Free College Basketball Picks Tuesday 2/18/2020 and Opening Line Report
Tuesday's college basketball slate will answer plenty of questions to start off the week. Penn State will put their eight-game winning streak on the line, while West Virginia seeks their first win since February 5. Dayton and Baylor will look to extend their winning streaks in conference play, while the Big East and SEC will provide with two big ranked matchups that you won't want to miss. Here are the early leans for February 18's action.
Illinois vs. Penn State 2/18/20 (-7, 140)
Everything was going well for Illinois about two weeks ago. Since then, Illinois has lost four straight games to Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State and Rutgers. Illinois was tied with Maryland for first place in that matchup. Illinois sits at 8-6 in conference play now and is below five teams in the conference standings. Penn State, on the other hand, has won eight straight games and is just one game out of first place. Penn State is 13-1 at home this season and is playing their best basketball in the second portion of conference play. Rutgers destroyed Illinois at home. Now it's Penn State's turn.
Key trends: Illinois is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games played in February.
Early lean: Penn State, Under
Oklahoma State vs. West Virginia 2/18/20 (-11, 135)
Just like Illinois, West Virginia has had a pretty ugly two weeks. WVU has lost three straight against Oklahoma, Kansas and Baylor. Those losses prove that West Virginia isn't a top team in the Big 12, point blank. Oklahoma State has won three of their last four games after defeating Texas Tech at home, 73-70. Oklahoma State will look to stay above .500 on the road against a WVU team that needs a win to salvage the season. Another loss here would really hurt West Virginia's chances at a top-four seed in the NCAA Tournament. It's only February, but this is a must win for WVU after losing their last three straight. Take WVU at home.
Key trends: Oklahoma State is 3-4 ATS as an away underdog this season.
Early lean: West Virginia, Over
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Pittsburgh vs. Florida State 2/18/20 (-11.5, 135)
Which Pittsburgh are we getting? The team that beat Georgia Tech at home or the team that has lost three of their last four games to Notre Dame, Clemson and Virginia Tech? Pittsburgh has struggled to score this season, averaging 65.8 points per game. They'll take on a Florida State team at home that averages 10 more points and allows almost the same amount of points defensively. Florida State shoots 45.6 percent from the field and have scored 99 and 80 points in their last two home games. Look for FSU to shoot lights out and defend well against Pittsburgh for the win.
Key trends: 17-4-1 ATS in their last 22 Tuesday games.
Early lean: Florida State, Over
Northwestern vs. Maryland 2/18/20 (-15, 129.5)
This game won't even be fair. Northwestern has lost nine straight, while Maryland has won eight straight games. Northwestern has had good halves, but they just haven't been able to finish off the job. Maryland has finished the job, and they've been excellent down the stretch. The difference in this game will be rebounding. Maryland will destroy Northwestern on the glass. Both teams shoot about the same percentage from the field. Don't be surprised if Northwestern comes out shooting well. I like Northwestern to stick in this game but ultimately lose. Give me Northwestern on the spread.
Key trends: Northwestern is 5-4 as an away underdog this season.
Early lean: Northwestern, Under
Dayton vs. VCU 2/18/20 (+3.5, 144.5)
Every time we think Dayton could tumble and lose an A-10 game, we're wrong. Dayton has survived Duquesne, St. Louis, and Rhode Island. They've also survived VCU at home, winning the first contest, 79-65. What's changed since then? Nothing. Dayton has been incredible and can't be stopped. Except, they'll be on the road for this game against VCU. VCU has lost two straight games and can really get back on track with a win at home. VCU has had its ups and downs this season. On January 28, VCU defeated a tough Richmond team, 87-68, but have since dropped three of their last four games, including a loss to Richmond on the road, 77-59. VCU has been much better at home this season and have kept things close for the most part at home. I'm just not sold that VCU can keep it close against Dayton.
Key trends: VCU Rams are 9-16-0 against the spread this season.
Early lean: Dayton, Under
Creighton vs. Marquette 2/18/20 (-3.5, 153.5)
We've got a duel between two ranked teams in the Big East. Creighton has won three straight games over St. John's, Seton Hall and DePaul. Creighton has looked very good recently and they'll take on Marquette. Marquette lost a one-point battle to Villanova, which ended a three-game winning streak. Marquette has won their last two home contests and defeated Butler, 76-57, in their last home game. Creighton shoots 47 percent to Marquette's 42.7 percent. However, as long as Marquette shoots a little better at home, they will be able to sneak by in the final seconds. This will be a tight and exciting finish. Buckle up!
Key trends: Marquette is 9-4 ATS at home this season.
Early lean: Marquette, Over
Baylor vs. Oklahoma 2/18/20 (+2.5, 133.5)
Baylor, through 24 games, is allowing teams to score 58.4 points per game. Baylor's defense has been incredible this season. When you mix that kind of defense with 71.5 points per game, you'll get good results. Baylor has won 22 straight games and will have a tough matchup against an Oklahoma team that has won two of their last three games after beating WVU and Iowa State by 29 before dropping an 87-70 loss to Kansas on the road. Oklahoma will likely be held to a solid 60 points in this game, while Baylor will put up over 70 points. I like Baylor to win against the spread on the road.
Key trends: Baylor is 15-7 ATS after a straight up win this season.
Early lean: Baylor, Over
Kentucky vs. LSU 2/18/20 (-1.5, 152.5)
Kentucky will take on LSU in another matchup between two ranked opponents. Kentucky has won four straight games, but it hasn't been easy. Kentucky has fallen behind in many of these contests and clawed their way back in the game. Ironically enough, LSU has blown plenty of leads late in games after leading by plenty of points. LSU will win the first half, but Kentucky will win the second half. LSU has done a decent job closing games at home, even when almost losing leads. I'll take LSU at home to get the job done. I hope you have nails after this game is over.
Key trends: Kentucky is 8-11 ATS after a straight up win this season.
Early lean: LSU, Over
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