High/Low Picks For Tuesday, January 31

Matthew Jordan

Monday, January 30, 2017 7:14 PM UTC

Monday, Jan. 30, 2017 7:14 PM UTC

The biggest spread on the opening NCAA basketball board for Tuesday is when hugely struggling Pittsburgh visits No. 12 North Carolina in ACC action, while the smallest spread is a pick'em between Denver and Oral Roberts.

Pittsburgh At No. 12 North Carolina (-18)

The Heels are a good team, no doubt, but the size of this spread tells you all you need to know about what's going on at Pittsburgh this season. Many boosters of that program couldn't wait to get rid of Coach Jamie Dixon despite the fact Dixon just about always got the Panthers to the Big Dance. Pitt even reached the Elite Eight in 2009, but didn't advance past the second round after that. Dixon left for his alma mater TCU this offseason, so Pitt replaced him with former Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings. It hasn't worked out well with the Panthers last in the ACC at 1-7 and on a six-game losing streak. Be careful what you wish for! Clemson ended its six-game losing streak with a 67-60 victory at Pitt on Saturday. The game before that, the Panthers were slaughtered by 55 at home against Louisville. This team should not be this bad with two really good players in senior forwards Jamel Artis and Michael Young. Artis averages 21.1 points per game (first in ACC) and Young 20.3 (third). Maybe it's the coaching?

North Carolina figures to play a bit ornery here as the Heels were dominated at Miami 77-62 on Saturday to see the Heels' seven-game winning streak end. Carolina set season lows in total points, points in a half (22 in the first) and shooting percentage in a half (20.7 in the first, the second-worst ever under Roy Williams). How does a team that talented have zero fast-break points? Justin Jackson showed up with 21 points but got no help. UNC, one of the nation's top rebounding teams, also lost that battle. The Heels clearly missed junior forward Theo Pinson, who was out with a foot injury and will sit here as well. After this game, the schedule gets incredibly tough with six of UNC's final eight regular-season games vs. ranked clubs.

Pitt is just 3-7 ATS in its past 10 on the road in NCAA betting, but it should be able to lose by less than 18 here.

NCAAB Free Pick: Pittsburgh +18Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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Denver At Oral Roberts (Pick'em)

These schools are in the Summit League. Denver is middle of the pack in the conference at 13-9 overall and 5-4 in the Summit. The Pioneers are off an 88-83 loss at South Dakota on Saturday. Denver turned it over 18 times and it led to 21 points for the Coyotes. Denver shot 50.9 percent from the field (27-for-53) to fall to 7-4 this year when it shoots better than 50 percent in a game. Joe Rosga had a team-high 20 points in the loss, his seventh 20-point game of the year. He's the team's leading scorer at 16.1 ppg.

Oral Roberts has the worst overall record in the league at 7-16 overall and is 3-6 in the conference, tied for last. The Golden Eagles have played some good competition, losing by 15 at Baylor, by seven in overtime to Ole Miss, by just four at Michigan State and by one at Creighton. ORU brings a two-game slide into this one off an 87-83 home loss to Fort Wayne on Saturday. Oral Roberts rallied from an 11-point deficit and took the lead with 1:19 to play, but Fort Wayne went 6-for-6 from the free throw line in the final minute to win. Albert Owens scored 20 points to lead ORU. He leads the club at 17.5 ppg and has scored at least 20 in eight straight. ORU's second leading scorer on the season, Kris Martin, was held scoreless against Fort Wayne. This is a bad defensive team, allowing 80.4 ppg.

The Pioneers are 3-1-1 ATS in the past five meetings. They beat visiting Oral Roberts 77-73 on Dec. 28 in the Summit League opener for both.

NCAAB Free Pick: Denver At Pick'emBest Line Offered: Heritage

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