NCAA Basketball Picks Of The Day: Trio Of Value Plays For Friday

Matthew Jordan

Friday, January 29, 2016 1:37 AM GMT

As usual, it's unranked teams all on the Friday night NCAA schedule with no schools in action from Power 5 conferences. But there's still one very good club in action. Here are my top three picks for Friday with BetOnline's NCAA Basketball odds.

VCU vs. Davidson (+2.5 On NCAA Basketball Odds)
VCU (15-5, 7-0 Atlantic 10) is one of a handful of teams in the nation still unbeaten in a top conference and brings one of the country's longest active winning streaks, 10 in a row, into a tough matchup at Davidson. The Rams are an interesting team as they lost two straight and three straight at one point, but those were back when the team wasn't at full strength injury-wise. The team is now. VCU has had just three single-digits wins during the streak, including an 84-76 home win last time out against St. Bonaventure. That game was moved from Saturday to Sunday because of the winter storm in the  Northeast USA. The sluggish Rams were down nine points in the second half but took the lead for good on a 3-pointer by  Melvin Johnson with about five minutes left. JeQuan Lewis was the star of the game for VCU with 26 points and seven assists without a single turnover. VCU has rallied from at least a nine-point second-half deficit three times during the winning streak. Davidson (12-6, 4-3) also had its last game postponed as the Wildcats played at Richmond on Monday instead of Saturday. Davidson won 78-70. Normally Jack Gibbs leads the Wildcats in scoring in a game as he's No. 4 nationally at 24.8 ppg. Gibbs was held to 11 vs. Richmond, but Peyton Aldridge stepped up with a career-high 34. It also helped that Richmond was 0-for-16 from long range. VCU and Davidson split two regular-season games last year, each winning at home. The Wildcats won easily 82-55 in Davidson. VCU then won the rubber match 93-73 in the A-10 Tournament.

The Rams are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games following a ATS loss. The Wildcats are 12-5-1 ATS in their past 18 vs. Atlantic 10.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Davidson +2.5
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Manhattan vs. Iona (-10.5 In NCAA Betting)
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action and the first game in eight days for Manhattan (8-10, 5-4), which had Monday's matchup at St. Peter's postponed. The Jaspers have won two straight, including a 78-71 home upset of conference-leading Monmouth last Thursday. Manhattan ended that game on a 13-2 run and got a season-high 46 points from its reserves. One of those reserves, sophomore  forward Calvin Crawford, was named MAAC Player of the Week on Monday. He scored a career-high 20 points in the Monmouth upset while adding six rebounds and three assists. Iona (10-9, 7-3) lost for the third time in four games on Sunday, 98-91 at Fairfield. Iona got one of its best players, second-leading scorer and rebounder Jordan Washington, back  from a two-game suspension in that one. He had 33 points and 12 rebounds in the loss. Iona, which never led but cut a 17-point deficit to three in the final minute, wasn't helped by missing 15 of its 37 free-throw attempts. At home, Iona is 8-1 this year and has won 18 of its past 19 there.

The Jaspers are 1-5 ATS in their last road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Manhattan is 1-6 ATS in its past seven road games. Take Iona with your NCAA Basketball picks.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Iona -9.5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Wright State vs. Oakland (-6 For NCAA Basketball Picks)
Good Horizon League matchup here as Wright State (13-8, 7-1) looks to keep pace with conference co-leader Valparaiso atop the standings. The Raiders just finished off a five-game homestand at 5-0 with an 80-66 win over Illinois-Chicago on Sunday. Wright State trailed 19-18 midway through the first half but went on a 10-0 run and wouldn't trail again. WSU led 44-32 at the half thanks to shooting 62 percent from the field compared to 40 percent for the visitors. Mark Alstork led Wright State with 19 points and nine rebounds. It was the 100th victory at the school for Coach Billy Donlon. Alstork was named Horizon League Player of the Week on Monday. He averaged 17.3 points and shot 55 percent from the field in three wins. Oakland (13-8, 5-3) nearly upset then-No. 1 Michigan State earlier this season and also played competitively in a loss at No. 5 Virginia. The Golden Grizzlies have won four of their past five overall. They won 82-79 at Milwaukee on Monday behind 21 points, all on 3-pointers, from Max Hooper. But the team's star is potential Horizon League Player of the Year Kahlil Felder (17 points Monday). He is third in the nation in scoring (25.3 ppg) and first in assists (8.9 apg). Oakland and Wright State split last year. The Grizzlies won 84-76 in OT at home.

The Raiders are 7-15 ATS in their last 22 vs. Horizon League. The Golden Grizzlies are 20-5-1 ATS in their last 26 games following a win. Oakland has covered against the NCAA Basketball odds in 13 of its past 10 at home. 

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Oakland -5.5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage