Up Tempo Matchups Give Value To Underdogs In Today's College Hoops

Illinois Illini

Charles Stark

Saturday, December 23, 2017 1:13 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017 1:13 PM UTC

For Saturday NCAA basketball there are definitely some tremendous matchups and once again we’re going to take a look at some really live underdogs. These will definitely be to entertaining games and I think there is some value in taking the underdogs.

Tennessee vs Wake Forest

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Free NCAAB Pick: Wake Forest +1.5Best Line Offered: at Heritage

Since starting out the season losing their first three games Wake Forest has been on a tear some a little bit surprised that odds makers have made them a small home underdog in this spot. Rick Barnes has done a nice job with Tennessee and they played some good basketball this season but for my NCAA pick I will back the Demon Deacons plus the points. Tennessee has been good on both sides of the ball and is only allowing opponents to shoot just 39% on the season. However, their schedule has not been road heavy and they are facing a Wake Forest team that can flat-out score. Currently the Demon Deacons are shooting 48% overall and 39% from distance, as well as ranking 24th in the country in shooting efficiency. Rick Barnes has never been a tremendous defensive coach and I think Tennessee is going to have their hands full against a Wake Forest team that is turned their season around. Look for them to pull some more upsets in the ACC at home, but for today look for them to win this game straight up.

Illinois vs Missouri

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Free NCAAB Pick: Illinois +4Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

Brad Underwood has come in and completely changed the dynamic of this Illinois program, but they have been struggling over the last couple weeks dropping five of their last seven games. Missouri has been just the opposite winning their last five games in a row, however odds makers have made them just a small favorite in this spot. With the way these two teams matchup for my NCAA pick I will take the Fighting Illini I plus the points. On closer look Illinois’ schedule has been quite difficult over the past couple weeks which makes this line start to make some sense. As well, despite the rough stretch they still have some solid statistics on both sides of the ball currently averaging 28.2 field goals made per game which ranks in the top part of the country, and allowing opponents to shoot just 44.5% from the floor. Although Missouri lost their best player they have been also solid on both sides of the ball ranking 10th in the country in shooting efficiency and allowing opponents to shoot just 39.4%. With the number being so small it seems that odds makers are on top of something, and I think there are right when we look at the matchups. Look for this game to go down to the wire.

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