NCAA Basketball Picks: Maui Invitational Predictions

Jeff Grant

Thursday, August 1, 2013 2:22 PM UTC

Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013 2:22 PM UTC

The EA Sports Maui Invitational has grown into one of the most popular early events in college basketball, as it will be contested for the 30th year in 2013.

Let’s take a closer look at four teams that’ll likely be the betting odds favorites in this event when it tips off in November at the Lahaina Civic Center on Maui.

NCAA Basketball Betting Strategies

Arkansas Razorbacks (19-13 SU, 12-12 ATS in 2012-13) 

The program has gone 3-3 all-time in this particular event, including a second place finish in 1991, while finishing sixth in 2005. 

Arkansas will meet the California Golden Bears for just the second time in school history, as it picked up a 74-58 victory in the 1986 Rainbow Classic in Honolulu. 

All eyes will be on 6-10 McDonald’s All-American player Bobby Portis in the early going. 

Baylor Bears 

The Bears are set to make their second appearance in this event, as they dropped two of three games at the 1987 festivities. 

College basketball handicappers will find that the Bears are coming off an NIT Championship and a 23-14 record a season ago, as they welcome back starters Isaiah Austin, Cory Jefferson and Brady Heslip. 

Gonzaga Bulldogs 

The Bulldogs will be making their fourth appearance in Maui, which includes winning the event in their last trip in 2009. 

Gonzaga lost some major talent from last year’s squad that earned one of four No. 1 seeds in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, but the roster received some help with the arrival of Kentucky Wildcats transfer Kyle Wiltjer. 

The 6-10 junior forward was voted the Southeastern Conference Sixth Man of the Year in averaging 7.3 points and 2.8 rebounds in 2012-13. 

Syracuse Orange 

There’s no doubt that that Orange will be the favorites to walk away with the trophy, as they welcome back three starters, with senior forward C.J. Fair leading the way.

The 6-8 senior forward averaged 14.5 points and 7.0 rebounds a season ago—earning 2nd team All-Big East honors in the process.

For full coverage of all early season tournaments head over to our NCAA Basketball Picks page.

Event details 

Maui teams:  Arkansas, Baylor, California, Chaminade, Dayton, Gonzaga, Minnesota, Syracuse 

Mainland teams:  Coast Carolina, Louisiana, Oakland, St. Francis 

Opening games (Campus sites):  Nov. 15-19

Mainland games (at Coastal Carolina):  Nov. 23-24

Championship round (Maui):  Nov. 25-27

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