NCAA Basketball Picks Of The Day: Thursday's Best Unranked Value

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, January 21, 2016 12:17 PM GMT

Here are my top three free NCAA basketball picks for the night based on the available NCAA basketball odds. Don't miss this preview and find out why I like these plays.

One of the best rivalries in the nation outside of the Power 5 Conferences is between Gonzaga and St. Mary's in the West Coast Conference and that's renewed Thursday night. Let's break down the available NCAA basketball odds and find out the best NCAA basketball picks for the night. Let's get started...

 

College Of Charleston vs. Towson (-3 On NCAA Basketball Odds)
This is your first betting option at sportsbooks for Thursday with a 6 p.m. start time from Towson in Maryland. Charleston got some bad news this week when the team's best player, junior guard Canyon Barry, was ruled out the rest of the season. Barry, the youngest son of NBA legend Rick Barry, originally injured his shoulder on Jan. 2 but it was finally determined he had to undergo surgery to end his season. Barry was averaging a Colonial Athletic Association-leading 19.7 points when he went down. And, yes, Barry shot free throws underhanded like his Hall of Fame dad and was hitting 84.5 percent from the line. You listening DeAndre Jordan? Andre Drummond? Dwight Howard? The Cougars (10-7, 2-4 CAA) have gone 1-3 without Barry, losing their past three by a combined 10 points. Last Saturday, Charleston fell at home to Elon on a late 3-pointer. Towson (13-6, 4-2) brings a two-game winning streak into this one. It beat visiting Drexel 69-50 on Saturday. Towson scored the first nine points and never looked back. Towson leads the CAA in scoring defense (65.0), rebounding (41.2) and field-goal percentage defense (39.3). The Tigers are 5-2 all-time against Charleston. Towson swept two close games last year.

Charleston is 8-20 ATS in its past 28 road games. It is 2-7 ATS in its past nine on the road vs. teams with a winning home record. Towson is 4-0 ATS in the past four meetings.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Towson -4 
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

 

Arizona State vs. California (-5.5 In NCAA Betting)
California (12-6, 2-3 Pac-12) got terrible news this week when senior point guard Tyrone Wallace, who leads the team in scoring (15.4) and assists (4.6) while also averaging 5.1 rebounds per game, was lost 4-6 weeks due to a broken bone in his right hand suffered Saturday in practice. It's going to be tough for Coach Cuonzo Martin's team to reach the NCAA Tournament now since Wallace might not be back until the Pac-12 Tournament if it's the long end of that timetable. He will be replaced in the starting lineup by reserve Sam Singer, who is averaging 4.1 points and 2.0 assists in 19 minutes per game. The Bears enter this one on a three-game skid, although they were all on the road. Cal hasn't lost at home yet this season. In Berkeley, the Bears have conference victories over Colorado and have an overall plus-18.1 scoring margin. Arizona State (11-7, 1-4) lost 89-85 at home to Washington on Saturday. The Sun Devils are averaging 76.2 points per game, their best mark since the 2002-03 season. ASU has won the past five against California, sweeping the Bears the past two seasons for the first time since 1999-2000.

ASU is 1-6 ATS in its past seven in the Pac-12. The Bears are 4-0 ATS in their past four at home.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: California -5
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

 

Gonzaga vs. Saint Mary's (-3.5 For NCAA Basketball Picks)
Not too often you will see Gonzaga as an underdog in WCC action. The Zags (14-4, 6-1) rebounded from a home loss to BYU with an 88-52 wipeout of San Diego on Saturday. Gonzaga's Kyle Wiltjer had 25 points and Domantas Sabonis 14 points and 15 rebounds. They are two of the best players in the country. Wiltjer leads the WCC in scoring at 22.4 points per game. Sabonis is averaging 17.8 points and 10.9 rebounds per game while shooting .635 from the floor, which ranks him first in the WCC in rebounding and second in field-goal percentage. In this one, Gonzaga brings the nation’s longest active road winning streak at 13 straight games -- six more than the next closest. SMC (15-2, 6-1) has been off for a week, last beating visiting Pacific 78-62 on Jan. 14. The Gaels are 13-0 at home and lead the WCC in 15 different statistical categories. These two schools have claimed the top two spots in the WCC's final regular-season standings in each of the last 11 seasons and have combined for every regular season title since 2000. Gonzaga has won eight straight in the series.

The Bulldogs are 7-0 ATS in the past seven meetings. 

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Gonzaga +3
Best Line Offered: at Heritage