NCAA Basketball Picks: Tuesday NCAAB Value Plays

Steven Suarez

Tuesday, January 1, 2013 3:22 PM GMT

There are only five games on the college basketball schedule here on New Years. Which picks are we liking most? Let's try and start off the New Year in style.

Yale Bulldogs vs. Iowa State Cyclones

The Cyclones have jumped out to a solid 9-3 start, with all three of their losses coming against ranked opponents.

Close games away from home against the likes of Cincinnati, UNLV and Iowa prove that this team is for real. And they can thank a highly efficient offense for this early season success.

Iowa State is ranked #7 in scoring offense, as they put up 82.2 points per game. The Cyclones have also been extremely effective on the board, ranking #7 in that category as well.

Korie Lucious is the floor leader and is averaging 9.7 points and 5.4 assists per game, but that's not even close to where it stops for Iowa State. Fellow seniors Will Clyburn (13.8 PPG and 7.5 RPG) and Tyrus McGee (13.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.1 APG) have been terrific. McGee is shooting a ridiculous 47.9 percent from three so far this season.

This afternoon the Cyclones should have little trouble skating past Yale. The Bulldogs have lost two straight by double digits and have won only one road game all season. The question is, can they cover the hefty 19.5 points that the NCAA Basketball odds makers are asking for?

Coming in Yale is averaging a paltry 64.7 points per game, with Austin Morgan and Justin Sears the only players scoring in double figures. This team really struggles to get the ball in the hoop, and that's a huge issue against an offensive juggernaut like Iowa State.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Iowa State Cyclones -19.5 at BetOnline

[gameodds]14/134737/999996-19-1096-198-238-93/us[/gameodds]

Hofstra Pride vs. Florida Atlantic Owls

We feel as if the Owls are not worthy of being nine-point favorites, so we will be taking Hofstra with our college basketball picks today.

The Pride have fallen off the map here of late after a decent 3-2 start. They've lost seven straight games, with their latest coming against Tulane (83-62) inside of the Barclays Center.

They run into a Florida Atlantic team that isn't exactly playing the greatest basketball either. The Owls have lost four of their last five, a span that includes straight up losses to Stetson and Louisiana-Monroe

Even though Hofstra is without key guys in Jimmy Hall and Shaquille Stokes – you may remember they were kicked off the team for burglarizing dorms last month – they still have Taran Buie, Stevie Mejia and Stephen Nwuakoni. Buie leads the team with 15.3 points per game, Mejia can do a little bit of everything, and Nwaukoni has been a great presence on the glass for the Pride.

None of the meetings between these teams over the past few years have been blowouts. Florida Atlantic won by just two points last year and by four the season before, so despite losing some important pieces we're at a loss as to why Hofstra is getting close to double digits on most NCAA Basketball betting lines.

Senior guard Greg Gantt (22.3 PPG and 5.3 RPG) will be doing his best to lead the Owls here, but we can't find within ourselves to back them at this high number. Instead we'll take the dogs and look for the Pride to come out and represent their name well.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Hofstra Pride +9 at Bovada

[gameodds]14/134738/999996-19-1096-198-238-93/us[/gameodds]