NCAA Basketball Picks for Sunday: Final Non-Conference Tuneups

Matthew Jordan

Sunday, December 27, 2015 1:29 PM GMT

With all due respect to NCAA basketball, it's hard to pay too much attention to it before Christmas. But now that we are past that, we choose our top NCAA basketball picks for today.

Get ready, as we gather here to break down the current NCAA Basketball odds for the best Sunday's games that you can't pass up and must add to your NCAA Basketball picks. Let's get started...

 

Marshall vs. No. 4 Maryland (-23 On NCAA Basketball Odds)
Marshall (4-8) comes off an 85-81 home loss to Grand Canyon on Tuesday in the championship game of the Global Sports Classic. The Thundering Herd rallied from a 15-point deficit to take the lead in the final two minutes of play but couldn't hang on. Junior Austin Loop led Marshall with 20 points. Maryland will be Marshall's second ranked team faced; the Herd lost 86-68 to then-No. 20 West Virginia on Dec. 17 in Charleston. The No. 4 Terps are the highest AP-ranked team the Herd will face since taking on No. 3 Syracuse on Dec. 6, 2011. Marshall lost that one 62-56. The Herd haven't won a road game over a ranked team since Dec. 2, 2000, and have never beaten a Top 5 team in 16 tries. Maryland (10-1) has won four straight since a loss to North Carolina in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Terps are third nationally in field-goal percentage, shooting .535 from the field. They are the only Big Ten team to have five guys scoring in double figures, led by Melo Trimble's 15.0 points per game. Freshman big man Diamond Stone, a likely lottery pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, is averaging 13.8 points and 6.3 rebounds in the past four games. Maryland and Marshall haven't met since 1980.

The Herd are 1-8 ATS in their past nine after a loss. They have covered only one of their past nine on Sunday. Maryland is 5-2 ATS in the past seven vs. C-USA teams.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Maryland. 
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

 

Texas Southern vs. Syracuse (-18 In NCAA Betting)
Texas Southern (1-9) enters on a five-game losing streak. It's lone win was against Texas San Antonio. Texas Southern has played three Power 5 Conference teams this season, losing 76-56 at Clemson, 77-65 at Washington State and 86-73 at Mississippi State. Derrick Griffin leads the team in scoring at 16.5 points per game. Texas Southern is coached by Mike Davis, who led Indiana to the 2002 NCAA title game as the Hoosiers' coach after Bobby Knight. The Tigers have reached the NCAA Tournament in each of the past two years. They are located in Houston but haven't played a single home game yet. Syracuse (9-3) is off an 82-60 win over Montana State on Tuesday. Chinonoso Obokoh had 11 points in the win. That's notable because he had 10 points all of last year and had one in Syracuse's first 11 this season. The Orange remain without head coach Jim Boeheim as he is suspended until Jan. 9 against North Carolina. This closes out non-conference play for SU as it visits Pittsburgh to open ACC play on Wednesday. Texas Southern and Syracuse have only played once, in 1997.

The Orange are 4-1 ATS in their past five at home. They are 9-3 ATS in their past 12 vs. teams with a winning percentage below .400.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Syracuse. 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Loyola-Maryland vs. Northwestern (-20.5 For NCAA Basketball Picks)
Want to ask your friends an interesting NCAA basketball trivia question? Then ask them if they know which team in a Power-5 Conference has never made an NCAA Tournament. Your answer would be Northwestern. But this might be the year for the Wildcats (11-1) under Coach Chris Collins, the former Duke player and assistant coach. NU, off to its best start since 1982-83, played North Carolina fairly tough in its only loss, 80-69 in Kansas City back in November. NU also has decent wins over Missouri and Virginia Tech, but neither of those are likely tournament squads. This is Northwestern's final game before opening Big Ten play at Nebraska on Wednesday. The Wildcats have won eight straight following a rout of Sacred Heart 103-67 on Monday. Alex Olah, a senior center, had 21 points in that one to become the 33rd 1,000-point scorer in school history. The Wildcats committed only 10 turnovers and had 30 assists on their 36 made baskets. Loyola (Md.) is pretty bad at 1-9, with that lone win over UMBC. The Greyhounds have played one Power 5 team, losing by 33 at Kansas. Jared Jones leads Loyola in scoring at 14.2 per game. Northwestern won the only previous meeting between the schools, 66-60, Dec. 27, 2006 at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

NU has won 12 straight at home, tying the school record. A win here would also tie the school mark for regular-season wins against non-conference teams. Take the Wildcats. Loyola has covered one of its past six non-conference games. Northwestern is 5-0 ATS in its past five.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Northwestern
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle