Nate's NCAA Hoops Best Bets for 2/25
NATE'S NCAA HOOPS BEST BETS FOR 2/25 - We are back with a three-pack of game for you betting pleasure that should last you well into the evening depending on your time zone. Let's dive in to another weird and wonderful Saturday of college basketball.
#25 Texas A&M (21-7) at Mississippi State (18-10), (-1.5, o/u 125.5)
3:30 EST, SEC Network
This is a really fun SEC matchup between two of the more unheralded, but good, teams in the conference.
Texas A&M has bounced back from a really shaky start to the season that saw them at barely over .500 through their first eleven games, including losses to Murray State and Wofford. Since then they’ve gone 15-2, so clearly they are playing their best basketball as the season continues.
The same can be said of Miss. State as they battle for an at-large consideration from the committee come tournament time. Every game from here on out is massively important for their chances, so expect them to be absolutely locked in at home in a position to add a good win to their resume. This team has gone 6-4 over their last ten games, but that’s a little bit misleading because every loss has come by one-possession. It’s clear they’ve been playing great ball, even if they’ve been a bit unlucky.
I’ve been saying it and I’ll keep saying it: nothing makes sense this season in college basketball. A&M, on paper, has a lot of advantages over Miss State, yet they find themselves as an underdog here. Look for the Bulldogs to crash the offensive glass and lock the Aggies down on defense. It should be a winning formula. Another week of fading a ranked team.
Pick: Mississippi State -1.5
Syracuse (16-12) at Pittsburgh (20-8), (-5.5, o/u 144.5)
5:00 EST, ACC Network
I’ll tell you right now that this isn’t going to be a sexy pick. Pitt has absolutely been rolling and have a regular-season title within their reach after massively outperforming nearly every preseason prediction about them.
Syracuse, however, has been doing the opposite. They have sucked. They got smoked by Duke in a 22-point loss, then followed it up with another blowout loss by 18 to Clemson. Things have started to go south quickly for this team.
Why should we bet on a team that has been terrible? Because they probably aren’t as bad as those losses may indicate, and they got victimized by some ridiculously hot shooting from the outside in both cases.
Pitt has been great from the outside, maybe a little too great as their percentages seem to be in the range of “outlier” right now. If you get loose from the outside, ‘Cuse is just going to get killed because it’s one of the major flaws in their 2-3 zone.
The problem for Pitt is that they’ve played a decent amount of zone defenses, and they haven’t performed very well against it thus far in the season. Aside from their 3-pt. shooting which is good against a zone, they run a lot of pick-and-roll and isolation plays, which aren’t great against that type of defense.
This is the ultimate buy-low on Syracuse, hold your nose, and trust the process pick. God help us.
Pick: Orange +5.5
#22 San Diego State (22-5) at New Mexico (20-8), (+2.5, o/u 147.5)
10:00 EST, CBS Sports
Here’s a little nightcap game for you. Both of these teams are battling for an at-large bid to the tournament, and it looks like the Aztecs have probably already locked theirs up. New Mexico went from looking like a safe bet to make the tourney to needing to win this game tonight to keep their hopes alive.
The Lobos have gone 2-6 on their recent skid, but a lot of that has to do with an injury that sidelined the engine of their team, Jaelen House. He’s back now and this should be a really good game that they absolutely must win.
The Aztecs have a defense that is perennially very solid and always makes them a tricky out, particularly in tournament play, but I like the shooters that the Lobos can throw at them to equalize the game tonight.
The Pit is a tough place to play and it should be chaos for this evening matchup. Once again, we’re fading a ranked team.
Pick: New Mexico +2.5
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