College Basketball Best Bets for Monday

College Basketball Best Bets for Monday article feature image

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The 2024 College Football Playoff National Championship takes center stage tonight, but if you're looking for value elsewhere, college basketball has a few games to choose from.

Dive in below for college basketball best bets and Three Man Weave's three picks for Monday, January 8. Jim Root has it all covered!

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.

GameTime (ET)Pick
7 p.m.
8:30 p.m.
8:30 p.m.
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.

Northeastern vs. Monmouth

Monday, Jan. 8
7 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
Northeastern +3

By Jim Root

With the college football national championship on Monday night, the college hoops slate is extremely light. In fact, this Coastal Athletic Association matchup is the only main-board contest of the evening.

Crucially, it features a team in Northeastern that's off to an 0-1 start to league play pitted against a 1-0 opponent in Monmouth. Handicapping motivation is a tricky beast, but the desperation to avoid digging an 0-2 hole can be a powerful incentive — particularly when the opponent got a win out of the gates.

From a matchup perspective, the visiting Huskies should have a major edge on the offensive glass. Sixth-year forward Chris Doherty, who began his career at Notre Dame, is a grown man on the glass, anchoring an onslaught that ranks 77th nationally in offensive rebounding rate, per KenPom.

Monmouth, meanwhile, is heavily reliant on 6-foot-10 center Nikita Konstantynovskyi to be a one-man glass-cleaning force. The Hawks also mix in zone looks on around 15% of possessions, per Synergy, and rebounding out of a zone is significantly more difficult. Unsurprisingly, the Hawks land 277th in defensive rebounding rate.

On the other end of the floor, the host Hawks are heavily reliant on Xander Rice — son of coach King Rice — to generate offense. Rice’s usage rate of 29.1% ranks top-100 in the entire country.

Northeastern’s defense has been frustratingly poor this year, but longtime coach Bill Coen is a tremendous game-planner and should be able to scheme against such a heliocentric attack.

I make this number closer to a pick, and paired with the motivation and matchup angles, I will ride with the road Huskies.

Pick: Northeastern +3 (Play to +2)

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Alabama State vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff

Monday, Jan. 8
8:30 p.m. ET
UAPB Streaming
Over 152

By Jim Root

In specific conference play spots, it can be helpful to look for “slingshot” spots.

I’ll elaborate. If an up-tempo squad gets stuck in the mud against a slow opponent, the next game can be a prime opportunity to back the over. The fast team “slingshots” after being held back in the prior grinder.

This matchup could have that effect doubled. Alabama State just played its slowest game of the season against Mississippi Valley State, and the offense struggled to score in the half court.

Similarly, Arkansas-Pine Bluff went sub-73 possessions for just the third time all year in its conference opener against Alabama A&M.

Both Alabama State and UAPB should be eager to get in transition after each tallied 0.89 points per possession.

The matchup sets up well for points, too. Alabama State plays a compact defense, forcing 3-point jumpers over the top at the sixth-highest rate nationally. UAPB is the best shooting team in the SWAC, with a four-guard lineup — featuring snipers Rashad Williams and Joe French — that's capable of filling it up from deep.

Alabama State, meanwhile, needs to score inside. Fortunately, UAPB ranks last nationally in 2-point percentage defense and defensive rebound rate. The Golden Lions simply have zero rim protection or size.

Two favorable offensive matchups, plus two teams that should be ready to sprint up and down the floor? Sign me up for the over.

Pick: Over 152 (Play to 154)

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Alabama A&M vs. Mississippi Valley State

Monday, Jan. 8
8:30 p.m. ET
MVSU YouTube
Under 133.5

By Jim Root

By and large, the SWAC is an up-tempo league. However, that descriptor doesn't apply to Mississippi Valley State.

The Delta Devils are bottom-15 nationally in tempo, the slowest team in the conference. In its SWAC opener against Alabama State, MVSU slowed the game to 61 possessions and lost a 54-51 rock fight.

At home once again (for just the second time this season), expect MVSU and coach George Ivory to continue slamming the brakes.

The visiting Bulldogs of Alabama A&M play much faster — in theory, at least. A significant portion of AAMU’s pace is influenced by a schedule rife with foes who love to run in transition. Pair that with AAMU being outclassed, talent-wise, and non-conference opponents easily got quick layups.

In AAMU’s SWAC opener, the Bulldogs played to just 70 possessions against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, a more evenly-matched adversary. That tied for AAMU’s third-slowest game of the year — and as noted above, UAPB loves to run.

Now pitted against MVSU’s snail pace, AAMU could (should?) play its slowest game of the season.

As a bonus, this matchup pits KenPom’s 362nd-ranked offense (MVSU) against the 346th-ranked offense (AAMU). Both defenses are better than both offenses.

With two impotent attacks and what should be a slower crawl, tempo-wise, the under is appealing in Itta Bena, MS.

Pick: Under 133.5 (Play to 129)

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Nick Sterling
May 21, 2024 UTC