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College basketball picks and predictions for Friday's games from across the country. Matt McCuen gives us his three favorite bets for tonight here.

College Basketball Picks: 3 Best Bets for Friday's Games

I am back today with my three best bets for this beautiful college basketball slate! We are fresh off a big sweep yesterday so let’s carry that momentum into today.

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Friday's College Basketball Picks

St. John's vs. Kansas Prediction

St. John's vs. Kansas Odds

I will be starting with the people’s favorite bet: a first-half under! This first half under you may have to sweat with me, but we will get there. This battle will concern the Kansas Jayhawks making way of the Big 12 and the St. Johns Red Storm representing the Big East. These teams are both set out for high expectations this season and will both be contending when March comes around.

The Kansas Jayhawks come into this game ranked as the number seven team in the nation and will have a tough road test tonight when they take on the St. Johns Red Storm. St Johns returns stars Julian Champengie and Posh Alexander, who will look to shock the nation tonight and knock off Kansas. The play I am going with here will be the first half under 75 (-120). This number is set a tad too high while both of these teams can score the basketball, the Kansas defense will be good enough to get us there. This is a top 25 defense in the nation, and they will be competitive enough to force tough looks for St Johns and limit their overall production on offense. St Johns is a better defense than people give them credit for. While they’re not a top defense in the nation, this is a gritty bunch who competes for every possession.

St. John's vs. Kansas Pick

  • 1H Under 75 (-120) 

Purdue vs. Iowa Prediction

Purdue vs. Iowa Odds

The next pick I am looking at will be a matchup between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Purdue Boilermakers. The Hawkeyes come into this game sporting an unbeaten record as the Purdue Boilermakers also come into this game playing to perfection in the young season. This will be a Big 10 Conference showdown tonight as the Hawkeyes will have their toughest test of the season on the road.

This Purdue team is the best in the nation, as I have said that from the beginning of the season. Purdue has one of the best guards in the country in Jaden Ivery while also having the best big man combo in Trevion Williams and Zach Edy. This experienced bunch led by head coach Matt Painter will be a handful to deal with this season and a handful tonight for the Iowa Hawkeyes. This play will scare many, but we are going back to a first-half under here.

The entire world will see Iowa vs. Purdue and smash the over, but we will sweat this first half under and cash it in here. I believe the total being at 76 is too much for the defense that Purdue can play; the Boilermakers will establish tempo and force Iowa out of their normal run and gun style early in this contest. Be prepared to sweat hard here, but we will cash another one in!

Purdue vs. Iowa Pick

Illinois vs. Rutgers Prediction

Illinois vs. Rutgers Odds

In the final play of this Friday night, I will turn my focus to another Big 10 matchup as the Rutgers Scarlett Knights will travel to Illinois to face the Fighting Illini. These teams have both been good to me this season, but I will be fading Rutgers tonight. This Illinois group is getting fully healthy, and laying just four points in the first half tonight is disrespectful to this team. Rutgers will struggle to score the basketball against this Illini defense, and the Illini high-powered offense will turn that defense into offense on the other end. I expect this one to get ugly early and for Illinois to roll and cash us in. 

Illinois vs. Rutgers Pick

  • Illinois 1H -4 (-115)

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Matt McCuen is a native of Delco, PA. He has been working in the sports gambling industry and creating content for the last few years. He is an expert in numerous different sports, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and collegiate sports. You can follow Matt on Twitter at @DeadPresPicks.

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