College Basketball Picks December 5th

College Basketball Picks December 5th

There are twelve Top 25 teams in action on Tuesday. Let’s visit both matchups being played at Madison Square Garden for the Jimmy V Classic. Here are the College Basketball Picks for December 5th.

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College Basketball Picks December 5th

Florida Atlantic vs. Illinois (+3) (O/U 148.5)

Florida Atlantic Owls will face Illinois in the first of two games in the Garden on Tuesday night. Illinois makes the short trip from their game at Rutgers to New York City, and they are bringing their defense with them. The Fighting Illini led the nation in opponent field goal percentage while ranking in the top 10 in scoring defense.

 

The Owls have started the season proving that last year’s run was no fluke. The Owls take a 7-1 start into Madison Square Garden, winning their last five games. The caveat is that they may be without guard Nick Boyd, who has played just three games this season. That will be a stressor for a Florida Atlantic team that has relied on their inside big so heavily – Vlad Goldin and Giancarlo Rosado. 

Both Terrence Shannon Jr. and Coleman Hawkins withdrew their names from the 2023 NBA Draft to run it back for Illinois. This veteran team is the winningest Big 10 team since the 19-’20 season started. Shannon leads the offense, scoring 20 points per game, while Hawkins is making his second start since returning from injury. Illinois will have the edge on the glass and outside shooting. Back the Illini to cover and win outright.

The Pick: Illinois +3 (Sprinkle Moneyline)

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North Carolina vs. UConn (-5) (O/U 153.5)

There has not been a chance to back UConn off of a loss this season, but we’re jumping at this opportunity. UConn coach Bobby Hurley had this game circled for Stephon Castle to make his return for the Huskies. The freshman guard will add the dimension that will give the Tar Heels trouble in the backcourt.

This North Carolina team has shot their way to this hot start this season, scoring just over 86 points per game so far. The problem is that they will have to find a way to do it from outside against this Huskies team. The box score says that Hunter Dickinson scored 15 in Kansas’ matchup against the Huskies but 9 of those points came from deep. Clingan and UConn sport a stout interior defense. 

The guard play will win this battle as Armando Bacot and Donovan Clingan neutralize each other. I’m backing the Huskies to get back to their winning (and covering) ways against the Tar Heels, who have been a bit of fool’s gold to start. Newton, Castle, and Spencer light it up for UConn at the Garden.

The Pick: UConn -5

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