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The best NCAA upset picks for Feb. 25

Profile Picture: Dan Halverson

Dan Halverson

February 25th, 2022

The Saturday slate of college basketball games is the main entree for fans around the country each week, but Friday nights are the hearty appetizer to get us all warmed up. As we kick back and settle in for the weekend, here are four upsets to look for from the 16 games set to tip-off tonight.

Northwestern (+2) vs. Penn State

Sat, February 26 2022, 12:00 AM

Penn State

Moneyline

-136

Spread

-2

Total

O 127.5

Northwestern

Moneyline

+112

Spread

+2

Total

U 127.5

Two of the bottom five teams in the Big Ten face off Friday night when Northwestern travels to Penn State. Northwestern is 13-13 overall while Penn State is just 11-13, and neither team really does anything exceptionally well.

Northwestern is a couple points higher in the efficiency ratings though, and appears on paper to have the slightly better offense thanks to 6’10” senior forward Pete Nance, who is averaging 15.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Nance provides the Wildcats with a reliable option late in the game, and has plenty of experience when things are close.

Look for Northwestern to exact revenge on their four-point loss earlier this season with a small upset Friday night.

Harvard (+8) vs. Princeton

Sat, February 26 2022, 12:00 AM

Princeton

Moneyline

-385

Spread

-8

Total

O 142

Harvard

Moneyline

+290

Spread

+8

Total

U 142

Princeton is an impressive 19-5 overall this season while Harvard is just 13-10, but Princeton doesn’t have a great defense and Harvard might be able to take advantage with Noah Kirkwood, who is leading the team with 18.0 points and 3.0 assists per game.

The Tigers’ offense is likely going to be too much for Harvard, but this is the first of back to back matchups between these teams, and that could introduce some oddity in this matchup between two programs that haven’t played each other since February of 2020. Harvard won that matchup, and until the Tigers beat them it's worth taking the big plus odds on the Crimson.

Appalachian State (+2) vs. Arkansas State

Sat, February 26 2022, 1:00 AM

Arkansas State

Moneyline

-136

Spread

-2

Total

O 132

Appalachian State

Moneyline

+112

Spread

+2

Total

U 132

The Appalachian State Mountaineers are 18-12 straight-up on the season and take to the road to play the Arkansas State Red Wolves, who are 16-10.

The Mountaineers are underdogs, but are 155th in KenPom’s efficiency rankings while Arkansas State is 171st. This is really an equal contest between these teams, and Appalachian State already prevailed in a 61-54 victory earlier this year. In that victory they controlled the game every step of the way, finishing with a better shooting percentage, more rebounds, less turnovers, and a lead from the moment they made their first basket to make the game 3-2.

Appalachian State is the slightly better team and are getting plus odds only because they are on the road.

St. Louis (+3) vs. Richmond

Sat, February 26 2022, 12:00 AM

Richmond

Moneyline

-159

Spread

-3

Total

O 143.5

Saint Louis

Moneyline

+130

Spread

+3

Total

U 143.5

This line doesn’t make a lot of sense with the 19-9 St Louis Billikens traveling to Richmond to take on the 18-10 Spiders.

St. Louis is 59th in efficiency rankings, coming in top-75 nationally both offensively and defensively. Richmond, meanwhile, is 95th, with the nation's 133rd ranked defense. St. Louis has a better record in the conference standings and already defeated Richmond 76–69.

Take the underdog here and look for a repeat.

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