Smart Money NCAA College Basketball Picks For 2/27/2021

February 27, 2021by Lobo Grande0
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Smart Money NCAA College Basketball Picks For 2/27/2021

Smart Money NCAA College Basketball Picks For 2/27/2021: Joseph Girard III vs. Jose Alvarado - Syracuse Orange vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

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One of the final massive Saturday slates before things get really real. Tons of things are still left to be figured out, so let’s jump right into what should be a great day of college basketball. We'll start with a Big Ten matchup between the Illinois Fighting Illini and Wisconsin Badgers, then move to the ACC for a matchup between the Syracuse Orange and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

Illinois Fighting Illini @ Wisconsin Badgers: Wisconsin -4.5 (-110)

Illinois heading to Wisconsin should provide one of the better matchups of the day. The latest Bracketology has Illinois slated as a 2-seed, and Wisconsin a 5. Whether or not Wisconsin is deserving of that 5-seed or not is debatable, but we’re not here to talk about that right now.

What we are here to talk about is this matchup and why I think Wisconsin covers this spread today.

You know I invest a lot of stock into trends and data, which would lead anyone who does a little bit of research to believe that I’d probably lean towards Illinois in this game. They are the superior team ATS, both at home and on the road, and have had their way with the Big Ten, this year covering 11 of 17 games.

However, they are now without their best player, Ayo Dosunmu. Dosunmu leads the team in minutes, points, and assists. This will be his second game in a row out of the lineup. The Illini did fine in his absence against last place Nebraska. But I need to see them prove they can play well without him against a more formidable opponent. Needless to say, this is a tough loss for them and opens up a substantial opportunity for Wisconsin.

If there’s ever a time for the Badgers to cement their case for a solid tournament seed, it’s today. And did I mention it’s Senior Day? That always helps too.

The name of the game today is turnovers. Wisconsin leads the nation in turnovers per game, averaging only 9 per contest. Illinois averages over 13 per game. If the Badgers can play a clean game on their home floor against a beat-up opponent, I don’t think they’ll have a problem covering 4.5.

The Pick: Wisconsin -4.5 (-110)

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Syracuse Orange @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: Georgia Tech -4.5 (+110)

We’re in late February, which to many people just means that winter is hopefully coming to an end soon and maybe it’s time to start picking out those spring outfits. To other people, it signifies a crucial stretch of the college basketball season where teams have a chance to make their final impressions and make or break their seasons. No pressure, right?

Well, Georgia Tech finds themselves in one of those positions today. Sitting squarely on The Bubble, there is simply no room for error for them right now. And today, they host Syracuse on their home floor in an afternoon game that is an absolute must-win.

Georgia Tech is the better of these two teams in my opinion. And the extra motivation in this one should hopefully give them the edge here. But, that isn’t always enough so I’ve looked beyond just the narrative to find support for why I like them today.

First, they have covered their last four games. They are getting hot at the right time and will look to continue riding that streak today.

Second, they are a sneaky, efficient team. They shoot high percentages from just about everywhere on the floor. They also protect the basketball really well, averaging just 11 turnovers per game. In a must-win home game late in February, keeping your possessions and shooting high percentages are absolutely key.

If you’re more comfortable throwing them into a teaser or just riding the moneyline with the juice, I certainly can’t argue with you. But I think they have enough riding on this game that they can put together a cover. If not, it’s a red flag that I’ll have my eye on for future games to come.

The Pick: Georgia Tech -4.5 (+110)

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