Tuesday's NCAA Basketball Picks of the Day

Joe Catalano

Tuesday, January 7, 2014 2:00 PM GMT

Now that a new BCS champion is crowned in college football, college hoops takes center stage as there are a handful of inter-conference matchups on tap for today. This is when you’ll see NCAA Basketball at a high level. Check out our picks for today.

Georgia Tech (9-5, 0-1) vs. #16 Duke (10-3, 0-1)

Duke Isn’t Used To Losing

Not only is Duke not used to losing, but to a team in Notre Dame that played their first game as a member of the ACC Conference.  Duke is about respect and a 79-77 loss to Notre Dame , who are without Jerian Grant, won’t sit well with the Blue Devils as they’re back on their home court at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Notre Dame went on a 20-4 run in the 2nd half and that was the difference in the game. Tonight, Duke is a huge 16.5 points against the Yellow Jackets and the Blue Devils usually come back strong after an embarrassing loss; a statement game if you will.

Playing Without Carter Jr.

Georgia Tech has had a respectable season thus far with their one big victory coming over a tough Illinois Fighting Illini team. The only difference now is the Yellow Jackets lose 10.3 points and 9.3 from Robert Carter Jr. due to a teared meniscus in his left knee.

The Yellow Jackets need to figure out how to make up for that production. They’ve lost 2 out of their last 3 games including their last game, a 77-61 loss to Maryland. Charles Mitchell came off the bench to replace Carter Jr.’s numbers, but the Tech starters need more production offensively, especially when they face a Duke team with the likes of Jabari Parker, Rodeny Hood, and Quinn Cook.

Hood is the hot man for Duke as he had 27 points on 5 of 10 shooting from 3 point land against the Fighting Irish. Are Duke worthy of being such a large favorite even at Cameron Indoor Stadium?

The loss of Robert Carter Jr. is a big one and look for Duke to come back strong on their home court. Expect a mini-blowout in which the game gets carried away in the 2nd half with meaningless buckets.

College Basketball Pick: Duke -16.5 at Bet 365

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St. Louis (13-2, 4-1) vs. Rhode Island (9-6, 7-2)

Big Test Tonight For the Improved Rams

I must admit that I’m a little biased in this game. I’ve seen coach Dan Hurley turn one of the worst programs in Wagner from a bottom-feeder to a top contender and now he’s doing the same thing with his Rhode Island Rams.

After a disappointing inaugural season with the Rams, Hurley has turned this team into a winner. So much, that the Rams are coming off of a victory over a tough SEC squad in the LSU Tigers. Now, the Rams face a tough St. Louis Billikens squad which is coming off of a 20 point beating of the Yale Bulldogs. Can Coach Hurley and his Rams really make a statement at the Thomas M. Ryan Center as a 7 point home underdog on the college basketball odds board?

E.C. Matthews

The freshman was the big pick up in the off-season and Matthews has picked up his game as of late, averaging 20 points per game in his last 3 games and shooting 8 of 14 from 3-point territory. Matthews is a guard with the size of a small forward the can shoot, rebound, distribute the rock, and play phenomenal defense. If Rhode Island expects to have a chance in this game, they need maximum production from their 2nd leading scorer in Matthews.

St. Louis has wins over Vandy, Wisconsin, and Indiana State on their resume.  Their leading scorer, Dwayne Evans (14.9 points, 6 rebounds) has been ice cold as of late. Evans is just 6 of 18 in his last 2 games, averaging a pedestrian-like 8 point per ball game. The Billikens need the senior to snap out of it as Rhode Island isn’t a team to be taken lightly.

Rob Loe (no relation) has picked up the slack for St. Louis’ 2 leading scorers with a 19 point effort against Yale. The senior out of New Zealand could possibly be the “X-factor” in this game.

Rhode Island is the underestimated team in this game and the situation is right. Look for Matthews and the Rams to give the Billikens a run for their money and at least cover the generous 7 point spread for our college basketball picks.

College Basketball Pick: Rhode Island +7 at Bet 365

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