Week 8 College Basketball Picks by KY


Welcome back to Week 8 in college basketball. We are already almost into conference play where things on the betting side of things tend to get a bit easier. With the holiday season upon us, the slate for Friday-Tuesday is very small, which gives me a two-day window to pick from so they’ll all be late next week. Please follow @PicksbyKY for any daily updates regarding the games below and happy holidays!


Wichita State @ UCF 12/28 6:00pm CST

I have loved what I’ve seen from UCF this year. They’re currently shooting 37.8% from three (#37 in the country) and 71.6% from the free throw line which are both great numbers thus far. Their leading scorer is their freshman phenom, Taylor Hendricks, who’s averaging 15.3 points per game, 7 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, while shooting 76.3% from the foul line and 46% from three. He is mister do it all and I’m not sure who Wichita State expects to guard him.

Although Wichita State plays good defense (#41 in the country in adjusted defense according to KenPom), their offense is a huge struggle. They currently rank 190th in adjusted offense while shooting 28.8% from three. Not only that, but unfortunately for them, UCF ranks even better at #34 in adjusted defense.

I set the line at UCF -6 and would be willing to go to -7.


Colorado State @ New Mexico 12/28 8:00pm CST

New Mexico has been nothing but impressive so far this year sitting at 12-0 with wins over Iona, San Francisco, and at Saint Mary’s. They're led in the back court by Jamal Mashburn Jr. with 16.8 points per game and Jaelen House 16.4 with points per game. But the biggest and best surprise has been their forward Morris Udeze, transfer from Wichita State. He’s dumping in 17.5 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per game.

These three pieces make it tough on any team they play. To make things worse Colorado State ranks 194th in three-point percentage defense and their last three games would have them ranked 358th. This doesn’t bode well with Mashburn and House combining to shoot 41.45% from beyond the arc.

I have New Mexico set at -5 and would take it to -6.


Southern Utah @ New Mexico State 12/28 8:00pm CST

This game will be based on what the line is set on. This Southern Utah team has been great as road underdogs, sitting at 2-0-1, including covers at Kansas and at Colorado. This is a situation where once again they’ll be large underdogs in my opinion so I like the setup for them. They are led by Tevian Jones who’s pouring in 19.8 points per game, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game.

New Mexico State has great three-point defense, but Southern Utah already shoots poorly from distance at 32%. What worries me about them is their rebounding (223rd in rebound percentage), and when they’ve played better opponents their last three games their three-point percentage dropped from 38.7% average all the way to 28.3%.

I set the spread at New Mexico State -8.5 and I would take Southern Utah at +7 or better.


High Point @ Longwood 12/29 2:00pm CST

High Point has had a rough go of it the past three games, losing against Queens at home, and UNC Wilmington and East Carolina on the road. In two of those games, they shot 27% and 8% from three, which is well below their 32% average on the year. Along with this, Longwood is ranked #232 in three points % defense, so I’m looking for High Point’s shooting to bounce back.

The other reason I like High Point in this spot is they’re going to be pretty large underdogs against a Longwood team who has yet to beat a team ranked better that #279 in KenPom. That’s right, Longwood’s best win this year is at Citadel by five.

I see this spread being -7 for Longwood. I would take High Point at +5 or better.


Wright State @ Northern Kentucky 12/29 6:00 pm CST

There’s just something about Northern Kentucky at home, especially in Horizon play. The issue is, you don’t want them favored by too much as they tend to pull out the victory barely. So far, four of their home wins are by 3, 4, 4, and 8 (favored by 10). Fortunately, this won’t be one of those situations.

Northern Kentucky sees increases in several categories at home, by a large percentage. Their rebounding percentage jumps from 40.4% to 51.9%, their free throw percentage goes from a putrid 61.4% to 70.4%, and they’re 7-1 this year at home on the money line, their one loss coming against one of the best mid majors in Kent State.

It depends if the books give as much credit to N. Kentucky at home as I do, but I don’t think they will. I would set this at Northern Kentucky -1.5 and would only take it up to -3

Goodluck to all of your sports gambling this weekend and as always please follow @PicksbyKY on Twitter for daily bets.