NCAA Basketball Odds: Thursday College Basketball Picks 2/16/12

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On Thursday, there are a handful of games on the college basketball television schedule that we have circled that should be good ones. Check out our NCAA basketball picks for Thursday!

College Basketball Matchup: Wisconsin Badgers @ Michigan State Spartans
Date: Thursday, February 16th, 7:00 ET
Location: Jack Breslin Student Events Center, East Lansing, MI
College Basketball Odds: Michigan State -6
College Basketball TV Schedule: ESPN, ESPN3.com

The standings in the Big Ten are quite tight at the top, and this is going to be one of those defining games to both of these teams’ seasons. Neither one is sweating out March Madness, but both think that they are going to have a shot at a very high seed in the dance. The winner is obviously going to be in a bit better shape than the loser. In the end, Michigan State’s 20-3 run over its last 23 games is far more impressive than even Wisconsin’s 6-2 record on the road this year. Remember that the Spartans haven’t lost a game at the Breslin Center all season long. Don’t look for that to change on Thursday night.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Michigan State -6

College Basketball Matchup: Virginia Tech Hokies @ Florida State Seminoles
Date: Thursday, February 16th, 7:00 ET
Location: Donald L. Tucker Center, Tallahassee, FL
College Basketball Odds: Florida State -9.5
College Basketball TV Schedule: ESPN2, ESPN3.com

Florida State is going to still need some wins to get into the NCAA Tournament this year, and Head Coach Leonard Hamilton knows it. This is the type of game that should be won and should be won handily, especially against a team that almost certainly isn’t going to be dancing this year. V-Tech would need to go on a big time run, and this is a game that almost is a must win. The Hokies are just 1-10 ATS in their last 11 games overall though, and the home team is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings in this series. FSU gets a double digit victory with its stout defense on Thursday night.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Florida State -9.5

College Basketball Matchup: Gonzaga Bulldogs @ Santa Clara Broncos
Date: Thursday, February 16th, 11:00 ET
Location: Leavey Center, Santa Clara, CA
College Basketball Odds: Gonzaga -13.5
College Basketball TV Schedule: ESPN2, ESPN3.com

There are plenty of reasons to think that the Zags are just going to run away with this game. The first is the obvious one. Santa Clara hasn’t won a game in conference play this year, and it is getting outscored by double digits in these conference tussles. We also have to remember that the Zags are clearly going to be a tourney team this year, while the Broncos have clearly been the biggest train wreck in the West Coast Conference. However, this is a ton of points to be giving a team that has some offensive potential. Santa Clara is averaging over 70 points per game this year, and we have to remember that this is the equivalent of the Super Bowl. The Bulldogs have been known to struggle at times in games like this one, and this could be a dangerous spot if they let the Broncos hang for the opening 10 minutes or so.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Santa Clara +13.5

College Basketball Matchup: Vanderbilt Commodores @ Ole Miss Rebels
Date: Thursday, February 16th, 9:00 ET
Location: CM Tad Smith Coliseum, Oxford, MS
College Basketball Odds: Vanderbilt -4
College Basketball TV Schedule: ESPN2, ESPN3.com

The Rebels badly need this game if they are going to stick around on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament. The Commodores have been a good road team this year, but in the end, they have a brutal schedule in front of them, and losing this one might ultimately make them a bit more of a bubble team than they would have bargained for. As it is, the Dores have lost three out of four. Ole Miss has dropped three out of five to really put itself in bad shape for March Madness, but we just don’t trust this Vandy team in this spot. John Jenkins isn’t going to be able to do it all by himself. We like the Rebs for the upset on Thursday night.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Ole Miss +4

College Basketball Matchup: West Virginia Mountaineers @ Pittsburgh Panthers
Date: Thursday, February 16th, 9:00 ET
Location: Petersen Events Center, Pittsburgh, PA
College Basketball Odds: Pittsburgh -3
College Basketball TV Schedule: ESPN2, ESPN3.com

The time is really here for the Mountaineers to figure out whether they are going to be an NCAA Tournament team or not this year. They have some great wins to their credit, but their only win since January 21st was an overtime victory against the lowly Providence Friars. This is the type of game that could, lest probably should be won. The Panthers figured out how to turn the corner at the end of January, but they have been beaten in back to back road games. The question is whether there is still one more kick in this U-Pitt squad or not. If there is, this is the type of win that all of a sudden might put the team back into at least some sort of consideration for the NCAA Tournament. Don’t be shocked if the Panthers get the job done with ease against a Mountaineers outfit that looks like it has had it.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Pittsburgh -3

Lou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Cappersinfo.com Sports Handicapping Community. He's been writing and posting free picks and sports handicapping strategies on the Cappersinfo forums and website for 15 years now. He enjoys handicapping just as much as he did from the very first day he built the original Cappersinfo website.

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