NCAA Basketball Picks of the Day: Betting Friday's Slim Card

Matthew Jordan

Friday, December 11, 2015 12:09 PM GMT

Friday, Dec. 11, 2015 12:09 PM GMT

It's easy to preview an NCAA game featuring two ranked teams or a Power 5 conference matchup. But it takes real talent to preview any games this Friday. Check our NCAA basketball picks here.

Eastern Washington vs. Pittsburgh (-18 On NCAA Basketball Odds)

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Pitt -18
Best Odds Offered: at Pinnacle

This is part of four Gotham Classic matchups for Pittsburgh. The Panthers and defending Atlantic 10 champion Davidson highlight the event. They will each host three games in addition to playing each other at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 20. Eastern Washington (5-4) is a member of the Big Sky Conference. The Eagles finished 26-9 last year as Big Sky champions. They lost 84-74 to No. 4 seed Georgetown in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. This season, the best teams the Eagles have played are Mississippi State, a 106-88 loss, and Davidson. EWU lost at Davidson 96-86 on Wednesday. Eastern hit a solid 48.5 percent from the field, but Davidson hit 59.6 percent along with 13 3-pointers on 26 attempts. Austin McBroom (great name) led Eastern Washington with a career-high 33 points. The senior from Los Angeles averages 18.0 points per game.  Senior Venky Jois had his first double-double of the season and the 27th in his career with 21 points and 14 rebounds. He's among the NCAA leaders in field-goal percentage and shot 10-for-17 vs. the Wildcats. EWU ranks 22nd nationally in shooting at 49.5 percent and is also makes 10.8 3-pointers per game, which is No. 9.

Pittsburgh (6-1) warmed up for this game with a 100-47 rout of Central Arkansas on Sunday, the third-largest margin of victory in school history. Panthers freshman point guard Damon Wilson came off the bench to score 20 points in 20 minutes, both career-highs. The Panthers reserves scored 51 points as the starters didn't need to play heavy minutes. The Panthers also had 29 assists on 37 baskets. It was the first time Pitt reached triple figures since November 2007. Pitt is 122-5 against non-conference opponents at the Petersen Events Center all-time and 60-3 in the month of  December in that building. Pitt has scored 90 or more points in a game four times this season and leads in the ACC in scoring at 87.4 points per game as well as assists (22.1 apg). Pitt has registered 20 or more assists in a game five times.

Pitt and Eastern Washington are playing for the first time. The Panthers are 3-0 all-time  against current Big Sky teams.

 

North Dakota State vs. North Dakota (+6 For NCAA Basketball Picks)

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NCAA Basketball Pick: North Dakota +7 
Best Odds Offered: at Heritage

Here are two schools that just don't like each other, no matter the sport. North Dakota State (5-3), of the Summit League, fell at previously winless Southern Miss 74-62 on Sunday. NDSU led 5-0 early before Southern Miss scored 15 straight points to take a 15-5 lead. The Bison would never lead again. NDSU made just 21 of-56 shots (37.5 percent) and was 8-for-27 (30 percent) from 3-point range. Sophomore Paul Miller scored 15 points to lead the Bison. Miller ranks second in the Summit League in scoring at 19.1 points per game. With 153 total points through just eight games, Miller already is nearly 75 percent of the way to matching his total scoring (214 points) as a freshman. The Bison also take care of the ball, ranking 13th nationally with a plus-5.3 turnover margin. NDSU gives it away only 9.8 times per game (No. 8 in country). North Dakota State played at No. 5 Iowa State earlier this season and wasn't embarrassed in an 84-64 loss. The Bison made things tough on the Cyclones for about 30 minutes. Four of five NDSU starters returned from last year’s 23-win team that lost to Gonzaga by 10 in the NCAA Tournament.

North Dakota (4-4), a Big Sky team, won at Bradley 65-59 in double overtime on Saturday. Reserve guard Corey Baldwin scored all of his season-high 20 points after halftime. The Fighting Hawks overcame a 10-point deficit in the final 10 minutes to force OT. UND won despite shooting only 19-for-36 from the free-throw line.  Then again, Bradley was 9-for-22. The win over the Braves was the first in program history for UND, which had lost the first 12 meetings. UND finished last season with a record of 8-22  and was picked to finish eighth in the Big Sky this year.

This is the sixth meeting between the programs since they both moved to Division I. The home team has won the previous five (four were blowouts). NDSU's last win in Grand Forks came on Jan. 18, 2003. The Bison are 0-4 ATS in their past four road games. 

 

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