NCAA Basketball Picks: Saturday Value Picks

Darin Zank

Saturday, February 2, 2013 1:35 PM GMT

When searching for value in a potential college basketball bet we look for -among other things- teams that might have struggled through a portion of this season already, but still possess quality.

Searching for Value on Saturday 

This is what we came up with in searching for value on Saturday's college basketball betting board.

Last Week's Hoops Betting Record: 5-1

Temple at St. Joe's (6 pm ET, CBS Sports Network)

The Owls, at 14-6, head over to Hagan Arena to take on the 12-7 Hawks Saturday evening.

Temple lost three starters from last year, but we still thought they had a shot at the Atlantic 10 title. The Owls then started 6-0 this season, until losing (badly) to Duke, and a win over Bowling Green New Year's Eve got Temple to 10-2. But since the turn of the year the Owls are only 4-5, 3-3 in conference play.

On the season Temple owns wins over Syracuse and St. Louis, and losses to Duke, Kansas and Butler.

Last time out the Owls beat Richmond 71-64, but couldn't cover the spread as eight-point NCAAB odds favorites. In fact, Temple is 0-5 ATS over its last five games.  

St. Joe's, meanwhile, owns victories this year over Notre Dame and Xavier, with losses to Florida State, Creighton, Butler and VCU. The Hawks have won their last two games, most recently winning at Fordham Wednesday night 66-62.

Temple isn't exactly shooting the lights out this year, hitting at 42 percent from the floor and 32 percent from 3-point land, but at least they're shooting 73 percent from the line. And free throws might play a key part in covering the spread Saturday.

St. Joe's, on the other hand, is shooting 44 percent from the floor and holding foes to 41 percent shooting.

The bottom line for us on this game is the Owls are the better team, and that they'll work their way through their recent struggles, if you can even call them that. And in playing on enemy turf  Saturday the point spread should be conducive to victory.

College Basketball Picks: Take Temple

Miami at North Carolina State (4 pm ET, CBS)

The 16-3 Hurricanes ride an eight-game winning streak into Raleigh to take on the 16-5 Wolfpack.

Miami hasn't made the NCAA tournament in five years, but with four starters back from last year hopes were high. And the 'Canes are well on their way. Miami, in its second season under Coach Larranaga, started 8-1 this year, then lost a couple of games in a row, but hasn't lost since.

The Hurricanes made big noise last week when they drubbed Duke 90-63. They've since followed that up with solid victories over Florida State and Virginia Tech.

NC State, meanwhile, began this season as the favorite to win the ACC, and we concurred. The Pack had four starters back from a team that got to the Sweet 16 last year, and the usual powers in the ACC looked vulnerable.

State lost to Michigan back in November, then won 10 in a row. The Pack has actually lost three of its last five games, but those three losses have come by a total of six points.

Last Saturday NC State beat rival North Carolina, but then, as they always seem to do after topping the Tar Heels, the Pack lost their next game, Tuesday night at Virginia 58-55.

On the season NC State is shooting 50 percent from the floor, 40 percent from 3-point range; Miami, meanwhile, is shooting 45 percent from the field and 35 percent from long range.

We give the Pack the edge in the actual on-court match-up for this game, and with Miami's recent success the point spread should be very manageable. Coming off a defeat, we like NC State in this spot.

College Basketball Picks: Take the Wolfpack

Tune in right here for a pick on the Gonzaga vs. USD game!