NCAA Basketball Picks Of The Day: Winning ATS Plays For Friday

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, March 10, 2016 11:51 PM GMT

Will Florida miss the NCAA Tournament under first-year coach Mike White? The answer to that question should be decided after the Gators' game against No. 17 Texas A&M on Friday. Here are my top three picks for the day with BetOnline's NCAA Basketball odds.

Florida vs. No. 17 Texas A&M (-3.5)
This SEC Tournament game is in Nashville with the Gators as the No. 8 seed and Aggies the top seed. Florida (19-13) was 100 percent not going to make the NCAA Tournament as an at-large team if it had lost to Arkansas on Thursday. But UF prevailed 68-61 over the No. 9 Hogs. Guard Kasey Hill scored 18 points and had five assists, while forward Dorian Finney-Smith, UF's best player, scored all 13 of his points in the second half to go with nine rebounds. It wasn't a sure thing that Gators center John Egbunu would play after tearing ligaments in his right thumb during practice on Tuesday. Bu the was in there and effective with eight points and nine rebounds in 24 minutes. UF is still not an NCAA Tournament team; ESPN's latest projection as it among the final four teams out. It's not clear if/how Vanderbilt's upset loss to Tennessee might affect Florida's chances. The Commodores certainly were in better shape entering the SEC Tournament. It should be noted that Vandy beat Florida twice. But a UF win over SEC co-regular-season champion Texas A&M might be enough. A&M closed the regular season with six straight wins, including knocking off ranked Kentucky. A&M and Florida played once during the season, a 71-68 Aggies home win. Jalen Jones scored 26 points and Danuel House added 22. The Gators never led after halftime but did get even a couple of times. Chris Chiozza missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer. The winner of this game faces the Tennessee/LSU winner.

Bet Texas A&M at -3.5 NCAA Basketball odds. The Gators are 3-8 ATS in their past 11 games. The Aggies 5-1 ATS in their past six games.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Texas A&M -3.5
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

 

George Washington vs. Saint Joseph's (-1)
This is an Atlantic 10 Tournament matchup from Brooklyn featuring the No. 5 Colonials and No. 4 Hawks. Really neither team can afford a loss for Big Dance reasons. George Washington (23-9) beat Saint Louis 73-65 on Thursday to advance -- and right after the game,  SLU fired coach Jim Crews after four seasons. Yuta Watanabe scored 19 points to lead the GW in the win, while Tyler Cavanaugh added 13 points and a game-high eight rebounds and three steals. Kevin Larsen and Patricio Garino added 10 points apiece. Joe McDonald had 10 assists and nine points. GW forced 17 SLU turnovers and scored 21 points off them. The Colonials never trailed. ESPN still projects George Washington among the next four teams out for the NCAA Tournament. Saint Joseph's (24-7) finished a game out of the three-way tie for first in the A-10 regular-season standings. The Hawks lost their final two games, at St. Bonaventure and home to Duquesne to slip to a No. 4 seed but still landed a bye into the quarterfinals. SJU is listed among the final four byes into the NCAAs. A third straight loss could be very costly. Saint Joseph's beat George Washington 84-66 on Feb. 10 in Washington, D.C. The Hawks led by seven at the half and then put it away with a 14-3 run.

Saint Joseph's. GW is 0-6-1 ATS in its past seven Friday games. SJU is 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Saint Joseph's -1
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Western Kentucky vs. Old Dominion (-4.5)
This Conference USA Tournament game in Birmingham, Ala., matchup is between the No. 8 Hilltoppers and No. 5 Monarchs, so clearly neither was expected to be in the semifinals. WKU (18-15) opened the tournament as a favorite over North Texas and won 84-76 behind Justin Johnson's 17 points and 10 rebounds. Then came the stunner: Thursday's 88-77 upset of top-seeded UAB. The Hilltoppers shot 52 percent from the field and killed the Blazers on the boards, 50-28. Johnson had 14 points and a career-high 15 rebounds, and Fredrick Edmond scored 19 points. UAB had lost just two regular-season conference games but now will have to settle for the NIT. Old Dominion (21-12) is on a six-game winning streak. It crushed Florida Atlantic 72-46 in the tournament opener on Wednesday and then beat No. 4 seed Louisiana Tech 68-52 on Thursday. C-USA leading scorer Trey Freeman had 25 points (albeit on 10-for-26 shooting) in beating the Bulldogs. He was named All-Conference First Team earlier this week. Freeman ranks No. 1 in the country for made field goals. Old Dominion beat Western Kentucky twice during the season: 68-62 at home and 59-56 in Bowling Green. Freeman averaged 27.0 points in the wins.

Take Western Kentucky +4.5 with your NCAA Basketball picks. It has covered seven straight games. ODU is 2-5 ATS in its past seven neutral-site games. 

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Western Kentucky +4.5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes