NCAAB Picks: A Pair of Winning Totals For Early Saturday Games

Ross Benjamin

Saturday, February 20, 2016 1:42 PM GMT

Our NCAA basketball handicapping professional shares two of his best NCAA basketball picks on Saturday’s early portion of a mammoth card. Go inside to find out what they are.

Pittsburgh vs. Syracuse 2:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh has gone under the total in each of their previous five road games, and there was a combined average of 131.2 points scored per contest. The Panthers have shot less than 40% in five of its last seven, and during seven of their previous ten games. In their first meeting versus Syracuse, they had an enormous 18 offensive rebounds, and that overcompensated for a poor 40.7% shooting night. Their domination on the offensive glass was a key to their 72-61 win in that contest, and the game also stayed under the total of 138.5. That factor was instrumental in limiting Syracuse to just 46 field goal attempts in that contest. Considering Pittsburgh is averaging 13 offensive rebounds per game over its last five outings, I look for the Panthers to once again dominate in that area on Saturday.

Syracuse isn’t an up tempo team by any stretch. They avoid that type of pace because they aren’t a deep team, and only use seven players on the majority of occasions. They do have a tendency to live and die with their three-point shooting, and at times Syracuse endures prolonged shooting woes in portions of games. The Orange have been terrific defensively on their home floor this season, allowing only 60.7 points per game, and holding opponents to just 39.3% shooting. Syracuse has also allowed the opposition to get the free throw line only 12 times per game during its last five contests.

I like this contest to be a low scoring affair, and one of my Saturday NCAA basketball picks will concur with that notion.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 135
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

 

Charlotte vs. Western Kentucky 3:00 PM ET
Current (2/20/11:00 PM ET) NCAA basketball odds have a posted total of 154.5 on this game. That’s certainly a fairly high number, but it’s for good reason. The first time these Conference USA rivals met this season, Charlotte came away with a 87-71 home win, and the game went over the total of 154.0. That contest was played at a torrid offensive pace, evidenced by a combined 122 field goal attempts, and that’s very high by college basketball standards.

Charlotte enters Saturday’s game averaging 87.6 points per contest, shooting 48.1%, converting on 41.4% of its three point attempts, and all of that occurred during their last five outings. Conversely, their defense was horrible during that same stretch, allowing opponents to shoot 48.5%, and make good on 40.8% of its three point shots.

Western Kentucky has averaged 77.0 points per game, and allowed an identical 77.0 points per contest during their previous five outings. The Hilltoppers have also scored 83 points or more in three of its last four games. They haven’t shot the ball exceptionally well over that span, but did average a lofty 30 free throw attempts per game.

This has all the earmarks of a high scoring contest. It will be an entertaining game to watch, and will produce plenty of offensive fireworks.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 156
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline