NCAA Basketball Picks: Missouri vs. Colorado State

Steven Suarez

Monday, March 18, 2013 4:12 PM GMT

A #8/#9 matchup pits Missouri against Colorado State in the first round. The Tigers come in as the favorites, but are they getting our selection with our sports picks?

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#8 Colorado State vs. #9 Missouri

Odds Overview

Glancing at the college basketball odds, we see Missouri is favored as the nine seed, but only by three points. Thus far the Tigers have gone 14-15 ATS, while the Rams went 13-15-1 ATS.

As for the total, it can be locked down at 145. Both teams were efficient offensively throughout the season, averaging over 149 PPG between them.

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Colorado State Rams

The Rams finished 25-8 overall and 11-5 in the Mountain West Conference, a conference that really made some noise this season.

Their best wins came over UNLV, San Diego State and Boise State, but they fell short in the MWC tournament, losing to the Runnin' Rebels in the semi-finals.

Colton Iverson is going to garner most of the attention from Missouri in the opening round and for good reason. He had an outstanding season, averaging 14.7 PPG on 60.0 percent shooting and 9.8 rebounds. Dorian Green, Wes Eikmeier and Greg Smith all averaged in double figures as well.

The Rams are terrific on the glass, with Iverson and Pierce Hornung both grabbing at least 9.2 rebounds per game.

Wednesday's game is going to come down to Iverson's supporting cast. The big man had 24 points and 16 rebounds against UNLV in the tournament, yet the Rams still lost by 10. Someone other than Iverson is going to have to step up. 

Missouri Tigers

There may not have been a more frustrating team than the Tigers this season. They have all the talent necessary to hang with the best, but have failed to live up to those expectations.

This team did have some solid wins, including over Florida, Mississippi, Illinois and VCU to name a few. However, they were terrible on the road, winning just two of their ten contests.

The Tigers did perform better in neutral-site games, going 4-2 SU. Overall they went 7-9 ATS in all matchups outside of Columbia.

As we said, this team has a lot of players that can contribute. Laurence Bowers leads the team with 14.4 PPG and is also hauling down 6.2 rebounds per game, and frontcourt pal Alex Oriakhi is averaging 11.1 PPG and 8.6 RPG.

In all, the Tigers have six different players that average in double figures. Phil Pressey can take over games with his ability to penetrate and dish, but he also makes a ton of mistakes. Jabari Brown, Keion Bell, and Earnest Ross meanwhile can all hit open shots outside.

Check out our Rankings on our Opening Week Seeding Trends here~

[gameodds]14/225009/43/us[/gameodds]

College Basketball Pick 

The Tigers disappointed majorly in the SEC tournament and have had their fair share of struggles on the road, but we think they'll do enough to win and cover here in the first round. 

Iverson is a special player and will get his no matter what, though we feel Missouri has more talent overall, which ultimately will make the difference in our eyes. Plus, the Tigers are one of the few teams that actually match up well with Colorado State on the glass. 

It's a big test for the Tigers. Can Bowers and Oriakhi do enough to slow down Iverson? If the pair can have an effect on both ends of the court, Missouri's superiority on the perimeter should guide them to the opening-round victory. Take Missouri as this NCAAB pick.

NCAAB Pick: Missouri Tigers -3 at Pinnacle