NCAA Basketball Picks: Three Underdog Shockers on Saturday Night

Ross Benjamin

Saturday, February 6, 2016 3:59 PM GMT

Our college basketball expert Ross Benjamin has gone 14-9-1 ATS (61%) the last ten betting days with his underdog NCAA basketball picks, including a perfect 3-0 sweep last Saturday!

North Carolina vs. Notre Dame 7:00 PM ET
The opening line in this contest spoke volumes to me. The #2 team in the country (North Carolina) opened as just a 2.5 point favorite versus an unranked opponent (Notre Dame). Needless to say, sportsbooks have been flooded with early action on the Tar Heels. At the time of this writing, North Carolina was either a 3.5 or 4.0 point chalk.

North Carolina went through a time period where they shot 50% or better in ten of eleven games. As a matter of fact, they’ve been 50% or above from the floor in 14 of 22 games this season. That torrid stretch has come to a screeching halt in recent games. The Tar Heels have been 38% or less from the field in four of its previous five games, and have made just 65.9% of their free throws. During that stretch, the only time they exceeded the 38% mark was at home against ACC basement dweller Boston College. All three of North Carolina’s losses this season have come in true road games. Those defeats came against Northern Iowa, Texas, and in the previous game at Louisville.

Notre Dame has gone a stellar 11-1 at home this season. “The Irish” have been nationally ranked for much of the season, but currently reside on the Top 25 periphery. Contrary to their opponent today, Notre Dame has shot 47.7% over its last five games in addition to cashing in on 75.3% of its free throws. They’ve also converted on an impressive 38.1% of their three point attempts this season.

Current NCAA basketball odds clearly provide me with the most favorable number for this wager.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Notre Dame +3
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Vanderbilt vs. Ole Miss 8:00 PM ET
Vanderbilt is clearly the better team on paper in this matchup. However, my lone concern is which one of these teams will be better today. The Commodores are a miserable 1-6 in true road games this season, and that doesn’t bode well for an away favorite. Ole Miss has gone a solid 8-2 at home this season, and has converted 38.2% of its three point attempts during their last five games.

I like the home underdog value in this game for one of my Saturday NCAA basketball picks.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Ole Miss +3
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

 

Baylor vs. West Virginia 8:00 PM ET
This is one of my favorite situations. It involves a game taking place in the second half of the season, both teams possess a .750 or better winning percentage, the underdog is coming off a SU&ATS loss, and is facing an opponent who won SU&ATS in its previous outing. In the majority of circumstances, general public betting trends will oppose my theory, and that’s just fine by me. College basketball ATS betting history clearly indicates that the underdog has been very profitable in this exact situation.

Baylor is coming off an 8 point loss at home to a red-hot Texas team. The Bears are a perfect 4-0 following a loss this season, and won by an average of 13.3 points per game. Baylor has been vulnerable defensively over its last five games. However, West Virginia is a below average shooting team. The Mountaineers generate a lot of their offense in transition derived from pressure defense that forces 19 turnovers per game. West Virginia is also one of the best offensive rebounding teams nationally, but Baylor can more than hold its own in that regard.

I like this game to go right down to the wire. An outright upset by Baylor isn’t out of the realm of possibility, but I’ll certainly accept the points as an additional bonus.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Baylor +6.5 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage