Thursday's NCAA Basketball Picks: Top ATS Value Plays Worth Betting

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, February 18, 2016 12:04 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016 12:04 PM UTC

In a huge slate of games for Thursday night, our NCAAB handicapper has spotted out the best three matchups and provides us with his top NCAA basketball picks for the day.

No. 6 Maryland vs. Minnesota (+11.5 On NCAA Basketball Odds)
Really there was no good news to take for Maryland (22-4, 10-3 Big Ten) from its 70-57 stunning home loss to unranked Wisconsin on Saturday. It ended Maryland's school-record 27-game home winning streak, its six-game overall winning run this season and knocked the Terps out of the Big Ten lead. During the game, star freshman center Diamond Stone, who will be a very high pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, shoved Wisconsin forward Vitto Brown's head to the floor late in the first half. Somewhat shockingly, the referees didn't throw Stone out. He was only issued a contact dead ball technical foul. But the school has decided to suspend him for this game, which the Big Ten office supported. Stone, a five-star recruit, is averaging 12.8 points (on 56.9 percent shooting) and 5.4 rebounds per game. So he will be missed. This line against terrible Minnesota (6-19, 0-13) certainly would have been at least a few points higher if Stone was available. The Gophers have lost 14 games in a row but generally have been competitive. They were last time out, losing by just four at No. 4 Iowa on Sunday. Minnesota is 0-4 vs. ranked teams this season but all were decided by eight points or fewer. This is the only meeting between these schools in the regular season. Maryland's first-ever home Big Ten game was on Jan. 3, 2015, in a 79-58 win over Minnesota.

Terps are 1-5 ATS in their past six vs. teams with a losing record. Gophers are 5-2 ATS in their past seven against teams with a winning record.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Minnesota +10½
Best Line Offered: at Ladbrokes


VMI vs. Chattanooga (-20.5 In NCAA Betting)
Looking for a smaller school to potentially pick for an upset or two in the NCAA Tournament? I give you Chattanooga, which is 38th in RPI rankings. The Mocs (23-4, 12-2) lead the Southern Conference by 1.5 games over Furman and could clinch at least a share of the regular-season title by the weekend. They have pretty good non-conference wins over Georgia and Dayton (now ranked 15th in the country). Chattanooga's 23 wins are the most  since the 1997 team reached the Sweet 16 of the Big Dance. The school hasn't been to the NCAA Tournament since 2009. Chattanooga has won every game this season but one when leading at some point in the second half: it lost 64-54 at Louisiana Monroe on Nov. 30. The Mocs lead the Southern Conference in shooting at 46.7 percent and in scoring margin at plus-10.1. This is the first meeting of the season with VMI. The schools were supposed to play Jan. 23 at VMI but it was postponed by a blizzard. That game will be made up on Feb. 29. VMI (7-17, 2-11) ended a six-game losing streak last Thursday with an 86-72 upset of UNC Greensboro. For the second time this season, VMI put five players in double-figure points. The Keydets have lost 18 of the past 20 vs. Chattanooga. They haven't won against the Mocs since 2001.

VMI is 3-13 ATS in its past 16 overall and 1-9 ATS in its past 10 road games. The Mocs are 9-2 ATS in their past 11. Go to SBR's NCAA basketball odds board and compare all offering from the best sportsbooks on Chattanooga as the home favorite.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Chattanooga -20
Best Line Offered: at William Hill


California vs. Washington (+1 For NCAA Basketball Picks)
Here are two big-time NCAA Tournament bubble teams from the Pac-12. California (17-8, 7-5) is projected in right now as the Bears are on a three-game winning streak, all by double digits, that included a 20-point home thrashing of ranked Oregon last Thursday. The Bears got back starting guard Tyrone Wallace from a five-game absence due to a broken hand vs. the Ducks. He had 10 points and eight assists in that game and then 17 points and five rebounds in Saturday's win over Oregon State. Cal is a Final Four-quality team at home, where it's 16-0. The road is obviously another story. While Cal is in the field as things stand, Washington (15-10, 7-6) isn't so this would be big. The Huskies are slumping at the wrong time, losing three straight. Star Andrew Andrews missed a potential winning shot on Saturday at Colorado with five seconds left. The Huskies fell by one. This is the only scheduled meeting between UW and Cal. The Bears have won four straight in the series, including 90-88 last season in Seattle on a Sam Singer 3-pointer with five seconds left.

Cal is 0-4 ATS in its past four road game. UW is 6-0 ATS in its past six after a loss. Make sure to check the best sportsbook in SBR's rating guide to lock Washington, and enjoy the tingling sensation of taking all the extra winnings back to the bank.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Washington +1
Best Line Offered: at GTBets


**Be Sure To Click The Betting Line of the Odds You Like In Our Interactive Odds Boxes**

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