There are just two Top 25 games on tap for Thursday, but there are still plenty of opportunity for our NCAA Basketball picks, as teams are positioning themselves for their respective conference tournaments.
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#22 Wisconsin (20-9, 11-5) at #10 Michigan State (22-7, 11-5)
Tonight Purdue faces a tough Michigan State team on the road, and they could be looking at a second consecutive loss.
The Spartans are also coming off of a loss to a tough Michigan in a very competitive game. They came back from a 10 point deficit to tie the game, and had it not been for a Trey Burke steal and bucket with about 20 seconds on the clock, this game would’ve gone into overtime.
The NCAA Basketball odds boards list Michigan State as the 4 point favorite tonight, and while both teams have locked themselves in for the NCAA Tournament, conference standings are on the line, and the Spartans will be gunning for a win.
Boards and Buckets
Junior Adrian Payne has picked the right time to get hot, as he had a 17 point, 12 rebound performance against Michigan and he is averaging 15.2 points and 12 rebounds in his last 4 games. Although Wisconsin has a solid defense and can slow down the pace of the game, look for another productive double-double out of Payne.
The Spartans also need Keith Appling to find his game, as he’s been a liability on the court lately. Aside from giving up the steal to Trey Burke, Appling is averaging just 6 points on 5 of 23 shooting in his last 3 games.
Wisconsin won’t wow us on the offensive side of the ball, but when they need a bucket, they usually call upon senior, Jared Berggren. Berggren is a defensive force; he can score, rebound, and is a great defensive player. Berggren has had back to back 4 block performances.
If the game is close down the stretch, the Badgers will also look for Ben Brust, as he has the ability to make the big shot in clutch situations.
NCAA Basketball Pick – Michigan State -4 at 5 Dimes
Virginia (20-9, 10-6) at Florida State (15-14, 7-9)
With a win here, Virginia can tie N.C. State for the number 4 spot in the conference in the ACC. They come into this game as a 3.5 point betting favorite, and after an uninspiring 53-52 loss to a lousy Boston College team while the Seminoles come into this game after getting beat around by the North Carolina Tarheels by 21 points.
Trends Come First?
I usually like to give a little synopsis of the game first, but some of the College Basketball betting trends are quite alarming if you’re a Florida State backer.
The Seminoles are 2-11-1 ATS in their last 14 games in the ACC, and they are 2-11-1 ATS in their last 14 games overall, Seminoles are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games at home, and they’re 0-7-1 ATS in their last 8 games against teams with a winning % above .600.
Virginia is 6-2 ATS in their last games overall, and while I liked Virginia coming into this game, the trends only make me feel more certain of where I should place my sports picks in this matchup.
A Bounce Back Performance?
I don’t know how you go from beating Duke to losing to Boston College, but the Virginia Cavaliers basically gave a game away. Now isn’t the time to throw away games, as Virginia faces a tough Maryland team after tonight’s contest. This is a game that they should be able to win.
Not many players can say that they lit Duke up for 36 points, but Joe Harris falls into that category. Harris is a guard with great size, and he gives a team that only averages 64.9 points per game consistent production. Joe Harris gets up for big games and although Florida State is no Duke, the situation is set up for him to play a leading role in a “must win”situation. I expect Harris to play well, as the Cavaliers cover the spread in a bounce back game.
NCAA Basketball Pick – Virginia -3.5 at 5 Dimes[gameodds]14/223384/43/us[/gameodds]