NCAA Basketball Picks of the Day: Midweek ATS Value Worth the Risk

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, December 23, 2015 11:34 AM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015 11:34 AM UTC

Here are my top NCAA basketball picks for the night based on the current NCAA basketball odds on the market. Join us as we preview the top games for the night.

The NCAA basketball odds board comes filled with possibilities for us to profit from this Wednesday night. We break down the top games of the evening and give you our best selections. Let's get started...


Green Bay vs. Wisconsin (-11.5 on NCAA Basketball Odds)
For the first time since 2001, the Wisconsin Badgers will play a basketball game without Bo Ryan as their head coach. The Greg Gard Era begins on Wednesday against Green Bay. Ryan stepped down last Tuesday following Wisconsin's win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. He is the school's all-time winningest coach with 364 victories and his 14 NCAA tournament appearances are the most in program history by far -- the Badgers made seven NCAA tournament appearances before Ryan became head coach. Wisconsin had the best record of any team in the Big Ten in Ryan's tenure (among teams in the league more than two seasons). And since Ryan took over for the 2001-02 season, the Badgers have given up 59 points per game, the lowest opponents' scoring average in Division I. Why now? Ryan originally planned to not return this season but then changed his mind. He wanted to ensure his long-time assistant Greg Gard got a chance at the job. Obviously retiring midseason assures Gard gets his chance to impress AD Barry Alvarez. Gard has spent 23 years as a coach, including the past 15 at UW, but this is his first go-round in the top job. Wisconsin is a disappointing 7-5 off last year's national championship runner-up team. Since Ryan's first season, UW is 109-11 at home against non-conference opponents. But three of those losses are this season: to Western Illinois, Milwaukee and Marquette. Wisconsin had a potential winning field-goal attempt in all three. Green Bay (6-4) has won six of its past seven overall but has lost to Power-5 teams Stanford (93-89 in OT) and Georgia Tech (107-77). Wisconsin is 20-1 all-time in this series and has won the past five by an average of 18.0 points per game.

The Phoenix are 5-2 ATS in their past seven after a win. UW is 3-7 ATS in its past 10 non-conference games. Green Bay has covered nine of the past 12 meetings.

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Free NCAAB Pick: Green Bay
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline


St. Mary's Calif. vs. Santa Clara (+10.5 In NCAA Betting)
With Gonzaga struggling thus far a bit, St. Mary's (9-1) might be the best team in the West Coast Conference at the moment. The Gaels opened conference play with a 74-52 home win over San Francisco on Monday. Evan Fitzner led all scorers with a career-high 20 points, which included four 3-pointers. He was a rebound shy of a double-double. Saint Mary's leads the WCC in scoring and rebounding margins and is the top-shooting team in the nation (.542). USF's top two scorers, Devin Watson and Tim Derksen, were averaging more than 35 points per game entering but were only 3-for-25 for 10 total points. “That was key, doing a good job on those two,” SMC coach Randy Bennett said. Santa Clara (4-9) lost on a buzzer-beater at Pacific in overtime on Monday, 73-72. Jared Brownridge, who had a game-high 36 points and scored at least 20 for a fourth straight game, had given the Broncos a 70-65 lead on a four-point play with 2:29 left in the extra session. But Brownridge missed a runner with 25 seconds left, Pacific took possession and won the game. These teams split last year, with Santa Clara winning at home 71-70 in the regular-season finale. Brownridge scored on a layup with seven seconds left.

The Broncos are 4-0 ATS in their past four conference games. Keep that in mind for your NCAA basketball picks.

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Free NCAAB Pick: Santa Clara covers. 
Best Line Offered: at Bet365


Illinois vs. Missouri (+4.5 For NCAA Basketball Picks)
It's the annual Braggin' Rights game between the border rivals in St. Louis. Illinois (7-5) warmed up for it with a 91-79 home win over South Dakota on Saturday, the Illini's fourth straight win. Malcolm Hill went off with a career-high 34 points and added 11 rebounds. Hill was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Monday as he was the first Illinois player in 25 years with a 30-point, 10-rebound-five-assist game. It was Hill's second career Big Ten Player of the Week honor. He's averaging 18.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists on the season. Missouri (5-5) is off a 73-59 home loss to NC State. The Tigers led for the final time on a Terrence Phillips 3-pointer at 19:12 of the second half. The Wolfpack maintained the lead for the final 18:39, leading by as many as 20 in that time. Missouri was dominated on the boards and had only 29, but Tigers reserves did outscore their counterparts 37-7. It was Mizzou's first home loss of the year. Three of the team's top scorers are freshmen, led by forward Kevin Puryear's 12.1 points per game. Illinois leads the all-time series 22-12 and has won the past two, both on the final possession. Last year it was on a Rayvonte Rice 3-pointer at the buzzer. This will be only the ninth time in the series neither team is ranked.

Missouri is 1-4 ATS in its past five following an ATS loss. The Illini have covered eight of the past 12 after a win. 

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Free NCAAB Pick: Illinois 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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