Friday's Top NCAA Basketball Picks

Joe Catalano

Friday, December 12, 2014 6:04 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 12, 2014 6:04 PM UTC

There are only 2 NCAA Basketball games listed on this quiet Friday Night in Mid-December. Stand by for your betting picks as the opportunity for profit is there and that's all a bettor needs.

Texas Southern (1-6) at Florida (4-4)

A Break For Florida
Florida, who is always near the top of the AP Poll, is just a .500 team, but we have to take into consideration that their schedule is more difficult than some teams that set up a lot of cupcakes early in the season.

The Florida Gators look to build upon a convincing 85-47 blowout over a a very good Ivy League school in the Yale Bulldogs. Tonight's game against the Texas Southern could be over by halftime as Florida is a huge 25 point betting favorite, but we have to remember that the Tigers have had a fairly difficult schedule for such a low level team. 

You're not going to see a lot of high scoring games involving Florida as they have a solid defense. However, it's their offense that was on fire against Yale as they managed to put up 85 points on the Bulldogs.

Leading scorer, Michael Frazier II, stepped up in a major way as he shot 7 for 11 from the field and 4 for 7 from 3-point range for 18 points. Look for Frazier to have a good game here even if his playing time is reduced due to a blowout. Forward, Dorian Finney-Smith didn't see many minutes, but made the most of them. He had 14 point and 5 rebounds on 6 of 8 from the field and 2 of 3 from beyond the arc.

These players can compete with anyone in the country. My only concern here is the large spread on our NCAA basketball odds, even against a team like Texas Southern that is winless on the road. I have complete confidence in Florida's defense, it's the lack of offensive firepower and garbage time that I'm concerned with.


Taking On All Comers
Texas Southern has had a tough schedule with the likes of Indiana and most recently a 75-49 loss to Baylor and their eagerness to play the better teams hasn't helped their record. This is a team with a weak offense that lacks efficiency and has difficulties in controlling the glass and passing the basketball. I'm being a bit sarcastic, but they stink; no other way to put it. It's not a matter of winning, it's a matter of how much will they lose the game by.

The Tigers are led by Marshall transfer, Chris Thomas. Thomas is an undersized forward at 6 foot 5, 190 pounds that's not very efficient from the field, but isn't afraid to shoot the ball and will produce some points and grab a handful of rebounds at 16.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Texas Southern really doesn't have any other viable options. We're definitely going to see a low scoring output from the Tigers as this game has blowout city written all over it.

NCAA Basketball Pick- Florida -25 at 5Dimes (I'm not thrilled with Florida's offense, but less thrilled with the Tigers as a team. Florida's defense will clamp down on Texas Southern in this game)

#14 Iowa State (6-1) at Iowa (8-2)
In a night in which there's only a couple of games, you have a really good one here as the Hawkeyes, who are undefeated at home and a 6 point betting favorite, facing an inter-state rival and top 25 ranked team in the Iowa State Cyclones.


Off the Court Trouble
The Hawkeyes get the bump in odds as the Cyclones will be without their 2nd leading scorer, Bryce Dejean-Jones. That's 17.1 point and 6.9 rebounds that will need to be accounted for due to Jones getting in trouble with noise disturbances from his apartment and a marijuana odor; How stupid can someone be?

This was right when Dejean-Jones was starting to "light it up" (no pun intended), scoring 49 points in his last 2 games on an amazing 17 of 20 from the field.

The Cyclones will need a bounce back performance from leading scorer Georges Niang. For the season, Niang is averaging an impressive 18 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game. While Bryce Dejean-Jones was coming off of two huge performances, Niang is coming off a 9 point effort in a victory over UMKC. While he didn't score much, Niang did manage to grab 7 rebounds and dish out 7 assists. I expect a monster game from Niang. Sometimes players have to shoulder the load for other teammates and this is Georges Niang's moment in a rivalry game against Iowa.


A Dagger in the Heart
Iowa's two losses have come against top ranked teams and this is a perfect opportunity to stick a dagger in the heart of another ranked team who is short a superstar.

Senior Aaron White, doesn't put up a ton of shots, but plays a lot bigger than his size and will draw lot of attention and fouls in this game. We could see White step to the foul line in excess of 10 times in this game.

For the season, White leads the Hawkeyes at 15.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. White is also a 87.7 % free throw shooter and I expect him to be a problem for Fred Hoiberg's Cyclones.

Iowa is a team that goes 10 players deep with all 10 players receiving 10 minutes or more of playing time and they're very stingy on the defensive end. In their last 2 games, they've allowed a combined 91 points and this game can could mark a huge win on their resume; so keep this in mind before placing your NCAA basketball pick.

NCAA Basketball Pick- Iowa -6 at 5 Dimes

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