NCAA Basketball Picks for Wednesday

Joe Catalano

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 3:26 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013 3:26 PM UTC

NCAA Basketball top 25 teams look for their last chance to beat up on inferior opponents before the real part of their schedule begins. Watch as we find the betting edge and look to pick apart two games on the schedule.

Delaware (5-5) vs. #3 Ohio State

Smooth Sailing

This is the type of game that I alluded to in my introduction. Ohio State and their amazing defense are fed a cupcake and this should be an easy victory for the Buckeyes. If Ohio State can hold a team like Marquette to just 35 points earlier in the season, Delaware should be no challenge. The only issue that I have with this game is the point spread. Odds makers have created the Buckeyes as a 17.5 point betting favorite and from looking at the Blue Hens resume, the line should be over 20 points.

Breakout Season

It took Lenzelle Smith Jr. more than 3 seasons to become an unexpected team leader. His offense has dramatically improved from shooting 43% from the field and 37.4% from beyond the arc last season to 53.7% from the field and 48.9% from 3-point range this season. Rarely will you ever see a player improve to that degree.

After averaging 18 points per game in his last 3 games, Smith leads the Buckeyes in scoring. Look for another big game out of him against a weak opponent.

Ohio State has held opponents to an average of 54.6 points per game and this will be a test for a high powered offense such as the Delaware Blue Hens, who average 81.3 points per contest.

The Blue Hens have 4 players that average 15 points or more and they’re led by leading scorer, Devon Saddler, who is back from a month long suspension.

In his first game back from suspension, Saddler put up 24 points on 9 of 13 shooting in a loss to North Dakota State. The difference in this game is the level of opposition for the Blue Hens.

Look for Ohio State’s defense to shut down the high scoring Blue Hens.

College Basketball Pick: Ohio State -17.5 at Bet 365


Texas (9-1) vs. #14 North Carolina (7-2)

Lots of Respect

After an 82-77 defeat of the Kentucky Wildcats, the North Carolina Tarheels stock has risen and they’re garnering major respect from the odds makers as they’re a double digit favorite at home against a good Texas Longhorns team. When one looks at Carolina’s schedule, they have to shake their heads. This is a team that defeated Kentucky , Louisville, and Michigan State and lost to Belmont and UAB; they should be undefeated.

On the Right “Paige”

North Carolina’s leading scorer, Marcus Paige, also seems to play up to the competition. He had a near perfect 32 point shooting display against Louisville and had tailed off a bit until the Heels played the Wildcats.

Paige delivered against Kentucky with 21 points in the 2nd half and was a perfect 10 of 10 from the free throw line as he finished the game with 23 points. The level of competition will be high tonight and expect another big game out of Paige.

Roy Williams has to be happy with the play of junior James Michael McAdoo as of late. The junior had been struggling for most of the season, but has averaged 16.5 points, 6 rebounds, and 2.5 steals in his last 2 games. McAdoo is a player that shows glimpses of greatness, but hasn’t shown the consistency to be a player that can make the transition to the NBA. Look for him to build upon 2 solid performances as his presence is greatly needed in this game if North Carolina expects to stay in the top 25.

The college basketball betting line is a bit high because although they’ve been nearly perfect, Texas hasn’t faced a legitimate top 25 team yet. That said, an 85-53 beating of a lousy Texas State team does a lot for the ego.

The Longhorn bench got to see a lot of time on the court and sophomore center, Cameron Ridley, had a nice confidence-boosting game for the amount of playing time that he received. Ridley had 22 points and 10 rebounds on 8 of 10 shooting in 29 minutes. Ridley’s pure size at 6 foot 9, 285 pounds, could be a problem for the Carolina defense to deal with. Is Texas ready to face a North Carolina team oozing with confidence in their building is the question?

North Carolina is the better team, but they’re inconsistency is puzzling; 10.5 points are too much to lay. Take Texas and the points for your college basketball picks.

College Basketball Pick: Texas +10.5 at Bet 365


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