Gambling preview + picks for final Tuesday of college hoops season (presented by Betfred Sportsbook)
It's the final Tuesday of the college hoops regular season, and boy oh boy, do we have a loaded slate.
Teams are fighting for everything - NCAA Tournament bids, seeding and conference titles and we've got you all covered.
Here's your preview - with the odds, provided, as always, by Betfred Sportsbook.
Iowa at No. 15 Indiana (-5.5) – 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2: Iowa visits Indiana in a big matchup in the Big Ten. Iowa is coming off a wild, improbable comeback win against Michigan State and could use a win to feel even more safe in the tournament. Kris Murray leads the Hawkeyes this year, averaging 20 points per game and also leads the Hawkeyes in rebounds and blocks per game for the season. Indiana is surging at the right time. They just finished a sweep against Purdue and are playing their best basketball of the season. Trayce Jackson-Davis has been incredible for the Hoosiers this year. He leads the team in scoring, rebounding and blocks and should end up on most All-American teams. More importantly, freshman Jalen Hood-Schifino has emerged as a lead guard, and dropped a staggering 35 points at Mackey Arena against Purdue on Saturday. The Hoosiers are the play here to win and cover. Iowa needed a miracle to beat Michigan State, and it’s tough to bounce back from that with a road game. The biggest factor is Indiana’s home court, and they should pull away late enough to cover.
The Pick: Indiana (-5.
NC State at Duke (-5.5) – 7 p.m. ET, ESPN: NC State has taken some of the shine off Duke this year with how well they’ve played. The Wolfpack are a team to be reckoned with once March comes around, and already owns a win against Duke in Raleigh earlier this season. Terquavion Smith leads the team in scoring at 18 points per game for the season, and is buoyed in the backcourt by Jarkel Joiner (17 points per game) and Casey Morsell, who adds 13 as well. Duke has been good but hasn’t completely met expectations this season. The good news is, they are peaking right now, winning four straight entering this one, with Kyle Filipowski leading the way for the Blue Devils averaging 15 points per game. This game should be a dogfight on Tobacco Road. Expect a close game and for NC State to cover the spread, but Duke should win outright, despite the rivalry game.
The Pick: NC State (+5.5)
Villanova (-1.5) at Seton Hall – 8:30 p.m. ET, FS1: Villanova visits Seton Hall in what is an all-of-a-sudden interesting Big East matchup. Why is it so important? Well, Villanova is now healthy and has quietly won five of its last six - including a beat down on Saturday of Creighton. The Wildcats aren't quite on the bubble yet, but would love to keep the momentum going into the Big East Tournament next week where, who knows, maybe they can win the whole thing? The key is keeping up momentum, with Eric Dixon leading the way. The undersized big is averaging a team-best 16 points and coming off a monstrous 31-point performance against Creighton Saturday. Seton Hall, like Villanova, isn't really in the tournament picture, but would like some momentum heading to New York next week. Still, play here is Villanova in a very close game. The Wildcats are playing their best basketball of the season right now and should carry that into this game against Seton Hall. Villanova wins and covers a close game against Seton Hall.
The Pick: Villanova (-1.5)
Arkansas at No. 12 Tennessee (-7) – 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2: With the return of Nick Smith, Arkansas is the healthiest it's been since December, and and they’re visiting an inconsistent Tennessee team, especially on offense. Ricky Council IV has been great this year for the Razorbacks. He leads the team in scoring at 17 points per game for the season. They’re going to be a dangerous team in March. Tennessee is one of the best defensive teams in the country, but they’ve struggled to find any consistent offense this season, and it’s really hurt them. Santiago Vescovi leads the Volunteers in scoring at 12 points per game for the season. He’s one of a few very good guards the Volunteers have this season. This has the makings of a great game. Expect a close game, but the home court is the deciding factor. Arkansas covers, but Tennessee wins outright.
The Pick: Arkansas (+7)
No. 18 San Diego State at Boise State (-2.5) – 9 p.m. ET, CBSSN: San Diego State comes into this game after winning on the road against New Mexico thanks to a buzzer-beater. With it, they clinched a share of the Mountain West regular season title. But, they have a brutal test on Tuesday, traveling to a desperate Boise State team. The Broncos appeared to be cruising to an NCAA Tournament at-large (assuming they don't win the conference tournament) only to lose a stunner on the road over the weekend to San Jose State. Now, they're essentially in must-win mode, and this a chance for Boise State to make a statement against the best team in the Mountain West and because of that you should expect a great game. Boise State should win a very close game and still be in the NCAA Tournament mix as a team that could surprise.
The Pick: Boise State (-2.5)
Follow Jake Faigus on Twitter - @Jake_Faigus
For all of Tuesday's college hoops lines check out the Betfred Sportsbook
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