Middle Tennessee, Northwestern Could Do More Than Just Cover

Charles Stark

Thursday, February 1, 2018 3:11 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018 3:11 PM UTC

Two even matchups in college hoops tonight are Northwestern at Wisconsin, and Middle Tennessee State at ODU. There could be good value with your NCAAB picks in backing the road underdogs.

Thursday College Basketball: Middle Tenn. State vs. Old DominionFree NCAAB Pick: Middle Tennessee State +2Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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This is a great matchup of two of the best teams in Conference USA, but Middle Tennessee has owned this series, winning all seven matchups since 2014. Despite that, Old Dominion opened as a 2-point home favorite on the college basketball odds board. I don’t think Old Dominion is quite ready to get over the hump, so in my NCAAB picks I will back Middle Tennessee and grab the points. The Blue Raiders are on a three-game winning streak and I like how they match up with Old Dominion. The Monarchs have been playing tremendous defense this season, holding opponents to just 39.8 percent shooting from the field, which ranks 16th in the country. However, Middle Tennessee might be the best team ODU has faced this season. Along with shooting 45 percent from the field, Middle Tennessee has been respectable on the defensive end and great in some areas, allowing opponents to shoot just more than 30 percent from distance, ranking 13th in the country. With this game likely to go at a slow pace, I don’t think Old Dominion has enough to win, even at home.

Thursday College Basketball: Northwestern vs. WisconsinFree NCAAB Pick: Northwestern +2.5Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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About a year ago Northwestern went into Wisconsin and pulled off a nice win, which is tough to do on the Badgers' home court. Now Wisconsin is a -2.5 favorite on the college basketball odds board, but with the low line I think they have shown their hand. Northwestern has been a team of two faces this season, but it seems they are playing better basketball recently and I like how they match up with Wisconsin. The Badgers are a little bit down this year and their statistics across the board are surprisingly quite bad, allowing opponents to shoot more than 46 percent and themselves knocking down only 33.5 percent of their shots from distance; both of those statistics rank outside the top 200 teams in NCAA basketball. Although Northwestern hasn’t been shooting the ball particularly well at just 42 percent, they have been playing good defense for the most part, allowing opponents just 23.3 field goals made per game. This should be a slow-going affair as both teams allow opponents just about 52 attempts per game. With that being the case, in my NCAAB picks I like Northwestern to take this game to the final shot and possibly pull the upset.

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