NCAA Basketball Picks: Bet Louisiana-Monroe ATS vs. Georgia St.

Joe Gavazzi

Tuesday, December 30, 2014 5:58 PM GMT

LA Monroe visits Georgia St. at the Atlanta Sports Arena for the opening night of Sun Belt play. Don't miss out on this article as we preview this game and offer you our free NCAA Basketball picks. 

Louisiana-Monroe vs. Georgia St. (-16) 7:00 ET
 The home-standing Panthers look to defend their league championship of last season in which they blitzed the league with a 17-1 SU mark in the regular season.  LA Monroe is a quietly ascending team that offers great value in this spot.  Let’s go inside each team to see why there is value with the Warhawks tonight.     

Under 5th year HC Ron Hunter, the Panthers have been built for success.  Georgia St. has ascended upward under Hunter going from 12 to 25 victories. The heart and soul of this up-tempo team is excellence at the guard position.  It is from that position that the Panthers are led by RJ Hunter (the coach’s son), Ryan Harrow (a Kentucky transfer) and Kevin Ware, (who is 100% healthy following his gruesome injury with Louisville 2 years ago).  This is clearly one of the most prolific backcourts in the nation.  Yet, all the publicity that this team has gotten for their prolific offense has left them a bit overpriced.   They were just 5-6 ATS as home chalk last year.  This year, Georgia St. is 7-4 SU (losing to 4 quality teams on the road in Iowa St., Colorado St., ODU, and Wisc-GB), but they are also just 3-7 ATS overall.  That includes failing to cash as 17 point favorite in a 68-55 victory vs. outmanned S. Mississippi on December 21st.

Enter the LA Monroe Warhawks under 5th year HC Keith Richards.  This has been one of the most unheralded, but amazing, stories in college hoops.  When Richards took the job 5 years ago, the cupboard was bare for the Warhawks.  In addition, they were suffering from academic probation. Starting from the bottom up, Richards has built this team from a combined 14 wins his first 3 seasons to a 10-17 SU team of last year to a team that has started the season 6-5 SU this year.  With 3 RS, including leading scorers, Ongwae and Marvin Williams, ULM has a powerful front court.  Now, the Warhawks are deeper and faster than they have been.  Most noteworthy among the improvements is Richards ‘ability to lead his team to their best play on the road.  Under his tenure, LA Monroe is 83-52 ATS as road dog, including 46-23 ATS as double digit dog.  This includes a perfect 3-0 ATS mark this season with an outright win at UAB, as well as covers the NCAA basketball odds in a 5 point loss at Florida and an 8 point loss at New Mexico.

Our recommendation for your NCAA basketball picks this week is to take the underrated Warhawks in their optimum role against an overpriced Georgia St. Team.

Free NCAA Basketball Picks: Take Louisiana-Monroe +16 at 5Dimes

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