2018 March Madness Sweet 16 Straight Up Betting Picks

Top Expert NCAAB Picks of the Week – December 19th

Written by on December 19, 2017

With the 2017-18 college basketball season starting to move further into conference play and teams across the country starting to reveal who they really are, it’s time for some NCAAB picks for this week betting action.

Top Expert NCAAB Picks of the Week – December 19th

Northwestern (8-4) at No. 17 Oklahoma (8-1)

  • When: Friday, December 22, 2017, 7:00 PM ET
  • Where: Lloyd Noble Center, Norman, Oklahoma
Northwestern has won three straight and four of its last five and enters the new week coming off a narrow 62-60 win over DePaul on Saturday despite failing to cover the spread as a 5.5-point road favorite. Scottie Lindsey scored a team-high 25 points while pulling down eight rebounds and the Wildcats crept by the Blue demons despite allowing DePaul’s Max Straus to go off for a game-high 33 points.No. 17 Oklahoma remained unbeaten by stunning previously No. 3 Wichita State 91-83 on Saturday to cash in as a 7-point road dog against the Shockers. Freshman point guard Trae Young is averaging an amazing 28.8 points and 8.9 assists per game and dropped 29 and 9 on Wichita State on Saturday.“I haven’t seen a freshman guard that I’ve coached against that plays at that level,” Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall said.Oklahoma ranks third in scoring nationally (93.0 ppg) and is beating their opponents by an average of almost 13 points per game. The Sooners will roll all over the overmatched Wildcats by that figure at the very minimum.Score Prediction: Oklahoma 88 – Northwestern 75

Ohio State at No. 5 North Carolina

  • When: Saturday, December 23, 2017, 1:30 PM ET
  • Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • TV: CBS
Unranked Ohio State has won four straight and smacked Appalachian State around in its 80-67 win on Saturday as four players scored in double figures including Jae’Sean Tate’s team-high 19 points. The Buckeyes are averaging 78.2 points per game (119th) while allowing 67.2 per contest defensively (85th).Fifth-ranked North Carolina has also won four straight games and eight of their last nine overall including their hard-fought 78-73 win over Tennessee on Saturday as a 1-point road underdog.Joel Berry II and North Carolina should be one of your NCAAB Picks for this week.Point guard Joel Berry II scored a team-high 21 points while forward Luke Maye and guard Kenny Williams both added 15 points. The Tar Heels are averaging a stellar 87.2 points per game (18th) while allowing 71.3 points per contest defensively (171st).While I really like Ohio State’s Keita Bates-Diop and believe he’s probably the best NBA prospect on either team in this contest, North Carolina is by far, the more cohesive and deeper team in this affair, so be sure to include the Tar Heels as one of your NCAAB picks. The heads-up play of point guard Joel Berry and the increasing contributions from Kenny Williams will be the difference in this Saturday afternoon matchup as the Tar Heels win by somewhere between 6 and 10 points.Score Prediction: North Carolina 83 – Ohio State 75

No. 7 Kentucky at UCLA

  • When: Saturday, December 23, 2017, 4:00 PM ET
  • Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • TV: CBS
Sixth-ranked Kentucky has won seven straight games including their 93-86 win over Virginia Tech on Saturday to narrowly cover the chalk as a 6-point home favorite. The Wildcats got a team-high 21 points from Kevin Knox and 20 points from Hamidou Diallo while shooting 50.0% from three-point distance (11-for-22). This season, Kentucky averages 81.3 points per game (69th) while allowing 69.2 points per contest defensively (119th).UCLA has dropped two straight and hits the new week coming off a humbling 77-63 home loss to Cincinnati on Saturday. Aaron Holiday scored a team-high 17 points in the loss while Jaylen hand added 14 points and Kris Wilkes 13 points.The Bruins shot just 41.1 percent from the field (25-for-56) and had 10 more turnovers than the Bearcats. This season, UCLA is averaging a healthy 82.6 points per game (48th) but giving up 75.6 points per contest defensively (247th).For this Saturday showdown, Kentucky is the team that should be on your NCAAB picks list as they will beat a UCLA team that is both, young and inexperienced and not nearly as athletic as Kentucky and their horde of high school All-Americans. The Wildcats will get the win and ATS cover as long as they’re not a double-digit favorite, which I suspect they won’t be seeing as how they’re on the road.Score Prediction: Kentucky 86 – UCLA 75
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