Underdog Value: Three Blockbuster NCAA Basketball Picks for Thursday

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, January 7, 2016 5:57 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016 5:57 PM UTC

Our NCAA basketball odds analyst has three underdog NCAA basketball picks on Thursday’s card that possess superb betting value. Find out which ones and maximize your profits tonight!

Cincinnati vs. SMU 7:00 PM ET
This is an experienced Cincinnati team that returned all 5 starters from a season ago. Three of their four losses this season have come at the hands of #18 Butler by 2, #13 Iowa State by 2, and at #10 Xavier by 10. Their only bad loss came at home against Temple last week, and you can do a lot worse than losing to the Owls. The Bearcats are 2-1 SU&ATS in true road games, and they’re an excellent defensive team that has held opponents to 37.9% shooting from the field.

SMU is 13-0 and is a superb team. However, despite being just one of two undefeated teams in the country, they’re ranked just #15 in the latest AP Poll. When scanning their resume, they do have a very good 24 point home win against Michigan, but there’s no other signature victory that stands out. This is also a Mustangs team that escaped with home wins by 2 against Yale and by 4 versus Brown.

Current NCAA basketball odds at Heritage provide me with the best value for this specific wager.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Cincinnati +7
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


Alabama vs. Ole Miss 9:00 PM ET
Former NBA head coach and player Avery Johnson has this Alabama program pointed in the right direction. The Crimson Tide owns quality wins this year over Wichita State, Notre Dame, and at Clemson. Their only losses have come against #25 Dayton (12-2), #10 Xavier (14-1), and Oregon (12-3).

I’m of the opinion that Ole Miss hasn’t had a quality win this season. In addition, they’ve gone a poor 5-13 ATS during the last two seasons under Pat Kennedy as either a home pick or favorite.

I like the underdog to stay inside the number in this contest, and wouldn’t be surprised whatsoever to see an outright upset. However, I’ll take the points for one of my college basketball picks on Thursday.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Alabama +6
Best Line Offered: at The Greek


Michigan vs. Purdue 9:00 PM ET
There’s no doubt that Purdue is a Top Ten caliber type of team. They play terrific defense, and are one of the best rebounding teams in America. However, they’ve gone just 2-2 in their last four games, and that includes a 7 points loss as a 9.0 point home favorite to Iowa in their previous outing.

Michigan began the season by losing its first two games. Since that time, they’ve gone 10-1, and that includes winning their last six in a row headed into tonight. During this current win streak, they’ve averaged 85.8 points per game, and have shot a blistering hot 55.5% from the field. This is also a Wolverines club that’s converted on a terrific 42.8% of their three point attempts. Like I alluded to yesterday regarding my pick on Evansville +10.0 over Wichita State, any time you have this sizable of an underdog, executing at this high of a level offensively, you always have a puncher’s chance of staying inside the number.

I’m going to ride the momentum of the road underdog in this contest for my NCAA basketball picks. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if this game is nip and tuck throughout, and goes right down to the wire.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Michigan +7.5
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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