NCAA Basketball Picks of the Day: Two Winning Plays on Title Contenders

Joe Catalano

Friday, November 13, 2015 8:38 PM UTC

Friday, Nov. 13, 2015 8:38 PM UTC

It's early in the season so let's ease into all the action on Day 1 and watch as we provide the betting public with a profit in our 1st installment of NCAA Basketball Picks of the Day.

#1 North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Temple Owls - Veterans Classic

Duke Who?
Most who profile teams are into the "one and done" scene, but North Carolina isn't and their number 1 ranking in the nation proves it as 4 of their top 5 players are returning and that puts them at a tremendous advantage.

While Duke landed a boatload of recruits to replace guys like Justise Winslow and Jahlil Okafor, the North Carolina Tar Heels didn't recruit heavily for this season as shooting guard, Kenny Williams, is ranked 84th in ESPN's top 100 recruits because with the exception of J.P. Tokoto, the entire team is back and are one of the odds on favorites to win it all.


Marcus Paige Is Out
This team is loaded as Marcus Paige is back for his senior season and looks to make an impression on the NBA Scouts. Paige led the Tar Heels last season at 14.1 points and 4.5 assists per game. This is a reliable player that can dish the rock and knock down the 3-ball at around 40%. That said, the Tar Heels will be without Paige for a while as he got his non-shooting hand tangled in a teammates jersey and will be out for this game.

Brice Johnson (12.9 points, 7.8 rebounds), and Kennedy Meeks (11.4 points, 7.3) will look to pick up the slack while defending the glass and controling the paint offensively. Sophomore, Justin Jackson, also returns and I don't think that we've seen the best out of him as he's an efficient shooter that had some big games last season.

There's no replacement for experience and I look for the Tar Heels to be racing out of the gates along with, freshman Kenny Williams. Williams might be ranked 84th in where recruiting is concerned, but he should add immediate offense as he's a dead eye shooter.


Tall Order
You have to give Temple credit for taking a game like this as seniors Quenton DeCosey (12.3 points, 4.6 rebounds) and Jaylen Bond (7.6 points, 7.9 rebounds) return. DeCosey will need to take better shots in order for this team to be successful as he shot well under 40% from the field last season and look for him to improve upon that.

If he's going to get injured, Paige picked the right time and I look for North Carolina to overcome this obstacle with my NCAA Basketball picks and cover the 9.5 point spread on the NCAA Basketball odds board.

NCAA Basketball Picks: North Carolina -9.5 at 5Dimes

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Western Illinois Leathernecks vs. #17 Wisconsin Badgers

Back To Back Final Four Appearances
The Badgers will be looking to do this without Frank Kaminsky as forward Nigel Hayes (12.4 points, 6.2 rebounds) and guard Bronson Keonig (8.7 points, 2.5 assists, 40.5 % from 3 point range) lead the way and it starts at home as a huge 26.5 point betting favorite over the Leathernecks.

This is not a very deep team as a lot of big-time players ran out of eligibility, but Wisconsin is a school that always prides themselves on their top level defense as returnees Vitto Brown and Zak Showalter are inserted into the starting lineup.

Word has it that redshirt freshman, 6 foot 9 forward Ethan Happ, had a lot of private lessons with Frank Kaminsky and Happ could make an immediate impact as he trained with one of the best in the business at the collegiate level in Kaminsky.

Where the Leathernecks are concerned, back court mates, Garret Covington (15.5 points per game) and J.C.Fuller (12 points) are their strength. Western Illinois is also looking for major contributions from freshman Brandon Gilbeck and Jordan Hughes. Both freshman are lengthy in stature and can cause some problems down in the block for Wisconsin.

Look for Nigel Hayes to put this team on his back as Bo Ryan is putting a ton of pressure on Hayes to produce.

NCAA Basketball Picks: Wisconsin -26.5 at 5Dimes

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