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On Tap Bets: College Basketball Picks for Jan. 12

Three best bets and some bonus selections for tonight's jam-packed college basketball slate.
Gambling Picks

Photo: On Tap Sports Net

Let’s be honest. You clicked on the article to see who I’m betting, not to read some long-drawn-out introduction, including an update on the weather outside or what I ate for breakfast. First of all, I barely ever eat breakfast. I eat breakfast at dinner time. Secondly, if you’re a gambler, it’s time to get locked in. Not a single gambler on earth has time to read about anything that doesn’t involve tonight’s games unless you’re driving. Please, read the stop sign and do what it says. Otherwise, it’s all systems go. Here are my favorite college basketball bets for tonight.

South Florida @ SMU Under 132.5 (-110 FanDuel)

USF (South Florida) is tied for 94th in extra scoring chances per game (2.0). SMU is 216th with a -1 in that department. Although they get more scoring chances than their opponents, they rank 335th in possessions per game. In other words, USF doesn’t get many scoring opportunities as a whole, and neither does their opponent, mainly because of how slow they operate. The Bulls rank 334th in KenPom’s adjusted tempo.

Additionally, USF ranks 30th in scoring defense, with only 62 points per game allowed. SMU is relatively good in its own right, ranking 149th in scoring defense. The Bulls’ offense has been downright disgusting. They feature the seventh-worst scoring offense in the country, putting up only 57.3 points per game. Their leading scorer Caleb Murphy averages 11.9 points per game, and they only have two players averaging more than 8.5 points.

Almost every simulation I looked at has this game finishing in the mid-120s. 78.6 percent of South Florida’s games have gone under this season if you like trends.

Central Florida (UCF) Moneyline (+104 FanDuel)

This could get confusing. First, it was a game featuring South Florida, now let’s talk about Central Florida. The Knights will host a Memphis Tigers team that seems to be finding its groove right now. The Tigers are coming in as winners of three straight and four of their last five games. However, two of their last three victories came in closely contested games at home. Their loss during this stretch was against a 6-7 Tulane team on the road.

UCF holds the 55th KenPom ranking, while Tulane is 136th. Needless to say, if Tulane can beat the Tigers at home, UCF should be able to, and the short spread indicates as much.

Memphis has allowed a 35.2 percent opponent three-point percentage over its last three games. Led by guards Darin Green Jr. and Darius Perry, who each shoot 42 percent from three-point range, the Knights could be able to exploit that.

Another thing to look at, Memphis is sixth-worst in the country in turnovers per possession. UCF has done a solid job forcing turnovers, ranking 65th in opponent turnovers per game among 358 teams.

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UCF has lost two straight games and hasn’t played since Jan. 5 due to its game against Tulsa getting postponed. However, the Knights haven’t had to travel since their most recent contest was at home, and the postponement vs. Tulsa was a scheduled home game.

Given the recent performances from each team, I think this is an opportunity to sell high on the Tigers and buy low on the Knights.

Fordham Moneyline (+120 PointsBet)

This past Saturday, my attempt to fade Duquesne coming off a long COVID layoff failed. The Dukes dropped UMass 78-74 in their first game since Dec. 19. They lack experience and are littered with freshmen and sophomores. Only one player seeing 11 minutes per game or more isn’t a freshman or sophomore, and that is junior guard Leon Ayers III.

Fordham finds itself in a similar situation as the Dukes were in their last game. The Rams have played only one game since Dec. 12 and zero games since turning over a new year. However, unlike the Dukes, this roster is experienced, and they get most of their production from upperclassmen. The trio of Antonio Daye Jr., Darius Quisenberry, and Chuba Ohams chip in 47.8 combined points per game. Daye Jr. is a junior (literally), while Quisenberry and Ohams are both Seniors.

Sometimes they struggle to score, but the Rams rank 93rd in adjusted defensive efficiency. The Dukes are 190th in adjusted offensive efficiency. Furthermore, they are 1-3 on the road. I think Fordham’s defense, in addition to their experience and fresh energy, will be enough for them to pull off the victory at home.

Also Betting:

Xavier -1

St. John’s +11

Wake Forest +6

Best of luck, and let’s win some cash.

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