NCAA Basketball Odds: NIT Season Tip-Off Free Picks

Florida State basketball

Willie Bee

Thursday, November 24, 2016 2:58 PM GMT

Forget the turkey and fill up on college basketball this Thanksgiving. A couple of good matchups are on tap at the NIT Tip-Off in Brooklyn, and we've got free NCAAB picks for both games.  

Former Oakland Raiders coach and long-time NFL broadcaster John Madden might be glued to his television watching football all day, but my eyes -- and money -- will be following NCAA hoops from noon to midnight.

Two of the nine Top 25 teams in action are in Brooklyn's Barclays Center, where the semifinals for the NIT Season Tip-Off take place. Everyone expects Florida State and West Virginia to brush past their opponents to reach Friday's championship game in the holiday tournament, and the NCAA basketball odds certainly agree with that given the spreads for the two Thanksgiving contests.

 

Temple Vs. Florida State

A February swoon relegated Florida State out of the NCAA Tournament last season and into the NIT. Scheduling has the Seminoles in this year's Tip-Off with a chance to gain some momentum before the ACC schedule gets underway about a month from now. The Noles draw Temple in Thursday's tourney opener at 12:30 p.m. ET.

BookMaker is asking bettors to give up 10½ points for the privilege of backing Florida State. Playing the scoreboard requires a total decision on 152½.

It has not been a great start for Fran Dunphy and the Owls, who need an upset today to keep from falling below .500 in the early going. They have managed to cover all three of their lined contests, however, and the season did get off to a good start in a Philadelphia Big 5 victory over LaSalle that was a double-overtime thriller.

Leonard Hamilton knows his No. 25 Seminoles can't overlook the Owls despite being double-digit favorites. Florida State has been very good offensively so far, including posting back-to-back 100-point games in wins over Winthrop and Detroit, but this will be a step-up in competition against what is always a pesky Temple team.

Florida State has great depth and that could wear the Owls down in the end. I'm taking the points, though.

NCAAB Free Pick: Temple +10.5Best Line Offered: BookMaker

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 Illinois Vs. West Virginia

Speaking of depth, John Groce at Illinois and Bob Huggins at West Virginia have that commodity in spades as their Fighting Illini and Mountaineers prepare for battle in Thursday's second matchup. The tilt is projected to start around 2:30 p.m. ET, and we have West Virginia at -8½ with 152 for the total.

Groce isn't expected to do as much as Huggins with his talent, with an invite to the NIT possibly needed to keep Groce off the coaching hot seat for next season. The Illini have five players averaging double figures, but it has been a struggle to get to 4-1 so far, punctuated by an 84-80 overtime loss to Winthrop on Monday.

Huggins and No. 19 WVU have played a light three-game slate with today's affair their first official lined game. The Mountaineers have followed through and taken care of business, the weakest link up to now taking place at the free-throw line where West Virginia ranks No. 303 in the nation.

The Mountaineers have been putting up points, but that will slow today against Illinois. Let's make our second free college basketball pick on the 'under.'  Season record: 6-7 (-1.70).

NCAAB Free Pick: 'Under' 152Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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