Free NCAAB Picks: One Cover & an ‘Over’ in New Orleans Doubleheader

Willie Bee

Saturday, December 23, 2017 1:04 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017 1:04 PM UTC

Four of the preeminent basketball programs are in New Orleans today, and we have free college basketball picks for the OSU-UNC and UCLA-UK contests.

Oh, to be in New Orleans for the holidays. Santa Claus floating down the Mississippi in a pirogue, trolley cars along Canal Street decorated, bonfires on the levees and concerts at St. Augustine Church are just a few of the things that make it special.

Actually, it’s never a bad time to be in New Orleans with all of the wonderful food and music the Crescent City offers. It’s just the holidays always offer up a little more, like a couple of college hoops games at Smoothie King Center that should have a March Madness feel to them.

Buckeyes & Tar Heels Tip Afternoon

CBS will carry the doubleheader that gets underway with a Big Ten-ACC battle at 1:30 PM (ET) between the Ohio State Buckeyes and North Carolina Tar Heels. The morning line at 5Dimes has North Carolina -6½ and 156 for the total.

The Tar Heels look to bounce back from a huge upset in Chapel Hill this week when Wofford took UNC down, 79-75. North Carolina trailed at intermission and by as many as 14 in the second half, a late push coming up short as 25 point chalk. Ohio State has won 5-straight since dropping a pair to Butler and Clemson after Thanksgiving, the last four contests falling short of the totals. North Carolina owns this series to the tune of an 11-2 advantage, winning the last six with the most recent matchup a little more than three years ago, an 82-74 win in Chicago on a -1 spread. I do believe the Tar Heels will come off the upset with a strong decision.

Free College Hoops Picks: UCLA-UK Over 157
Best Lines Available at Heritage[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3336728, "sportsbooksIds":[169,19,139,180,1096], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]Bruins, Wildcats Renew Rivalry In Second Matchup

Following the OSU/UNC clash, a couple of teams with a combined 19 NCAA titles get it on as the Kentucky Wildcats go up against the UCLA Bruins. NCAA basketball odds are nearly identical to the Buckeyes and Heels, Kentucky laying 7 and 157 for the total.

The Bruins have been something of an enigma since returning from their trip to China, and a big part of their problems have been on perimeter defense where opponents are connecting on 36% of their 3-point tries (211th in country). That has ultimately led to UCLA being a horrible wager, failing to cover the last three tilts and 8-of-11 on the year. Kentucky still just has the one loss to Kansas in November, winning seven in a row since then. The Wildcats have beaten the spread in four of their last five, each of those contests going ‘over.’

There’s plenty of recent history between the schools as they prepare to meet for the 15th time. Four of the previous matchups have come since the start of the 2014-15 season, each side winning twice. Kentucky has current bragging rights following an 86-75 win the Sweet 16 this past March, the Wildcats pulling off the mild upset as 1½ point ‘dogs. Let’s roll with the ‘over’ for our free college basketball pick in this one.

Free College Hoops Picks North Carolina -6½; UCLA-UK Over 157
Best Lines Available at 5Dimes

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3336717, "sportsbooksIds":[19,93,169,1096,180], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]

Season: 15-17 (-2.85)

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