Underdog Values: Two Under The Radar Picks On Saturday Night

Ross Benjamin

Saturday, February 27, 2016 6:36 PM GMT

Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016 6:36 PM GMT

Our analyst shares his top two underdog plays on Saturday night’s card. He’s been a red-hot 5-0 with his underdog picks over the past two betting days, and has two more winners for you today.

Rice vs. Louisiana Tech 7:00 PM ET
Rice is playing their best basketball of the season right now. The Owls began the season by going a dismal 6-14 overall, and 1-6 in Conference USA action. Since that time, Rice has gone 6-2, and that includes entering today’s contest on a four game winning streak. They’ve been extremely efficient on the offensive end of the floor of late, averaging 80.0 points per game, shooting 51.4%, and converting on a superb 41.9% of its three point attempts. Rice will also be out to avenge a 90-78 home loss to Louisiana Tech during the first week of February.

Louisiana Tech is clearly the better of these two teams on paper. After all, they possess an outstanding 21-7 overall record which includes 15-1 at home. However, they’ve been unimpressive in their last two games. During their previous contest, they escaped with an overtime win as a 10.5 point home favorite against North Texas (11-17/6-9). That contest was preceded by a 91-80 loss at UTEP. Another significant concern for the Bulldogs has been their poor free throw shooting during recent contests. They’ve gone just 63.4% from the charity stripe over its previous five outings. As I’ve stated on several occasions this season, sizable favorites which shoot that poorly at the free throw line, leave themselves wide open for a back door cover by underdogs. That’s especially the case when they’re facing a red-hot three point shooting opponent like Rice currently is.

With everything being considered, and despite the disparity in records, I feel strongly about the underdog betting value in this contest. One of my Saturday NCAA basketball picks will further exemplify that sentiment.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Rice +9
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

Wyoming vs. UNLV 8:00 PM ET
UNLV has sustained some injuries to their big men, and that’s made them a more perimeter oriented team in recent games. They’ve been outrebounded in each of their previous four contests, and it’s been by a wide cumulative margin of 173-146. Opponents of UNLV have certainly caught on to that transformation. UNLV has gone 3-5 straight up and 2-6 ATS during its last eight games. One of those two covers came as a 5.5 point favorite versus Nevada, and they needed overtime in order to do so.

Wyoming has played extremely well on the offensive end of the floor of late. During its previous five outings, they’ve shot a stellar 49.0%, and converted on an excellent 44.4% of its three point attempts. The great equalizer for a college basketball underdog is the ability to connect on three-point shots with a high degree of regularity, and Wyoming fits that exact profile based on recent performances. Wyoming can also draw confidence from the fact that they’ve already defeated UNLV 59-57 during an earlier meeting, and did so despite shooting just 34.0% in that contest. That was against a UNLV team which was much healthier at that time than they currently are.

Current (9:40 AM ET) NCAA basketball odds at Heritage clearly provides me with the best number for this specific wager.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Wyoming +9.5
?Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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