Two Hidden NCAA Basketball Picks That Will Fatten Your Wallet

Mark Lathrop

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 6:52 PM GMT

Our NCAAB handicapper goes deep within the Wednesday card to find the two best O/U values on the board. Read on as he breaks down the games and gives a pair of solid totals picks.

Air Force vs. Fresno State
In a battle of a top and bottom team in the Mountain West, the Air Forcer Falcons (14-14, 5-10) travel to visit the Fresno State Bulldogs (18-9, 9-5) in a game that can be seen on the Mountain West Network. This is the second meeting between these two teams this year as Fresno State won on the road a month ago, 56-55, with Air Force covering the six-point spread. The O/U total in that game was set at 140, with the score settling in well under the total. In this game Fresno State is more heavily favored at -11, and the O/U total has shifted down to 135.5 at BookMaker.

One of the reasons that the O/U total in this game has gone down is Air Force’s offensive numbers on the road. This year the Falcons rank 336th in road offense in the NCAA, with just 60.1 points scored per game. On the other side of that equation they give up 74.6 points per game on the road – one reason they are 0-5 SU in their last five games away from home and 2-10 overall this season.

Another more important reason for the O/U total being dropped is the injury to Falcons’ sophomore guard, Trevor Lyons. Lyons was the leading scorer in the first game against Fresno State and the only player to reach double digits with 12 points over 37 minutes. Over the season, Lyons is the second leading scorer on the team with 12.7 points per game. He has been out for all of February up to this point.

Although Fresno State has gone over their listed total in 4 of their last 5 games, the under is 6-1 in their last seven games against Air Force. With Lyons out, the question is who will help Air Force reach 60 points against Fresno State who matches up well against them. I don’t have a good answer, which is why I am taking under 135.5 as the NCAA basketball odds are showing.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 135.5
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

 

Wichita State vs. Loyola of Chicago
The Wichita State Shockers (21-7, 14-2) look to continue their dominance over other Missouri Valley Conference foes as they visit the Loyola of Chicago Ramblers (14-14, 7-9) on Wednesday night. These teams met a little over three weeks ago, with Wichita State blowing out the Ramblers on their home floor, 80-54, as 19-point favorites. The O/U in that game was 124 with the total score going comfortably over the listed total. For this game, Wichita State is a 12-point road favorite and the O/U total can be found at 126.

The Ramblers shot just 39.2% in that first game and got outrebounded by the Shockers by a 37-24 margin. For the Shocker’s part, they had 12 scorers in the game, with only two players getting into double digits even with the total score reaching 80 points. Wichita State was able to score at a 53.8% clip and could have done more if they would have improved on their 17-28 performance from the charity stripe. The Shockers also held a 22-7 assist advantage over the Ramblers in the game. We are talking about a serious mismatch all the way down the roster between these two teams.

Even though the Shockers have secured the #1 seed in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament, I don’t think they will overlook the importance of scoring another few blowouts before that tournament is played. They are currently ranked 44th in RPI and would be on the bubble if they are somehow bounced out of the MVC tourney. They will be hard to overlook if they have 24 wins though, and I think they keep their foot on the gas in conference play. For that reason, look for the Shockers to run up the score again against Loyola Chicago and take this Over 126 as one of your Wednesday NCAA Basketball Picks.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 126
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker