NCAAB Best Bets | Monday’s 3 Picks
Photo by Johnnie Izquierdo/Getty Images. Pictured: Nate Oats (Alabama)
College basketball has been wild to start this new campaign — four of the top seven teams in the country lost this past weekend.
So, finding value on the odds board continues on Monday, as we have college basketball best bets and Three Man Weave's three picks, including Arkansas State vs. Alabama and more on December 4.
Jim Root, take it away!
NCAAB 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.
Specific betting recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NCAAB Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.
By Jim Root
Bob Richey has the Furman basketball program rolling. The Paladins have won 20+ games in all five full seasons he’s coached (they went 16-9 in the COVID-shortened season), and Furman delivered a magical March moment by beating Virginia at the buzzer in the NCAA tournament.
The Paladins’ major flaw, though, is squaring off against elite athleticism and physicality. Richey has constructed a roster flush with skill, but in doing so, he's somewhat sacrificed size. That weakness showed itself in the second round of the Big Dance, as San Diego State trounced the Paladins by 23.
Arkansas fits that description. Eric Musselman’s squad has size at every position, and the Hogs should be able to overwhelm Furman with an onslaught of talent.
Furman is also in a challenging schedule spot, having lost a 70-69 heartbreaker at Princeton just 48 hours ago. The Paladins could wear down in the second half in a second straight road game against high-level competition.
Some risk of an Arkansas letdown performance exists. The Hogs did just take down Duke last Wednesday, and an inconsistent team might be prone to a lapse in effort.
Still, this should be a high possession game, giving the Razorbacks a greater chance to exert their major athleticism edge.
Pick: Arkansas -11 (Play -13)
By Jim Root
This matchup brings a fun dynamic of familiarity. Arkansas State is coached by Bryan Hodgson, a longtime assistant of Nate Oats – Alabama’s head coach.
As a result, the two teams are built similarly, and that's most evident in their affinity for playing in transition.
The visiting Red Wolves have slowed somewhat after a season-opening track meet at Wisconsin, but in two high-major contests, Arkansas State has played to 81 possessions (at Wisconsin) and 77 possessions (at Iowa).
Oats acknowledged the likelihood of a high-scoring affair, telling reporters “first to 100 wins” in a press conference when asked about facing his former assistant. The two teams’ penchant for playing fast should have a compounding effect, skyrocketing the number of scoring opportunities.
Simple shooting regression offers a possible edge here, as well. Both Arkansas State and Alabama are coming off disappointing performances from beyond the 3-point line. Finding the range would being an outstanding supplement to the game’s likely frenetic tempo.
Lastly, interior defense is an issue for both teams. Alabama has struggled to stop foes at the rim without Charles Bediako, and Oats recently suspended big man Nick Pringle, thinning the frontcourt rotation even more.
Arkansas State, meanwhile, has leaned a lot on smaller lineups featuring stretch forward Dyondre Dominguez at center.
Given both teams’ propensity to bombard the rim, this game could be a layup line on both ends.
Pick: Over 164 (Play to 167)
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By Jim Root
There's an interesting dynamic in Fargo here, as these two teams played in San Jose exactly one week ago. That recent familiarity naturally makes me lean towards the under initially, especially with two teams who vastly prefer to play in the half court. Both rank outside of the top 300 in KenPom’s Adjusted Tempo metric.
Notably, NDSU has been off since losing on the Spartans’ home floor. SJSU, though, has lost two road games in the interim, making this its third road game in five days. That grueling schedule adds even more incentive to slow the game down, battling the possibility of the Spartans running out of gas in the second half.
The first meeting had 143 points, but that was largely due to SJSU hitting 11 of its 24 3-point tries. That's been a theme for NDSU this year: Division I foes have made 40.9% of their triples against the Bison. That is outlier bad, and it's likely to drop as the season progresses.
NDSU aiming for revenge against a team in an awful schedule spot might be a strong side wager, but the market has already moved this from NDSU +1 to NDSU -3.
Instead, I'm opting for the under, given the likelihood of a half-court affair and the potential for some beneficial shooting regression.