NCAA Basketball Picks: Thursday Picks of the Day

Joe Catalano

Thursday, January 31, 2013 4:17 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013 4:17 PM UTC

With just 2 games on the NBA Schedule, it’s a college basketball Thursday. Watch, as I determine which games have the best value in deciding my college basketball Picks of the Day.

Connecticut (13-5, 3-3) at Providence (10-10, 2-6)

The Huskies have done a respectable job without Jim Calhoun on the sidelines. A NCAA Tournament berth is definitely within reach, but its games like this that they have to win. UCONN is a mere 1.5 point NCAAB odds favorite against a team that’s had no success in the Big East.

No Surprises

With the Huskies, you get no surprises. Win or lose, they play the top level teams in the country tight to the vest while they beat the teams that they’re supposed to beat. Connecticut is coming off a bit of a rough patch having lost 2 out of its last 3 games. Like I said earlier, teams like Louisville and Pittsburgh are expected losses while they took care of Rutgers in their last game by double digits.

The Next Kemba Walker?

UConn could only hope that junior, Shabazz Napier, brings them a national title like Kemba did. Napier is quite similar in stature and style of play to that of Walker. He’s an active player that’s a good ball distributor, a respectable shooter,can snatch a few rebounds, and can be a bit inconsistent at times. Napier is coming off of a solid 19 point, 6 assist, and 5 rebound game against Rutgers. Look for another big effort out of Napier at the Dunkin Donuts Center against Providence.

Ryan Boatright has been the model of consistency for Connecticut. He’s scored in double figures in 16 out of 18 games. Look for more of the same against an inferior team.


Providence comes into this game having lost 8 out of its last 10 games. In 5 out of their 6 Big East battles, the Friars were competitive, losing by 10 points or less. That said, look for Connecticut to roll here.

Free College Basketball Picks: Connecticut -1.5 a 5 Dimes


Penn State (8-12, 0-8) at Iowa (13-7, 2-5)

Even though Iowa has had a respectable season thus far, no matter how you slice it, this is a disgusting game between two teams that have had no success whatsoever in there Big-Ten matchups.

A 13 Point Favorite?

Even though Iowa is coming off of a disappointing loss to a .500 team like Purdue,  4 out of their 5 conference losses have been against top 20 competition. Penn State was an 8-4 team until conference play and then…you know the rest.

Penn State isn’t a team that’s going to overwhelm anyone offensively. They average 60.1 points per game and shoot a pathetic 38.9% from the field. Iowa’s leading scorers, Roy Devyn Marble and Aaron White, have also been nothing to write home about as they’ve shot a combined 13 of 44 from the field. Iowa should be able to handle the Nittany Lions quite easily, but I’m not looking to lay 13 points on a team like this.

Both offenses have been sputtering and the 129.5 point betting total seems quite reasonable. Take the UNDER for your college basketball picks in this unappealing matchup between teams with no inter-conference success.

Free College Basketball Picks: Penn State/Iowa UNDER 129.5


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