College Basketball Best Bets | 3 Picks for Tuesday
Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images. Pictured: Herb Sendek (Santa Clara)
The Champions Classic takes center stage on Tuesday, but we still have many other games as part of today's loaded slate.
In fact, we have college basketball best bets and Three Man Weave's three picks from Jim Root for Tuesday, including Santa Clara vs. Stanford on November 14.
College Basketball Best Bets — Tuesday, Nov. 14
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.
IUPUI vs. Indiana State
By Jim Root
Indiana State is about to experience major basketball whiplash. Last time out, the Sycamores played an up-tempo shootout with Alabama, one of the fastest and most offensively potent teams in the country. Now the Sycamores take on IUPUI, a slow and frequently offensively-challenged squad.
The last two years, IUPUI has been one of the nation’s most dire teams, going a combined 8-53 overall. This season offered new hope thanks to some internal continuity and a couple of additions via the transfer portal.
A 2-0 start has seemingly backed up that optimism, but the wins — by eight over Division II Spalding, by 10 over massively rebuilding Valparaiso — do not guarantee success going forward.
I do not think IUPUI can score with Indiana State. Third-year ISU coach Josh Schertz runs an aesthetically beautiful offense that generates copious layups and open 3s, and the individual talent in the system continues to increase. Last year’s ISU team led the entire country in 2-point percentage.
The Sycs will get a boost from the debut of big man Robbie Avila, a sophomore who looked like a future star by the end of his rookie campaign. He could be a major matchup issue for IUPUI, which lacks true size inside.
Ultimately, the gap between these two Hoosier state teams remains massive. Indiana State is a Missouri Valley title contender; IUPUI is still trying to prove it's no longer the dregs of Division I.
Expect the Sycamores to blow out the Jaguars and prove that divide.
Pick: Indiana State -16.5 (Play -17)
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UNC Greensboro vs. Vanderbilt
By Jim Root
It has been a nightmare start to the year for Vanderbilt. A season-opening loss to Presbyterian sounded the alarms, and the Commodores struggled to get away from USC Upstate the next time out (Vandy trailed 31-27 at halftime).
Those results against two Big South foes do not portend big things to come.
The bigger part of the nightmare: the vicious bite of the injury bug. Key starters Tyrin Lawrence (ankle) and Ven-Allen Lubin (hip) have been out, and their timelines to return are still to be determined.
The Commodores might get Lee Dort (foot) back for this one, but he will not help the struggling offense. Per Synergy, Vandy ranks in the 25th percentile nationally in half-court efficiency.
UNC Greensboro is a brutal matchup for a team lacking scoring punch. The Spartans force you to play in the half court, suffocating the life out of the game and testing their foes’ ability to execute against a set defense.
UNCG also has fantastic individual defenders within its man-to-man scheme. Kobe Langley is the reigning SoCon Defensive Player of the Year, and versatile forward Mikeal Brown-Jones might be the leading challenger to that honor this year.
On the other end of the floor, UNCG put on a dominant offensive performance in its opener, but that was against frenetic North Carolina A&T, arguably the worst defense in the entire country. Though Vanderbilt is far from a lockdown defensive unit, UNCG will find scoring to be a much stiffer challenge.
Between the combination of Vandy and UNCG’s slow paces and the injury concerns for the Commodores, the under looks appealing here.
Pick: Under 138.5 (Play to 137)
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Santa Clara vs. Stanford
By Jim Root
Apologies to Cal, San Francisco and San Jose State — all of whom could have strong years — but this matchup looks like the battle for supremacy in the Bay Area.
After sending a first round pick to the NBA draft for two straight years, Santa Clara is loaded with talent again, albeit unproven.
Arizona transfer Adama Bal has the upside to be the next NBA selection, point guard Jalen Benjamin has started 90 college games already, wing Carlos Marshall Jr. has been a dominant scorer through two games and the big man stable is loaded with size and upside.
Stanford, meanwhile, brought back a ton of key pieces from last year’s squad, including wings Spencer Jones and Michael Jones (no relation) and towering center Maxime Raynaud. Crucially, the Cardinal also added a dynamic veteran at point guard to coordinate the attack: former Providence guard Jared Bynum.
I have these teams rated far closer to even than this line indicates. Santa Clara has arguably been the better program in recent seasons; in fact, the Broncos crushed Stanford by 16 in November 2022, the last time the two squared off.
Although Herb Sendek’s Broncos have more roster turnover than Stanford, the talent levels of each team remain similar. Plus, Sendek holds a major coaching edge over Jerod Haase, who many thought should have been let go this offseason. Haase has posted a winning Pac-12 record just once in seven seasons in Palo Alto.
Additionally, home court is of very little value here. Santa Clara is just 20 miles from Maples Pavilion, meaning the Broncos get the comfort of sleeping in their own beds and face zero travel.
I think Santa Clara keeps this close the whole way and could even pull off the outright victory on the road.
Pick: Santa Clara +9.5 (Play to +9)
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