NCAA Basketball Picks of the Day: Is Arizona On Upset Alert Sunday?

Matthew Jordan

Sunday, December 13, 2015 2:56 PM UTC

Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015 2:56 PM UTC

I think there's an NFL game or two Sunday but there's also some solid NCAA basketball action as an appetizer. And No. 13 Arizona is injury-ravaged and could be in trouble vs. Mizzou.

Syracuse At St. John's (+9 On NCAA Basketball Odds)
It still feels weird that the Orange are in the ACC and that this isn't a Big East matchup against the Red Storm at  Madison Square Garden. But thankfully Syracuse agreed to a home-and-home series with the Johnnies after they left for the ACC. Unfortunately, we won't see two Hall of Famers in this one. By that I'm talking about St. John's coach Chris Mullin, who was inducted as a player, and Syracuse's Jim Boeheim, who is in as a coach. Boeheim remains on suspension for NCAA violations in the program. That suspension was moved up on appeal so Boeheim wouldn't miss the first nine games of conference play. The Orange are 1-1 under assistant Mike Hopkins. They lost at Georgetown last Saturday and then routed Colgate 78-51 on Tuesday. St. John's is 6-3 under Mullin, in his first season at his alma mater. Mullin's team is young as freshmen have combined for 39.1 percent of the team's scoring. Federico Mussini (14.0 ppg) and Yankuba Sima (8.4 ppg, 6.7 rpg) have started every game. The Johnnies haven't beaten anyone yet of note and lost decisively to Vanderbilt and Indiana. The Red Storm defeated the Orange 69-57 last year in the Carrier Dome to give St. John's its first win over Syracuse in the Dome since 1998-99.

NCAAB Free Pick: St. John's Red Storm. The Orange are 1-7 ATS in their past eight following an ATS win.
Best Line Offered: +10.5 (-105) at Heritage

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Alabama At Clemson (-6 In NCAA Betting)
A potential national championship preview in the College Football Playoff?  Nope, just a middling basketball game on Sunday. It's still football season in Tuscaloosa -- well, it always is -- so Tide fans might  not even be aware that the basketball team has lost one of its best players. That's freshman point guard Dazon Ingram, who is out for the season following surgery to repair a fractured foot. The former Mr. Basketball in Alabama, Ingram is the Crimson Tide's fourth-leading scorer, averaging 7.7 points per game while shockingly leading the team in rebounds at 5.9 per game (what point guards lead in rebounds?). He also was averaging 3.3 assists, tied for the team lead. This is the 5-2 Tide's first game without him. They have nice wins already over against Wichita State and Notre Dame. Clemson (6-2) hasn't beaten anyone worthy yet. The Tigers haven't played in a week due to final exams. They are among the ACC leaders in 3-pointers per game (9.1), assists per game (16.1) and scoring defense (59.6). Jaron Blossomgame is averaging 18.5 points while shooting .596 from the field. Clemson and Alabama meet for the first time since the 2008-09 season. The Tigers were 3-1 against SEC teams last season.

NCAAB Free Pick: Clemson. The Tide have covered only eight of their past 33 after a win. Clemson is 6-2 ATS in its past eight vs. the SEC.
Best Line Offered: -7 (-106) at Pinnacle

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Missouri At No. 13 Arizona (-16.5 For NCAA Basketball Picks)
Missouri (5-3) beat Omaha 85-78 on Wednesday for its third straight win and to improve to 5-0 at home. Tigers freshman forward Kevin Puryear finished with 18 points and a career-high eight rebounds. The Tigers' defense forced a season-high 16 turnovers, leading to 23 points. Mizzou had 37 rebounds and 13 assists, its fifth consecutive game with 30-plus rebounds and 10-plus assists. Missouri has not looked very good in its three games away from Columbia, though. If Arizona (8-1) was at full health, I don't think this would be a close game. But that's far from the case. Starting center Kaleb Tarczewski remains out with a foot injury that likely will cost him another month. The 7-foot senior was averaging 8.6 points and 7.2 rebounds during the first five games of the season. In Wednesday's 85-72 win over Fresno State, starting point guard Kadeem Allen went down with a sprained ankle and practically had to be carried off. No chance he plays Sunday. He had 15 points and five assists against Fresno, and on the season the JuCo transfer is averaging 7.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. He will likely be replaced in Arizona’s starting lineup by sophomore Parker Jackson-Cartwright, who is averaging 6.4 points and 3.4 assists. And it's not clear what's going on with reserve swingman Elliott Pitts, who missed the Fresno game for personal reasons. He plays 21.3 minutes a night. This is the first time Mizzou and Arizona have played since the Elite Eight of the 1994 NCAA Tournament. Arizona will visit Missouri next year.

NCAAB Free Pick: Missouri covers. The Tigers are 4-0 ATS in their past four games.
Best Line Offered: +16.5 (-105) at 5Dimes

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