Monday's NCAA Basketball Picks Against the Spread Focus on Four Potential 'Big Dancers'

Darin Zank

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 3:14 PM GMT

Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015 3:14 PM GMT

The Big 12 might send more than half its members to the upcoming NCAA tournament. Four potential Big Dancers hook up Monday night, and that's where we go for our top college basketball ATS plays of the day.

Bears, Cowboys Scrap in Waco
Two teams trying to solidify their cases for NCAA tournament bids face off when 18-5 Baylor hosts 16-7 Oklahoma State.

The Cowboys have won three of their last four games; last Wednesday they won at Texas in overtime 65-63, and Saturday then beat Kansas 67-62. OSU jumped out to a 15-point first-half lead on the Longhorns, gave up a rally in the second half but recovered and won in OT, cashing in at +240 on the moneyline. Saturday it was the Cowboys who trailed by double-digits at the half, then rallied to beat the Jayhawks, winning outright as two-point home dogs.

We had our doubts about Oklahoma State coming into this season, but at the moment they're 6-5 in Big 12 play, and would probably make the tournament if the field were decided today.

Baylor, meanwhile, has won three in a row and five of its last six after whipping West Virginia Saturday 87-69 in Morgantown, winning straight-up as a five-point underdog and at +210 on the moneyline. Just before that the Bears beat TCU by 20, and just before that they beat Texas by 23.

At 6-4 in conference play Baylor is only two games out of first place, and more realistically shooting for a good seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament.

Oklahoma State took the first meeting between these teams this season, 64-53 two weeks ago in Stillwater. The Cowboys led by nine at the half and never let the Bears threaten after that, going on to cover the spread as four-point favorites. Now, do we think OSU can pull off the sweep of the season series with a victory tonight? Or do believe Baylor will turn the table and earn the split?

Ultimately, our guess is this game has a good chance of grinding into a defensive battle, in which points will be hard to come by. In the first meeting between these teams two weeks ago they combined to shoot just 39 percent from the floor. And if that's the case we'll gladly take the points with the dog.

Free College Basketball Pick: Oklahoma State +7 at 5Dimes

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Sooners, Cyclones Square Off in Norman
Oklahoma is suddenly hot, with four wins and covers in a row, after beating TCU Saturday 68-56. Last Tuesday the Sooners defeated West Virginia 71-52, and just before that they won at Oklahoma State 64-56. So OU, once 3-4 in Big 12 play, is now 7-4, and only a half-game behind second-place Iowa State. We had some doubts about the Sooners a while back, after they had lost four out of five games, in part because we backed them financially a couple of times along the college basketball odds, only to watch them come up empty. But back before this season started we thought Oklahoma worthy enough of an NCAA tournament futures bet, at 66/1 to win it all. So maybe the Sooners are finally playing up to our lofty expectations.

Iowa State is running in spits and spurts so far through conference play; the Cyclones won two in a row, then lost, then won two in a row, then lost, then won two more in a row, then lost, and last time out won, routing Texas Tech Saturday 75-38. So if recent form holds ISU should win tonight, right?

At 7-3 in the Big 12 the 'Clones trail first-place Kansas by one game, and they're also chasing a good seed for the 2015 NCAA Tournament.

Iowa State owns the edge on offense, but Oklahoma is better defensively. And normally in a case like this we go with the better defense. But the Cyclones can really throw the ball in the hole, and should be able to match up against that Sooners D. Also, the home team is probably favored by a bucket or so too much. So like our first college basketball pick above, we like the dog and the points in this spot.

Free College Basketball Pick: Iowa State +6 at Bookmaker

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