NCAA Basketball Picks: Mens Basketball Picks for Thursday

Joe Catalano

Thursday, January 24, 2013 3:14 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 3:14 PM UTC

With just 3 NBA games on the schedule tonight, college basketball offers a variety of opportunities with a full slate of games. Where have the odds makers left us value for our NCAA Basketball picks tonight?

Tennessee (9-7, 1-3) at #23 Mississippi (15-2, 4-0)

Ole Miss comes into this game with one of the most explosive offenses in the country. The Rebels rank 3rd in the nation in points (82.4) and 10th in rebounds (41.4) per game.

Tennessee has a difficult time enough converting on their initial shots, and Holloway will decrease their second effort opportunities by his aggression on the boards. Ole Miss is capable of underperforming at times, as they required an overtime effort to defeat a depleted Vanderbilt team, but this is a team that’s undefeated at home while Tennessee is a nightmare on the road.Mississippi has a decisive edge on the offensive end with leading scorer Marshall Henderson (18.9 ppg, 3.5rpg, 1.6 spg) and senior forward, Murphy Holloway (15.8 ppg, 10.6 rpg.) leading the way. Accuracy isn’t one of Henderson’s strong points; it’s putting up the points by any means necessary and being a nuisance on defense. He’s coming off of a 5 steal effort against Arkansas in the Rebels last game, and he will be looking to cause similar problems for Tennessee.

Not convinecd? Read PJ Laferla's NCAA Basketball Picks: Tennessee vs. Mississippi to see why he also likes the Rebels tonight.

A Confidence Booster

Tennessee comes into this game fresh off of a 72-57 victory over the Mississippi State Bulldogs. They broke a 4 game losing streak and although the Bulldogs are a weak opponent, sometimes a team needs an easy game to gain some confidence. Jarnell Stokes led the way with 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Volunteers.

Tennessee is also capable of putting up strong performances against higher level opponents. They defeated the Wichita State earlier in the season and almost managed to pull out a win in the ugliest game of the season, a 37-36 loss versus Georgetown, who was a top 20 team at the time. A victory here would easily be their best of the season, but it’s going to take a lot of offensive efficiency from the Vols.

Leading scorer, Jordan McRae came out a bit flat against the Rebels, but previous to that, he’s had 4 consecutive games of 20 points or more. At 6 foot 5, 178 pounds, this wiery guard isn’t afraid to shoot and will be hoisting up nearly 20 shots against Mississippi.


Although the Vanderbilt effort is a little scary, Mississippi should dominate against Tennessee.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Mississippi -8

Weber State (13-2, 8-0) at Montana State (7-9, 4-4)

The NCAA Basketball odds makers have opened Weber State as an 8 point road favorite and deservedly so. They’re coming into this game on a 9 game winning streak.  On the other hand, Montana State started off the season at 2-7 but has managed to turn around their season.


The Bobcats were able to pull off a victory in their most recent effort, a 76-68 victory over Southern Utah. In that game, Christian Moon scored a career high 24 points to go along with 5 rebounds and 2 steals. Moon was sensational as he shot 9 of 13 from the field.

Moon is the leader of this team, and he’ll give a consistent effort every night out. Look for him to play well against Weber State. Montana State is an experienced team laced with juniors and seniors. Xavier Blount is another player that you can look for. Blount has regained the touch with a nice effort against Southern Utah.

The Wildcats have a big time offense, ranking 18th in points in the nation (77.9) and are 5th in the nation, shooting 50.1% from the field. This in part due to the leadership of senior guard, Scott Bamforth.

Bamforth is coming off of a strong game in which he had 18 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals, and, 3 assists in a victory over Sacramento State. If the game is close, expect the ball to be in Bamforth’s hands. He’s shooting  an eye popping 91.2% from the free throw line.

Junior forward, Kyle Tresnak, has been the hot player for Weber State as of late. He’s averaging 19 points and 8 rebounds in his last 2 games. He’ll need to have a big game defensively as Weber State enters a hostile environment.


For the second of my free picks I am suggesting that you take the 8 points with Montana State at home. Their record is very deceiving in which they got off to a horrible start to the season. The Bobcats have enough momentum and talent to keep this game close.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Montana State +8
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