Two Bad Offenses Prompt 'Under' Plays For Our NCAA Basketball Picks

Mark Lathrop

Wednesday, March 2, 2016 6:34 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 2, 2016 6:34 PM UTC

Our NCAAB handicapper is looking to continue a blistering hot start of the week here, as the board is rich with matchups that have plenty of trends. Get more winning NCAA basketball picks!

Washington State vs. Washington
Washington State (9-20, 1-16) is bad at basketball at the moment, and look to salvage their season with a last ditch effort against their cross-state rivals, the Washington Huskies (16-13, 8-9) in a game that can be seen on ESPNU. The Cougars have had one of the worst conference runs in recent memory, losing 15 straight games while going 4-13 ATS. Their best offensive performance was against these Huskies in early January, a 99-95 loss in overtime that went well over the listed total of 161.5. The O/U total in this game reflects the changing perception of the Cougars, and has been initially listed at 157 at Heritage.

The Cougars are in the midst of a terrible offensive slump, failing to reach the 60-point mark in 5 of their last 9 games. We backed the under on Sunday night when the Cougars visited Oregon State; and they didn’t disappoint as they only scored 49 points in the game and the under covered by 21 points. The Cougars are an amazing 10-1 favoring the under in their last 11 games.

The Cougars shot 50.8% from the field in the first game between these teams, a statistic that is unlikely to happen again. Washington State only averages 43.4% from the floor and 64.5 points per game on the road this year. The Huskies shoot even worse from their home floor, averaging a 42.8% field goal percentage, well below the 46.6% they shot in the earlier matchup.

This will be senior night for the Huskies, and being a relatively young team that won’t mean much. For Washington State though, they have some marginal players that will get some more playing time. This is all a recipe for another poor offensive performance for Washington State, and they won’t help the Huskies enough to get this game over the total. Take Under 157 at Heritage as one of your NCAA Basketball Picks.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 157
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes


Michigan State vs. Rutgers
Rutgers basketball. Oh, no! If Washington State’s conference run is bad than the Rutgers Scarlet Knights’ (6-23, 0-16) run is much worse. Unfortunately for them, one of their last two games is against one of the best teams in the country right now in the 2nd ranked Michigan State Spartans (24-5, 11-5). The Spartans could be in line for a coveted 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, so look for them to put out max effort in this one early before going on cruise control late in the game. These teams met in late January already with Michigan State blowing out Rutgers 96-62 at home in a game that far exceeded the 143.5 point listed total. Michigan State actually covered in that game as a 28-point home favorite.

Going on the road the Spartans only have to clear a 23.5-point spread against Rutgers, while the O/U total has been listed at 148 at 5Dimes. That total has already moved down a point since opening up earlier in the day at 149 on the NCAA Basketball Odds.

This is more of a style play than anything else. Tom Izzo is too classy to run up the score on poor ol’ Rutgers at home, a team that is decimated by injuries. No, what Tom will do is create some mini games within the game and concentrate mainly on defense. Michigan State is allowing opponents to only shoot 39.7% on their home floor this year and 37.1% overall. Their overall defensive statistics add up to the Spartans allowing only 63.3 points per game on the season. Rutgers will be lucky to break 60 in this game, and I expect Michigan State to let up on the gas enough to cruise this game to an easy Under 148 winner at 5Dimes.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 148
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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