Week 9 College Basketball Picks by KY


Hope everyone had a great holiday and is having a good start to their return to work. We are here in week 9, the official start of conference play moving forward, which is always a bit easier to measure in my opinion. Below are my picks for the next week, spreads pending! Please follow @PicksbyKY on Twitter for daily bets. Let’s get to it.


Charleston @ Towson 12/31 11:00am CST

Charleston has been one of the surprises of the year sitting at 12-1. This record includes impressive wins against Kent State, Virginia Tech, Colorado State, Davidson, and Richmond. Although all those games were at home, I trust them on the road here on what should be a small spread, especially since they’re shooting 75.3% from the free throw line which ranks #44 in the country.

On the flip side of things, after a very hot start from Towson going 8-1, which included nice wins against South Alabama on a neutral, at Penn, and at Umass, they’ve completely fell apart. They’ve now lost four straight, one of which being at home and another on a neutral court. Those two losses come against very mediocre teams in Navy (#195 in KenPom) at home and Northern Iowa (#167 in KenPom) on a neutral court. At this point its going to be hard to trust them at my estimated line since they’re currently sitting #225 in the country at the line, shooting a horrific 69.4%.

I’ve got this set at a pick em but would take Charleston to -3.


Sam Houston State @ New Mexico State 12/31 5:00pm CST

New Mexico State has to be the team with the most appearances in my articles so far and it’s not a good thing. Here we are again, betting against them. Sam Houston State has a huge game tonight (12/27) against Utah Valley so this line could move in either direction, although it shouldn’t be much as it’s a pretty even matchup.

Both of these teams rank in the top 25 in three-point percentage, Sam Houston sitting at #19 (38.9%) and New Mexico State at #23 (38.6%). The big difference I see between these two is in three-point defense and offensive rebounding efficiency (You’ll notice this is very important to me, I’ve adjusted things a bit when researching and this is something I’ve come to pay attention to more so than other factors).

While New Mexico State is great at shooting the trey, Sam Houston State is actually decent at defending it ranking #79 in the country at 31%. On the flip side of things, the Aggies rank #192 at 33.9% and have given up 37.6% the past three. Another thing I like to see giving Sam Houston an advantage is their offensive rebounding percentage where they rank #47 at 32% (34.5% their last three) and their opponent this game ranks #194 at 26% (30.9% their last three).

All in all, I see this falling at Sam Houston State at -2 and would take it to -3.


New Mexico @ Fresno State 1/3 10:00pm CST

Not sure when New Mexico is going to start to get national recognition but it should happen sooner rather than later. They’re coming off a nineteen-point win over Colorado State where they were favored by six to remain undefeated at 13-0. This is yet another matchup in their favor next week against the Bulldogs.

New Mexico’s guard combo of Jaelen House and Jamal Mashburn Jr. continues to dominate with 45 points combined their last outing on nine for fourteen from beyond the arc, 64%! This is going to be tough for Fresno State to keep up with, sitting at 342nd in the country at their own three-point percentage.

Fresno State’s adjusted offense ranks 234th in the nation which doesn’t bode well going up against a team that has only scored below seventy points TWICE this year. That’s right, New Mexico has only scored under 70 points twice this year and one of those was against Saint Mary’s, the #9 ranked adjusted defense and it was at their place, scoring a putrid 69 (Nice).

New Mexico should also have the offensive rebounding advantage coming in at 28% (148th) and 32.5% their last three, whereas Fresno State comes in at 24.5% (236th) and 19.8% their last three. For cover purposes we can be comfortable with New Mexico at the free throw line ranking in the top one hundred at 73.4%.

I set this line at New Mexico -6 and would take it all the way to -8.


UNC Asheville @ High Point 1/4 2:00pm CST

As I write this High Point is coming off a couple of tough losses, losing three in a row. Fortunately, two of those were away and one was at home against a tough Queens team, giving them their first home loss on the year. We are going back to the well with High point at home looking for a bounce back.

High Point may not have a bunch of statistics to back them up but this team continues to win. A lot of this is due to Jaden House pouring in 21.2 points per game, 4.8 rebounds per game, and shooting 46.1% from the field. Adding to the mix are Abdoulaye Thiam and Zach Austin who give them 14.7 and 14.4 points per game and having three players averaging more than fourteen points per game is massive.

One of the big factors in UNC Asheville’s offense is the threat from deep. They’re currently 31st in the country at 38%, although the past three games have been 35.8%. Why this doesn’t sway much for me is because High Point ranks even better in defensive three-point percentage at 28.2% and this gets even better at home at 26.9%!

I set this at High Point -3.5 and I would want -4 or better here.


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