We have some real low totals on a couple of NCAA Basketball matchups on Sunday night and I think that the bettor has the edge. Let's look to expose these mistakes and "beat the books."
Missouri State (8-9, 2-3) vs. #23 Northern Iowa (15-2, 4-1) - Total -115.5
You know when you have a total of below 120 for a college basketball game, it could be related to a few things. The teams can be very strong on the defensive end, weak shooting teams, or it can be an Ivy League game.
Although I'm joking, this is actually true and in this game, we have a Northern Iowa Panthers team that has been dominant defensively lately while the Missouri State Bears haven't been able to put the rock in hole as of late.
How Good is the Panthers defense?
In their last 5 games, they haven't allowed an opponent over 60 points in a game and in their last 3 games, they've held opponents to just 43.3 points per game. The combination of having a top-notch defense and an efficient offense has allowed Northern Iowa to crack the top 25 in the AP Polls.
Northern Iowa has notable wins over Iowa and San Diego State. They have also taken VCU to the limit in a defeat in overtime. This is a very good basketball team and they should have a very lopsided matchup tonight as they're a 14.5 point betting favorite over Missouri State.
Missouri State is a one man team, led by junior guard Marcus Marshall. For the season, Marshall is averaging 19.5 points per game and is shooting nearly 90 % from the charity stripe. Look for the Panthers defense to double team Marshall as the Bears are a poor shooting team and if the Panthers key in on Marshall this game could be over by half time.
Northern Iowa likes to spread the basketball around as there are many capable shooters on their team. Seth Tuttle ( 14.5 ppg, 6 rpg.,3.2 apg.) leads a Panthers team with 4 players that shoot over 40 % from beyond the arc and Tuttle and Wes Washpun (9 for 17 from 3 point- range) are very efficient shooters. While Washpun's production has taken a dramatic drop as of late, the Panthers defense will be a tough deal with, but in the end, the NCAA Basketball odds total is simply too low. Take the over as your betting pick.
Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 115.5 at BookMaker
Boise State (11-6, 1-3) vs. New Mexico (12-5, 4-1) - Total -120.5
Back on Track
The Boise State offense, which averages 71.4 points per game, has been simply non-existent lately, but in their most recent game, an 82-73 victory over UNLV, they snapped a 4-game losing streak and leading scorer, Derrick Marks was "on the mark " as he poured in 28 points on nearly 50 % shooting in 25 attempts.
Right off the bat, the betting total looks a bit low as it reflects the losses and not the entire season of success that Boise State has had. While they've had a good season, they haven't played well in inter-conference play and it doesn't get any easier as New Mexico been nearly unstoppable where the conference is concerned.
Expect another huge effort out of Marks, who is a proven scorer, averaging 17.8 points per game while shooting over 50% from the field and over 50% from beyond the arc.
The real test comes for Boise State as they play a New Mexico Lobos team with wins over Varparaiso and Colorado State this season.
The Lobos have played outstanding defense with the help of Deshawn Delaney (12.8 ppg, 5.9 rpg.) and Hugh Greenwood (11 ppg, 4.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg.,) That said, Greenwood is a "sink or swim" type of player that averages 6 -3 point shots per game. If the shot isn't falling, New Mexico could have some trouble, but the total is placed low enough to inspire a secure NCAA Basketball pick with the over.
Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 120.5 at 5 Dimes