NCAA Basketball Picks Of The Day: Best Of Sunday's Value Selections

Matthew Jordan

Sunday, January 31, 2016 1:00 PM UTC

Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016 1:00 PM UTC

We preview the best three matches from all the ones offered in the big slate we have for Sunday. Don't miss our preview and get the top three NCAA basketball picks of the day.

No. 6 Villanova vs. St. John's (+19 On NCAA Basketball Odds)
One has to wonder if Basketball Hall of Famer Chris Mullin regrets taking the head coaching job at St. John's last March instead of accepting an NBA top job that had been rumored. Of course Mullin starred at St. John's in the school's heyday in the mid-1980s and is probably the greatest player in school history and is one of the best in Big East lore. But that program is a mess right now. The Red Storm (7-14, 0-8 Big East) lost by 19 at Seton Hall on Wednesday, their 11th straight defeat. During that skid, the Johnnies have lost to Incarnate Word and New Jersey Institute of Technology. Are you kidding me? To be fair, St. John's did lose just about everyone off last year's team that finished 21-12 overall and 10-8 in the Big East under former Coach Steve Lavin. This year's club has nine new scholarship players, and Mullin has started at least two freshmen in all 21 games. Villanova (17-3, 7-1) is atop the Big East standings and has had a week off to stew over an 82-76 OT upset loss to Providence last Sunday that ended the Wildcats' 22-game Big East winning streak. Villanova is the highest-ranked team that St. John's has hosted at Madison Square Garden in three years. The Red Storm's last win against a Top-10 team was in February 2011. Villanova has won seven straight in the series and both were blowouts last year.

This is the game of the year at home for St. John's. Take the points offered in the NCAA basketball odds board. Villanova has failed to cover its past four games.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: St. John's +20
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


No. 22 Wichita State vs. Evansville (+2 In NCAA Betting)
This Missouri Valley Conference showdown is probably the best matchup of all Sunday's games if we are being honest as the only chance Evansville (18-4, 7-2 MVC) has of at least tying for the regular-season title is with an upset of Wichita State (15-5, 9-0). To think, people were writing off Wichita State as an NCAA Tournament team this season when the Shockers were 5-5. But three of those losses came when the team's heart and soul, senior guard Fred VanVleet, was out injured. WSU's only loss since he returned was in overtime to Seton Hall on Dec. 19. Wichita is simply crushing people since, beating every foe but one by at least 16 points. That one opponent to stay close? Evansville, which lost in Wichita 67-64 on Jan. 6. VanVleet had 16 points and nine assists. The game was tied at 57 with 3:32 left. The Purple Aces have looked a bit shaky in their past two games but those were both on the road. They lost 82-65 at Indiana State last Sunday and then won 85-78 at Southern Illinois in overtime on Thursday. Leading scorer D.J. Balentine hit the tying 3-pointer with a second left in OT. He leads the conference in scoring as well at 21.3 ppg. Balentine was 6-for-17 for 14 points in the first meeting with Wichita.

Wichita State, which is 3-1 all-time at Evansville's Ford Center, with back-to-back wins in 2014 and last year. The Shockers have covered six straight games. Evansville has covered four of its past 15 at home.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Wichita State -4
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline


Rutgers vs. No. 12 Michigan State (-27.5 For NCAA Basketball Picks)
St. John's is bad, but neighboring Rutgers might be the worst team in modern Big Ten history and that's not hyperbole. The Scarlet Knights began their two-game swing through the state of Michigan with a 68-57 loss at Michigan on Wednesday. That's actually a good loss considering Rutgers' previous six were all by at least 14 points. The only single-digit defeat in Big Ten play for Rutgers was in the opener, 79-72 vs. Indiana. Overall, the Scarlet Knights have dropped 23 straight Big Ten games (last year's conference tournament included). The UM loss all but summed up how bad Rutgers is. With about 45 seconds left in the game, Michigan's Zak Irvin was at the free-throw line and the Wolverines up eight (so not totally over yet). Irvin missed the front of a one-and-one. Rutgers' Greg Lewis grabbed the rebound and...tossed it to a referee standing out of bounds. Lewis obviously thought Irvin had two shots. So Michigan got possession. Rutgers hasn't won a road game vs. a ranked team since January 2008 back in its Big East days. Michigan State (18-4, 5-4) has won two straight since a three-game skid. The Spartans destroyed Northwestern 76-45 on Thursday in Evanston, hitting a season-high 16 3-pointers and holding the Wildcats to 20.7 percent shooting. Last year, MSU won at Rutgers 71-51 in their first and still only meeting as Big Ten foes.

Could MSU be caught looking past this game and toward a showdown with rival Michigan up next? Frankly, I'll never give that many points between major conference teams. Go Rutgers for your NCAA basketball picks

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Rutgers +29
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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