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

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 12:46 AM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016 12:46 AM UTC

There are four major conference teams (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC) without a conference win. Could St. John's get its first Wednesday night at Xavier? Doubtful. Here are my top three picks for the night with BetOnline's NCAA Basketball odds.

St. John's vs. No. 6 Xavier (-23.5)
The Red Storm (7-15, 0-9 Big East) join Rutgers, Minnesota (both Big Ten) and Boston College (ACC) as the only major conference teams still with a zero in the conference win-loss column. I previewed the Johnnies' home game vs. then-No. 6 Villanova on Sunday and recommended taking the 19 points. St John's covered in the 68-53 defeat. Villanova led by just one at halftime before pulling away to hand St. John's its 12th straight  loss overall. St. John's caught a break in that Villanova starting center Daniel Ochefu was a late scratch with a possible concussion. Durand Johnson's 13 points led St. John's, which committed a season-high 21 turnovers. Ron Mvouika had 11 points and 10 rebounds for his third-career double-double. Xavier (19-2, 7-2) is second in the Big East, a game behind Villanova. The Musketeers won at DePaul 86-65 on Saturday for their third straight victory. The only two conference losses were home to Georgetown and at Villanova. On Jan. 6, Xavier visited St. John's and won 74-66. The Red Storm were down 12 points in the second half before freshman guard Federico Mussini started going nuts from 3-point range. He got SJU within 65-64 with about two minutes left on a 3-pointer, but Xavier was able to hang on. The Red Storm haven't beaten a ranked team in three year. They did win at unranked Xavier last season, 78-70. The Musketeers could be without starting forward James Farr for this game. He's questionable after getting hurt vs. DePaul. Farr averages 10.6 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. I'll take the points on SJU again with my NCAA Basketball picks, especially with Farr iffy. The favorite  has failed to cover the past four meetings.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: St. John's +24 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


Notre Dame vs. No. 17 Miami (-7)
If you watch this ESPN2 ACC game, you might notice something a bit different on the broadcast. It's part of an ESPN crossover and thus will have usual ABC/ESPN NBA top analyst Jeff Van Gundy on the telecast along with Dan Shulman and Dick Vitale.  Notre Dame (15-6,  6-3 ACC) fell out of the Top 25 on Monday thanks to an early-week blowout loss to Syracuse last Thursday. But the Irish bounced back with an 85-62 home rout of Wake Forest on Sunday. A.J. Burgett got his first start in two years and had a career-high 14 points. He had played just eight total minutes in ACC action this season. Coach Mike Brey wanted to reward  the senior's strong practice performances. And it was probably the only chance Brey would get to start Burgett. Senior guard Demetrius Jackson missed the Syracuse game with an injury but played vs. Wake Forest and had 14 points. The Irish are now 10-0 in their past 10 games after a loss. Miami (16-4, 5-3) was upset at NC State 85-69 on Saturday. It was only the Wolfpack's second conference win of the season. Notre Dame leads the all-time series with Miami 10-8.  The Irish won both last year by a combined 12 points. Miami. The Irish are 2-6 ATS in their past eight after a win. They have covered one of their past seven vs. teams with a winning record. UM is 3-0-1 ATS in its past four at home.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Miami -6
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


No. 4 Maryland vs. Nebraska (+6)
Maryland (19-3, 8-2) is a half-game out of the Big Ten lead held by Indiana and Iowa entering Tuesday. I still believe the Terps are the conference's best team. The knocked off No. 3 Iowa last Thursday and then avoided a potential letdown game on Sunday with a 66-61 victory at unranked Ohio State. Maryland held OSU to 37 percent shooting and just four fast-break points, Melo Trimble scored 20 points, and Jake Layman added 16 points and 10 rebounds for Maryland. The Terps' two conference losses were in the state of Michigan. They made the biggest jump in the AP poll this week, moving four spots. The Terps are a crazy-good 18-2 in their past 20 games decided by six points or fewer. Nebraska (12-10, 4-5) probably won't be headed to the NCAA Tournament this season. The Huskers have dropped two straight, vs. Michigan and at Purdue, by double digits. Nebraska had won four in a row before that. Andrew White III leads the Huskers in scoring (17.0 ppg) and rebounding (6.0 rpg). Maryland beat Nebraska twice last year, their first meetings ever. Trimble scored a combined 47 points in the wins. Maryland will beat the NCAA Basketball odds. The Terps are 12-4 ATS in their past 16 vs. the Big Ten. Nebraska is 1-4 ATS in its past five at home. 

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Maryland -6
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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