NCAA Basketball Picks of the Day for Sunday

Joe Catalano

Sunday, December 29, 2013 4:18 PM GMT

Not a huge slate of reputable teams on this NFL Sunday, but there’s still some holes where the odds are concerned in which we can take advantage when making our NCAA Basketball Picks of the Day.

NCAA Basketball Value Picks

Canisius (8-4) vs. Notre Dame (8-4)

It’s All About the Schedules

You have two teams of equal records coming into this game, but the MAAC is a far cry from the ACC. Aside from being in the ACC, Notre Dame has had a much tougher schedule facing the likes of Iowa, Indiana State, Ohio State, and Indiana. The Fighting Irish gave possibly the top defense in Ohio State, all that they could handle in a 64-61 loss. When you look at the Golden Griffins schedule, their record appears to be hollow as it screams “cupcake city.” Can Canisius compete against Notre Dame in their first legitimate matchup of the season?

You Can’t Stop Him, You Can Only Hope to Contain Him

I’m talking about the Irish’s leading scorer, Jerian Grant. Grant is the leading scorer on a deep Irish team and a huge reason of why they’ve been successful this season. Grant has been consistent on the offensive end and  has played locked down defense. He’s coming off of a big 18 point, 4 assist, and 3 rebound performance against a top rated Ohio State defense in which he shot 7 of 11 from the field. Look for Grant to have a huge game against Canisius.

The Golden Griffins will also get few 2nd chances on the offensive end as the combination of Pat Connaughton and Garrick Sherman mind the boards. This duo accounts for a combined 15 rebounds on a team that’s very well rounded with few weaknesses.

Canisius’ will have major difficulties as they rank 294th in the nation in rebounding.  Although they lack a physicality to their game, leading scorer, Billy Barton (20 points, 4.7 assists, and 4.6 rebounds), will give the Irish defense something to think about on the defensive end. Barton has the capabilities of spotting up for the 3-ball at any time and leading the Golden Griffins on a run.

The betting spread is a bit high, but Notre Dame is a much more established team that’s been battle-tested. Lay the points.

College Basketball Pick: Notre Dame -11 at Bet 365

[gameodds]14/253326/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Hartford (5-8) vs. Washington (7-5)

The Hartford Hawks have finally found their offense, winning 3 out of their last 4 games, but have to make a draining cross-country trip to face a Washington Huskies team who possess one of the better offenses in college basketball and have faced the nation’s best along the way. While Washington has come up on the short end of the stick on 5 separate occasions, 4 of their 5 losses have come against very good teams and all 5 losses have come against teams with a .500 record or better. That said, the Huskies haven’t beaten anybody that’s noteworthy and that’s why they’re just a 10.5 betting favorite against a very weak Hartford team on the college basketball odds board.

No Answer For Wilcox

On a very deep Washington team, don’t expect Hartford to have an answer for senior and leading scorer, C.J. Wilcox. Although he hasn’t had a 20 point game in the month of December, Wilcox has scored in double figures in every game this season and averages over 20 points per ball game. He’s put up 19 against UCONN, 24 against Indiana, and 30 points against Boston College. Does anything more need to be said as Hartford is a major drop in level of competition?

Hartford will look for leadership from junior forward Mark Nwakamma. Nwakamma has played well as of late, averaging 18 points and 6 rebounds in his last 2 games. He’s the major source of offense on this offensively deprived team, but his achilles heel is turning the ball over. We’ll have to see if the turnovers come back to bite Nwakamma back in the face as Washington attempts to pull off the upset.

Washington is not a top level team and can be beaten by any team on any given day, but this game seems like an opportune matchup for the Huskies. Lay the points for your free college basketball picks.

College Basketball Pick: Washington

[gameodds]14/253333/?r3=43-19-349/us&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]