NCAA Basketball Picks: Two Primetime Totals Plays For Monday Night

Mark Lathrop

Monday, February 29, 2016 2:34 PM GMT

In this small Monday night NCAAB lineup our handicapper spots some totals lines with wagering value anyway. Read on as he makes his totals picks in these primetime matchups.

Syracuse vs. North Carolina
The 7th ranked North Carolina Tar Heels (23-6, 12-4) try to keep up with Miami in the ACC top spot as they host the Syracuse Orange (19-10, 9-7) in a game that can be seen on ESPN. Syracuse is looking for a signature win as they are on the bubble for the NCAA tournament, but to do it they will have to play better than they did against North Carolina at home earlier in the season where they lost 84-73 as a 7.5-point underdog. That game went just over the listed O/U total of 153. For this game, the initial O/U total can be found at 147 on the NCAA basketball odds.

In the first game between these two teams in early January, North Carolina scored 84 points even after shooting a terrible 3-16 from 3-point range. Even with that performance from 3-point range North Carolina shot 52.6% from the floor, exceeding their season per game average of 48.3%. North Carolina scored 33 points in the first half with a cold start, then burst for 51 points in the second. Surprisingly enough, it was North Carolina’s 6th leading scorer, Isaiah Hicks, that paced the Tar Heel in the first meeting, scoring 21 points after going a perfect 5-5 from the floor and 10-12 from the free throw line.

North Carolina is one of the highest scoring teams in the country, and averages 86.8 points per game at home on 49.4% shooting. Syracuse on the other hand, only scores 69.7 points per game on the road. However, Syracuse games have gone over the total in four of their last five games and 8 of 12 on the road. North Carolina’s home court advantage has paid off for over bettors as well, going 9-6 O/U. Judging by the Tar Heel’s poor 3-point shooting performance in the earlier game at Syracuse, when they scored 84 points, I believe that they can get to their home average in this one and touch nearly 90 points. That will leave Syracuse with a pretty easy task to get this game over the total, which is why I’m taking Over 147 at BookMaker as one of my Monday NCAAB Picks.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 147
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

Kansas vs. Texas
On this short Monday night card, we have another great matchup between ranked opponents as the 2nd ranked Kansas Jayhawks (25-4, 13-3) travel to the 25th ranked Texas Longhorns (19-10, 10-6). Any loss at this point of the season puts a #1 seed in jeopardy for the Jayhawks, so expect them to come out a motivated team. These two teams met in late January at Kansas with the Jayhawks winning 76-67 as a 12-point home favorite. The 143-point total score was a push against the consensus total of 143. In this game, the O/U total has been posted a little lower and can be found at 141 currently at BookMaker.

Kansas possesses a very small deviation in average offense in road games as compared to their overall statistics. The Jayhawks shoot an average of 48.9% over the season, while that drops to just 47.9% from the field on the road. They’ve turned that road average into 76.4 points per game.

We can thank the Jayhawks recent 8 games going under in the last 10 for the low posted total  of 141 in this game. Most of this trend has been in conference play, where Kansas is 4-11 O/U. These things have a tendency of regressing to mean as the line value starts swinging the other way with public perception affecting the posted totals. As you can tell, I don’t care much what Texas does in this game as I trust them to have an average performance at worst at home. Take Over 141 in this game at BookMaker as one of your NCAA basketball picks.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 141
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker