NCAA Basketball Picks of the Day: Winning Selections For Thursday

Willie Bee

Thursday, January 14, 2016 1:40 AM GMT

From the Big Ten to the Colonial and all the way out to the West Coast Conference, we have you covered with previews and free NCAA Basketball picks for three Thursday night games.

After Long Layoff. Iowa Travels To Michigan State
No better way to tip off a Thursday night than with two squads that are part of a 6-team clump at the top of the Big Ten standings. Not only do we get a clash of ranked teams fighting for the conference crown when the Iowa Hawkeyes trek to East Lansing to meet the Michigan State Spartans, we get a very early rematch after the schools opened their conference slate against each other a little more than two weeks ago.

It's the Spartans looking for revenge in the 7 PM (ET) contest that ESPN will beam nationally, and the NCAA Basketball odds say they'll get it. Michigan State is 6½ point chalk at Bookmaker with the same sports book listing 144½ for the total.

The biggest question I have going into this one is how will Iowa (12-3 straight up, 7-5 against the spread) respond after being idle for nine days? The Hawkeyes were last on the floor January 5 in a home win over Nebraska, the contest concluding a stretch of three Big Ten games in eight days. The extra time off has given senior guard Anthony Clemmons time to rest is hip pointer, and he's probable for Thursday's tilt.

Michigan State (16-1 SU, 10-6 ATS) has run off three wins since losing at Iowa on December 29, and Tom Izzo was happy to see Denzel Valentine back on the court this past Sunday in a 92-65 victory at Penn State. Valentine missed four games, including the one against the Hawkeyes, with a knee injury, coming off the bench to play 23 minutes and score 10 points on the Nittany Lions.

I see an open battle in this one, both teams reaching the mid-to-upper 70s which is why my play is on the 'over.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Iowa-Michigan State Over 
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

 

CAA Co-Leader Hofstra Hosts Drexel
Bill Cosby has been in the news lately, and for all the wrong reasons. That got me thinking about one of his old comedy routines about when he played football at Temple, and how the Owls used to get their butts whipped by Hofstra. So, when I saw the Pride on the Thursday night slate, I thought, What the heck?! and decided to include them with my free NCAA Basketball picks.

Besides, Hofstra (11-5 SU, 6-6-1 ATS) has a pretty good team this year, tied for first in the Colonial Athletic Association with William & Mary. The team the Pride are playing Thursday evening, not so much as the Drexel Dragons (3-12 SU, 6-61 ATS) arrive in Hempstead, NY at 1-3 in the league ranks.

Tip-off at Mack Sports Arena is a little past 7 PM (ET), and the only way to catch it outside the gym is streaming the game on one of the school's websites. BetOnline introduced this one at Hofstra -11 with 141 on the total. Betting this one blind with The Anti-Cos as my muse.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Hofstra -10.5
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Early Start For BYU-Gonzaga Collision
I love to watch West Coast Conference games, but hate staying up well past my old man bedtime to do so. So you can expect my fat backside in front of the boob tube tonight when the BYU Cougars take on the Gonzaga Bulldogs in a rare East Coast prime-time start.

ESPN2 will have the broadcast from McCartney Athletic Center in Spokane starting at 9 PM (ET), The Greek burdening the 'Zags at -6½ with 161½ for the total.

It's no surprise to see the usual suspects at the top of the WCC Brigham Young (12-5 SU, 8-5-1 ATS) trailing Gonzaga (13-3 SU, 4-9-1 ATS) by a game-&-a-half with Saint Mary's between them. The Bulldogs lead the series 9-4 overall and have won three of the four in Spokane. Their only loss home loss to the Cougars came in the regular season finale last February when BYU posted a 73-70 upset as 13 point underdogs. I'm liking the4 Bulldogs for my final free college basketball pick.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Gonzaga -6.5 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage