Pair of NCAA Basketball Picks for Tuesday's Betting Ticket

Darin Zank

Tuesday, January 13, 2015 2:45 PM GMT

Not a whole lot to choose from on Tuesday's college basketball betting board, but we think we've come up with a two-fer worth mentioning. Here's our take on a pair of games for tonight.

Minnesota -4.5 vs. Iowa
The 11-6 Gophers, losers of four in a row, host the 11-5 Hawkeyes at the Barn in Minneapolis.

The Gophers are on the verge of really messing up a nice start to this season. Minnesota won 11 of its first 13 games, the only losses coming against Louisville and St. John's. But the Gophers have opened Big Ten play by losing their first four contests. Saturday UM fell at Michigan 62-57, dropping to 0-4 ATS over its last four games.

Iowa started 2-0 in Big Ten play, but blew a game royally last time out against Michigan State, losing at home 75-61. The Hawkeyes, as three-point favorites on NCAA Basketball odds, led by 11 at the half, then got outscored in the second half 47-22. Iowa allowed the Spartans to shoot 51 percent from the floor, and make 12 of 17 shots from beyond the arc.

Iowa ran into a buzz-saw in the second half against Michigan State, but this is still a team that's beaten North Carolina, Iowa State and Nebraska already this season. We won't be surprised if the Hawkeyes give a nice bounce-back performance tonight. Minnesota, meanwhile, is headed in the wrong direction at the moment, and should probably be faded until it shows some signs of turning things around. We like the visiting team in this spot, and we'll play to win.

Free College Basketball Pick: Iowa +175 on the moneyline at BetOnline

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VCU -3.5 vs. Rhode Island
Winning streaks clash when the Rams from Richmond bump heads with the Rams from Rhode Island in Kingston.

The Rams – uhh, the ones from URI - are off to an 11-3 start to this season SU, 6-5 ATS, and they've won six in a row, after nipping Duquesne last time out 61-60. Just before that they beat Fordham 68-65. They covered neither of those games, as favorites of eight and 15 points. Rhode Island also owns a victory this season over Nebraska, and its three losses have come against Kansas, Georgia Tech and Providence. Big-picture, these Rams will need a top-four finish in the Atlantic 10, with at least four or five quality victories, to return to the Big Dance. This is one of those chances.

The other Rams – VCU's – are 13-3 SU, but only 6-9 ATS, in part because they've been tagged with some tough spreads. They beat Toledo but couldn't cover at -11; they beat Illinois State but couldn't cover at -5; they beat Northern Iowa but couldn't cover at -7; and did the same thing with Cleveland State (at -14), Davidson (-10) and, most recently, St. Joseph's (at -16). Four of those games were played at home, where the spreads were obviously inflated. But these Rams have won and covered their last two road games, at -2 at Cincinnati and -15 at Fordham.

This college basketball pick comes down to our belief that VCU, which has won eight in a row, is the better team, playing on the road, where the spread is a little more amenable. If this game were being played in Richmond the spread might be close to double-digits. We like the road chalk in this spot, to win with room to spare.

Free College Basketball Pick: VCU -3 at Pinnacle

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