NCAA Men’s Basketball Previews, Picks and Predictions for Monday, Feb. 28

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NCAA Men’s Basketball Previews, Picks and Predictions for Monday, Feb. 28
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Here is tonight's 3-pointer, college basketball betting advice on three NCAA men's games.

Northwestern vs. Iowa

  • Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City, Iowa
  • 8 p.m. ET

The Iowa Hawkeyes are in the Top 25 for the first time this season and hope to stay there as they host Northwestern tonight.

Iowa has the fourth-best scoring offense in the nation, led by Keegan Murray, and that firepower should overwhelm the Northwestern defense. The Hawkeyes average 83.8 points per game and have the top scoring offense in the Big Ten.

Chris Collins is rumored to be out as Northwestern’s coach after he has failed to get the Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament in more than five seasons.

Iowa is no longer a one-man offense in Murray, who is averaging 23.2 points per game and just behind Bryant University’s Peter Kiss as the nation's top scorer. Guard Tony Perkins is fully recovered from his shoulder injury and is coming off a 20-point effort against Nebraska last Friday.

The Hawkeyes have a difficult-to-defend inside-outside combination with Forward Peter Nance and a deep rotation of excellent ball-handling guards. Iowa ranks best in the nation in ball handling, sporting a 1.806 assist to turnover ratio.

Northwestern sports a horrid 0.99 defensive assist to turnover ratio that ranks 220 of the 358 Division-I programs.

Trends and Angles Supporting Iowa

Northwestern is 4-15 ATS when facing excellent ball-handling teams averaging 12 or fewer turnovers per game.

Iowa is 17-3-1 ATS in home games when facing faster-paced teams that are averaging 62 or more shots per game and 22-6 ATS following a road game spanning the past three seasons.

My bet is on Iowa minus the points.

Oregon State vs. Washington State

  • Gill Coliseum, Corvallis, Oregon
  • 11 p.m. ET

The Washington State Cougars travel to play the Oregon State Beavers in a late-night Pac-12 matchup tonight. It is the first of a back-to-back. Tuesday, the two meet at Pullman, Washington, to make up a COVID-19 canceled game.

The Beavers have won just three games this season, so this two-game set gives the Cougars a chance to improve their seed in the PAC-12 Tournament. They are currently seventh after losing six of their past seven games.

Washington State has gone 2-5 against the spread in those seven games and most recently lost to in-state rival Washington as four-point road favorites.

The offense has gone ice cold, with the Cougars shooting 35% or better from the field in just one of their past seven games. However, they should shoot better against one of the worst defenses in the nation. The Beavers have allowed 45% or better shooting in nine of their past 10 games and over 50% in seven of those 10 games.

Oregon State ranks 322 among the 358 Division-I teams by allowing 77.2 points per game.

Trends and Angles Supporting Washington State

Oregon State is 6-19-1 against the spread in all games and 3-10 ATS following two or more conference games.

Washington State is 9-1 ATS after failing to cover the spread in two or more consecutive games over the past two seasons.

I like the Washington State Cougars in this matchup.

Massachusetts vs. Fordham

  • Rose Hill Gymnasium, Bronx, New York
  • 7 p.m. ET

The Fordham University Rams will try to get to .500 when they play host to the Massachusetts Minutemen tonight.

The Rams are 8-4 straight-up and 9-2 against the spread in home games this season. UMass is 3-10 straight up and 4-9 against the spread in their road games this season.

UMass is 2-3 straight up and 0-5 against the number allowing 50% or higher shooting in three of their past five games.

In their most recent game, the Rams were overwhelmed by Atlantic-10 leader Davidson 66-45 and failed to cover the spread as 13-point road underdogs.

UMass is coming off a 77-62 home loss to Virginia Commonwealth and failed to cover the spread as a 6.5-point home dog.

The Rams’ defense has allowed 40% or worse opponent shooting in four of their past five games. Fordham has significant matchup advantages at both ends of the court.

Trends and Angles Supporting Fordham

The Rams are 7-1 ATS in home games following a conference game this season.

Fordham is 15-6 ATS after a double-digit loss over the past three seasons and 7-1 ATS when facing a team that is averaging 14 or fewer turnovers per game this season.

Fordham is a -2 favorite and I like Fordham to cover the spread and would not be surprised if it wins by double digits.

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John Ryan

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