Top College Basketball Picks for Sunday, February 21st, 2021

Top College Basketball Picks for Sunday, February 21st, 2021
Sun 21st February 2021

Michigan v Ohio State 

The #3 Michigan Wolverines head to Value City Arena in Columbus for the Big Ten Conference clash against the #4 Ohio State Buckeyes, as we’re about to see two legitimate championship contenders going against each other. The Wolverines are topping the Big Ten standings at the moment, only half a game ahead of the Buckeyes, so both schools have a lot on the table in this matchup. 

Michigan is undefeated in four straight outings, coming off a 71-64 victory over Rutgers. On the other side, Ohio State is rolling on a seven-game winning streak after a 92-82 road victory over Penn State. The Buckeyes opened as 1-point favorites for Sunday’s game, as the bookies expect to see a hard-fought battle that can easily go either way.  

On paper, Michigan is a much better defensive team than Ohio State. The Wolverines surrender seven points per 100 possessions fewer than the Buckeyes, but they also score five points per 100 possessions fewer than Ohio State. Michigan is third in the country in opponent FG% (37.7%) and 100th in opponent 3P% (32.0%), while Ohio State makes 46.1% of its field goals (71st in the country) and 36.2% of its 3-pointers (74th). 

Frankly, this game could be decided by one or two bad decisions down the stretch. We’ll stick with the betting trends and take the hosts to win. The Buckeyes are 5-2 SU and ATS in their last seven games against the Wolverines. They beat Michigan twice last season. Also, the Buckeyes are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 contests overall. 

College Basketball Pick – Ohio State by 1. 

Cincinnati v Houston 

The #6 Houston Cougars have lost two of their last four games, dropping to 17-3 on the season and 11-3 in the conference play. Also, they fell to the second spot of the American Athletic Conference standings following a 68-63 defeat at Wichita State this past Thursday. 

Hereof, the Cougars cannot allow another upset. They opened as massive 14.5-point favorites for Sunday’s clash against the Cincinnati Bearcats, and the Cougars shouldn’t have any problems outscoring their next rivals. However, covering that huge spread could be a problem, considering the teams’ current form.  

The Bearcats are on a four-game winning streak following a 69-68 home victory over UCF. Interestingly, all those four wins came by three or fewer points, and Cincinnati is only 3-12 ATS over its last 15 games overall. The Bearcats allow 96.4 points per 100 possessions (67th) but score just 105.1 in a return (137th). 

On the other side, the Cougars tally 116.3 points per 100 possessions (15th) on just 43.0% shooting from the field (231st). Houston leans heavily on its defense, yielding 89.9 points per 100 possessions (9th) on 36.7% shooting from the field (1st) and 26.7% from beyond the arc (2nd). 

The Cougars will be keen to bounce back from a tough loss against Wichita State, so we’re expecting them to put on a strong defensive performance and shut down the Bearcats. Houston is 6-1 ATS in its last seven encounters with Cincinnati and 7-1 ATS in its previous eight contests when listed as a double-digit fave. 

College Basketball Pick – Houston by 15. 

Penn State v Iowa

Penn State has dropped four of its previous five games including the previous three. The Nittany Lions are coming off a 92-82 defeat at #4 Ohio State last Thursday, and things are not getting any easier, as they visit the #11 Iowa Hawkeyes this Sunday. 

Iowa is on a three-game win streak. During that stretch, the Hawkeyes outlasted Rutgers 79-66, Michigan State 88-58, and Wisconsin 77-62. They are fourth in the Big Ten Conference, a couple of games behind the leader and 5.5 games ahead of the Nittany Lions who sit at the 12th spot of the standings.  

The Hawkeyes’ offensive rating is still the best in the nation, as Iowa tallies a whopping 128.4 points per 100 possessions. They shoot 47.7% from the field (37th) and 40.4% from beyond the 3-point line (5th) while handing out 19.6 assists per game (2nd). 

The Nittany Lions rank 308th in opponent FG% (46.8) and 139th in opponent 3P% (32.7). They will struggle to cope with Iowa’s prolific offense, so take the hosts to cover. The Hawkeyes are 6-3-2 ATS in their previous 11 meetings with the Nittany Lions and are 13-5 ATS in their last 18 outings on the home court.  

College Basketball Pick – Iowa by 11. 

Wisconsin v Northwestern 

The #21 Wisconsin Badgers are in serious crisis, losing three of their last four games including the previous two to Michigan 67-59 and Iowa 77-62. At least, the Badgers won their last outing on the road, defeating Nebraska 61-48 as 11-point favorites. 

Wisconsin fell to the sixth spot of the Big Ten standings with a 9-7 record. On the other side, Northwestern is the second-worst team in the Big Ten, posting a 3-12 record. The Wildcats are winless in 12 games in a row, going 3-8-1 ATS in that span.  

Last time out, the Wildcats battled bravely against the #5 Illinois on the road but suffered a 73-66 loss as 13.5-point underdogs. They will be keen to finally put an end to a terrible losing streak, but the Badgers are a way better team in this matchup and should grab a victory. 

These two schools already met once this season, and the Badgers thrashed off the Wildcats 68-52 as 11.5-point home favorites on January 20. They controlled the game for all 40 minutes and led by as many as 21 points. 

Wisconsin is 5-0 straight up and 4-1 ATS in its last five encounters with Northwestern, while the Badgers went 7-1 SU and 6-1-1 ATS through their previous seven road contests against the Wildcats.  

College Basketball Pick – Wisconsin by 6. 

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