Today's Road Teams Worth Laying the Chalk as Solid NCAA Basketball Picks

Darin Zank

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 4:31 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 4:31 PM UTC

We missed on a couple of road teams Tuesday night, as both GW and Baylor let us down. Not to be deterred, we think we've found value with a pair of road teams for tonight. Here's our College Basketball Plays of the Day for Wednesday- enjoy.


Northern Iowa -7.5 vs. Southern Illinois
The Panthers and Salukis, both of whom have played about at preseason expectations so far, meet in Carbondale.

Northern Iowa, with basically the whole team back after finishing third in the Valley last season, has won seven in a row, going 4-2-1 ATS, after winning a squeaker at Illinois State Sunday 54-53. The Panthers trailed that game by double-digits halfway through the second half, but rallied and won it on a 3-pointer with five seconds to go.

Northern Iowa has now held eight straight opponents to 60 points or less.

Southern Illinois started 7-4 this season, then lost seven in a row. The Salukis then won back-to-back games over Loyola-Chicago and Bradley, but Saturday lost at Evansville 75-66.

The Panthers were supposed to contend in the Valley this season, while Southern Illinois figured to finish somewhere in the middle of the pack, and so far that's how things are playing out; Northern Iowa is 7-1 in conference play, a game back of first-place Wichita State, while the Salukis are tied for seventh place at 2-6.

UNI just beat SIU three weeks ago 55-39, covering as 13-point home favorites on the NCAA basketball odds. The Panthers shot 45 percent from the floor that night, while holding the Salukis to 30 percent shooting.

Tonight's game looks like a good spot to take the better team on the road, at six points less than last time these teams met.

Free College Basketball Pick: Northern Iowa -7 at 5Dimes


Kansas -4.5 vs. TCU
This Big 12 match-up falls into a similar betting category

The Jayhawks once again were expected to make a run at the Big 12 regular-season title this season, while TCU, after going 0-18 in conference play last season, figured to finish near the bottom again. At the moment Kansas leads the Big 12 at 5-1 in conference play, while the Frogs sit in ninth place at 1-5.

Kansas owns victories this season over, among others, Tennessee, Michigan State, Florida, Georgetown, Utah, Baylor, Oklahoma and Texas. Three of those came on the road, most recently a 75-62 decision over the Longhorns last Saturday.

We're 2-1 ATS picking Kansas this season; we won as three-point dogs at Baylor, lost by a bucket as three-point dogs at Iowa State, and won outright as three-point dogs at Texas. We have no qualms about taking the Jayhawks on the road.

TCU, meanwhile, started 13-0 this season, but played nobody of any note. The best win probably came against Ole Miss, and that's just not saying much. Since then the Frogs have started Big 12 play by losing five of their first six contests, most recently falling in overtime at West Virginia last Saturday 86-85. TCU led late in both regulation and OT, and pissed both leads away.

The Frogs may be 14-5, but we're not buyers, yet. They just haven't played anybody. Until they can win a couple of games against quality opponents, we think they're a nice fade, because they also seem to be getting some credit on the betting line. Before the spread on this game came out we figured Kansas would be favored by at least seven points.

Again, like our NCAA basketball pick above, we like the road favorite – the better team – in this spot.

Free College Basketball Pick: Kansas -5 at Pinnacle

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