Thursday's NCAA Basketball Picks of the Day

Willie Bee

Thursday, February 20, 2014 1:38 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 1:38 PM UTC

If you couldn't predict two of the games on my college basketball free picks of the day lineup for Thursday, then you haven't been paying attention.

The top four teams in the West Coast Conference go head-to-head tonight, including a chance for the Gonzaga Bulldogs to wrap up their 2nd-straight regular season title and 15th since 1998. We'll get to that game and the other WCC battle for third place a bit later, but first, lets go dumpster diving in the SWC where a couple of pretty awful teams meet in Mecca, or what those of us who attended Texas A&M University call College Station.

NCAA Basketball Picks for Michigan State vs. Purdue

Slumping Aggies Host Tide In SEC Scrape

That stench you may have picked up on wafting from the Southeastern Conference recently is likely attributed to the cagers wearing Alabama Crimson Tide and Fightin' Texas Aggie uniforms. Their 7 PM (ET) tip-off at Reed Arena precedes the UConn-Temple matchup on ESPN2, that AAC clash also part of SBR's Thursday previews & picks slate.

The Aggies went out -1.5 before that spread was adjusted to -2. Totals for all games should soon be available on SBR's live NCAA basketball odds.

Alabama (10-15 straight up, 8-11-2 against the spread) has yet to win a game away from Tuscaloosa this season, and the futility extends back to Feb. 2013 with a string of eight consecutive defeats in conference road gyms. The Crimson Tide are, however, a perfect 3-0 ATS in their last three conference road tilts.

Texas A&M (14-11 SU, 9-10 ATS) is also struggling with just two wins in its last nine trips to the floor.  The Aggies are 4-1 straight up and against the spread at Reed Arena vs. SEC foes, and they've been a great squad for 'under' bettors overall with a 5-12 O/U mark.

College Basketball Pick: Alabama +2


Gaels, Dons Collide In Golden Gate City

Deadlocked in third place of the WCC, the Saint Mary's Gaels and San Francisco Dons slug it out in an 11 PM (ET) tip at War Memorial Gymnasium. ROOT Sports will provide television coverage and the Gaels are 1 point favorites.

Saint Mary's (19-8 SU, 12-12 ATS) missed a chance to take second place in the conference with last Saturday's 60-57 setback at home against BYU. It was the Gaels' second loss to the Cougars in two weeks, and fifth time in the last seven games they failed to cover. SMC beat the Dons earlier this year in Moraga, easily covering a 9 point home spread with the 88-73 triumph.

All five conference losses for San Francisco (16-10 SU, 12-10 ATS) this season have come against Gonzaga, BYU and Saint Mary's, and the Dons have managed to cover just one of those contests. They've lost 16 straight to the Gaels, last beating them in Jan. 2006.

College Basketball Pick: Saint Mary's -1


'Zags Begin 4-Game Trip Against BYU

A 4-game conference lead with four games to go sounds mighty nice. But for Mark Few and the Gonzaga Bulldogs, nothing is being taken for granted in the WCC, especially with their final four games of the regular season on the road.

The Bulldogs will take their first crack at clinching the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament with a tough matchup against the Brigham Young Cougars.  ESPN2 begins its broadcast from Provo's Marriott Center starting at 11 PM (ET), with the Cougars laying 2 points.

Gonzaga (23-4 SU, 13-12 ATS) regrouped following a hard-fought defeat at Memphis a couple of weeks ago, winning and covering both WCC matches at home vs. Pepperdine and Loyola-Marymount last week. The Bulldogs beat the Cougars in Spokane earlier this season, and pushed a 5 point spread in Provo last year with a 70-65 decision.

Brigham Young (18-10 SU, 10-15 ATS) has dropped the cash in six of the last eight games, and is looking to stop a 4-game slide in the series vs. the 'Zags.  Four of the Cougars' seven home games on the conference schedule have failed to reach the total, as did their matchup at Gonzaga in late-January.

College Basketball Pick: BYU -2


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