It’s already February, meaning that March Madness is right around the corner! There are some great matchups this week starting on Thursday when one of the top rivals in college hoops, North Carolina versus Duke, takes place at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Can Duke get its season back on track against the Tar Heels? Also, who wins when Villanova battles Xavier in a key Big East throw down on Saturday? Also on Saturday, the top team in the nation, the Gonzaga Bulldogs, travel to Moraga, CA to battle the ranked St. Mary’s Gaels!
NCAA Basketball Picks Feb 6th – 12th
#12 North Carolina at #21 Duke
When: Thursday, Feb. 9 at 8:00 pm ET
Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, NC
Analysis: North Carolina is only 1 and 6 against the spread in away games this season. The Tar Heels, like every opponent, don’t often get it done versus Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
But, this season’s Duke team, which was a consensus number one pick before the season started, hasn’t gelled yet while North Carolina has one of the more experienced point-guards in the nation in Joel Berry II.
JB II averages 15 points over 3 boards, and 4 assists per. He runs Roy Williams’ system to perfection. Although Duke has some players, the fact that the Blue Devils haven’t put it all together yet, gives the edge to the experienced Tar Heels.
I like NC against the spread. Duke is only 9-13 ATS, and 5-6 ATS at home on the season. North Carolina can beat Duke on the road this Thursday.
Pick: North Carolina SU
#4 Villanova at Xavier
When: Saturday, Feb. 11 at 2:30 pm ET
Where: Cintas Center, Cincinnati, OH
Analysis: Unranked Xavier has figured out how to play and win without star Edmond Sumner. The way that Xavier is winning is by putting the ball into the hands of Trevor Bluiett. Bluiett averages close to 19 points per game for the Musketeers.
But Bluiett and Xavier battle defending champion Villanova and Player of the Year candidate Josh Hart on Saturday. Do the Musketeers have any shot against the Wildcats on Feb. 11?
Not really. It’s going to be tough for Xavier to win the game outright. Villanova is loaded for another championship run this season. Losing straight up, doesn’t mean that Xavier loses against the spread in this, though.
Villanova has gone 0 and 5 ATS in their past 5 games to start the week. Xavier is the pick ATS while Villanova is the pick to win this straight up.
Pick: Villanova ATS
#1 Gonzaga at #18 St. Mary’s
When: Saturday, Feb. 11 at 8:15 pm ET
Where: McKeon Pavilion, Moraga, CA
Analysis: There are some strong teams out West this season. Arizona is ranked 5, UCLA is ranked 11, Oregon is ranked 13, and St. Mary’s is ranked 18. Then, there’s the Gonzaga Bulldogs who are undefeated at 22 and 0 and ranked first in the nation.
Gonzaga plays like a team that deserves their ranking. The Bulldogs beat Florida and Arizona earlier in this season. Arizona has turned into one of the top teams in the nation. Not only that, but the Bulldogs cover spreads with regularity.
The Zags are 16 and 4 ATS this season. Gonzaga already trounced St. Mary’s in 2017. On Jan. 14, the Zags dominated the Gaels 76 to 53. Although St. Mary’s battles their rivals at home on Saturday, it’s hard to see the Gaels having any luck straight-up or against the spread in this matchup.