From CBI to NBA, Underdogs Carry Value Worth Checking Out

Monday, March 26, 2018 5:19 PM UTC

Monday, Mar. 26, 2018 5:19 PM UTC

The College Basketball Invitational and the National Basketball Association are worlds apart, but what they share is a good underdog play on tonight's schedule.

CBI: North Texas vs. San FranciscoFree NCAAB Pick: North Texas +5Best Line Offered: Intertops

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USF opened as a -3.5 favorite on the college basketball odds board and the number is now 5 for Game 1 of the College Basketball Invitational's championship round. With my NCAAB picks I will take the better defensive team in North Texas plus the points. San Francisco has not been a particularly strong shooting team this season, hitting at a 42.3-percent clip, and that doesn’t go up much at home shooting (42.6). North Texas has played some good basketball in this smaller tournament, averaging 92 points per game while allowing just 70.7 in their past three contests, and they seem to be peaking at the right time. They’ve also been decent on the road on both sides the ball and match up very well with San Francisco in all offensive categories in the home and away disparities. Defensively they are the better team across the board, allowing opponents to shoot just 43.1 percent overall, but more impressively allowing opponents to shoot just 31.2 percent from distance, which ranks 11th in the country. Although San Francisco is at home, I have no problem thinking North Texas can pull the upset before heading back home for Game 2.

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NBA: Lakers vs. PistonsFree NBA Pick: Lakers +4.5Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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Los Angeles finally got back in the win column Saturday, beating Memphis on the road, and tonight they are in Detroit as a +4.5 underdog on the NBA odds board. With my NBA picks I will grab the Lakers plus the points. These teams have not met since October and the dynamic should be quite different, especially with Detroit’s new look. The Lakers are shooting 46.1 percent overall and rank fifth in the NBA with 41 field goals made per game. Detroit has not been very good offensively, shooting less than 45 percent from the floor overall and only 45.8 percent at home. In fact, the Lakers have better statistics for the most part or are even with Detroit in the home and away differences; Los Angeles has a 1.096 shooting efficiency on the road compared to Detroit's 1.097 at home. Defensively they also match up very well but the Lakers have been better from beyond the arc, allowing opponents shoot just 34.6 percent from distance, ranking them fourth in the NBA. This game has all the makings of going down to the wire.

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