Saturday's NCAA Basketball Picks of the Day

Joe Catalano

Saturday, January 11, 2014 3:09 PM GMT

There’s monster matchups all weekend in NCAA Basketball as inter-conference play is out in full force. Let’s take a look at a couple of appealing games that appear to give the bettor the edge with our picks of the day.

Make sure to check out our live college basketball odds

#6 Wichita State (16-0) vs. Missouri State 12-3

Best Start Ever

The Wichita State Shockers face a bit of a test as they face a Missouri State Bears team which hasn’t lost at home. The Shockers are a 10 point betting favorite on the road and although Missouri State is a tough team to take down at home, the Bears don’t have any creditable victories this season. They faced Louisville in Mid- December and lost by 30 points. The Bears definitely have a “hollow” winning record, but a win here, could change their entire season in just a 2 and a half hour period of time.

Great Or Good?

Wichita State’s ranking says that they’re an elite team, but they don’t have any top 25 wins to their credit yet on a fairly easy schedule. The Shockers have wins over St. Louis and Tennessee, but that’s the strongest competition that they’ve played as of this date.

A big reason why Wichita State has been so successful has been their defense. They’ve given up 70 points or less in 14 out of their 16 games this season and are coming off of 2 blowouts in which they’ve held their opponents to an average of 50 points per game. Facing a tough home team in the Bears seems to be the only obstacle for this double-digit favorite.

The Shockers are led by senior forward, Cleanthony Early as he leads the Shockers in points (16.3) and rebounds (6.4). This team has an inconsistent offense at times and is carried by their defense, but point guard, Fred VanFleet, gives the Shockers a much needed form of stability. VanFleet isn’t a huge scorer, but he’s a superb ball distributor that can knock down the 3-ball and can also rebound for a 5 foot 11 player.

The Shockers will be facing a Missouri State that’s coming off of a big 68-65 victory over Bradley. In this game, the Bears shot over 50% from the field and 43.5% from  3-point range. Their two leading scorers, Jarmar Gulley and Marcus Marshall, both had 20 plus point games and shot over 50% from the field. Missouri State comes into this game with a lot of momentum, winning 4 out of its last 5 games.

Although the Shockers are undefeated, the point spread appears to be a bit high as Missouri State has an unblemished record at home. Take the Bears and the points for your free college basketball picks.

College Basketball Pick: Missouri State +10 at Bet 365

[gameodds]14/254485/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

California (11-4) vs. Oregon State (9-6)

Big Win

The California Golden Bears come into this game off of a huge victory over the nationally ranked Oregon Ducks and look to carry the momentum into this game as they’re a small 2 point betting favorite in this Pac-12 matchup against the Oregon State Beavers.

Both of these teams share a victory over a common opponent in Stanford, but a victory over the Ducks really stands out for California and can catapult them into the AP top 25 if they continue to keep on playing at a high level.

Cal doesn’t have one definitive scorer, but they’re a deep team with a huge presence in the middle in senior Richard Solomon. Solomon is averaging a double-double on the season and is the model of consistency. In his last 3 games, he’s averaging 13.3 points and 11.3 rebounds per game.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Golden Bears feature freshman guard Jordan Matthews. Matthews is coming off a huge performance in the win over Oregon in which he shot 10 for 14 for 32 points to lead the way for Cal. The major issue with Matthews is that before the Oregon game, he shot just 6 for 28 in his previous 4 games while averaging 5 points per game. Which Jordan Matthews will show up is the big question for the Golden Bears?

Roberto Nelson

Cal’s job will be to stop Oregon State’s leading scorer in senior Roberto Nelson. Nelson played a key role in the victory over Stanford and is averaging 21 points per game. Nelson can shoot from the outside and has never met a shot that he doesn’t like.

The victory over Oregon gives California the edge in this game and although they’re on the road, the betting spread is quite low.

College Basketball Pick: California -2 at Bet 365

[gameodds]14/254482/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]