Friday, December 16 NCAA Basketball Picks Of The Day

long beach state

Joe Catalano

Friday, December 16, 2016 7:31 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 16, 2016 7:31 PM UTC

As usual, a small slate of NCAA basketball on Friday as we look to weed out the winners from the losers with our in-depth analysis as there are a few favorable matchups for the betting public.

UT-Arlington Mavericks (8-3) At Bradley Braves (5-5)

The Mavericks are no joke as they knocked off No. 12 Saint Mary's in their last game by double digits. The Mavericks are on a 7-game winning streak due in part to their outstanding defense. They've allowed less than 70 points per game in 6 out of their last 7 and their past two to just 50 points per game.

In a 65-51 win over Saint Mary's, Gaels star Joc Landale was unable to get on track while dealing with the Mavericks' ferocious defense. Landale finished the game with 14 points and 7 rebounds, but shot just 3 of 10 from the field while the rest of the Gaels starters were a combined 8 of 26 shooting.

While the Mavericks offense wasn't overpowering, they did what they had to do. Leading scorer Kevin Hervey was 5 for 8 from the field for 15 points and 7 rebounds. He averaged 18.1 points and 9.8 rebounds per game last season. Maybe an upset over a ranked team is the jumpstart that Hervey need's to get on track as he's averaging 13.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.

The Mavericks rely heavily on their top two scorers in Hervey and Jalen Jones (13 points, 3.4 rebounds, 46.8% shooting from 3-point range). And of course the defense. UT-Arlington tallied 10 steals against Saint Mary's.

As for Bradley, the Braves have lost 3 out of their last 5 games and have played average competition at best. Freshman Darrel Brown has gotten out of the gates quickly as he leads Bradley in scoring and is shooting and eye-popping 51.3% from beyond the arc. Other than Brown, Bradley has no legitimate go-to guy on its squad and that it will hurt the Braves against a superior team coming off its biggest victory of the season.

NCAAB Free Pick: UT-Arlington -9Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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 Long Beach State 49ers (2-10) At Oregon State Beavers (3-7)

The is game is in Portland at the home of the NBA's Trail Blazers. One facet of the 49ers' season that immediately sticks out is the fact that Long Beach State has faced 4 AP Top 25 teams. Alas, LBSU went 0-4. That said, the 49ers are nowhere near as bad as their record indicates. Oregon State hasn't faced a top 25 team and has lost 7 out of their last 8 games.

Oregon State is without top scorer Tres Tinkle due to a broken wrist, but Stephen Thompson Jr. is back in action after missing time earlier in the season. He's a major source of offense who can do it all, whether it be knocking down a jumper, grabbing a rebound, dishing the rock or playing solid defense. Look for Thompson Jr. to look to shoot quite often in this game as he's never met a shot he hasn't liked.

Beavers forward Drew Eubanks has been on fire as of late. Eubanks is coming off of a monster performance in a loss Savannah State in which he totaled 23 points, 16 rebounds and 6 blocked shots. Eubanks is a shot-blocking machine as he averages 3.2 blocks per game. Look for Eubanks to be a major force here.

I mentioned all of the battles that Long Beach State had with Top 25 competition, but the 49ers blown away by the likes of UCLA and many others. This is a team lacking a presence on the boards and can't hit the side of a barn some nights as two of their top 3 scorers are averaging under 40% from the field. 

The 49ers will rely on leading scorer Evan Payne, a transfer. In his last 2 games, he's averaging 21.5 points. He set a school record with 8 3-pointers in a loss to Texas last time out.

NCAAB Free Pick: LBSU -4.5Best Line Offered: BookMaker

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