NCAA Basketball Picks Of The Day: Side With Today's Home Favorites

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, February 25, 2016 12:10 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016 12:10 PM UTC

Our handicapper has selected the best three matchups in today's slate of NCAA basketball odds. Here are his top three NCAA basketball picks for Thursday's games.

Hofstra vs. UNC Wilmington (-5 On NCAA Basketball Odds)
It's pretty simple for the host Seahawks (21-6, 13-3): they win the CAA regular-season crown and the top seed in the conference tournament in Baltimore with a victory as they hold a one-game lead over the Pride (20-8, 12-4) with one game left for each school. UNC Wilmington closes at home against a good Towson team, while Hofstra hosts Charleston to close the regular season. Hofstra brings a four-game winning streak into this one. On Sunday, it beat defending CAA champion Northeastern 65-60 to sweep the season series. Juan'ya Green scored 13 points and added eight assists and seven rebounds in the win. He was named the CAA Player of the Week on Monday for the fourth time this season. For the week he averaged 17 points, nine assists and five rebounds. Green has played every single minute of Hofstra's past five games. Hofstra's 20 victories are its most since the 2010-11 season. The Pride haven't made the NCAA Tournament since 2001. UNC Wilmington hasn't made the Big Dance since 2006. It won at Hofstra 70-67 on Feb. 4 despite trailing by 20 in the first half. Hofstra tied it at 67 on Green's 3-pointer with 20 seconds remaining, but then Denzel Ingram then hit the winning 3-pointer. Last season each team won on the opponent's home floor.

Hofstra is 2-6 ATS in its past eight games. UNCW is 7-2 ATS in its past nine.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: UNC Wilmington -4½
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline


Florida State vs. No. 15 Duke (-11 In NCAA Betting)
FSU (16-11, 6-9 ACC) looked like potential NCAA Tournament team a couple of weeks ago, but the Seminoles have dropped four in a row and now would probably have to win out in the regular season -- vs. No. 23 Notre Dame and vs. Syracuse -- and get at least two games in the ACC Tournament to earn an at-large bid. The Noles haven't made the Big Dance since 2012, yet Coach Leonard Hamilton got his contract extended through 2018-19 on Wednesday. Hamilton’s contract was set to run through 2017. The Seminoles should be pretty good next year as their two best players are freshmen: Malik Beasley (16.2 pgg, 5.3 rpg) and Dwayne Bacon (15.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg). Hamilton also has currently has a Top-10 recruiting class for 2016. He is the all-time wins leader at FSU with a 252-148 record. Duke (20-7, 9-5) has no NCAA Tournament worries but is trying for a Top 4 finish in the ACC and the double-bye in the conference tournament. The Blue Devils had a five-game winning streak snapped in a 71-64 loss at No. 18 Louisville on Saturday. Duke led by 13 in the second half but wore down with so few rotation players. Starting guard Matt Jones missed the Louisville game with an ankle injury and fellow guard Derryck Thornton injured his shoulder in the game. Both have been upgraded to probable here. This is the only scheduled meeting between the schools.

The Noles are 0-4 ATS in their past four games. They have covered only one of their past five on the road. With stats like these, we like more our chances with Duke for our NCAA basketball picks.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Duke -9
Best Line Offered: at William Hill


UCLA vs. California (-7 For NCAA Basketball Picks)
Barring a run to the Pac-12 tournament title, UCLA (15-12, 6-8) is going to miss the NCAA Tournament, which will put some pressure on Coach Steve Alford because he has plenty of talent. The Bruins could finish as low as 11th in the regular-season standings. That would be an embarrassment. UCLA is off one of its best games of the month, a 77-53 home rout of Colorado on Saturday. Isaac Hamilton led the way with 22 points, his 23rd game in a row in double digits. That's the longest streak by a UCLA player since Kevin Love in the 2007-08 season. The Bruins shot 50 percent overall and 50 percent from 3-point range. They haven't won back-to-back games since early January. California (19-8, 9-5) still has a shot at the Pac-12 regular-season title. The Bears are peaking with a five-game winning streak. Cal is 16-0 at home and are looking to go unbeaten on campus for the first time since 1996-97. The Bears allow just 62.6 points per game at home and foes hit only 37.3 percent from the field. This is the lone scheduled meeting between Cal and UCLA. Last season, the teams split, with each winning at home. Cal has won four of the past five meetings at Haas Pavilion.

UCLA is 0-4 ATS in its past four after a win. Cal is 10-1 ATS in its past 11 after a win. The Bears are 4-0 ATS in their past four at home, and with them a -6½-point favorite in the NCAA basketball odds boards, we're siding with them.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: California -6½
Best Line Offered: at Intertops

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