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3 SATURDAY COLLEGE BASKETBALL PICKS THAT START BEFORE 3:00 EASTERN


Penn St vs Maryland


This is another one of those spots where I have to be careful about overreacting. I took Penn State at home against Wisconsin on Wednesday and they fell woefully short. After watching that game I still think Wisconsin is not very good, which makes it a really bad look for Penn State. The number may seem wide today against Maryland, but I think there's good reason for backing the Terps.


Penn State is just 2-5 ATS away from home while Maryland is 10-3 ATS at the XFINITY Center. What's even more impressive is their margin of victory at home in conference. They beat a very good Indiana team by 11, Nebraska by 19, Wisconsin by 18, Michigan by 6, and Ohio State by 7. Meanwhile, in Penn State's most recent away games they lost to lowly Nebraska by 9, Purdue by 20, and Rutgers by 19.


All signs point to this being a double-digit win for Maryland. I'd take anything below that.


Pick: Maryland -8 (-110) DraftKings




Denver University vs North Dakota State


Here's another big home favorite to start the day. I promise I'm not just picking them because I was born just a few miles from campus, I have other reasons.


In the first game between these two NDSU dominated on the way to a 90-70 victory in Denver. Now Denver has to travel to Fargo for the rematch.


Away from home in conference, Denver has lost by 23, 10, 61, 15, 17, and 10. They just aren't competitive most of the time. The one outlier was a 15-point win over South Dakota. That's a good win, but it also looks like an anomaly. At home in conference this year NDSU has won by 36, 16, 12, and 6. They did lose by 2 to UMKC and 23 to Oral Roberts, but those are two of the best teams the conference has to offer, and Denver is not that.


Similarly to Maryland, all signs point to a double-digit win for NDSU here and I'm happy to lay anything short of that.


Pick: North Dakota State -9.5 (-102) FanDuel




Fordham vs Davidson


We round out the early picks with a matchup in the Patriot League. Fordham goes to Davidson where they are 5.5-point dogs. In the first game, Fordham got the better of Davidson by 6.


Home court advantage is a big deal, especially in conference play, but Davidson is only 3-7 ATS at home and 1-5 straight up at home in conference play. Fordham is 3-2 in conference play, so they've been able to play well even on the road.


In addition, Fordham has been on a bit of a run recently. They're 7-2 in their last 9 games including a nice 10-point win over St. Louis. Davidson has not fared so well, going only 2-8 in their last 10 games, though the majority of those have been against the best teams in the conference.


I think this is a decent spot for Davidson to come out and play well, I just think the spread is too much. I like Davidson to win a close, 2-point game, so I'll back the road team with the points.


Pick: Fordham +5.5 (-114) FanDuel

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