NCAA Basketball Picks Of Day For Wednesday November 16

Rhode Island basketball

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 7:27 PM GMT

While just three AP Top 25 teams are in action Wednesday, there's still a full slate of games with major opportunity as NCAA basketball odds can be inaccurate so early in the season. We have provided two picks in which there's a decisive betting edge.

 

Brown Bears (1-1) at No. 21 Rhode Island Rams (2-0)

Success At Last?

Rams head coach Dan Hurley, son of legendary Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley Sr., has worked intensely on building a top contending program and he's finally done it with the Rams as they've reached the AP Top 25.

Now the Rams look to remain ranked as they have a couple of tough matchups ahead of them. A game against No. 24 Cincinnati is lurking after this one. But first, this intrastate matchup against Brown in which the Bears will be highly motivated for the upset. The Rams must not take the Ivy League school lightly.

 

E.C. Matthews

Matthews has been at Rhode Island for the entire Hurley tenure and his hard work is really starting to pay off. Although the level of opposition hasn't been overwhelming, Matthews has been the model of efficiency in a couple of blowouts to open the season against Marist and Dartmouth.

Thus far this season, Matthews is shooting 17 of 22 from the field, including 5 of 7 from beyond the arc. Matthews leads Rhode Island at 21.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. The junior guard has also mastered the process of picking pockets with his outstanding defense. Look for Matthews to play well against a Brown squad that's not on the same level talent-wise.

Another key player in this matchup is senior forward Hassan Martin. He has also excelled in the two blowouts this season in which his playing time was limited. Martin is averaging 13.5 points, 10 rebounds and 4.5 blocks per game. Coach Hurley stresses the importance of defense, and his team is a sound defensive squad. 

 

Steven Spieth

Where the Brown Bears are concerned, they've already faced that Cincinnati squad we've mentioned in their season opener and didn't fare so well, losing 84-55 in a complete mismatch. We should see more of the same here. For the Bears to have any chance at being competitive, their leading scorer Spieth must continue to be aggressive as he's made a habit of making trips to the charity stripe. Spieth leads the Bears with 18 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game, but can he do enough to make his club competitive? I say no. 

NCAAB Free Pick: Rhode Island -24.5Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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UC Irvine Anteaters (1-1) at No. 25 California Golden Bears (1-0)

No Rabb, No Problem

The Golden Bears had to endure playing without their All-American power forward Ivan Rabb in their opener and they played outstanding defense en route to a a 82-53 victory over South Dakota State. It's likely that the Golden Bears will be without Rabb (toe) against UC Irvine and they're still highly regarded on college basketball odds as 16-point betting favorites.

The two key categories in which the Golden Bears dominated against South Dakota State were field goal percentage and rebounding. They held the Jackrabbits to a mere 28.6% from the field and outrebounded their opponent by a significant 54-26 margin. Look for defense to yet again play a major role vs. UC Irvine.

 

Jabari Bird & Sam Singer

The Golden Bears are a team that lost their top three scorers from last season: two players to the NBA and Jordan Matthews transferring to Gonzaga. It will be up to the seniors Bird and Singer to shoulder the offensive load while Rabb is out. It has only been one game, but both players looked good as Singer had 14 points, 6 and 5 assists while Bird finished with 14 points and 6 rebounds. Both of these guys are two-way players who can shoot the 3-pointer. Cal will be deadly when Rabb returns, but the Bears are still a force without him and we should see that in this game.

Taking a look at the Anteaters, the keep their players fresh with frequent substitutions. A total of 8 guys are playing 14.5 minutes or more per game while nobody plays more than 30 minutes. The Anteaters have also endured some key losses from last year's club, but 5-foot-10 senior Jaron Martin is back and is coming off of a 24-point performance in UC Irvine's 73-58 victory over South Dakota State (yes, the Jackrabbits have played both these teams). Look for UC Irvine to have a tougher time in this game as the Golden Bears' defense is exceptional.

NCAAB Free Pick: Cal -16Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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