College Basketball Best Bets: Our 3 Favorite Picks for Southern Illinois vs. Indiana State, Arizona State vs. Arizona, More ( Jan. 25)
Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Indiana State Sycamores guard Tyreke Key (11).
- College basketball doesn't take a day off, which means we have another slate of games for Monday.
- Our staff broke down their favorite bets from the slate, including Southern Illinois vs. Indiana State and Arizona State vs. Arizona.
- Check out each individual breakdown complete with a pick below.
Get your week started on the right foot with some Monday night college basketball action.
Most games our staff analyzed happened to be relatively under-the-radar, but they still shared a betting pick for each. Check out full breakdowns for each game below and feel free to navigate to any game by using the table below.
College Basketball Odds & Picks
All listed odds have been updated as of Monday morning. Specific bet recommendations at the end of each matchup breakdown come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing on Monday morning.
Always shop for the best price using our NCAAB Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.
Furman vs. UNC Greensboro
By Mike Randle
This is the perfect “get-right” spot for the Paladins.
Both Furman and UNCG were picked as top contenders in the Southern Conference, but both teams enter this game going in different directions. UNCG has won four games in a row and is coming off an impressive eight-point win at Chattanooga.
Meanwhile, the Paladins enter on a two-game losing streak, with road defeats at VMI and East Tennessee State.
Furman still has the fifth-most efficient 2-point offense in the country, scoring at over a 60% clip. UNCG’s defense is elite, but its offense can really struggle to score. A 67.7% team free-throw percentage is also always a comfort when laying points against the Spartans.
Furman needs this game badly and will bring its best effort against a top SoCon rival.
Despite both teams being atop the conference, this rivalry rarely leads to close games. The winner of the past six games has always been by 10 points or more. I’m betting on the Paladins continuing that trend tonight.
Pick: Furman -4.5
Southern Illinois vs. Indiana State
The Salukis have been one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country this year, hitting at almost a 40% clip on the season. However, they only shoot 3s on 37.6% of their field goal attempts, which is not as often as you would think with that type of percentage.
Interestingly, where Southern Illinois is likely going to find success is inside because Indiana State’s 2-point defense is terrible. The Sycamores are allowing 54.5% from inside the arc and 62% on shots at the rim, per Hoop-Math.
Southern Illinois also ranks top-70 in free-throw rate and shoots almost 75% from the charity stripe. So, the Salukis have a bunch of different scoring options tonight.
Indiana State’s offense has somewhat sputtered since entering conference play, but it’s getting to the free-throw line at an extremely high rate. It leads the Missouri Valley in free-throw rate at 37.7% and also shoots 77.6% when at the line.
Outside of that, the Sycamores have really struggled shooting the ball but should have a much easier time against the Salukis’ defense.
Southern Illinois is one of the worst 3-point defenses in the country, allowing 40% from deep. In fact, over the Salukis’ last four conference games, they’re allowing 48.1% from beyond the arc. So, if Indiana State wants to find success offensively tonight, it should turn its attention to the 3.
I have this game projected for 140.86 points, so I think there’s plenty of value on the over at 135 points.
Pick: Over 135
Alabama A&M vs. Alcorn State
The SWAC standings this time of year can be bewildering to look at. The 10-team league has exactly one program with a winning record overall (Alabama A&M), and most are scraping the bottom of the D-I barrel.
This isn’t new, but it still leads the general public astray when trying to pick sides in SWAC play.
Tonight’s game is a great example.
The Bulldogs (4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS) opened as a 4.5-point favorite, with most of the handle favoring Alcorn State. And while the Braves are 3-1 in SWAC play, it’s pretty easy to see through their recent success.
As I mentioned at the top, when teams are bad in the SWAC, they’re absolutely dreadful, and those are the teams Alcorn State has been beating. Wins over Mississippi Valley State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and Alabama State are providing the public with a skewed perception of Alcorn State.
Those teams are a collective 4-29 on the season SU. They played one SWAC team with a pulse (Grambling State) and lost by five on the road.
Aside from my doubts in Alcorn State, I love the Bulldogs in this spot because they have the best defense in the SWAC by a large margin. Alabama A&M has the nation’s best 3-point defense (17.3%) and second-best effective FG% defense (41.1%).
Offensively, AAMU touts one of the best mid-major duos in Garrett Hicks and Jalen Johnson.
The inside-outside sophomore tandem is averaging 40 points, 12 rebounds, and 3.5 steals per game. They should eat up an Alcorn State defense buried in the 300s in nearly every meaningful defensive metric (PPG, eFG%, 3-point, FTA).
I’ll be playing the Bulldogs ATS and parlaying their moneyline (-205) as a tag-on to all my Monday plays to flip the juice in my favor.
Pick: Alabama A&M -4.5
Arizona State vs. Arizona
The Sun Devils have lost quite a few heartbreakers this season but are finally nearing full strength after dealing with a COVID-19 bout and other personnel issues.
This is a team I’m looking to back over the next weeks, starting with a rematch against Arizona tonight from a game it easily could’ve won in the first meeting, which it led by five with 1:30 to go.
Arizona State’s guards should be able to penetrate at will, which should set up some easy offense.
Pick: Arizona State +5