There are a few college basketball showdowns on the agenda tonight and we've come up a couple picks that we think hold good value.
Virginia Cavaliers vs. Duke Blue Devils
With Duke and Virginia both sitting at 12-4 SU for the season, we get why the Blue Devils are favored by 6.5 points at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
However, we don't really think they deserve to be.
Duke has really struggled as of late. They had won five in a row, including victories over Michigan (79-69) and UCLA (80-63), but have since lost two of three. They lost by two to Notre Dame on the road and then were beaten handily 59-72 at Clemson over the weekend.
If you're the Blue Devils, there's been little time to reflect on what's been going wrong, as now they face another very challenging matchup, this time at home against Virginia.
The Cavaliers have been on quite a roll since getting killed by Tennessee on December 30th, winning three straight by an average margin of 22 points. They got the better of Florida State (62-50) in Tallahassee, had no trouble with Wake Forest (74-51) at home and then destroyed NC State (76-45) on the road on Saturday.
Duke may have the flashy names, but it's Virginia that's been playing the better basketball recently. The Cavaliers will lean on senior Joe Harris, but they have quite a bit depth, with seven different players averaging at least 17.4 minutes per game so far this season.
Over the last couple of seasons, Harris and company have really made life difficult on Duke. The Cavaliers won 73-68 at home last year and then lost by only three the year before in Durham. We expect another close game tonight, so we have no qualms about taking the points for our free college basketball picks.
College Basketball Pick: Virginia Cavaliers +6.5
Texas Longhorns vs. West Virginia Mountaineers
The Longhorns will head to West Virginia as 5.5-point underdogs at the top sportsbooks, while a high total of 149 points has been put on the college basketball odds board. No surprise given how productive both of these offenses can be on their day.
Texas has had a tough time since conference play started, losing their first two games to Oklahoma (85-88 at home) and then Oklahoma State (74-87) on the road. The Longhorns were able to bounce back with a three-point home victory over Texas Tech over the weekend.
As for West Virginia, they'll be raring to go after letting one slip away against the Cowboys. They certainly had their chances to win, but ultimately lost by a single point at home.
Nonetheless, it was a great effort from the Mountaineers and that's one of the reasons we like them to cover this number tonight. If they can almost get the best of one of the most talented teams in the country, you'd have to think they can come out and take care of business against Texas.
West Virginia also holds the clear advantage in the backcourt, where Juwan Staten and Eron Harris have been dominating play. Harris leads the team with 18.1 points per game, but Staten has been the better all-around player, averaging 17.0 PPG, 6.1 RPG and 6.1 APG on the year.
Meanwhile, Devin Williams is coming off a nice game (12 points and 13 rebounds) against Oklahoma State and will need to show up again versus a tough interior duo of Jonathan Holmes and Cameron Ridley.
Though a lot has changed since last year, it should be noted that West Virginia won both meetings in 2012/13. Will they make it a third straight victory over the Longhorns tonight? We believe so.
College Basketball Pick: West Virginia Mountaineers -5.5