NCAA Basketball Picks: Thursday Picks of the Day

Joe Catalano

Thursday, December 5, 2013 4:10 PM UTC

Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 4:10 PM UTC

After a stunning North Carolina destruction of the #1 Michigan State Spartans it’s on to Thursday to attempt to grab a profit as this weekend’s basketball games are right around the corner.

Sometimes You Have To Go With the Trends

As a brief recap, we nailed the Villanova game as the Wildcats continued to keep the momentum going after winning the Battle 4 Atlantis and we leaned the wrong way and tried to fade the trend of Roy Williams’ dominance over Tom Izzo. Williams and the Heels stunned the Spartans to make it 7-0 for Williams against Izzo. Point being, sometimes you have to stick with the trends. Let’s take a look at what today has to offer.

West Virginia (6-2) vs. Missouri (7-0)


With their only losses of the season coming to Virginia Tech and Wisconsin, the West Virginia Mountaineers take on all comers and aren’t a team to be taken lightly. This is a team that’s averaging 85.1 points per game and is coming off of a pure destruction of the Loyola (MD) Greyhounds, 96-47.

The Mountaineers face yet another stiff test when they enter Mizzou Arena to face the Missouri Tigers. Missouri’s schedule hasn’t been as tough as West Virginia’s, but the Tigers have been unbeatable thus far; this game should be very competitive.

The Other Jabari

Missouri comes into this game with a lot of firepower, spearheaded by their top 2 scorers. Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown. Both players are averaging slightly over 19 points per contest and are a threat on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court.

Clarkson is coming off of 3 consecutive 20 plus point efforts, while Jabari Brown is coming off of a fantastic offensive display against Nevada in which he produced 24 points and 9 rebounds. Brown is a major threat from the outside. In his last 3 games, he’s 12 for 23 from beyond the arc. The Mountaineer defense is in a pressure-filled spot and will have to come up big in order to win tonight.

This could be a high scoring affair. West Virginia’s leading scorer, Eron Harris, is shooting a sizzling 52% from beyond the arc. Harris’ biggest game of the season came against West Virginia’s toughest opponent in the Wisconsin Badgers. Harris shot 7 of 11 from 3-point range and poured in 27 points. Harris will have another opportunity to be a clutch player against a tough opponent. Look for him to be a factor in this game.

Missouri is a 6.5 point favorite in this game. Take the Mountaineers and the points. Their record is deceiving as they’ve played some tough opponents.

NCAA Basketball Pick: West Virginia 6.5 at Bet 365


LIU Brooklyn (2-4) vs. Seton Hall (4-3)

Is the Spread Correct?

Very rarely do you find the Pirates as a 13.5 point college basketball odds favorite. They’re a very unpredictable team, defeating Virginia Tech and losing to Oklahoma by 1 point, but Seton Hall has the tendency to play down to the level of their opponent. That’s just what happened as they’re coming off of stunning 58-54 loss to Farleigh Dickinson. Could Seton Hall be vulnerable in a spot against a lousy LIU Brooklyn team? Could the Blackbirds be a good moneyline bet and possibly steal this game away from a reeling Pirates team?

The Gibbs Factor

This game all hinges on the play of Seton Hall’s 2nd leading scorer, Sterling Gibbs. Gibbs had been dominant against Oklahoma with 26 points and 20 trips to the charity stripe and all has went wrong for the New Jersey native since then.

In his last 2 games, Gibbs is a pathetic 0 for 15 from the field while averaging a mere 3.5 points per game. Now that’s what I call a major drop-off. Gibbs will need to bounce back against an easy opponent. If he has a half-decent game, Seton Hall will crush LIU Brooklyn.

After 4 consecutive losses, the Blackbirds are coming off of a 74-72 victory over Norfolk State. That said, the Blackbirds are a poor offensive team that doesn’t even shoot 40% from the field. My money is on Seton Hall at home for my college basketball pick. I’m not sure if Gibbs will completely snap out of it, but he should provide enough support for the Pirates to crush this low-level team.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Seton Hall -13.5 at Bet 365


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