With only four NBA games on the schedule tonight, maybe we can locate some better value with our sports picks in college hoops. A lot of the ranked teams are in action, so let's get right to it.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Clemson Tigers
The Tigers will be looking to follow up a 77-70 win over Virginia Tech with another victory at home tonight. Currently they're favored by six points at most NCAA Basketball odds shops, but a line of 5.5 can also be locked down if you shop around. The total is at 112.
Taking on a Georgia Tech team that's cashed in only two of their seven matchups away from home this season, we like Clemson to cover the betting lines in tonight's ACC matchup
Both teams are pretty young, but the Tigers have a couple senior forwards in Devin Booker and Milton Jennings that could wind up making the difference.
Booker is averaging a team-best 12.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, while shooting a tidy 56.6 percent from the floor. Most of his buckets have come in and around the rim, while Jennings is much more of a shooting threat – he's averaging 10.8 points per game and is connecting on 40.9 percent from three this season. Jennings also exploded for 28 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks against Virginia Tech a couple nights ago.
As for Georgia Tech, their top two scorers are both freshmen. This team could have trouble scoring consistently against a Tigers defense that is giving up just 56.8 points per game over their last five. Compare that to the Yellow Jackets defense, which is surrendering 73.4 PPG in that same span, and we feel Booker and company should have little trouble scoring the rock.
Recent dominance by Clemson in this series also plays into our favor. The Tigers have won five straight in this series and have gone 4-1 ATS in those matchups. In last year's meetings, Clemson won by just two at home, but then crushed the Yellow Jackets by 19 in the rematch.
Coming in, the Tigers have covered the spread in four of their last five games and we're picking them to do so again tonight.
Pick: Clemson Tigers -5.5
Wisconsin Badgers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
If we've learned when making our College Basketball picks throughout the years, it is that you never sleep on a team coached by Bo Ryan.
Ryan always has his Badgers playing disciplined and hard, regardless of how much talent is at his disposal, and that seems to be especially true whenever Big Ten Conference play rolls around. Wisconsin will be pushed to the limit tonight though, as they take on Deshaun Thomas and Ohio State as seven-point underdogs in the college basketball odds.
The Badgers have already gone through some highs and lows in Big Ten action. They started off 4-0, with wins over the likes of Indiana and Illinois, but then dropped consecutive matchups against Iowa and Michigan State.
They were able to rebound with an excellent defensive effort this past weekend though, as the Badgers held on to win 45-44 over Minnesota at home. Even though no Badger scored more than 10 points, their lock-down defense held the Golden Gophers to 34.8 shooting.
That kind of defensive effort is one factor when it comes to our play on Wisconsin. We also like the fact the Badgers have already dealt with some intimidating environments this season, having played on the road against Indiana (a win), Florida, Marquette and Iowa.
Experience comes in handy in games like these. Three of Wisconsin's top five scorers, including Jared Berggren (12.0 PPG and 6.4 RPG), are seniors, while Ben Brust, who's one of the team's best shooters, is a junior. We are also liking what Sam Dekker has brought to the table as a freshman – he's hitting at a 42.3 percent clip from three off the bench this season.
Tonight's game features two tremendous defensive teams, and more often than not that favors the underdog. We believe the Badgers will show up tonight and make life difficult for Ohio State.
Pick: Wisconsin Badgers +7