NCAA Basketball Picks of the Day for Friday 12/19

Joe Catalano

Friday, December 19, 2014 6:43 PM GMT

Friday, Dec. 19, 2014 6:43 PM GMT

Friday is usually a quiet night for the larger schools in NCAA Basketball, but with that said there's a considerable amount of games tonight to bet from as we look to make a profit and put the betting public in the green.

St. Mary's (6-2) vs. #20 St. John's (8-1) - Surprise, Suprise
This is a very big surprise as the Red Storm, who were once a basketball powerhouse in the 1980's with Chris Mullin, are back in the top 25 and New York is rocking as there's not a lot of teams currently playing well in the Big Apple.

Tonight, the Red Storm face a tough St. Mary's team, who are coming off of a very disappointing loss to the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks. While this is an awful loss for the Gaels resume, the Red Storm are hoping for a carryover effect and a bit of jet lag as they face the west coast Gaels.

I like to look at the schedule for a top 25 team as a barometer to see where they're really at and in St. John's case, they defeated two tough teams in Minnesota and Syracuse while losing by 7 to Gonzaga. This assures me that they are the real deal in case I didn't already know.

 

An Offensive Machine 
Guard D'Angelo Harrison has had a very productive career at St. John's as the senior has been a prolific scorer and this season is no different.

For the season, Harrison leads the Red Storm at 19.7 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. This is a player with surprising rebounding ability for a player of just 6 foot 4. This could be something for pro scouts to look at and maybe we could see Harrison in a Knicks jersey on this same Madison Square Garden court.

In his last 3 games, Harrison has been killing it, scoring 20 points or more in each game while shooting over 50% from the field and a perfect 20 for 20 from the free throw line. If this game is close. expect the ball to be in Harrison's hands as a victory over St. Mary's would look quite nice on St. John's resume.

 

Brad Waldow
St. Mary's will look to forget about their last game quickly and that begins and ends with the play of senior, Brad Waldow. Waldow is a major force to be reckoned with a 6 foot 9, 260 pounds. For the season, Waldo is averaging 21.6 points and 10.8 rebounds. He's also coming off of a very productive 25 point, 15 rebound effort in St. Mary's loss to Northern Arizona. This is definitely someone for the Red Storm to be concerned with as they will most likely be double-teaming him on the defensive end.

I like St. John's at home in this game for my free NCAA basketball picks. They have everything to lose and St. Mary's is coming into this game with very little momentum.

NCAA Basketball Picks: St. John's -7 at 5Dimes

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E. Kentucky (5-4) vs. #18 Miami (FL) (9-1) - The U is Back
Miami had a nice run a couple of years ago with the likes of Shane Larkin and now they're doing it with leading scorer, Sheldon McClellan.

McClellan isn't likely to score 30 points and isn't the force of a Jahlil Okafor, but he's a very efficient shooter at 6 foot 5, shooting nearly 60% from the field and over 80% from the free throw line. Angel Rodriguez will also be a key figure in this game for Miami. He's not as consistent a player as McClellan,shooting below 40% on the season. That said, all of Rodriguez's field goals in a 70-39 blowout of Savannah State came from beyond the arc.

Look for the Miami starters to pad their stats and get a bit of a break as they face an Eastern Kentucky Colonels team that can't matchup against the bigger schools. Most of Eastern Kentucky's wins came early in the season against a bunch of cupcakes, but when it came to facing Kentucky and Valparaiso, they couldn't handle the matchups.

Eastern Kentucky will be providing superb offense and defense against the Canes in the form of guard Corey Walden. For the season, Walden is averaging 17.2 points, 4.1 assists, 3 rebounds, and 3 steals per game. He didn't match up well against Kentucky, but I expect Walden to play well tonight,

Although undersized, the Colonels have an inside presence in Eric Stout (13 PPG., 5.6 rpg., 91.3 FT%). If Stutz can be aggressive, this game can be interesting and Eastern Kentucky stands a chance of covering the NCAA basketball odds spread.

NCAA Basketball Picks: Eastern Kentucky +14 at Bookmaker

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