Wednesday, March 15th Picks of the Day

Idaho Vandals  team gathered around

Mark Lathrop

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 1:03 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 15, 2017 1:03 PM UTC

It's the day before the real start of March Madness, and I may have found my favorite play of the year. Read on as I practice restraint by only putting one unit on those boys in Utah.


  Ball State vs IPFW

NIT Tournament - 7:00 pm E.T

Indiana-Purdue-Fort-Worth. Why don't you add a direction to that school and make it a real mouth full? And a State? Southwest-Indiana-State-Purdue-Fort Worth. That's better. Now let's score some buckets.

IPFW has one of the most potent offenses in all of the college basketball at home, averaging 94.2 points per game this year over 16 games. This late in the season with the higher sample size the trends we see mean a bit more to me, so I like IPFW’s scoring trend to continue here.

However, for a fast-paced team to cash an over you need a willing dance partner. That is what I believe we have here with Ball State, who average 78.4 points per game on the road. I think that is the worst-case scenario for the Cardinals in this game, as their starting center has been ruled out of this game already. This will force Ball State to rely on a smaller lineup, and when I think of smaller lineups, I think of speed and higher pace. The total is currently sitting at 167.5, but these teams have both hit triple digits in games before this year. It’s off to the races so I am taking Over 167.5 as one of my Wednesday college basketball picks.


Free NCAAB Pick: Over 167.5 Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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   Stephen F. Austin vs Idaho

NIT Tournament - 11:00 pm E.T

Idaho is moving down a division in football next year, where Stephen F. Austin has had a very good record in Division II. Maybe they'll bring some of their football scouts to the Kibbie Dome here, where Idaho holds a huge home court advantage.

Hey, I’m in Idaho. Nobody wants to come here right now. It’s cold, the weather sucks, and it sure as hell isn’t Texas in spring. This will surely annoy the Lumberjacks who don’t play well on the road anyway and sport a 5-12 SU record in that situation on the year. They’ll head to the Kibbie Dome, which I’m sure is a weird place to shoot a basketball. The Vandals have made visitors pay for their discomfort too, accruing a 13-3 SU record at home this year. Idaho has won 7 straight home games coming into this matchup and hasn't lost at home since January 7th.

Idaho has a slight size advantage in this matchup as well, with their backcourt having more length than Stephen F. Austin across the board. I’m fine laying 5 here with the home-state Vandals.

 Free NCAAB Pick: Idaho -5 Best Line Offered: at Intertops

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   Texas-Arlington vs BYU

NIT Tournament - 11:00 pm E.T

Deep in the NIT, there is an injury to a very important player and I seem to have found it. Now a team heads into the Cougars' den shorthanded and it is sure to be a bloodbath.

University of Texas – Arlington had a fine year, coming up with a 25-8 SU record out of the Sun Belt Conference. Unfortunately for them, they will be missing their second leading scorer with short notice in their first game of the NIT, as 6’ 2” guard, Jalen Jones, fractured his thumb recently. Jones averages 12.4 points per game on the year, and his production will be sorely missed against the high-tempo BYU Cougars.

The Cougars should be helped by Jones absence and the new NIT rule changes in effect. They have a 5% shooting advantage over UTA at home, and with more possessions for either team in the store that should help BYU. UTA also fouls more than BYU to add insult to injury regarding the 10-minute bonus system. This is the strongest lean I’ve had in a while, so I will be trying hard not to empty the bank on BYU at -5 at Heritage tonight.

 Free NCAAB Pick: BYU -4.5Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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