Saturday's slate provides value in one small and one big dog in Baylor and South Dakota

Charles Stark

Saturday, December 2, 2017 1:02 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 1:02 PM UTC

Saturday is always a great day for college sports and today we could have two live dogs in NCAA college basketball. Can Baylor take care of their home-court and beat a solid Wichita State team, and can South Dakota stay within the number versus Duke?

Wichita State at Baylor

Odds makers have come out making Wichita State a small -1 favorite but for my NCAA basketball pick I’m going to take the Bears at home. Wichita State under Greg Marshall should be considered a contender for the national championship this season and currently they have suffered just one difficult loss versus Notre Dame. On the season they have looked very good especially on the defensive side of the floor allowing opponents to shoot just 35.9% overall which ranks seventh in the country. Baylor has been no slouch either allowing opponents to shoot 39.3% on the year and both teams rank in the top 30 in opponent shooting efficiency. Offensively Wichita State has been very efficient and is currently shooting just over 50% overall while Baylor is shooting 47.6%, so it seems to me odds makers have this line pegged. Ultimately though Baylor has had the tougher slate of games having had to face different types of dynamics in Wisconsin and Creighton, both wins, and then losing on the road at a very good Xavier team. I think this is a tough matchup for Wichita State especially considering this will be their first true road contest this season. I will be very impressed if they can pull off this road win against a talented Baylor team but I don’t see it happening.

Free NCAAB Pick: Baylor +2.5
Best Lines Offered at Heritage

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South Dakota at Duke

Naturally odds makers have come out making Duke a very big 19.5 favorite in this spot, but for my NCAA basketball pick I like the value in backing South Dakota. South Dakota returns most of their starters from last year and looks primed to win the Summit league once again. On the season they have shown as much losing just twice, once to a very good Northern Colorado team by one, and then earlier in the season against a very good Texas Christian team by just five. This team is well coached and currently getting things done on both sides of the floor, but what stands out to me is they been very good on the defensive side allowing opponents to shoot just 38.6% overall and just 27.6% from distance. Of course this is Duke at home and I don’t expect the Coyotes to pull off any kind of upset, but there is no reason to think they can hang within this big number. Duke’s had a rough slate of games to start the season and have shown they are arguably the best team in the country. However, this will be a surprisingly tough matchup for them in which I see the Blue Devils winning by low double digits, back South Dakota.

Free NCAAB Pick: South Dakota +21.5
Best Lines at Just Bet

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