Underdog Picks: A Winning Triplet On Saturday to Fatten the Wallet

Ross Benjamin

Saturday, February 20, 2016 3:31 PM UTC

Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016 3:31 PM UTC

Our very own college basketball analyst shares his top three underdog picks on Saturday’s massive slate. Join us and let us assist you in making a big profit today.

Illinois State vs. Northern Iowa 4:00 PM ET
Northern Iowa has frustrated their fans this season. With four returning starters they were expected to challenge Wichita State for the Missouri Valley Crown. Instead they find themselves in fifth place with an 8-7 conference record. That’s extremely disappointing considering they posted huge non-conferences wins earlier this season versus #5 North Carolina and #13 Iowa State. The Panthers then proceeded to start conference play by going 2-6. They looked to have turned things around with a recent six game win streak, and that included a 3 point win at Wichita State. However, they were upset in their previous game by Loyola-Illinois, and thus an erratic ride continues.

Illinois State is a surging team that’s won five in a row and seven of its last eight. They’re currently second in the MVC with an 11-4 record, and just 1.5 games out of the lead. The Cardinals have been terrific defensively during their current win streak, allowing 58.6 points per game, and holding opponents to 38.3% shooting. Illinois State has also compiled a +8 rebound per game differential during the past five contests.

I wouldn’t be shocked at all to see an outright upset in this game, but certainly will take the points as a huge bonus. One of my Saturday NCAA basketball picks will concur with the previous statement.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Illinois State +5.5
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker


Oklahoma vs. West Virginia 4:00 PM ET
Oklahoma enters this BIG-12 showdown having lost three of its last four games. Much of their lack of success recently can be directly contributed to a shooting slump during that stretch. The Sooners have been one of the best shooting teams in the country all year, but over their previous four contests they’ve shot a terrible 38.6%. Despite those recent offensive doldrums, they still have shot a stellar 46.4% on the season, and have converted an excellent 43.6% of its three point shots. There are just too many gifted offensive players on this Sooners team for their struggles to continue. In addition, they’ll have a high degree of urgency on the road today versus #10 West Virginia.

It’s not like West Virginia has been lights out in recent games. The Mountaineers have gone just 3-3 in their last six games. One of their biggest assets is their vaunted pressure defense. West Virginia is able to force plenty of turnovers by the opposition, and it often leads to easy baskets as a result. However, the negative side to that facet of their game is they average a mammoth 24 personal fouls per contests. Opponents are averaging 28 free throw attempts per game against West Virginia this season. That was the biggest contributing factor in their 2 point loss at Oklahoma earlier this year. They held the then top ranked Sooners to 33% shooting, but Oklahoma was able to overcompensate for that by going 27-32 from the free throw line.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Oklahoma +4.5 
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline


Duquense vs. Rhode Island 7:00 PM ET
I’ll get right to the point, Rhode Island isn’t good enough to be laying this many points to an opponent with a winning record. Granted Duquense has lost four in a row, but they still possess a rather decent 15-11 record. It’s not like Rhode Island comes into this game on fire. The Rams are 4-7 over its previous eleven games. Duquense is 4-3 ATS in true road games this season, and that includes 3-0 ATS in its last three away games.

Current (9:00 AM ET) NCAA basketball odds provide me with the best number for this wager.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Duquesne +8.5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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