College Basketball Betting: Saturday Selections
According to nationwide forecasts Saturday looks like an excellent day for most of us to cozy up to a nice warm television and/or bar-stool and enjoy a little college basketball betting action.
Here's our take on a few games from Saturday's college hoops betting board that caught our eye. As always, take our free picks for what you think they're worth.
St. Louis at St. Bonaventure (4 pm ET)
The 13-5 Billikens, just after snapping a short two-game losing streak, hit the A-10 road for a visit with the suddenly dangerous 9-9 Bonnies.
St. Louis began this season high on our radar screens, but only started 3-3. The Bills then embarked on a nine-game winning streak. They then lost two games in a row, including an upset at the hands of Rhode Island as 15-point favorites. But last time out St. Louis got back on the winning track, beating Duquesne in Pittsburgh 73-64, covering as eight-point chalk.
The pre-season favorites to win the Atlantic 10 this season, the Billikens are muddled in the middle of the standings at 2-2. But it's early.
St. Bonaventure, after making the NCAA tournament last year, was (and still is) expected to take a step back this season, and probably finish somewhere in the second division in the A-10. The Bonnies started 7-3 against a weak early-season schedule, then lost six games in a row. But last Saturday St. Bonny upset Temple in Philly 81-78 as 10-point dogs, then surprised St. Joe's 73-64 as eight-point dogs Tuesday.
Statistically speaking there's not a big difference between these teams. The kicker for us on this game is that we see St. Louis as the better team, and the recent victories by the Bonnies have helped keep the point spread down.
Pick: Take the Billikens at the -1 point NCAAB odds margin offered at The Greek.
North Carolina at North Carolina State (7 pm ET, ESPN)
The 15-4 Wolfpack will try to put an end to a 13-game losing streak vs. the rival 13-5 Tar Heels.
State, the pre-season favorite to win the ACC, started 14-2, including 3-0 in ACC play. The Pack has since lost two of its last three games, but one loss came by one point at Maryland, and the other came by two points at Wake Forest Tuesday night.
NC State's other two defeats came vs. Oklahoma State and Michigan.
North Carolina, meanwhile, after losing four starters from last season, went 10-3 through its non-conference slate, beating nobody of note, then lost its first two ACC games, to Virginia and Miami. But the Heels have since won three in a row. Last time out Carolina topped Georgia Tech 79-63 Tuesday night.
Statistically speaking two numbers jump out at us for this match-up; the Pack is shooting 51 percent from the floor this season as a team, while the Tar Heels are shooting 43.5 percent.
NC State has lost a couple close games recently, but should be juiced for this one. If the Pack is going to break that losing streak vs. Carolina, they might as well do it today in Raleigh.
Pick: Take NC State at the -4.5 points offered at Bookmaker
Belmont at Eastern Kentucky (7 pm ET)
The 16-4 Bruins, riding a seven-game winning streak, pay a visit on the surprising 16-4 Colonels for an Ohio Valley Conference game.
After making the NCAA tournament again last year, Belmont is off and running this season. The Bruins were the pre-season favorites to win the OVC, and they've begun their tenure in their new conference with seven straight victories. However, Belmont is 0-3 ATS over its last three games, and last time out, Wednesday night, the Bruins had to come from behind to beat Morehead State 64-63, failing to cover as eight-point chalk.
EKU, meanwhile, was expected to bring up the rear in the OVC East this season. Instead, the Colonels started 9-0, before losing to Illinois. Eastern Kentucky has also won six of its first seven OVC games, after beating Tennessee State Wednesday night 76-67.
By the numbers a couple of things stick out; Belmont is holding foes to less than 40 percent FG shooting, and EKU is getting out-rebounded by about six boards per game.
Also, the Colonels are a bit banged up, with a couple of regulars, including second-leading scorer Glenn Cosey, listed as questionable for Saturday's game.
Belmont beat Eastern Kentucky 10 days ago in Nashville 83-76.
NCAAB Picks: Take the Bruins at the -5 points offered at 5Dimes.
[gameodds]14/218789/43/us[/gameodds]Check out the Pac-12 action as UW visits Oregon.