Two Engaging 'Over' Selections For Your NCAA Basketball Picks

Mark Lathrop

Friday, March 4, 2016 4:20 PM UTC

Friday, Mar. 4, 2016 4:20 PM UTC

Our NCAAB handicapper spots a trend that should continue, and another that should reverse, in making his Friday NCAA Basketball Picks.

Texas Longhorns vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys
It will be senior night for the Oklahoma State Cowboys (12-18, 3-14) as their season winds down, and for this game they host the 23rd ranked Texas Longhorns (19-11, 10-7) in a matchup that can be seen on ESPN2. The Cowboys have lost five in a row coming into this game and 8 of their last 10, which makes them a desperate team at the moment for something good to happen. They covered the spread earlier in January against the Longhorns as 8-point underdogs, but still lost 74-69. That game went well over the 133.5 consensus total. In this game, Texas comes in as a 4-point road favorite while the O/U total is listed at a reasonable 128 points on the NCAA basketball odds boards.

There is a reason the total is lower than the first matchup, and that is that Oklahoma State’s offense has been in quite the slump of late. The under has cashed in 8 of the last 10 games for the Cowboys, and they have exceeded 70 points just once in that span. That has led to the lowest listed total for each of these teams in 15 games. The bar has definitely lowered for this game.

On the other hand, these teams have played games going over the total in five in a row now, included the earlier game this year. Oklahoma State only shot 37.5% from the field and Texas 40% in that first game, which suggests these teams play at a higher pace than normal when getting together. That is a trend worth backing, which makes over 128.5 points at 5Dimes one of my Friday NCAAB Picks.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 129.5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes


Citadel Bulldogs vs. Mercer Bears  
We are running out of games to tail what has been an interesting season for the Citadel Bulldogs (10-21, 3-15). Owners of one of the worst defenses in college basketball, the Bulldogs travel to the Mercer Bears (18-13, 8-10) in the first round of the Southern Conference tournament. These teams have met twice already this season, with Mercer winning SU and ATS in both games by scoring 88 and 91 points in each game, respectively. Those scoring totals were good enough for a split in O/U terms, as the last game went under the 165 total with a final of 88-72. The Bears are favored by 5.5-points in this game, while the O/U total can be found at 169.5 at 5Dimes.

Citadel allows an amazing average of 100.1 points per game on the road on 53.6% shooting. I’d like to stop there and say, “take the over”, but the powers that be need 200 more words for me to tell you this. Citadel also averages 86.6 points per game themselves, albeit on 41.9% shooting. They are scoring as much as they are by averaging 71 attempts per game. It’s about pace with Citadel and both themselves and opposing teams have many more possessions per game to rack up points.

Given all of this, it is actually Mercer that has the better record for overs in conference play, going 13-5 favoring the over and cashing it in 4 of their last five games. Citadel is no slouch though, going 12-6 in conference play and 10-3 favoring the over on the road. These are all trends that can’t be ignored in my opinion, it’s just a shame we won’t have this version of the Citadel Bulldogs much longer. Take over 169.5 at 5Dimes as one of your NCAA basketball picks.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 169.5
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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