NCAA Basketball Picks: Big Upset Alert & Smart Underdog Plays

Joe Catalano

Monday, January 4, 2016 4:27 PM UTC

Monday, Jan. 4, 2016 4:27 PM UTC

We take a look at theNCAA basketball odds and see there's some apparent underdog value. Let's take a brief look at the matchups and see if the underdog is worthwhile when placing our bets.

Oklahoma Sooners vs. Kansas Jayhawks
This is a superb matchup and Kansas gets the nod from the NCAA basketball odds at home as a 6 point betting favorite. I think this game can go either way and 6 points appears to be a bit steep against a team that has beaten Villanova and is coming off of a huge victory against the Iowa State Cyclones.

Buddy Hield
Let's see if the Jayhawks can stop Oklahoma leading scorer, Buddy Hield. Hield is playing out of this stratosphere in his senior season as he's averaging 24.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.

Hield is shooting nearly 50% from beyond the arc and 90.5% from the free throw line. I see a great prospect for some lucky NBA team next season. No team has been able to stop Hield and just because Kansas is at home won't enable them to stop this super senior. The only negative that can be said about Hield is that he shot 8 for 23 against Iowa State, but the Sooners still managed to pick up the victory while Hield scored 22 points to go along with 5 rebounds. Kansas won't have an answer for Hield.

Along with Hield, the Sooners have senior forward, Ryan Spangler. Spangler's size enables him to control the paint and his 10.2 rebounds to go along with 11.2 points per game proof this fact.

Kansas is loaded with guys that can shoot as their top 5 players all shoot over 41% from beyond the arc, led by Wayne Selden Jr. and Perry Ellis, but I think that this game will go down to the wire and the 6 points is simply too much for Oklahoma to receive.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Oklahoma +7
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes


Alcorn State Braves vs. Texas Southern Tigers
I know that this isn't your convential matchup as we have two bottom feeders, but this stood out like a sore thumb. Yes, Alcorn State is 1-6 on the road, but 16 points are a ton of points to lay from a team that has lost 11 out of their first 13 games.

Texas Southern is actually coming off of a win after a 7 game losing streak. They defeated Southern 88-66, but one game doesn't make a season.

The only thing that might concern me here is the play of leading scorer, Malcolm Riley (17.1 points, 6.2 rebounds), who is the offensive force on Texas Southern, but Riley has been strugglng as of late with just 9 points in the 22 point victory over Southern. Texas Southern has an offensive threat in Riley and and a rebounding force in freshman, Derrick Griffin (14.3 points, 9.4 rebounds), but this is still a weak rebounding team also, averaging 35 rebounds per game. Bottom line; you can see why they're a 2-11 squad.

Alcorn State on the other hand, has won 2 consecutive games and are nothing to write home about. They're a poor rebounding team that can't score (63 points) and without a definitive go to guy. They go very deep, making frequent subtitutions and look for their defense to hold Texas Southern in check as this is might not be a team with talent, but a team with fresh legs. 16 points is simply way to much to lay. Take Alcorn State as your NCAA basketball pick tonight.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Alcorn State +16.5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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