Monday is always a big day in NCAA College Basketball which means a boatload of games available and also boatload of opportunity to find just the right ones to make my betting picks with.
Long Beach State (5-7) vs. #20 St. John's (9-1)
New York Has A Winner!
With all of the losing that's been going on with the New York teams in the Jets and the Knicks, this city is in an uproar, but an unexpected source in the St.John's Red Storm has given back this city some of their dignity as the Red Storm have cracked the top 25.
Not only that, odds makers aren't used to St. John's winning and have been providing some shabby betting lines and not giving the Red Storm enough credit. The Red Storm are just an 8.5 point betting favorite against a Long Beach State 49'ers club who are 0-6 on the road and going nowhere fast. St. John's appears to be the obvious NCAA Basketball pick in this spot at MSG.
Taking on All Comers
This is the one thing that I'll give Long Beach State credit for. They have faced some fierce opposition in the form of Texas, San Diego State, UCLA, Washington, Xavier, and even boast a win over Kansas State. That's still not enough to sway me in their direction.
Senior ,Mike Caffey, is one player that the Red Storm will have to deal with very carefully. He's coming off of back to back 20 plus point efforts against top 25 teams and this is a player that can shoot the lights out. He's shooting 50 % from 3-point range and is 9 of his last 12 from beyond the arc. I think that St. John's has a real problem to deal with in Caffey. Players like to look good at Madison Square Garden and why should Mike Caffey be no different than any other player?
I've talked about him as a freshman and now as a senior. Nothing has changed in D'Angelo Harrison. He's still the leader on this St.John's squad and has lived up to expectations since his recruiting years.
Harrison ranks as one of the all-time St. John's greats and his senior year is the year in which he's looking to make a statement.
For the season, Harrison is averaging 19.8 points and 6.6 rebounds. He's also a player that will give maximum effort on the defensive end. Harrison has had 4 consecutive games of 20 points or more and there's absolutely no reason to believe that he won't come up with another gem tonight against a team which has faced the best teams in the nation.
Free NCAA Basketball Pick: St. John's -8.5 at 5 Dimes
N. Illinois ( 4-4) vs. #21 Notre Dame ( 11-1)
By How Many?
This game certainly gives the bettor the appearance of how many points will Notre Dame win by to cover the spread? The NCAA Basketball odds spread is quite high at 18.5, but the Huskies are winless on the road and give you no reason to have confidence of covering the double-digit spread against a top 25 team on the road.
Northern Illinois with the combination of Jordan Threloff (9.3 rpg.), Darrell Bowie (7 rpg.), and Aaric Armestead (5.3 rpg.) does one thing very well and that's clean up the glass. Unfortunately for the Huskies, they're not a good shooting team, shooting barely 40% and have no definitive go to guy on the offensive end.
We check a little "barometric pressure" and see that the Huskies have faced one good team this season and failed in a 70-49 loss to Iowa. I wouldn't expect anything different in this game.
Notre Dame is coming off of a convincing 94-63 victory over a pretty good Purdue Boilermakers squad. Look for a lot of Jerian Grant in this game. He's coming off of one of his weaker outputs of the season against Purdue and will look to vindicate himself here. For the season, Grant is averaging 18.2 points and 6.3 assists while shooting a whopping 54.6% from the field.
Notre Dame leads the nation in shooting efficiency at 55.3 % and is 6th in points at 85.7 points per game. I simply don't think that Northern Illinois has the ammunition to compete with a team such as Notre Dame. Lay the points for your NCAA Basketball pick with the Irish.
Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Notre Dame -18.5 at 5 Dimes