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NCAA college basketball picks & best odds – Wednesday, March 2

After a crazy night of college basketball that saw a couple of court storms, it returns tonight with more games leading into the conference tournaments. Last night had a couple of title contenders go down in Kansas and Purdue and the pool of contenders looks as big as ever. Tonight’s schedule doesn’t have as many top teams duking it out, but there is still good value on the board and some good chances to make some money.

Xavier Musketeers at St. John’s Red Storm

In a battle between two evenly matched Big East teams, it is hard to find an edge. Xavier, a pesky team in recent years, is maintaining that status quo and is fighting for a tournament berth. They have a good chance to qualify despite a pedestrian 17-11 record because of some big wins against Ohio St, UConn and Marquette. They got demolished by St John’s at home last time they played and will be looking for revenge. In college, that is a big factor and why Xavier is a good pick tonight. Xavier is a better team than St John’s and despite their recent struggles, should be very motivated to avenge a bad loss.

St. John’s is on the outside looking in when it comes to March Madness. They will need to rattle off a bunch of wins in the conference tournament to even have a chance but all signs point to this not being their year. While they will have the best player on the court in this game in Julian Champagnie, it will be hard for St John’s to match Xavier’s intensity. St John’s is coming into this game 1-5 at home in their last 6 and 1-6 at home against Xavier in their last seven. It will be close, but ultimately Xavier should escape with a hard fought win.

Xavier Musketeers +1.5

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Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Indiana Hoosiers

These Big 10 teams are both hoping to sneak into the NCAA tournament. Both have big wins against good teams but also a lot of losses. So is the nature of playing in the deepest conference in college basketball. Rutgers is quite an enigma. After winning four huge games against ranked teams they have lost their last three and need to string a couple wins to lock up a March Madness berth. Rutgers has proven they can hang with the elites of college basketball but are 3-9 playing away from home this season. However, they come into this game 6-2 against the spread in their last eight and are more talented than the Hoosiers.

Indiana is very similar to Rutgers in the sense that they have success at home but falter away. They will be home in this game but it may not matter. While there is a distinct advantage, they have traditionally struggled against Rutgers as they are 1-6 versus them in their last seven. Also, Indiana will limp into this game on a 2-5 run against the spread. While it is possible Indiana claws out a win, Rutgers will keep it close and cover the number.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights +5

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Auburn Tigers at Mississippi St. Bulldogs

Auburn is a true title contender and has the likely first overall pick in the NBA draft in Jabari Smith. He is a bonafide stud and can carry Auburn far in the tournament. The issue with Auburn is, however, they have some guards who think they are the guy and have a tendency to ignore Smith. This has caused Auburn to falter and they are 0-5 against the spread in their last five games on the road. While Auburn is the better team, Miss St. will not make it easy and is keen for an upset win.

The Bulldogs are on the outside looking into the NCAA tournament as things stand. They have played good basketball but a pedestrian 17-12 record is currently holding them back. A win here would do wonders for them and they have a good chance of pulling it off. They have been lights out at home this year and boast a 14-2 record on their court. They are 9-1 in their last 10 at home and have made it a very difficult place to play. That combined with Auburn’s recent struggles make this a good spot for an upset.

Mississippi St. Bulldogs +4

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