NCAA Basketball Picks Of The Day: Crash The Boards With Tuesday's Bets

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, January 5, 2016 11:29 AM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016 11:29 AM UTC

Here are my top NCAA basketball picks for the best matchups offered tonight. Join me as I go through the NCAA basketball odds and tell you why I chose these plays!

Indiana, one of the Big Ten preseason favorites, plays its home conference opener Tuesday and the 1976 national championship team will be honored at halftime. Will Bobby Knight show up? Get ready as we preview the best matchups the NCAA basketball slate offers tonight. Let's review the NCAA basketball odds and provide you with only selected NCAA basketball picks. Let's begin!


Wisconsin vs. Indiana (-7.5 On NCAA Basketball Odds)
Of course that '76 Hoosiers team was the last to win a national championship without a loss. Some think it's the best team in NCAA history, although many actually believe the previous year's club was better but it lost in the Elite Eight to Kentucky. Statistically, it was better. That '76 team had a starting lineup of Scott May, Kent Benson, Quinn Buckner, Bobby Wilkerson and Tom Abernathy. May, Benson, Buckner and Wilkerson were NBA first-round picks. That team had nine wins by seven or fewer points. Knight isn't expected to be in attendance as he's still bitter over his 2000 firing. Plus it would be a media circus. But it hasn't been 100 percent ruled out yet. As for these Hoosiers (12-3, 2-0), they have won seven straight games and opened Big Ten play with road wins at Rutgers and Nebraska. They did so the past two without excellent sophomore guard James Blackmon Jr., who is dealing with a knee injury and questionable here. He is second on the team in scoring at 15.8 points per game while adding 4.2 rebounds a night. Wisconsin (9-6, 1-1) has gone 2-1 since Coach Bo Ryan stepped down in an effort to get assistant Greg Gard the full-time job. Gard says he has talked to Ryan before and after each game. Wisconsin is averaging seven more points per game (72.7) under Gard. Star Nigel Hayes is one of two Big Ten players averaging at least 15.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists. Amazingly, Wisconsin has won 14 of the past 15 in this series. The schools played just once last year and the Badgers won by 14 at home.

Be nice to know if Blackmon could play. Take IU. Wisconsin is 1-4 ATS in its past five on the road. Indiana has covered four straight vs. teams with a winning record.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Indiana -7½
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline


No. 9 Kentucky vs. LSU (+5 In NCAA Betting)
It's not often that Kentucky takes the court and doesn't have the best player on it, but that will be the case here. Pretty much every scouting service had LSU's Ben Simmons the No. 1 overall recruit in this class and UK's Skal Labissiere at No. 2. Simmons has more than lived up to expectations, averaging 20.5 points, 13.1 rebounds and 5.4 assists. He's going to be the No. 1 overall pick in this summer's NBA draft, no matter who holds that spot. LSU (8-5) opened SEC play with a 90-82 win at Vanderbilt on Saturday. All Simmons did was put up 36 points, 14 rebounds and four assists. He was 16-for-19 from the free-throw line, the most makes by an LSU player in an SEC game since Chris Jackson made 16 at Florida in December 1988. Guard Keith Hornsby added 23 points, including 18 in the second half as LSU overcame a one-point halftime deficit. Vandy had been allowing just 61.8 points, tops in the SEC. Kentucky (11-2) routed visiting Ole Miss 83-61 in its conference opener Saturday. Thanks to a 21-3 run, Kentucky led 46-22 at halftime, its largest halftime lead of the season. Tyler Ulis had 20 points and 10 assists. As for Labissiere, he has struggled most of this season and his stock has dropped a little. He's averaging 9.2 points and 3.5 rebounds. He hasn't scored in double digits in his past four and has played less than 15 minutes in three of those. Kentucky has won two straight in the series.

This is UK's second true road game. It lost the other, at UCLA. Take LSU, although if Simmons gets hurt or is in foul trouble then the Tigers have no shot. Kentucky has covered one of its past seven on the road. LSU is 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: LSU +5½
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


No. 22 South Carolina vs. Auburn (+6 For NCAA Basketball Picks)
We stay in the SEC for this one and the biggest surprise team in that conference, maybe the nation, is unbeaten South Carolina (13-0). Frank Martin has to be an early favorite for national coach of the year. This is USC's SEC opener. It warmed up with an 86-76 win over visiting Memphis on Saturday. Sindarius Thornwell scored a season-high 18 points. The Gamecocks shot a whopping 63 free throws -- five Memphis players fouled out --and made 46 of them. The attempts were an SEC record, the makes were a school record and second-most in conference history. USC had only 18 field goals, by far its fewest on the season. South Carolina concluded its non-conference schedule without a loss for the first time since 1933-34. This is USC's second true road game -- it won by just six at Clemson on Dec. 18. Auburn (7-5) opened SEC play Saturday with an 83-77 home win over Tennessee, Coach Bruce Pearl's first win over his former school. The Tigers are banged up. Auburn began Saturday's game without injured starting guards Tahj Shamsid-Deen and T.J. Dunans. The Tigers then lost guard TJ Lang to concussion symptoms in the first half after a collision. Shamsid-Deen and Dunans won't play here. Lang should, but won't start. Auburn won the lone meeting with USC last year, 71-68 at home.

USC is 6-0 ATS in its past six vs. teams with a winning record. Auburn has covered one of its past six after a win. 

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: South Carolina -6
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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