NCAA Basketball Picks: Maximize Your Sunday's Profit With This Pair of Upsets

Steven Suarez

Sunday, February 22, 2015 4:11 PM GMT

We're on upset alert here on Sunday. Which two college basketball picks are we fond of for another busy day of action?

Oregon Ducks vs. Utah Utes
What a game we shoudl be in for when Utah and Oregon, two of the best teams in the Pac-12, meet up on the court tonight. Current NCAA basketball odds show the Ducks favored by 5.5 points despite being on the road. 

The Utes refuse to give up the chase of Arizona in the conference and currently are just a half game back. They've enjoyed a stellar season and are ranked #9 in both of the major polls, showcasing just how good they've been. Coming into tonight, Utah has won five straight games to improve to 21-4 overall and 11-2 in conference play. Delon Wright (14.1 PPG, 5.4 APG and 4.7 RPG) has been the main man for the surging Utes.

We can't sleep on Oregon though, as the Ducks have won five of their last six contests to improve to 9-5 in the conference and 19-8 overall. They're coming off a nice 13-point win over Colorado and seem to have found their stride at the right time. Joseph Young has been one of the best players in the entire Pac-12, averaging 20.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG and 3.8 APG while playing a team-high 36.1 minutes per game.

For tonight, here's our train of thought. The Utes are a formidable team, especially defensively, but the Ducks will be at home and are one of the few teams out there that may have the personnel to get the job done. They're scoring at a great clip this season and we look for them to find success against Utah in this situation. With your sports picks, consider backing Oregon against the spread, and you may want to sprinkle a little on the moneyline too.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Oregon Ducks +5.5 (and ML) at 5Dimes

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Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Michigan State Spartans
The Fighting Illini were just taught a lesson by Wisconsin last weekend, but they've had a full week to fix their mistakes and prepare for a showdown with Branden Dawson and the visiting Spartans. The top sportsbooks show Michigan State favored by a point and a half right now, though there's still some time left for those odds to shift further.

The Spartans have been looking good lately, picking up wins in three consecutive matchups. They've topped Northwestern, Ohio State and Michigan, three rock solid programs, with their most recent triumph coming in style on the road against their rivals in the Wolverines. Dawson was terrific in that victory, as he has been all season long - he comes in averaging 12.4 PPG and 10.1 RPG. The likes of Denzel Valentine and Travis Trice have been excellent too.

As for Illinois, they've picked up their level of play too, aside from their latest performance that is. The Fighting Illini had won four straight, which included victories both Michigan State and Michigan, but then they fell apart in a tough encounter with the formidable Badgers. Wisconsin was excellent defensively on their way to a comfortable 68-49 win over Illinois. For the Fighting Illini, the return of Rayvonte Rice has been very much needed, while Malcom Hill and Kendrick Nunn have also been contributing good numbers.

This one's likely to come down to the wire, but in the end it's tough to pass up siding with Illinois at home at such a short number. The Fighting Illini is our college basketball pick to come out and get the straight up win, as they've been in good form overall in recent weeks and will be amped up and well rested to give the Spartans a run for their money. 

NCAA Basketball Pick: Illinois Fighting Illini +2 (and ML) at Pinnacle

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