NCAA Basketball Picks: Saturday Picks of the Day

Joe Catalano

Saturday, January 4, 2014 1:24 PM GMT

Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014 1:24 PM GMT

We have a big Wild Card Weekend ahead of us and what better way to get the festivities started than with free winning picks in NCAA College Basketball.

#7 Duke (11-2) at Notre Dame (9-4)

Inaugural ACC- Inter-conference Matchup

Duke is a 5 point favorite in the NCAA basketball odds, and I absolutely love them in this spot. Even though they’re on the road, look for the pressure to get to the Fighting Irish without leading scorer, Jerian Grant, who will not be playing due to academic violations; who say’s players don’t go to school to get an education?

Battle-Tested

Duke hides from nobody as they’ve already faced Kansas, Arizona, Michigan, and UCLA. These 4 games are a learning experience with a couple of new star players and at this point in the season, coach Mike Krzyzewski has to be happy the way that his team is playing.

Freshman phenom, Jabari Parker (21.4 points, 8 rebounds), has gotten that much needed experience playing on the collegiate level and transfer Rodney Hood (17.2 points, 5 rebounds) has been more than Coach K could’ve asked for. You add in the experienced Quinn Cook at the point guard position and this is a Duke team that has to be thought of as the favorite to win the ACC Championship.

Even if Jerian Grant had played in this game, Notre Dame would’ve had a very difficult time against one of the best teams in the nation.

Without Grant, things have become difficult for the Fighting Irish. In their last game, Canisius took Notre Dame to overtime as the Irish prevailed, 87-80. One encouraging thing that Notre Dame can take away from the win over Canisius is the play of guard, Eric Atkins. The senior played way over his head as he shot 10 of 14 from the field and 6 of 8 from 3 point range for a team high 30 points. Sadly for Notre Dame, if they’re to have any chance in this game, they’ll need another player to put up the same type of numbers and that’s unlikely to happen.

Look for Duke to cover the short-handed Irish easily in this inter-conference get together.

Pick- Duke -5 at Bet 365

[gameodds]14/253742/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Clemson (9-3) at Boston College (4-10)

Boston College Due For a Beating?

Online sportsbooks have the Tigers as a mere 2.5 point betting favorite against a team that’s headed for 20 losses and can’t even beat Ivy League teams? Clemson hasn’t played the toughest schedule themselves, but this game looks like a no-brainer in favor of the Tigers.

You can never take a team lightly and the Tigers will need to take that approach. That said, they made easy work of their last opponent in VMI. They made such quick work of the Keydets that their leading scorer, K.J. McDaniels, only played 18 minutes and stuffed the stat sheets with 7 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 3 assists. McDaniels is the go to guy on this Tigers team and he’ll definitely get more playing time against the Eagles. Look for a big game out of the junior forward out of Birmingham, Alabama.

1-6 In Their Last 7 Games

The Eagles are a very inconsistent team. They’re coming off of a horrendous stretch with their last game being a 15 point loss to Harvard, but this is a team that has taken the likes of Connecticut to the limit earlier in the season. As the inter-conference part of the schedule begins and B.C. is at home, can they pull off a shocker here? This is a team that needs to stop the bleeding immediately.

2 Prime Time Scorers

In order for Boston College to have a chance in this game, their top 2 scorers, Olivier Hanlon (19.4 points per game) and Ryan Anderson (16.2 points, 7.2 rebounds), need to put up huge numbers. Hanlon has lost the shooting touch in his last few games, but just the same, a team with a 1-2 punch like this can’t be underestimated.

2.5 points are absolutely nothing against a team that’s played the way that Boston College has been playing. Take Clemson as your NCAA basketball picks and expect an easy cover. This is no trap game; it’s just an inaccurate line.

Pick- Clemson -2.5 at Bet 365

[gameodds]14/253755/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

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