NCAA Men’s Basketball Previews, Picks and Predictions for Friday, Feb. 18

NCAA Men’s Basketball Previews, Picks and Predictions for Friday, Feb. 18
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Here is tonight's 3-pointer, college basketball betting advice on three NCAA men's college basketball games.

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Butler vs St. Johns

  • Carnesecca Arena
  • 5 p.m. ET Tip

The St. Johns Red Storm is coming off a tremendous 86-73 road win over Big East Conference for Xavier and look to add another win to their Tournament resume against the Butler Bulldogs at the Carnesecca Arena, Jamaica, New York.

St. John’s is 14-11 straight-up and 13-12 against the spread (ATS). They shot 54% from the field in defeating Xavier on Wednesday.

It was the Red Storm's highest field goal percentage in a conference game and the seventh time this season they shot at least 50%. They also handed out 24 assists, their second-highest total of the season, which underscores how well the Red Storm is executing on offense.

The Red Storm is averaging 78.8 points per game, with an average of 38.1 points coming in the first half of their games this season.

Butler is a money-burning 3-11 ATS when taking on an opponent averaging 77 or more points per game.

Butler has been the darlings of the sports bettors that backed them recently as they sport a 4-1 ATS record over their past five games.

Caution, though, should be considered for that trend to continue noting they are just 2-10 ATS under coach LaVall Jordan after having covered the spread in four of their last five games.

I like St. Johns minus the points as a 4% or four-unit wager on a 2-5 grading scale.

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Cornell vs Dartmouth

  • Leede Arena
  • 7 p.m. ET Tip

The Cornell Big Red is 13-8 SU and 13-6 ATS on the season. Dartmouth is 5-15 SU, but a money-making 12-7 ATS, including 4-1 ATS in home games.

The line opened with the Mean Green as a 1-point home favorite and has remained static in early betting action. This is certainly a contrarian wager, given that the home team has a much worse SU record than the visitor.

For the beginning bettor, this may initially appear like a sure bet on the Big Red. Well, perhaps not, as I have learned over 27 years that when you see a line that is not logical, the contrarian side is often the winning bet to make.

This doesn’t work 100% of the time, nor does it even work 60% of the time against the number. Identifying these illogical lines is a vital first step to determining a potential best bet.

The Big Red is on an 0-9 ATS losing streak when coming off two consecutive home games spanning the last three seasons.

I like Dartmouth on the moneyline in this game.

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Minnesota vs Nebraska

  • Pinnacle Bank Arena
  • 9 p.m. ET Tip

Maryland Terrapins have been a money burning 2-10 ATS when taking on an opponent with a losing record over the past two seasons.

Nebraska is on a nice 9-2 against the spread win streak when taking on an opponent that is averaging six or fewer steals per game. Terrapins are averaging 5.9 steals per game.

Here are the head spinners and are clinchers that the Cornhuskers are the right betting side. Maryland is 0-11 ATS following a game in which both them and their opponent did not score more than 65 points over the past two seasons. They are 1-13 ATS following a game that scored 125 or fewer points in total over the past two seasons.

I like Nebraska getting 2.5 points.

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