High/Low Picks For Wednesday, February 22

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 6:29 PM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 6:29 PM UTC

The biggest spread on the opening NCAA basketball board for Wednesday was VCU over Saint Louis in the Atlantic 10 Conference, while the smallest number was between Utah State and San Jose State in the Mountain West. Here are my picks.

Saint Louis At VCU (-21.5)

This could be a bit of a trap game for VCU. Why? The Rams are tied atop the Atlantic 10 with Dayton. VCU has a tough game this Saturday at Rhode Island, which is third in the conference and was ranked briefly early in the season. Then VCU goes to Dayton on March 1 for the A-10 Game of the Year. Thus it might be easy to overlook a Saint Louis program that has really fallen on hard time and which has the worst overall record among A-10 teams at 9-18.

Currently, VCU is projected as a No. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament by ESPN’s Joe Lunardi. The Rams should make it whether they win the conference tournament or not. They have a very solid RPI rating of 26 with Top-50 wins over Middle Tennessee and Dayton and just one bad loss: at Fordham. VCU enters this one on an eight-game winning streak, with the past three all decided by double-digits. Senior guard JeQuan Lewis was named the Atlantic 10 Conference Co-Player of the Week on Monday. He averaged 25.0 points, 5.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds in two wins last week. Lewis is averaging a team-high 15.6 points and 4.5 assists per game this season. Saint Louis hast lost back-to-back games by a combined 36 points. The Billikens’ 40 points in Saturday’s loss to Fordham were a season low.

VCU leads the all-time series 7-3, and Saint Louis is 0-4 all-time at Siegel Center. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings, but I can see the Rams looking ahead a bit.

NCAAB Free Pick: Saint Louis +21.5Best Line Offered: Heritage

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Utah State At San Jose State (-1)

The only thing at stake here is positioning for the Mountain West Conference Tournament. San Jose State (14-11, 7-7) is alone in seventh but theoretically could get as high as fourth by the end of the regular season. Utah State (11-5, 5-10) is ninth, a game out of eighth but also just one loss ahead of cellar-dwellers UNLV and Air Force.

The Aggies enter on a two-game skid after losing at Nevada 77-66 on Saturday. Senior wing Jalen Moore scored 19 points to pass Eric Franson (1991, 94-96) for No. 10 spot on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,546 career points. Moore needs 19 points to move to No. 9. Utah State trailed Nevada 41-30 at the half and is now 2-12 on the year when trailing at the break. San Jose State has won five of six following an 83-78 OT home win over Air Force on Saturday. Brandon Clarke, coming off a season-low four-point performance in a loss at Fresno State, had 22 points. He’s the team’s leading scorer at 18.4 ppg. It was the Spartans' fourth time this season overcoming a deficit of 10 or more points and their first overtime win since defeating UC Davis, 89-85 in 3 OTs Dec. 18, 2013.

This is the only scheduled meeting between USU and SJSU. The Aggies have won 18 straight and 24 of the past 25 in the series. However, Utah State is just 1-7 ATS in its past eight on the road this year.

NCAAB Free Pick: San Jose State -1Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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