NCAA Basketball Picks of the Day for 1/3

Joe Catalano

Saturday, January 3, 2015 6:58 PM UTC

Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015 6:58 PM UTC

We have reached inter-conference play in NCAA Basketball and this is a great measuring stick of just how good that some teams are. There are a ton of games on the slate and we have broken it down to two game in which we look to provide the betting public with a profit on this NFL playoff Saturday.

San Diego State Aztecs (11-3) vs. Fresno State Bulldogs (5-9)
Winning Ugly
If you consider a team that wins low scoring games as "ugly", then San Diego State is your team. They don't possess one of the best offenses, averaging 62.8 points per game on 40.3% shooting from the field, but this is one of the best defensive teams in the country. This is a really bad matchup for Fresno State as they don't possess a great offense themselves. We might be focusing in on the really low betting total provided for this game.

San Diego State has won their last 4 games, allowing just 47.3 points per game. This is a team that's faced top 25 team in Utah and Arizona and held both teams to under 60 points per game. Fresno State offers very little offensively in this game and you can expect the Aztecs to hold another team under 60 points tonight.

Even though they possess one of the best defenses, you really don't know where the points will come from where San Diego State is concerned.

They have just one player in Winston Shepard, who averages in double figures at 10.7 points and 4.6 rebound per game. In their last game, the Aztecs defense won the game for them 53-49 over Air Force and Shepard shot a dismal 2 for 12 from the field. Players such as Aqeel Quinn and J.J. O'Brien are usually good for 8 to 10 points per game. As their schedule gets more difficult, one can only wonder will that be enough offense to get this team deep into the NCAA Tournament, but against a team like Fresno State, it will definitely be enough.


Marvelle Harris
As I stated earlier, Fresno State has a poor offense also, but the one difference in their offense is they have a go to guy in the form of leading scorer Marvelle Harris. For the season, Harris is averaging 16.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game. Harris is also coming off of a huge 19 point performance against New Mexico. Harris will be hard-pressed to have a big game against the San Diego State defense and if he's successful, this game could possibly be very close according to college basketball betting odds. My money is on the Aztecs defense.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: San Diego State/Fresno State Under 116 at 5 Dimes

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BYU Cougars (12-4) vs. San Francisco Dons (7-8)
Offensive Powerhouse
The BYU Cougars, who rank 2nd in the nation in points, have such a powerful offense that they even put up 87 points on San Diego State. What I didn't tell you is that it took them two overtimes to score the 87 points and they lost. All kidding aside, this is a team that can put the rock in the hole and the point spread appears to be a bit low as the Cougars are just a 5 point betting favorite against the sub .500 Dons.

What I also like about the Cougars is their degree of difficulty in schedule. They have faced teams such as San Diego State, Gonzaga, Stanford, and Utah. This is a tough schedule and they've fared pretty well. Senior guard Tyler Haws (21.6 ppg.) leads the way of a potent offense which feature 4 players that average 13 points or more.


Kyle Collingsworth
One player that really stands out for me is 6 foot 6 guard Kyle Collingsworth. Collingsworth can do it all. For the season, he's averaging 13.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 2.3 steals. For a player of just 6 foot 6 with a slight frame, Collingsworth is a superb rebounder. In 4 out of his last 5 games, Collingsworth has 10 rebounds or more per game. BYU has very few weaknesses and the Dons appear to be in a tough spot tonight.

Where the Dons are concerned, Mark Tollefsen (15.3 ppg., 5.5 rpg.) and Kruize Pinkins (15 ppg. 6.1 rpg.) will be the two players to focus on. Both players are very efficient offensively and can drill the 3-ball. The problem for San Francisco is the lack of productivity and depth aside from their leading scorers and the Cougars contain great depth as a  collective team. BYU is just on a different level than San Francisco and is battle-tested. Lay the points and make the Cougars your NCAA Basketball pick.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick:  BYU -5 at 5 Dimes

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