NCAA Basketball Picks: Thursday's Best NCAAB Bets

Joe Catalano

Thursday, December 12, 2013 4:41 PM UTC

Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 4:41 PM UTC

We’re now 8-0 in our last 8 picks in NCAA College Basketball; house money is a wonderful thing. In an abbreviated slate for Thursday, we’re hit with another test as only 2 games are available for our NCAA Basketball picks tonight. Let’s go for an even 10-0!

Maryland (5-4) at Boston College (3-6)

Limping Into Tonight’s Matchup

You have both of these clubs dropping their last 2 games and limping into tonight’s matchup. Maryland is a slight 2.5 point betting favorite and the Terps are coming off of losses in which they were defeated by one of the best overall teams in the country in the Ohio State Buckeyes by 15 points and their most recent defeat was a tough 2 point loss against a George Washington, a team with only 1 defeat on this season.

Boston College is a different story as they’ve been recently been defeated soundly by Purdue and USC. That said, the Eagles schedule has been difficult; they played UConn and Shabazz Napier close to the vest. It looks like the NCAA Basketball odds are right on the mark with the spread, as this game can go either way.

Stopping Hanlon and Anderson

While Maryland will dominate the glass, their primary goal will be to stop B.C.’s two leading scorers in Olivier Hanlon and Ryan Anderson. These two players account for more than half of B.C’s offense. That said, both players have played below their seasonal totals in their last 2 games against USC and Purdue.

Olivier Hanlon will need to look for his shot more and will need to avoid foul trouble. He’s coming off of a 6 point effort against the Trojans in which he attempted just 5 shots. When you average nearly 20 points per game like Hanlon, a team such as Boston College counts on that production as the level of opposition is beginning to get tougher. Expect Hanlon to have a bounce back performance at home.

B.C. has been supported by the overall production of its 3rd leading scorer, Joe Rahon. Rahon is a player that can do it all as his 11 points, 9 assists, and 6 rebounds against USC can attest to. If Rahon has a better than average game, Boston College could have the edge at home.

Maryland is coming off of a tough loss in which Maurice Creek of the Colonials hit a buzzer beater to give George Washington the win. This was a tough game for the Terrapins to digest as they made a ferocious 19-2 comeback in the 2nd half in giving themselves a chance at stealing this game. They got back in this game with constant pressure on the defensive end and forcing G.W.’s bigs into foul trouble.

Look for Maryland to dominate the boards as they’re a team that’s much deeper and more consistent offensively than their opponents. Look for Dez Wells and Evan Smotrycz to be the key players to watch. Wells doesn’t take a night off while Smotrycz gives the Terrapins a near double-double every game.

Pick- Maryland -2.5 at Bet 365


Florida Atlantic (3-6) at DePaul (4-4)

After a 6 game losing streak, including a 33 point defeat at Cameron Indoor Stadium to Duke, the Florida Atlantic University Owls have managed to win back to back games against rather mediocre competition in UCF and Jacksonville. The Owls have yet to win on the road and they face a DePaul Blue Demons team that has been very inconsistent. Can FAU pull off the upset?

I compare teams in how they fare against “legitimate” competition. Against Duke, the Owls pretty much got blown out of the building; this game was over before halftime. That said, FAU is coming off of a sound 20 point beating in which they completely held Jacksonville in check defensively while shooting over 50% from the field. The difference in tonight’s game is that DePaul is a tougher opponent and the Owls have yet to taste a road victory.

FAU is led by senior Pablo Bertone. The native of Argentina is coming off of a 20 point performance against Jacksonville and is averaging 18.9 points and 4.3 rebounds on the season.

Brandon Young

DePaul could possibly have leading scorer, Brandon Young, back in the lineup after a sprained ankle. Young didn’t play in the 78-56 loss to Arizona State. According to DePaul’s head coach, 2nd leading scorer, Cleveland Melvin (16.1 points, 6.3 rebounds), tried to do too much as he shot just 2 of 12 from the field as he had just 7 points for the game.

If Young’s ankle isn’t bothering him, this greatly enhances DePaul’s chances of covering. Even though they’re nothing to write home about, FAU has momentum coming into this game and I’m leaning in their direction.

Pick-Florida Atlantic University +11.5 at Bet 365


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