NCAA Basketball Picks For Tuesday: Cash In Big With Our Loaded Trio

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, December 29, 2015 11:39 AM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015 11:39 AM UTC

Here are our top three NCAA basketball picks for Tuesday's plays. Don't miss our NCAA basketball odds breakdown and find out why these stand out from the bunch.

No. 1 Michigan State vs. Iowa (-3 On NCAA Basketball Odds)
You definitely don't see  the nation's top team be an underdog too often in the NCAA basketball odds board. Iowa can get some payback for its football program. Of course Michigan State beat Iowa in the Big Ten Championship Game for a spot in the College Football Playoff. I'm pretty confident in saying that MSU wouldn't be a dog here if star Denzel Valentine were healthy, but the national player of the year candidate is out at least another week following minor knee surgery. His first game missed was last Tuesday against Oakland and Sparty was very fortunate to win 99-93 in overtime (I recommended in this space taking Oakland and the 11.5 points). Michigan State was down 15 at one point, its largest deficit of the season. Bryn Forbes had a career-high 32 points while Eron Harris had a season-high 27. He made his first career start, taking Valentine's spot. Forbes and Valentine played on the same high school team as Iowa senior Anthony Clemmons. Iowa (9-3) closed out non-conference play with an 85-63 rout of Tennessee Tech. MSU is the third ranked team Iowa has played this season. The Hawkeyes lost to No. 17  Notre Dame, beat No. 20 Wichita State and lost at No. 4 Iowa State. Michigan State has won nine straight meetings with Iowa. Last year, the Spartans won the lone meeting 75-61 in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes led by 11 in the first half.

The Spartans are 5-7 under Tom Izzo in Big Ten openers on the road. Iowa is 5-1-1 ATS in its past seven Big Ten games. MSU has covered only five of its past 18 after scoring more than 90 points in its previous game.

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Free NCAAB Pick: Iowa -3
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline


Princeton vs. No. 13 Miami Fla. (-16 In NCAA Betting)
Potential trap game for the Hurricanes? UM could be peeking ahead to its ACC opener this weekend against Syracuse. Miami is off a 95-49 destruction of La Salle, the worst loss in that program's history and UM's biggest margin of victory under Coach Jim Larranaga. UM held La Salle to 29.8 percent (17-for-57) shooting from the field, the lowest shooting percentage by an opponent this season. Reserve Ivan Cruz Uceda had a career-high 20 points. He is only the 11th bench player in the past 20 years to score at least 20 for the Canes but also the second in a row. Ja’Quan Newton had 20 the game before against College of Charleston. Larranaga's Miami teams have scored 90 or more points nine times in 151 games, including four times this year. The Canes are 19-0 all-time under him when scoring at least 85. Of Miami's 10 wins, nine have come by double digits. Princeton (7-3) might be the Ivy League's best team. The Tigers have played one ranked team this season, losing to then-No. 6 Maryland 82-61 in Baltimore. Princeton was only down four at the half. The Tigers are 14-27 all-time against teams from the ACC. Interestingly, this game is played 67 years to the day that Princeton and Miami last played. The last time the Tigers defeated a team ranked as highly by the Associated Press as No. 13 Miami was Jan. 3, 1977, when Princeton defeated No. 2 Notre Dame 76-62. It hasn't beaten a team ranked as high as No. 13 in a true road game since 1967 (No. 3 North Carolina).

Princeton is very good at not turning the ball over. Tigers cover. They are 7-2 ATS in their past nine vs. the ACC. Consider that for your NCAA basketball picks.

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Free NCAAB Pick: Princeton +16½
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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Connecticut vs. Texas (Pick'em For NCAA Basketball Picks)
Solid non-conference game on ESPN2 between what should be NCAA Tournament teams. UConn (8-3) has won three straight since a competitive loss to Maryland. However, UConn will be without center Amida Brimah for at least six weeks due to a broken finger on his right hand. The 7-footer from Ghana was averaging 7.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game and has the top field-goal percentage on the team at 72.5 percent, which would break his own single-season school record if it extended throughout the year. His 3.0 blocked shots per game are among the nation's leaders. Last season, Brimah was voted the Defensive Player of the Year in the American Athletic Conference and led the country in total blocks. This is UConn's first true road game of the year. Connecticut is 11-11 in road games over the last two seasons. Texas (8-3) has won six straight since a close loss to Michigan and is 6-0 at home. That includes an 84-82 overtime upset of then-No. 3 North Carolina on Dec. 12. The Longhorns might be a bit rusty as they haven't played since a two-point win at Stanford on Dec. 19. UT suffered its own major injury on Sunday as center Cameron Ridley broke his left foot in practice and is out indefinitely. Ridley was averaging career highs of 12.7 points, 10 rebounds and 3.4 blocks. UConn is 5-3 all-time vs. Texas but the Longhorns won last year in Storrs 55-54 on a Jonathan Holmes hit a 3-pointer from the left baseline with 2 seconds left.

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Free NCAAB Pick: Texas -1 simply because it's at home and UConn doesn't know what it's like to play in an opponent's gym yet.
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

Looking For More Free NCAA Basketball Picks? Don't Miss:
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