NCAA Basketball Picks of the Day: Best Of Monday's Value Selections

Matthew Jordan

Monday, January 4, 2016 2:59 PM GMT

Monday, Jan. 4, 2016 2:59 PM GMT

This story has been written before the new polls were released on Monday's NCAA basketball odds, but we should see a matchup between the #1 and #2 teams in the country when Oklahoma visits Kansas.

Oklahoma vs. Kansas
I'm not going to include rankings because I'm not sure whether OU or KU will be No. 1. Top-ranked Michigan State was upset at Iowa last week so Sparty will drop out of that spot. Kansas was No. 2 and Oklahoma No. 3 in last week's AP pool, while those two schools were flip-flopped in the USA Today poll. It's the 40th time ever that the top two teams have faced off. The No.  1 team has won 19 of the previous 39. This will be the eighth game in conference play featuring the top two teams and first since the Big 12 came into being. It did happen twice when it was the Big Eight, including on Feb. 13, 1990, when No. 1 Oklahoma beat No. 2 Kansas in the Big Eight Tournament. Only two other conference rivalries, Duke-North Carolina in the ACC and Georgetown-St. John's in the Big East, have played more than one 1 vs. 2 game. The last 1 vs. 2 meeting was early in the 2013-14 regular season when No. 2 Michigan State beat No. 1 Kentucky 78-74 in the Champions Classic. A total of 16 of these matchups  have been decided by five points or fewer.  Oklahoma hasn't won at Allen Fieldhouse since 1993. Last season, the Sooners led late before blowing the late in the final 4:10 as Kansas won 85-78. KU has won 13 of the past 15 meetings overall. Oklahoma is one of three teams in Division I that is undefeated along with SMU and South Carolina. Senior guard Buddy Hield leads the Big 12 and is fourth nationally in scoring at 24.7 points per game. Kansas leads the Big 12 in scoring offense (88.3), field-goal percentage (.516) and 3-point field-goal percentage (46.0). Kansas is 3-7 against the NCAA basketball odds in its past 10 Big 12 games. OU has covered six of its past eight on Monday.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Oklahoma +6
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

North Carolina vs. Florida State 
The Heels were No. 7 in the polls but probably move up a spot or two on Monday. They are off an 86-78 win over Georgia Tech on Saturday to improve to 2-0 in ACC play. Joel Berry II scored a career-high 19 points and hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 5:07 left. It was the Tar Heels' 11th straight game with at least 80 points. They shot 50.8 percent, their 11th time shooting at least 50 percent this season. Big man Kennedy Meeks missed his sixth straight game due to a bruised bone in his left knee. He will not play here, either. UNC's Roy Williams set the ACC record for most wins by a head coach in his first 200 regular-season games. It was Williams' 143rd win, breaking the mark held by Dean Smith of 142. Florida State had a six-game winning streak end with an 84-75 loss at Clemson in FSU's ACC opener on Saturday. For this game, the Seminoles will be without 7-foot-1 Michael Ojo (knee) and 6-8 Phil Cofer, who is due to have ankle surgery on Monday. North Carolina has won five straight over Florida State. But UNC is 0-2 in true road games this season, falling at Northern Iowa and Texas. The Heels are 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings make them your NCAA Basketball pick.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: North Carolina -2.5
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

 

St. Peter's vs. Marist
You have to love those pick'em games. These clubs are in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The two teams have split the season series in each of the last four seasons with each school winning on its home floor. Last season, the Peacocks downed the Red Foxes 79-67 on Jan. 4, 2015, in Jersey City before Marist won 69-67 in Poughkeepsie on Feb. 21, 2015. Marist has one of the nation's leading scorers in junior guard Khallid Hart, who is averaging 23.0 points per game. He scored career point No. 1,000 in a 92-83 loss to Canisius over the weekend. He's averaging 27.4 points in the past five games. St. Peter's is one of two teams undefeated in MAAC play, along with Iona, having defeated Rider and Siena. The school is looking for its first 3-0 start in league play since the 2010-11 season. St. Peter's has had six different players lead the team in scoring this year. Freshman Antwon Portley leads the team at 15.5 points per game. St. Peter's is 1-5 on the road this season. It is 4-0 ATS in its past four vs. teams with a winning record. The Peacocks are 0-9 ATS in the past nine meetings.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Marist -1.5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes                                 

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