Three Ranked Teams, Three Totals Picks In College Hoops Thursday

Jay Pryce

Thursday, December 21, 2017 1:35 PM UTC

Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017 1:35 PM UTC

Three ranked teams present three picks on the game total Thursday as No. 24 Florida State hosts Southern Miss, No. 16 Purdue welcomes Tennessee State, and Long Beach State makes the long journey to East Lansing to face No. 2 Michigan State. See which direction we’re headed on each game total here.

Southern Miss vs No. 24 Florida State (-24)

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Free NCAAB Picks: Over 139Best Line Offered: at Heritage

No. 24 Florida State (10-1 SU, 7-2 ATS) and Southern Miss (7-4 SU, 3-3 ATS) squared off in this same matchup last season at Donald L. Tucker Civic Center in Tallahassee, and it wasn’t even close. The Seminoles romped 98-49 as 24-point favorites on the college basketball oddsboard, red-hot form the floor shooting 60.0 percent. That’s a lot of points against a Golden Eagles team that tends to slow games down to a crawl under head coach Doc Sadler. This season Southern Miss ranks 345 of 351 Division I programs in tempo.

The ‘over’ 137.5 cashed easily in last year’s contest. Oddsmakers bumped it up a tad to 139 for this one, but expect similar results. Under Sadler, the Golden Eagles are 24-14 to the ‘under’ as road underdogs. When facing off against far superior teams, they are often overwhelmed defensively and forced out of their turtle-like pace to catch up to the lead. In 10 games versus opponents with a average winning margin greater than 8.0 points on the season, the ‘over’ has hit in seven. Florida State, sporting a 17.6 points differential, will not be as hot from the floor this time around, but 80-plus is still on the radar. It should propel the combined score ‘over’ 139 points.

Tennessee State vs No. 16 Purdue (-24.5)

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Free NCAAB Picks: Over 133Best Line Offered: at Heritage

Tennessee St. (5-5 SU, 2-2 ATS) is as gritty as they come. An intense, ball-hawking pressure defense defines the team. The Tigers force 17.6 turnovers per game and rank sixth nationally in steals per possession. It was one bucket away from upsetting Texas last time out (47-46), holding the Longhorns to 35.3 percent shooting. No. 16 Purdue (11-2 SU, 8-4 ATS) will do far better

The Boilermakers roll out a three-guard set with experienced seniors P.J Thompson and Dakota Mathias equipped to handle the press and confidently bring the ball up the court. Purdue gives the rock away on just 14.7 percent of possessions (54th in NCAA). It is also way more talented. Head coach Matt Painter has hosted five different Ohio Valley Conference teams at Mackey Arena in the last decade, his bunch putting up more points than the betting market projected in each. The Boilermakers are 5-0 ATS, covering a -22.1 line by 8.3 points per game in this spot.

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Mackey. Two days.
Let’s give some high fives. 👋🏼👋🏼👋🏼#BoilerUp 🚂

— Purdue Men’s Basketball (@BoilerBall) December 19, 2017

Purdue enters this matchup at full capacity, ranking 10th and 13th in adjusted offensive and defensive efficiencies per KenPom. Look for Painter's crew to test 80 points here and easily send the game above a 133 game total.

Long Beach State vs No. 2 Michigan State (-29.5)

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Free NCAAB Pick: Over 152Best Line Offered: at Heritage

Head coach Don Monson leads Long Beach State (5-8 SU, 6-6 ATS) into East Lansing to take on No. 2 Michigan State (11-1 SU, 7-5 ATS) well tested against ranked competition. This marks the 25th time the 11-year coach has led the 49ers on the road versus an AP Top 25 opponent. There is one glaring trend that stands out in these contests: Long Beach State’s lack of defense. It surrenders 90.0 points per game on 52.0 percent shooting in this situation.

The offense-defense chasm in this matchup is great. The Spartans sport the 12th most efficient offense in the country, while the 49ers rank 283rd defensively. Long Beach State picks up some easy buckets against Michigan State’s second team late in the contest to help this one “over’ a 153 game total.

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