Monday's NCAA Basketball Picks of the Day

Steven Suarez

Monday, February 3, 2014 2:46 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 2:46 PM UTC

With football officially over, it's time to shift our focus to the hard court. We've come up with two college basketball picks that look to hold value for tonight's action.

Xavier Musketeers vs. Villanova Wildcats

The Wildcats go for their fourth straight win when they welcome Xavier to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Sportsbooks have listed Villanova as a significant 10-point favorite on the college basketball odds, board though a line of 9.5 can also be found if you're wanting to side with the Wildcats and want better value.

Since getting blown out by Creighton at home, Villanova has beaten Marquette (94-85), Georgetown (65-60) and Temple (90-74), with all three wins coming on the road. The Wildcats are now on a run in which they've gone 6-2 ATS during their last eight contests overall.

As for the Musketeers, they're in their worst stretch of the season, having lost two in a row and three of their past five.

Xavier was able to respond well after losing by six at Creighton, beating Georgetown and DePaul in consecutive games. But the Musketeers have since struggled, losing to Providence (72-81) on the road and then Seton Hall (60-68) at home over the weekend.

Thing is, we like Xavier here because they're one of the few teams in the country who can keep up offensively with the Wildcats. The Musketeers, who have averaged 77.0 PPG on 48.1 percent shooting over their last five, are led by Semaj Christon, who's putting up 17.1 points a contest.

So while this Villanova team is legit, we like the look of Xavier this season too and Christon is a stud. We wouldn't be surprised if he single-handedly kept the Musketeers competitive in this game tonight.

College Basketball Pick: Xavier Musketeers +10


Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Syracuse Orange

Speaking of letdowns, we could very well see the same out of Syracuse tonight.

We witnessed one of the best college basketball games of all time on Saturday, with the Orange able to survive for the two-point win over Duke.

Regardless of how much energy that win took, Syracuse remains undefeated and it's not as if they've had a cupcake of a schedule either. This team looks like it's the real deal, which is why they're favored by a whopping 12.5 points for this visit of Notre Dame this evening.

The Fighting Irish have found it tough this year, especially since Jerian Grant left the team. They've gone 3-6 SU in conference play, with their only wins coming at home over Duke, Virginia Tech and Boston College.

On the road, Notre Dame has lost five consecutive games, but they'll try to give Syracuse a run for their money tonight.

We like the Fighting Irish's chances of a cover, as they've already dealt with a very tough schedule and have managed to hold their own for the most part. They lost by only five at Iowa and covered the spread against both Ohio State and Indiana on neutral courts earlier this season. Grant has been missed dearly, but Eric Atkins (14.3 PPG), Garrick Sherman (14.5 PPG and 8.0 RPG) and Pat Connaughton (13.5 PPG and 7.4 RPG) have all stepped up to fill the void.

For Syracuse, we expect somewhat of a hangover after such an emotional, high-profile win. Back the Fighting Irish, who are 4-3 ATS away from home this season, to cover as huge underdogs here on the road for our free college basketball picks.

College Basketball Pick: Notre Dame Fighting Irish +12.5


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