ohio Valley again, will go off a short home dog Monday night against Valparaiso.

The Bruins (7-6 SU, 5-5 ATS) are playing in fits and starts so far this season, never winning or losing more than two games in a row. At the moment they're lugging a two-game losing streak, after falling at Cleveland State nine days ago 67-65. Belmont, as a six-point road favorite, trailed by nine at the half, and by 13 with nine minutes to go, rallied to take a two-point lead in the last minute, but lost it on a bucket with one second left.

On the night, the Bruins, who for the season are shooting 49 percent from the floor, shot just 35 percent, while the Vikings, a 39 percent shooting team, shot 45 percent. And that's all just great in our book, because it's the kind of statistical anomaly we like to bet on the reverse the next time out.

Meanwhile, Valpo (10-2 SU, 5-4 ATS) owns a four-game winning streak, after disposing of Missouri State nine days ago 74-45, covering as a 16-point favorite. The Crusaders hit 12-of-29 shots from 3-point land, while holding the Bears to 32 percent FG shooting.

However, Valpo is only 3-4 ATS this season when giving points.

These two teams just met three weeks ago, a Valpo 61-57 victory on its home court. But Belmont covered as an eight-point underdog. That game was tied at 55-55 late, before the Crusaders made a couple of plays down the stretch for the victory.

The Bruins only shot 43 percent that night, but held Valpo to 35 percent. However, 19 turnovers proved costly for Belmont.

Also, the Bruins own a victory this season over Marquette, and respectable losses to Arizona State and BYU.

This game is a contrast in styles; Belmont likes to push it, while the Crusaders prefer to slow it down. The Bruins are more efficient at throwing the ball in the hole, but Valpo plays better defense. Ultimately, we believe Belmont will shoot the ball at least a little better Monday night than it did last time out, and might just win this game outright. We like the Bruins for the first of two free NCAA basketball picks for Monday night.

As of this writing, Belmont was getting 3.5 points on the NCAA basketball odds at 5Dimes, and +155 on the moneyline at BookMaker.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Belmont +3.5; Belmont +155
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

 

Davidson Dogged Out West
Davidson, a contender in the Atlantic 10, heads cross-country to take on Coach Martin's Cal Bears in Berkeley.

The Wildcats (8-2 SU, 2-7 ATS) started this season 5-0, lost at North Carolina, won two more, then lost at Pitt, but rebounded last time out to beat Morehead State 81-77. Davidson shot 60 percent from the floor on the day, but missed 10 of 25 free-throws and came up four points short of covering at -7.

The Wildcats suffered cold-shooting nights in their two losses to the Heels and Panthers, but on the season they're hitting at a respectable 46 percent rate from the floor.

Cal (9-3 SU, 5-7 ATS), meanwhile, recently won five games in a row, but lost in excruciating fashion in overtime at No. 5 Virginia last Tuesday 63-62. The Bears led by a bucket late in the OT, but lost on a Cavs' 3-pointer in the last 10 seconds. Still, they covered easily as 12-point dogs.

Now, for Monday night, they're the ones giving points, in spot in which they're just 4-7 ATS this season.

Cal owns several statistical advantages, except in one key spot; from the free-throw line, where the Bears are only shooting 66 percent. And a handful of missed free-throws could mean the difference as far as the spread on this game goes.

As of this writing Davidson was getting 10 points on the NCAA basketball odds at Heritage, and +420 on the moneyline across the best sportsbooks.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Davidson +10; Davidson +420
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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