NCAA Basketball Picks Of The Day: Top Three Plays For Wednesday

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 7:39 PM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016 7:39 PM UTC

You might hear ESPN hyping the Duke visits North Carolina game as the best rivalry in college basketball. Check out my top 3 picks on Heritage NCAA basketball odds.

No. 20 Duke vs. No. 5 North Carolina (-5 On NCAA Basketball Odds)
It's the 141st straight time that these two schools, who have combined for 34 Final Four appearances and are separated by less than 10 miles, will play with at least one team ranked in the Associated Press Top 25. And 126 of the previous 140 have had at least one school in the Top 10. The last time the Blue Devils and Heels played when both were unranked was in February 1960. Just think about that! Duke (19-6, 8-4) got back into the rankings on Monday thanks to home wins over ranked Louisville and Virginia last week. The one vs. the Cavs was on a Grayson Allen buzzer-beater that has been analyzed all week because it appeared Allen should have been called for traveling on the play. A loss here all but ends any chance for Duke to win the ACC regular-season title. North Carolina (21-4, 10-2) leads the conference by a game over Miami and Virginia. The Tar Heels are facing only their third ranked team this season. They are 2-1, with the loss coming at Louisville. This will feature two of college basketball's top offenses as North Carolina is 10th nationally at 83.8 points per game and Duke is 13th at 83.4 ppg. The Blue Devils swept the regular-season series last year and have won 10 of the past 13 vs. the Heels.

Duke is 1-4 ATS in its past five following a win. UNC is 4-1 ATS in its past five home games vs. teams with a winning road record. Go to and compare sportsbooks live offerings on North Carolina as the home favorite.

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Free NCAAB Pick: North Carolina -5.5
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker 

No. 15 Dayton vs. Saint Joseph's (-3 In NCAA Betting)
The Flyers (21-3, 11-1) can take a big step toward winning the Atlantic 10 regular-season title here. Dayton leads Saint Joseph's (21-4, 10-2) and VCU by a game. This is UD's only meeting of the regular season with the Hawks, while Dayton hosts VCU to close the regular season. Dayton has won nine straight since a puzzling loss to one of the conference's worst teams, La Salle. This is the first time Dayton has been ranked in the Top 25 three consecutive weeks since the 2007-08 season. The No. 15 AP ranking is the school's highest since 1960. Charles Cooke leads Dayton in scoring at 16.0 points per game. The team is 9-1 this season when he reaches 20. Saint Joseph's has two of the best players in the Atlantic 10 in Isaiah Miles (team-leading 17.5 ppg and 8.2 rpg) and DeAndre Bembry (16.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg). The Hawks are off to their best start since 2003-04. In terms of win differential, they are the fifth-most improved team in the country compared to last year. Dayton and Saint Joseph's have split the past 16 meetings, but the Hawks have won the past seven at home.

Improve your chances of walking to the bank with your pockets full and add Dayton to your NCAA Basketball picks. The Flyers have covered their past four road games. SJU is just 6-5-1 ATS at home.

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Free NCAAB Pick: Dayton +3
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline


Alabama vs. LSU (-6.5 For NCAA Basketball Picks)
The Tigers (16-9, 9-3) are tied atop the SEC with Kentucky but LSU is squarely on the NCAA Tournament bubble so it can't afford a home loss to a so-so Alabama team here. LSU helped its resume on Saturday with a 76-71 home win over No. 15 Texas A&M. Likely national freshman of the year Ben Simmons had 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists while playing all 40 minutes. He didn't turn the ball over once. Somehow the Tigers won despite shooting just 42.1 percent compared to A&M's 55.8 percent. It was only the eighth time under Coach Johnny Jones that LSU won a game while being outshot. It helped that the Tigers had nine turnovers to Texas A&M's 20. The Tide (15-9, 6-6) are actually making a modest push for an NCAA Tournament bid as they have won four straight. Alabama went to Florida on Saturday and pulled a 61-55 upset. It hadn't won in Gainesville since 1995. The Tide are 9-0 this season when opponents fail to score at least 60 points. On Jan. 23, Alabama hosted LSU and lost 72-70. Tim Quarterman rebounded his own miss with about 30 seconds left for the winning points. It was LSU’s first victory in Tuscaloosa in 12 years. Simmons had 23 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

The Tigers are 4-1 ATS in their past five games. The Tide have failed to cover their past four at LSU. 

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Free NCAAB Pick: LSU -6.5
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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