NCAA Basketball Picks: Midweek Underdog Value Worth the Risk

Darin Zank

Wednesday, December 30, 2015 7:00 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015 7:00 PM UTC

Betting college hoops is all about value, and there's value to be found on every NCAA basketball board on the dog side of the slate. As for Wednesday night we have a pair of free underdog picks.

Plus the Points in a Little Rhody Rivalry
Brown will play as a home dog tonight against in-state rival Rhode Island.

The Bears are only 4-7 on the season, as they head into their Ivy League slate, but they've been warming up by playing some decent competition. Back in early November they gave city rival Providence, which at the moment sits at 12-1, a decent tussle, only trailing by 10 at the half, before fading in a 94-73 defeat. A couple of weeks later they fell at 12-0 SMU 77-69 but covered easily as 23-point dogs. And earlier this month they lost at Georgetown 74-57, coming back from way down to steal a back-door cover at +18.

Last time out, Monday night, Brown beat Bethune-Cookman 81-73, shooting 55 percent from the floor, hitting eight-of-16 shots from beyond the arc.

The Rams, meanwhile, have alternated wins and losses over the last month, losing to Providence by a bucket, beating Houston, losing at Nebraska, beating Iona in overtime, then last time out, eight days ago, falling at Old Dominion 71-65. URI shot just 35 percent on the night, while allowing the Monarchs to shoot 51 percent.

Rhode Island had some high hopes coming into this season, but injuries are taking a toll. The Rams are already down two starters, and will probably play without another one Wednesday night.

URI has beaten Brown three times seasons in a row, but because of those injuries, and the Rams struggles from the free-throw line, we could see an upset in this spot. We like the Bears for the first of our NCAA basketball picks for Wednesday.

As of this writing, Brown was getting eight points on the NCAAB odds at Pinnacle, and +325 to win this game outright at 5Dimes.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Brown +8; Brown +325
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle


Another Bear, in the Valley
We thought Missouri State had a chance to take a step forward this season, but instead it's also struggling. Perhaps the Bears can find something Wednesday night in their Missouri Valley opener at Illinois State.

The Bears are only 4-8, and losers of three of their last four games, after falling at home to SE Missouri State eight days ago 78-74. MSU shot just 41 percent from the floor, thanks in no part to a six-for-28 performance from 3-point land.

Eleven days ago the Bears got blown out by Valpo 74-45. But they've also played some decent teams this year, losing to Butler and Utah State, pulling an upset of Oklahoma State.

Missouri State, for its troubles, is actually 4-3 ATS over its last seven games.

The Redbirds, meanwhile, have won three of their last four, after beating Tennessee State eight days ago 69-55. They're also 2-0 ATS this season against Maryland and Kentucky, losing to the Terps by 11, the 'Cats by 12, while collecting some big points.

The line on this game opened at around Illinois State -8, and crept up to -9. But that figure is probably inflated by a bucket or so, toward the home-standing Redbirds. However, ISU shoots the ball worse than the Bears, hitting at just 62 percent from the line. They're also getting outboarded by about two per game, while Missouri State is outboarding foes by three per contest.

We'll take the value with the underdog plus the points here for your NCAA basketball picks.

As of this writing, the Bears were getting eight points at Pinnacle's NCAA basketball odds board and +325 on the moneyline at 5Dimes.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Bears +8; Bears +325
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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