We have just one ranked team in action today — Gonzaga — but that doesn’t mean betting value can’t be found on the college basketball odds board.
In fact, we have college basketball best bets and Three Man Weave’s three top picks for Monday, December 11. Jim Root, take it away!
College Basketball Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our college basketball betting staff is targeting from today’s slate of games. Click on the team logos for any of the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
By Jim Root
It’s been a hard-luck year for the Yale Bulldogs thus far. With four starters back from a team that went 21-9 overall (10-4 in the Ivy League), expectations were understandably high.
A challenging schedule that’s taken Yale all over – from Los Angeles to New Brunswick, Canada – along with a minor injury to star forward Matt Knowling, has interrupted those hopes, though.
Instead, Yale is just 6-5, with one loss in overtime and three others by a combined nine points. That includes the season’s most improbable defeat at the hands of a miraculous Vermont comeback in the final five seconds.
This is still a very good team, though, and the young frontcourt is starting to mesh. Knowling looks healthier, posting a highly efficient outing against non-Division I foe Colby Sawyer.
The Bulldogs face an in-state foe in Quinnipiac tonight, meaning the stakes are high – and the travel is minimal, with Yale only facing a 15-minute drive from New Haven, CT, to Camden, CT.
Winning at Loyola Marymount and then beating Colgate by 18 showed the upside this team has. Finally in a better schedule spot against an inferior opponent, expect to see a peak performance from a cohesive Bulldogs squad.
Pick: Yale -8.5 (Play to -10)
Jacksonville vs. South Carolina State
By Jim Root
It’s been a tale of two seasons for the Jacksonville Dolphins.
In three road games against power-conference teams, they’re 0-3 straight up and against the spread, losing by 23, 51, and 52 points. Against fellow mid-majors, though, the Dolphins are 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS, with the only loss coming on a meaningless banked half-courter at the final buzzer.
That dichotomy paints a picture of a team that can’t play up against top competition, but it excels against evenly-matched foes. For a team that’s heavily reliant on a few players (the Dolphins rank 331st in KenPom’s bench minutes statistic), that makes sense. Significantly better teams can simply wear Jacksonville down.
That shouldn’t be the case here, with Jacksonville facing a South Carolina State squad that’s 1-8 against Division I competition – including consecutive losses to Charleston Southern and Bethune-Cookman, two teams in the bottom 25 of KenPom’s national rankings.
Jacksonville bombards the rim offensively, driving with star transfer Robert McCray V or hammering the offensive glass via Bryce Workman and DeeJuan Pruitt.
SC State, meanwhile, is a weak rim defense and fouls like crazy, meaning the visiting Dolphins should be able to get what they want.
On the other end, Jacksonville’s compact defense forces a ton of jump shots. SC State doesn’t want to shoot (356th in 3-point attempt rate) and can’t make them when it does (344th in 3-point percentage), making this a kryptonite matchup for a young team that needs easy baskets.
Pick: Jacksonville -6.5 (Play to -7)
Utah Tech vs. Cal State Northridge
By Jim Root
Utah Tech’s visit to Cal St. Northridge sets up a matchup of two terrific coaches.
On one hand, Jon Judkins is already a legend at Utah Tech. He’s been the school’s head coach since 2005, racking up eight NCAA tournament appearances at the Division II level before guiding the school through its Division I transition.
On the other, Andy Newman is just getting started at CSUN, hoping to invigorate a moribund program after he compiled an excellent D-II resume of his own at Cal State San Bernardino.
Both coaches are comfortable playing an up-tempo game. CSUN ranks 16th nationally in Adjusted Tempo, while Utah Tech finished 17th and 15th in that statistic during Judkins’ first two D-I campaigns.
This year’s UT team is playing a little slower, but some of that is opponent-related. Expect the Trailblazers to be a willing participant as CSUN looks to speed the game up.
Pace is only half the battle, though. Fortunately, both teams should have paths to scoring efficiently.
For Utah Tech, that will be via the free-throw line – CSUN fouls a ton – and over the top with efficient long-range shooting. The Trailblazers are 37th nationally in 3-point percentage (38.1%), and CSUN’s defense forces you to beat it over the top.
On the other end, CSUN can attack the offensive glass and earn its own share of trips to the charity stripe.
Big wing and matchup nightmare De’Sean Allen-Eikens sat out CSUN’s most recent victory over Bethesda, but Newman confirmed it was simply a rest day for the Matadors’ star. He should be ready to rock in his swift return to the lineup.
In what should be a fast-paced contest with plenty of free points available at the charity stripe, the over is an inviting wager.
Pick: Over 147.5 (Play to 148)
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