NCAA Basketball Picks: Two “Diamonds In The Rough” With Dog Value

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, January 21, 2016 6:05 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016 6:05 PM UTC

Our NCAA basketball odds analyst has two underdog selections on Thursday’s card. Find out what those free NCAA basketball picks are and maximize your profits today.

Arkansas State vs. UT-Arlington 8:15 PM ET
This is a very good UT-Arlington team that will enter this contest with a stellar 13-3 record. They own a couple of impressive non-conference road wins at Ohio State and Memphis. However, they’re coming off a disappointing performance in its last game at South Alabama, losing 88-85 as a 12.0 point favorite. It’s also worth noting, that’s the same South Alabama that was routed at home by Arkansas State in a 22 point loss just 19 days ago.

Speaking of Arkansas State, they’ve won six of their last seven games, and are certainly playing with a boat load of confidence. They’ve exhibited some excellent defensive play in recent games, holding opponents to 34% or less shooting from the field in seven of its previous nine contests. That type of defensive prowess bodes well for underdog value, and especially so when the number is this sizable.

This NCAA basketball pick has a lot of similarities to the double digit underdog winners I’ve had in each of the past two days. Yesterday, it was Nebraska +14.5 who won outright at Michigan State, and on Tuesday I had Northwestern +13.0 easily inside the number during a 6 point overtime loss at Maryland. Keeping with that same theme, give me the double digit road underdog in this contest for one of my Thursday college basketball picks.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Arkansas State +13
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker


Gonzaga vs. St. Mary's 11:00 PM ET
The intense rivalry between these two Big West Conference schools may have subsided a bit from a national perspective, due in large part to Gonzaga winning eight straight during this head to head series. However, you won’t get many people on the left coast to buy into that being the case. St. Marys enters tonight’s matchup with an outstanding 15-2 record, and that includes a perfect 11-0 at home. As a matter of fact, this will be the first time in the last 11 games versus Gonzaga that St. Marys has been installed as a favorite. The last time that occurred was back on 1/12/2012. Despite being the underdog in ten straight meetings, St. Mary's is 0-7 ATS in the last seven.

Gonzaga has two returning starters from a team that advanced to the “Elite Eight” of last year’s NCAA Tournament. They enter this game with a rock solid 14-4 record, and their four defeats have come by a combined 12 points. The Bulldogs also have played the tougher non-conference schedule in comparison to today’s opponent. I currently have Gonzaga with a +3.5 advantage over St. Mary's with my personal strength of schedule ratings. The Bulldogs have been on a torrid offensive stretch recently, shooting 54% or better from the field in five of their previous seven games.

Current college basketball betting odds at 5Dimes provides me with a best combination of number and price for this specific wager.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Gonzaga +4
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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