As the holidays approach, things are heating up. Not only in our day-to-day lives, running errands and buying gifts, but also in the world of sports. Today, it’s a loaded slate across the board, but I decided to stick to what I’ve been finding the most success in recently, and that’s college basketball bets.
On Monday, my article turned in a perfect 3-0, which included one college basketball bet and two Monday Night Football bets. Let’s keep it rolling tonight with three main picks, along with some honorable mentions that I’m also betting.
Minnesota -16.5 (-110 on BetRivers)
Minnesota hasn’t blown out many teams this season, but they’ve gotten the job done. Despite their 9-1 record, the Golden Gophers have only won one game by more than 15 points. However, this could be an opportunity to do it again. They are well-rested and back playing at Williams Arena. Green Bay is 2-8 and currently on a three-game losing streak, coming off an 82-54 loss to Kansas State.
Minnesota and Kansas State are closely matched, but the Golden Gophers have a better offense. They come in at 93rd in adjusted offensive efficiency compared to Kansas State’s 126th ranking. Jamison Battle and Payton Willis both average over 16 points per game, and they should be able to feast against a poor Phoenix defense that ranks 327th in adjusted defensive efficiency. My numbers show a 4.5-point edge on the spread. I think they win this game by 20 points. I’d lay it with the Gophers up to -19.
Arizona Wildcats Moneyline (+104 on BetRivers)
The Arizona Wildcats are off to a sizzling 11-0 start under first-year head coach Tommy Lloyd. They are currently the top-ranked NET team and No. 6 overall. Meanwhile, the Tennessee Volunteers come in 8-2 as the No. 19 team in the country.
Arizona is the top-scoring team in the country at 91 points per game. Led by Bennedict Mathurin, averaging 17.4 points per game, they have high expectations to make a deep run in March. The Vols have playmakers as well, riding behind the hot shooting of Kennedy Chandler and Santiago Vescovi.
With that said, they’ve struggled to put the ball in the hoop against good defenses. The game against Texas Tech was an absolute snooze-fest until overtime. The Vols shot 26.8 percent and got outrebounded 54 to 47. Against Villanova, it was much of the same. The Vols shot 33.3 percent from the field and turned the ball over 18 times. Arizona has a better adjusted defensive efficiency than both of those teams.
Also, the Wildcats have the edge in the size department with center Christian Koloko and forward Azuolas Tubelis. The two of them help the Cats own the glass as they rank first in team rebounds per game. They are also a huge reason why the team is fourth in block rate.
Looking at the defenses in this matchup, I lean under on the total. I could easily see more of a defensive battle between these two. However, it’s not a lock because the Vols could get hot from three-point range, and the Wildcats work quickly, ranking fourth in KenPom’s adjusted tempo.
Tennessee will have the home-court advantage, and they’re tough to beat at home. Nonetheless, I think Arizona is the better team, and they will be hungry to showcase themselves tonight.
BONUS: If you like Arizona to win the game, consider placing a National Title future on them at +1800 on FanDuel. Their odds could change like a ripple effect if they beat the Vols.
BYU @ South Florida Under 128.5 (-113 BR)
BYU can put up points behind senior guards Alex Barcello and Te’Jon Lucas. Barcello averages nearly 20 PPG while Lucas chips in 11. However, South Florida is one of the worst scoring teams in the country, shooting only 37.8 percent from the field. The Bulls rank 354th in the country with only 56.7 points per game. Additionally, they are abysmal from three-point land with a 23.78 percentage from deep. Their top scorer Caleb Murphy is the only player averaging double digits, and he has only attempted seven three-pointers on the season, missing all of them.
Furthermore, South Florida moves at a snail’s pace, sitting 341st in KenPom’s adjusted tempo. BYU’s defense is stout. The Cougars rank 36th in adjusted defensive efficiency. I project this game around to finish around 122 total points with many shot clock-bleeding South Florida possessions that won’t amount to much. BYU should win the game, but the spread is a close call. I’ll take the under, and I would play this down to 126.5.
- San Diego +9 (@ UNLV) - play to +6
- Mercer -6.5 (vs. Troy) - play to -7.5
- Northern Kentucky/Indiana Over 133 - play to 134
- Arizona Wildcats National Championship future (+1800 on FanDuel)