NCAA Basketball Picks: A Pair Of Underdog Bets To Cash On Thursday

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, February 11, 2016 4:22 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016 4:22 PM UTC

Our college basketball expert Ross Benjamin has gone 19-14-1 ATS (58%) the last fourteen betting days with his underdog NCAA basketball picks, and that includes 15 outright winners.

UA-Little Rock vs. UL Monroe 8:00 PM
The point spread for this game immediately sent huge red flags up in my sight line. We have a Little Rock team that’s gone an outstanding 21-2 this season, facing an opponent tonight which has a less than impressive 11-12 record, and yet they’re a favorite by such a small number. After examining this matchup closely, it was understandable as to why. This appears to be a huge trap for bettors being enticed to wager on the favorite.

These teams met at Little Rock on 1/9/16, and the home team escaped with a 58-57 win as an 11.0 point favorite. Monroe nearly pulled off a huge upset despite being awarded only 10 free throw attempts, and converting on just 4 of those tries. That was the closest that Little Rock has come to losing at home all season.

UL-Monroe has gone a terrific 9-0 at home this season, outscored their opponents by decisive margin of 19.4 points per game, and was a perfect 7-0 ATS in lined contests. Monroe is the poster team for a Jekyll and Hyde personality, considering they’ve gone a dismal 2-12 in road and neutral site games. They’ve also gone 5-1 in its last six games overall, averaged a robust 85.3 points cored per contest during that time span, and shot an excellent 51.1% from the field. As a matter of fact, Monroe’s shooting at home has been nothing short of sensational, making 53.4% of its field goal attempts, and converting on a superb 43.1% of their three-point tries.

I’m going the opposite way of public perception on this game. The home underdog in this contest will be one of my NCAA basketball picks on Thursday.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: UL-Monroe +3
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes


Illinois State vs. Evansville 9:00 PM ET
I’ve been a backer of Evansville on several occasions this season. After all, they’re a veteran laden team that returned all 5 starters from a squad which won the 2015 postseason College Insider’s Tournament. However, I’ve not been thrilled by their play in recent games. The Aces have gone just 2-3 SU&ATS in its last five contests, including a disappointing 13 point home loss to MVC leader Wichita State, and quite frankly that contest wasn’t as close as the final score indicates.

Speaking of Wichita State, the #25 Shockers were upset by Illinois State in their previous game as a 13.0 point favorite. That win by the Cardinals was their fifth in its last six games. They were able to pull off that huge upset against Wichita State despite shooting an abysmal 27%. Illinois State lost at home by 11 at Evansville earlier this season. It must be noted, there was a huge disparity at the free throw line during that game, and it’s a high probability that won’t occur again tonight. Evansville had 27 free throw tries in that contest while Illinois State was awarded only 4 attempts. The Cardinals haven’t been a very good shooting team this year. However, they’ve converted on a stellar 42.9% of its three point attempts during the last five games, and Evansville has allowed their previous five opponents to go a combined 40.4% from long distance.

Current NCAA basketball odds provide me with a best combination of number and price for this specific wager.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Illinois State +9
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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