Games between Kansas and Baylor and Connecticut and Louisville stand out above the rest. Are we making our selections on these matchups, or looking elsewhere with our NCAA basketball picks for tonight?
Davidson Wildcats vs. Georgia Southern Eagles
Over the last couple of the years, the Wildcats have played Georgia Southern four times, winning each game and going 3-1 ATS. The average margin of victory for Davidson was 17.8 points.
Tonight the Wildcats are favored by 11.5 points on the road against the Eagles. When it comes to making our sports picks, we believe that's pretty good value on a sneaky good Davidson squad.
For one, Georgia Southern is a mess right now. They've lost three straight games, the last of which was an 18-point loss to Wofford, who are just 7-9 SU themselves. Tre Bussey was the only Eagle to score in double figures.
As for the Wildcats, they've come back strong after an expected loss to Duke on January 2. First they trounced UNC-Greensboro 85-53, with Jake Cohen going for 20 points and eight rebounds, before holding on to beat Furman 81-73 on the road. Clint Mann had 20 points off the bench in that win.
Cohen, Mann and the rest of a fairly deep Davidson team should be able to scoot past the Eagles tonight. Seven different Wildcats average at least 7.5 points, but Cohen and De'Mon Brooks have been the most productive. Between them they're averaging 27.7 points and 12.0 rebounds per contest.
That offense should be the main difference here against Georgia Southern. While Davidson is averaging 70.7 PPG (and 36.8 percent from three), the Eagles have put up just 56.9 points a game so far this season.
With advantages in practically every facet, we feel the Wildcats will be able to pull away and cover this large spread despite being on the road.
Pick: Davidson Wildcats -11.5
Baylor Bears vs. Kansas Jayhawks
The Bears have been rather successful for us so far this season and we're going right back to them with our first pick of the night.
Right now, the visitors are getting 11 points from the College Basketball odds makers for this trip to Allen Fieldhouse. It's always a tough ask to go into Lawrence and get a win, but that still seems like an awful lot of points for Kansas to cover here.
While the Jayhawks have experience in the form of Travis Releford, Elijah Johnson and Jeff Withey, the Bears are likewise stocked with some upperclassmen. Senior Pierre Jackson (19.2 PPG, 6.3 APG and 3.7 RPG) will be the best player on the court, while A.J. Walton is a senior and both Cory Jefferson (14.3 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 2.3 BPG) and Brady Heslip are juniors. Watch out for lanky freshman Isaiah Austin too.
Baylor has gone undefeated in conference play, with wins over Texas, Texas Tech and TCU. But their best performance came in early December when they went into Rupp Arena and beat Kentucky 64-55, ending the Wildcats' 55-game home winning streak in the process.
As it turns out, the Bears have covered the spread in four consecutive road games, while the underdog is 6-2 ATS in the last eight head-to-head meetings between these Big 12 foes. To boot, the road team in the series has gone 13-1 ATS in the past 14 matchups.
In sum, we just feel as if Baylor will be able to at least keep this game close. The Jayhawks may have not lost since the second week of November, but the Bears have proven they can hang around in the fact of tough environments in the past.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Baylor Bears +11