NCAA Basketball Picks of the Day: Crash the Board With Today's Bets

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 2:57 PM GMT

One of the most intriguing non-conference matchups of the regular season highlights a busy Tuesday night in NCAA basketball odds. Here are my recommendations.

#2 Maryland vs. #9 North Carolina
A potential Final Four or national championship game preview is the clear marquee matchup of the annual ACC-Big Ten Challenge, which tipped off Monday night. These two schools have met 179 times but never like this. Of course they used to be heated ACC rivals but Maryland moved to the Big Ten following the 2013-14 basketball season -- although it had everything to do with football and not basketball. This is the first non-conference regular-season meeting between Carolina and Maryland since Dec. 29, 1960, in the Dixie Classic in Raleigh. The Heels, the preseason No. 1 team in the polls, have won eight straight in the series. And they welcome back likely their best player in preseason All-American and ACC Player of the Year Marcus Paige. He broke his right, non-shooting hand Nov. 5 and has yet to play but will make his season debut Tuesday and lead to a terrific matchup with  Maryland sophomore guard and Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year Melo Trimble. Paige has been the Tar Heels' leading scorer each of the past two seasons. UNC went 5-1 in his absence, with its only defeat a 71-67 loss at Northern Iowa in a game that was supposed to give Paige, an Iowa native, a homecoming. The Heels nearly lost last week to Kansas State, falling behind by eight with less than five minute left before ending the game on a 21-3 run. Maryland has really only been tested once, against Georgetown. This will be the Terps' first true road game.

Maryland will be our NCAA basketball pick. It has covered four straight road games. The Heels are 1-6 ATS in their past seven at home vs. teams with a winning record.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Maryland +6 at Pinnacle

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Michigan vs. NC State 
Another game in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Michigan (4-2) has been a  moderate disappointing with double-digit losses to Xavier and Connecticut, but those are two pretty good teams. Michigan has since rebounded with wins over Charlotte and Texas in the Bahamas. UM generally goes how star Caris LeVert goes -- the team is really too reliant on the future NBA draft pick. He is averaging 18.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists. Michigan is one of the most 3-point reliant teams in the nation as well. The Wolverines are shooting 44.9 percent (7th nationally) from 3-point range, while 45.2 percent (25th in nation) of their attempts have come from beyond the arc. Michigan has played in 14 of the 16 games in this Challenge and is 5-8. Michigan is 2-1 in the Challenge vs. NC State, losing the one game in Raleigh. The Wolfpack (4-2) also enter on a two-game winning streak, including an upset of then-No. 22 LSU in New York. But NC State also has questionable losses to William & Mary and Arizona State. Junior guard Anthony Barber leads the Wolfpack with 21.0 points per game while adding 6.7 assists and 6.3 rebounds per game.

NC State. Michigan is 3-9 ATS in its past 12 non-conference games. NC State is 7-2 ATS in its past nine at home against the NCAA basketball odds.

NCAA Basketball Pick: NC State +1 at 5Dimes

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#8 Villanova vs. St. Joseph's 
It's the 73rd installment of the Holy War, with Villanova winning five of the previous six meetings. Last season's game was non-competitive, a 74-46 'Nova win. Two years ago, it was Villanova, 98-68. The unbeaten Wildcats lead the nation in defensive efficiency (but have struggled at times offensively, especially from long range), while St. Joe's is hitting only 23.7 percent from 3-point range, among the worst in the nation. But the Hawks are deep, with six players averaging 7.8 points per game or more, led by senior Isaiah Miles, who is putting up 17.0 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. The team's best player is DeAndre Bembry, who is averaging 14.0 points and 6.4 rebounds and has a future at the next level. The only loss by St. Joe's was by 11 points to Florida in the Naismith Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament. The Hawks were projected to finish seventh in the Atlantic 10 preseason poll. Villanova will be favored in every Big 5 game it plays this season, and the Wildcats are the only team in Philadelphia that is a lock for the NCAA Tournament.

St. Joe's to cover by a few points, only as it's Villanova's first true road game. And go 'under' the total of 141.5. 

NCAA Basketball Pick: St Joseph +12 & Under 141.5 at Heritage

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