NCAA Basketball Picks of the Day: Bet ACC Favs to Sweep Big 10 Competition in Challenge

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, December 2, 2015 2:38 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015 2:38 PM UTC

Our NCAA basketball capper takes a look at tonight's betting odds, so we can preview his top 3 NCAA basketball picks. Don't make a move before you read this article.

#24 Louisville vs.  #3 Michigan State 
Matchup of Hall of Fame coaches in Louisville's Rick Pitino and Michigan State's Tom Izzo. The best player in college basketball this season thus far hasn't been LSU superstar freshman Ben Simmons but Michigan State senior Denzel Valentine. He is averaging nearly a triple-double of 19.9 points, 8.9 rebounds and 8.6 assists while shooting 42.6 percent from 3-point range. He has two triple-doubles already and is drawing comparisons to former Spartans great Magic Johnson in that regard, although Valentine isn't a mega-NBA prospect. He will be the focus of that always-excellent Louisville defense. This is the second ranked foe for Michigan State, which beat No. 4 Kansas by six in Chicago on Nov. 17. Louisville has blown out its five opponents but hasn't played a  Power 5 conference team yet, much less a ranked one. The Spartans and Cardinals met in the Elite Eight about eight months ago. Michigan State won that game 76-70 in overtime. Louisville returns just 17 percent of its scoring from that team, the lowest percentage of returning scorers for the program in more than four decades.

Michigan State. The Cards have covered only four of their 15 non-conference games. MSU is 6-1 ATS in its past seven at home. It has covered 17 of its past 22 out of conference.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Michigan State -6 at 5Dimes

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Wisconsin vs.  #14 Syracuse 
Remember that Syracuse is banned from any postseason basketball for NCAA violations. Coach Jim Boeheim is on the bench right now but will be suspended the first nine games of the ACC schedule. The unbeaten Orange won the Battle 4 Atlantis holiday tournament in the Bahamas by beating Charlotte and ranked UConn and Texas A&M. SU made 46.3 percent of its 3-pointers in that event, shattering the tournament record. That's obviously not sustainable. Freshman Tyler Lydon was named ACC Rookie of the Week as he averaged 15.7 points and 9.3 rebounds in the tournament. But this is not a deep team, with Boeheim generally only relying on six guys. Syracuse is 1-1 in the Challenge. Wisconsin of course lost last season's national championship game to Duke and the Badgers lost their two best players off that team in NBA first-round picks Frank Kaminsky, the national player of the year, and Sam Dekker. UW returns just 38 percent of its minutes played but does have two very good juniors in Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig, who leads the team in scoring at 16.1 ppg. UW already has three losses and comes off a 65-48 defeat at No. 7 Oklahoma on Sunday. This is the first meeting between UW and SU since 2012.. The Badgers are 7-9 all-time in the Challenge.

Syracuse. Wisconsin is 0-5 ATS on the NCAA basketball odds in its past five games. Syracuse is 4-0 ATS in its past four vs. the Big Ten.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Syracuse -5 at Heritage

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Indiana vs. # 7 Duke 
Clearly the matchup of the night between two of the best offensive teams in the country. Duke leads the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency at 118.3 points per 100 possessions, while Indiana ranks seventh at 114.6. The Blue Devils have won four straight since that 11-point loss to Kentucky in Chicago on Nov. 17. Grayson Allen’s average of 22.6 points per game is the highest in the nation by a player in the six major college basketball conferences (Power 5 and Big East). Duke was won an NCAA-best 120 consecutive non-conference home games, which dates to November 2000. And the Blue Devils are easily the best team ever in this Challenge with a 14-2 mark, including 6-0 at home. Indiana was considered the primary competition to Maryland in the Big Ten  this season, but the Hoosiers are a somewhat disappointing 4-2, losing to Wake Forest and UNLV by a combined seven points. This will be their first true road game. IU has one of the nation's top backcourts in James Blackmon Jr. (17.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg) and Yogi Ferrell (15.0 ppg, 6.7 apg, 5.9 rpg). Indiana coach Tom Crean is 1-1 in his coaching career against Duke, both coming while Crean was at Marquette. Duke and Indiana haven't played since 2006. The Hoosiers are 6-8 in the Challenge.

Duke and 'over' the 162.5-point total the NCAA basketball picks. Indiana is 1-6 ATS in its past seven after a win. Duke is 6-0 ATS in its past six after an ATS win. It has covered six straight vs. the Big Ten. 

NCAA Basketball Picks: Duke -10 & 'Over' 162.5 at BetOnline

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