Top College Basketball Picks for Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

Top College Basketball Picks for Wednesday, January 13th, 2021
Tue 12th January 2021

Notre Dame vs Virginia 

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish meet the #18 Virginia Cavaliers for the second time this season. Back on December 30, the Cavaliers easily outlasted the Fighting Irish as 7-point road favorites, 66-57, tallying their 10th victory in the last 11 encounters with Notre Dame.  

The Cavaliers had a decent lead for all 40 minutes at Purcell Pavilion, making 46.6% of their field goals while controlling the glass and allowing just three offensive rebounds to their opponents. The Fighting Irish hit just five triples out of 20 attempts, though it’s fair to say that they played some solid defense and nearly covered the spread. 

Notre Dame has the 30th-best offensive rating in the country (111.4), but the Fighting Irish surrender 103.0 points in a return (194th). Their defense is a big issue, so the Irish are 3-7 on the season and 0-4 in the conference play, dropping five of their last six games overall. Also, they’ve failed to cover the spread in five straight outings.  

Virginia has the 34th-best offensive rating of 110.9 points per 100 possessions. The Cavaliers allow only 90.0 in a return (10th) while playing at the slowest pace in the country. They average 58.7 possessions per 40 minutes which is completely ridiculous and can hurt their ATS backers from time to time. 

Still, we have to go with the Cavaliers in this one. They are on a three-game win streak, covering twice in the process. Even though the Cavaliers are 0-4 ATS following an ATS win, they went 11-5-1 ATS over their last 17 games overall and 5-2 ATS over the previous seven on the home court. 

Virginia shouldn’t have any problems beating Notre Dame once more, but covering a double-digit spread could be a tricky task. 

College basketball pick – Virginia by 11. 

Northwestern vs Ohio State 

We are not going to overthink this one, as the #21 Ohio State Buckeyes will be fired up to get revenge for a 71-70 loss at Northwestern on December 26, 2020. Since then, it’s been a bumpy road for the Wildcats who are on a three-game losing streak, while the Buckeyes have won two of their three contests along with a 77-60 defeat at Minnesota. 

Both Ohio State and Northwestern are 3-3 in the Big Ten play. The Buckeyes are 9-3 overall, and all their three losses came on the road. Ohio State has won 12 consecutive games at home, covering ten times in that span, and we expect this trend to continue. 

While the Wildcats rank outside of the top 50 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, the Buckeyes possess the ninth-highest scoring offense in the country. In that narrow loss at Northwestern, the Buckeyes shot only 20.0% from beyond the arc and blew a seven-point lead down the stretch. 

The Wildcats played some really tough teams over the last two weeks. They suffered three heavy losses to #10 Iowa, #16 Michigan, and #12 Illinois, allowing 81 or more points on all three occasions. 

College basketball pick – Ohio State by 8. 

Louisville vs Wake Forest 

The #16 Louisville Cardinals are back in the AP Top 25 Poll after defeating the #19 Virginia Tech Hokies 73-71 as 3.5-point home favorites this past Wednesday. It was their fourth straight victory, and the Cardinals will look to extend their streak as firm road favorites at Wake Forest. 

Louisville is 8-1 on the season and 3-0 in the conference play, sitting atop of the ACC standings. On the other side, Wake Forest is 3-3 overall and 0-3 in the conference play, riding a three-game losing streak. The Demon Deacons have just wrapped up a three-game road trip with a 79-68 loss at Duke. 

The Cardinals are No. 26 in the latest NCAA NET Rankings. They need to continue with a strong performance on both sides of the ball, and the Cardinals rank 25th in the country in points allowed per 100 possessions (91.9) and 32nd in opponent field goal percentage (39.1%). 

Louisville scores 110.6 points per 100 possessions (40th) which should be just enough against the Demon Deacons who rank outside of the top 100 in both defensive and offensive efficiency. The Cardinals have won five of their last six encounters with the Demon Deacons and are 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS over the previous three. 

College basketball pick – Louisville by 6. 

Texas Tech vs Texas 

The Big 12 Conference showdown between the #15 Texas Tech Red Raiders and #4 Texas Longhorns will be a joy to watch. The Longhorns have the fourth-best defensive rating in the nation (87.9), while the Red Raiders are right behind them with 88.5 points allowed per 100 possessions. On paper, the Longhorns have a better offense than Texas Tech which could be a key factor Wednesday night. 

Texas possesses a few excellent NBA prospects including freshman forward Greg Brown (12.0 PPG, 7.9 RPG). Four guys average points in double figures, and senior guard Matt Coleman leads the way with 13.6 points, 3.2 boards, and 4.4 assists in 35.1 minutes on the floor per game. 

The Longhorns are 10-1 overall and 4-0 in the conference play, rolling on a six-game win streak. Over their last three showings, the Longhorns outlasted #3 Kansas 84-59 and #14 West Virginia 72-70 on the road, so we expect them to put on another strong display when they welcome Texas Tech. 

The Red Raiders (10-3; 3-2 Conf.) haven’t met a top-25 team since a 58-57 defeat to #5 Kansas on December 17. They are 4-1 SU and 1-4 ATS in the last five outings, coming off an emphatic 91-64 victory at Iowa State. 

Texas Tech is a terrific defensive team. However, they lack height and strength to cope with the Longhorns, and we think the visitors will struggle mightily on the offensive end. Therefore, give us the Longhorns to cover. 

College basketball pick – Texas by 3.

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