Two Mid-Major Conference Totals For Your NCAA Basketball Picks

Mark Lathrop

Thursday, February 25, 2016 7:46 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016 7:46 PM UTC

Our handicapper picked up another two wins last night, and heads south to cherry pick the best totals plays on the Thursday night NCAAB card. Read on as he gives out his NCAAB Picks.

Winthrop vs. High Point
In a game that could decide the regular season crown in the Big South Conference, the Winthrop Eagles (20-7, 12-4) travel to the High Point Panthers in a rare television appearance on ESPNU. These teams met earlier this year at Winthrop, with the Eagles running (flying) the Panthers out of the gym, 86-66, to take sole possession of first place in the conference. Winthrop was a 4-point home underdog in that game, and the 152 total score went under the 158 O/U total listed. The line for this game has High Point favored at home by 5 points. The O/U total has initially opened at 160.5 on the NCAA basketball odds board.

Duby Okeke was a monster in the first game for Winthrop; blocking six shots in an effort that led to High Point shooting 34.2% from the floor. That performance came in well under their season average of shooting 48.1% from the floor. Winthrop exceeded their 48.8% season average in that game considerably, hitting at a 56.4% clip and at an amazing 69% from the field in a 49-point second half. Winthrop hit 10 3-pointers in the contest to overcome a 15-8 turnover disadvantage to the Panthers.

These teams haven’t had totals listed in their games often this season, but when they do, they are a perfect combined 4-0 in favor of the under including their first game. That indicates to me that the teams tighten up a bit in bigger games, either from the offensive side or in intensity on defense. That was definitely the case in the first matchup as High Point scored well below their 77.1-point season average. High Point plays decent defense at home as well, allowing only 69.2 points per game. With revenge on their mind, expect them to step up their effort in holding Winthrop to under 80 points, which makes under 160.5 at BookMaker the right Thursday NCAAB Pick.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 158.5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes


Citadel vs. UNC Greensboro 
In this matchup in the bottom half of the Southern Conference, the Citadel Bulldogs (10-19, 3-13) travel to visit the UNC Greensboro Spartans (12-17, 8-8) in what should be a very high scoring game. Citadel has played fast all year of course, and in their first meeting UNC Greensboro kept up and won that game 102-95 as a two-point road favorite. The total score of 197 went well over the O/U total listed for that game at 174. For this game, UNC Greensboro is listed as an 11-point favorite at home. The O/U total has shifted up a bit, naturally, to 179 over at 5Dimes.

Citadel has been one of the most consistent teams in the country in repeating scoring performances in regards to totals this year. This narrows down our sample set to conference play, but the results are especially pertinent to the game being played tonight. The Citadel has failed to at least score as many points in a prior matchup only twice this season, creating two O/U splits in a season series in the Southern Conference. In most cases, the total score put up in a second matchup is actually higher than the first.

This leads us to believe that the 102-95 score in the first matchup was not a fluke. Citadel gives up an average of 99.9 points per game on the road, which would be very close to what they gave up at home to UNC Greensboro a few weeks back. It’s also one of the reasons that Citadel is 9-2 on the over on the road this year. The trend continues tonight, so back the Over at 179 at 5Dimes as one of your Thursday NCAA basketball picks.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 179
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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