NCAA Basketball Picks of the Day: Judging Today's Betting Choices

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, December 8, 2015 11:49 AM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015 11:49 AM UTC

Tuesday's NCAA basketball odds are highlighted by the Jimmy V Classic, featuring a very solid doubleheader of lock NCAA Tournament teams at MSG in New York. 

#14 West Virginia vs. #10 Virginia (-3 On NCAA Basketball Odds)
This is the opener of the Jimmy V Classic (7 p.m. ET) West Virginia wasn't ranked in the preseason Top 25 but is off to an impressive 7-0 start. That includes solid wins against good mid-major programs Richmond and San Diego State in the Las Vegas Invitational for the event's championship. WVU has the No. 10 offense in the nation in averaging 88.4 points per game despite the fact that West Virginia is a terrible 3-point shooting team at just .285. That's among the worst in the country. The Mountaineers are a full-court pressure defensive team under Bob Huggins and they rank first in the nation in steals, first in 3-point defense and first in forced turnovers. “Press Virginia” forces opponents to turn the ball over on 30.3 percent of its possessions and the Mountaineers are averaging 31.1 points per game off those. Virginia gives it away only 7.4 times per game, the best average in the country. UVA might get back starting point guard London Perrantes. The junior has missed the past two following an appendectomy. Perrantes averages 10.0 points and 5.3 assists per game. Sophomore Darius Thompson has played well starting in his spot. The Cavs' lone loss has been to George Washington. This is the 16th time these programs have met but first since 1985. It's both teams' first game against a ranked foe this season.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Virginia -4 at 5Dimes

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#6 Maryland vs. Connecticut (+1 In NCAA Betting)
This is the Jimmy V Classic nightcap (9:30 p.m. ET)  Maryland bounced back from a loss at No. 9 North Carolina last Tuesday in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge with an easy 96-55 win over St. Francis (Pa.) on Friday. Maryland was 31-for-46 from the field -- 67.4 percent,  the fifth-best single game mark in program history. The Terps have shot at least 50 percent for five consecutive games. They have one of the nation's best backcourts in sophomore Melo Trimble, the preseason Big Ten Player of the Year, and Duke transfer  Rasheed Sulaimon. Maryland is 11-6 all-time at Madison Square Garden, last playing there in 2013 in the NIT semifinals. UConn also has a high-profile transfer in former NC State player Rodney Purvis and he leads the team in scoring at 14.1 points per game. Sophomore guard Daniel Hamilton really fills the stat sheet, averaging 12.6 points, 9.4 rebounds and 6.3 assists, the latter two teams bests. Tuesday's game will be the seventh-ever meeting between the programs. They last played in November 2013, a 78-77 UConn win.  The Terps are 14-6 ATS in their past 20 neutral-site games.

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Maryland -1.5 at Heritage

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Montana vs. #20 Gonzaga (-18 For NCAA Basketball Picks)
This was supposed to be perhaps the best Gonzaga team ever and maybe it will be eventually but the Zags already have two losses following Saturday's 68-63 home defeat to No. 19 Arizona. The Zags, despite 33 points from All-American Kyle Wiltjer, coughed up a 10-point halftime lead. Arizona became the first non-conference team to win in Spokane since Illinois in 2012 and handed Gonzaga only its 13th home loss overall since the McCarthey Athletic Center opened in 2004. Both teams were without their biggest players: Gonzaga center Przemek Karnowski and Arizona counterpart Kaleb Tarczewski both missed the game because of an injury. Karnowski, dealing with back spasms, is questionable for Tuesday. The Bulldogs will have a big height advantage even if he doesn't play. This will certainly be a step up in competition for Big Sky team Montana. The Grizzlies' best player is easily senior forward Martin Bruenig. The German averages 20.7 points on crazy shooting of .714 from the field as well as chipping in 9.8 rebounds per game. These schools haven't met since 2008. The teams are former Big Sky Conference foes, with the Zags leaving the league after the 1979 season. Gonzaga, which has followed 18 of its past 19 losses with a win. Montana is 5-13 ATS against West Coast Conference teams. Gonzaga has covered seven straight Tuesday games.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Gonzaga -18 at Bookmaker

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