NCAA Basketball Picks of the Day: ATS Bets Offer Top Betting Value for Friday's Short Schedule

Doug Upstone

Friday, February 20, 2015 3:12 PM GMT

Friday, Feb. 20, 2015 3:12 PM GMT

Our college basketball picks of the day are going to be Ivy League-free today, with two choices against the betting odds. For Friday we have only seven games available, but found two value plays.

Cleveland State vs. UW-Green Bay – Situational Play
Tonight, sole possession of second place is on the line in the Horizon League. UW-Green Bay (21-6, 13-10 ATS) lost 76-62 to Cleveland State in the first meeting of the season Jan. 31 in Ohio, in a contest which had the NCAA basketball betting odds at a Pick. The Vikings in that contest shot 56.8 percent and was led by standout guard Trey Lewis (16.9 points a game), who scored a game-high 25 points on 9-for-15 shooting. 

UWGB is averaging 69.1 points and allowing 60.4 per game. It is shooting 46.5 percent overall, 30.6 percent on 3’s and a paltry 63.4 percent from the free throw line. Opponents are shooting 40.4 percent overall, 33.2 percent on 3’s and 65.5 percent from the line. The Phoenix strategy will be to pound the ball inside to second-leading scorer Greg Mays (12.1) and have him also find leading scorer Keifer Sykes (17.8) for outside shots. The senior point guard is still is dealing with a left thumb sprain sustained against Valparaiso last Friday and he and his teammates are expert in slapping at the ball to cause turnovers.

Sportsbooks opened Cleveland State (16-11, 12-12 ATS) as five-point road underdogs, which suites them just fine. The Vikings have a matching 10-3 record in league play with UWGB and despite a 4-10 SU away record, CSU is 8-5 ATS, losing by just 2.5 points a contest.

The Vikings were supposed to play at Western Carolina on Tuesday, but it was canceled due to inclement weather in North Carolina, thus their last outing was Sunday, a 67-59 non-cover win over Illinois-Chicago, which included a season-high 11 blocked shots. Cleveland State is averaging 67.7 PPG and conceding 61.7. It is shooting 45.4%, 37.5% behind the arc and 69.8% from the charity stripe. Opponents are shooting 41.8%, 35.6 percent on 3’s and 68.2% from the line.

The Phoenix will certainly have revenge in mind for this ESPN2 7:00 EST tip and they are 12-0 (6-3 ATS) at home, winning by 17.1 PPG. College basketball handicappers are also aware, prior to the earlier season setback, UWGB was 5-0 SU and ATS against Cleveland State. The Vikings are also coming off a game in which they shot 55.3 percent and the past four times they connected on that percentage or higher, they are 0-4 against the spread.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Take the home team -6 at BetOnline

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Max Out Friday's Profit With This Pair of Ivy League Bets

Iona vs. Marist – Too Much Offense
Once again Iona (21-6, 12-13 ATS) is atop the MAAC standings at 14-2, two games ahead of their nearest competitor and makes the trip to Marist (5-21, 10-13 ATS), who is near the bottom of the standings. The Gaels are one of the top scoring teams in the country at 81.1 PPG and do not suffer a significant drop off on the road, just down to 77.7 PPG. What makes Iona so dangerous on offense is their ability to make three’s, making 10 a contest and hitting 41.5 percent.

Marist on the other hand struggles to score, averaging 60.7 PPG and is sinking only 39.9 percent of attempts and is only marginally better at home at 61.3 PPG on 42.9%.

The college basketball odds had Iona as 10-point favorites and that has fallen to -8.5. How this comes about is the Red Foxes despite a 2-7 and 2-6 ATS home record, they have lost by just 6.2 PPG. And for all the Gaels offense, they are mediocre on defense and only win by 2.9 PPG on the road, leading to 8-7 ATS mark.

However, Iona has won eight straight and beat the number six times and with the number in single digits and a total of 145 suggesting a pace the Gaels prefer to play at, with one of my college basketball picks I’ll call for the Iona to cover on ESPNU at 9:00 EST. 

NCAA Basketball Pick: Iona -8 at 5Dimes

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