Three Hot Afternoon Picks to Top the College Hoops Card This Saturday

Jay Pryce

Saturday, December 23, 2017 3:09 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017 3:09 PM UTC

Three early afternoon tip-offs present the best betting value in college hoops Saturday. Little time for handicapping? Let us help. Check out our picks for No. 21 Tennessee (-1.5) at Wake Forest, Fordham at No. 10 West Virginia (-25), and Richmond at Boston College (-10).

No. 21 Tennessee (-1.5) at Wake Forest

Wake Forest (7-4 SU, 7-4 ATS) concludes its non-conference schedule with its toughest matchup of they year thus far, hosting its first ranked opponent of the season No. 21 Tennessee (8-2 SU, 4-4 ATS). The Demon Deacons will need to reverse some recent history to claim victory. They have dropped their last three in a row to the Volunteers, last winning in 1970. Moreover, Wake is 9-49 SU versus ranked opponents since 2010.

Head coach Danny Manning has the Deacs rolling. They are shooting 54.2 percent from the floor, including 41.3 percent from the arc on their current 6-game win streak. One has to go back to 1992-93 glory years to uncover a Wake team that shot 50 percent or better six contests in a row. The Volunteer’s defense ranks 16th in adjusted efficiency nationally per KenPom, which on paper should cancel out Wake’s 20th ranked offense. As a bettor, however, it’s not in one’s best interest to fade such a run until the squad shows signs of cooling off.

We like the homecourt edge here to help propel the Deacons. Despite Wake’s horrid record against ranked teams of late, its 5-5 SU and ATS in 10 games catching 5.5 points or fewer as a small underdog on the NCAA college basketball oddsboard. Take the points here. Wake wins a close one 74-70.

Free NCAAB Picks: Wake Forest -1
Best Lines at Bovada

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3336706, "sportsbooksIds":[999996,238,1096,19,93], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]Fordham at No. 10 West Virginia (-25)

“You can have much more success being consistent defensively than offensively,” West Virginia (10-1 SU, 3-4 ATS) head coach Bob Huggins espoused to a reporter prior to its 1 p.m. ET tip against Fordham (5-6 SU, 1-6 ATS) on Saturday. The Mountaineers press defense doesn’t look as stifling with the eye test this season. Huggins is still searching for forces as disruptive as the now departed Jonathan Holton and Nathan Adrian. Advanced stats reveal the unit remains incredibly effective, however. West Virginia ranks No. 10 in defensive efficiency, leading Division I basketball with 21.3 takeaways per game. Success is partly due to fear of Huggins. If you miss an assignment, watch out:

If you don't run back on defense, Bob Huggins will end your existence: (h/t @_CoachHill)

— College Sports Only (@OfficialCSO) March 12, 2016

Fordham enters WVU coliseum with a bad offense. It ranks 323rd in adjusted efficiency. What makes the team’s effectiveness even worst is the fact it has played the 341st easiest schedule in the country. The Rams are in for a rude awakening this afternoon, and even with the Mountaineers fast-paced press game, will be lucky to score in the mid-50 point range. Look for this matchup to come up a few baskets shy of a 141.5 total. Pick under.

Free NCAAB Picks: Fordham-WVU UNDER
Best Lines are (-105) at Heritage
[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3336695, "sportsbooksIds":[169,999996,300,238,19], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]Richmond at Boston College (-10)

Richmond (2-9 SU, 2-7 ATS) hasn’t owned a losing record through its first 11 games since 2007. The once storied mid-major program is struggling. The Spiders are subpar on both sides of the ball and lack much of a paint presence. Their 43.8 percent rebound rate ranks 335 of 351 teams. This will be the difference-maker against a Boston College (9-3 SU, 3-3 ATS) squad that fields all but one starter (Ky Bowman) at 6-foot-5 or taller. Second-chance opportunities come easy and often for the Eagles. Lay the 10 points with B.C. We predict it makes this closer to a 20-point win (82-63).

Free NCAAB Picks: BC -10
Best Lines are (-105) at Heritage
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