Monday’s 3 NCAAB Best Bets

Monday’s 3 NCAAB Best Bets article feature image
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Photo by David Buono/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Keshon Gilbert (Iowa State)

Monday's college basketball slate is typically light, but tonight, we have a massive matchup in the Big 12, along with two other key power-conference battles.

With that in mind, Jim Root has college basketball best bets and odds below, including Three Man Weave's three top picks for Monday, February 19.


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 p.m.
9 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.

Virginia vs. Virginia Tech

Monday, Feb. 19
7 p.m. ET
ESPN
Virginia Tech -3

By Jim Root

A massive rivalry in the ACC kicks off the night’s slate.

The visiting Cavaliers are in the NCAA tournament as of today, but the host Hokies are on the very outer fringes of that discussion. This game provides an opportunity to move closer to the field.

The home team has been a strong wager in this matchup. The host has won and covered the last six meetings, according to OddsShark.

To me, that makes sense. Both teams are extremely well-coached but lack headliner NBA talent, so something more subtle like a feverish crowd — and skewed officiating — can make the difference.

That includes earlier this season when the Hoos won by eight in Charlottesville. Virginia Tech managed just 15 points in the first half of that contest and could never fully cut down the deficit after the break.

Despite the loss, though, that game showed some encouraging signs for the Hokies. They battled Virginia to a draw on the glass, and they limited UVA sharpshooter Isaac McKneely to one of his worst games of the year.

That was despite ace Hokie defender Hunter Cattoor likely not being at full strength. He missed Virginia Tech’s previous contest but toughed it out for a rivalry showdown. Now healthy, expect a big game from the super-senior wing.

The stat to watch will be Virginia Tech’s turnovers. The Hokies coughed it up 15 times in Charlottesville — way too many times for a slow game.

As long as they take better care of the ball at home, they can exact revenge and continue the trend of home-team dominance in this series.

Pick: Virginia Tech -3 (Play to -4)


Coppin State vs. Maryland Eastern Shore

Monday, Feb. 19
8 p.m. ET
Delmarva Sports Network
Under 127

By Jim Root

Sandwiched between the night’s ESPN headliners is a far more obscure game in the MEAC. It'll be far more difficult to find on television — I have never heard of the Delmarva Sports Network — and that may be for the best.

This one projects as a rock fight. If the first matchup is any indicator, this total is too high.

Back on Jan. 8, these two combined for 113 points — in overtime. In regulation, they managed just 90 total points. The shooting was nightmarish: UMES shot 24.4% from inside the 3-point line, while Coppin State hit just 6-of-18 from the charity stripe.

Neither number should be much of a surprise. Per KenPom, these are two of the bottom three offenses in the entire country; only 0-25 Mississippi Valley State is worse.

In MEAC play, they've stayed consistent, ranking as the two worst units in the conference.

Coppin State’s leading scorer — Justin Winston — missed that first meeting. However, even though he’s a crucial part of the offense, his own inefficiency is part of why the Eagles struggle so much on that end.

Notably, KenPom projects this game at 119 points, and my numbers have it at 121. Hopefully, the offenses will continue to be abysmal and make for a comfortable winner on the under.

Pick: Under 127 (Play to 123)

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Iowa State vs. Houston

Monday, Feb. 19
9 p.m. ET
ESPN
Iowa State +9.5

By Jim Root

One of the games of the year in the Big 12 features two sensational defenses. The winner will stand alone atop the standings of the best conference in the country.

Iowa State controlled the first meeting in Ames back on Jan. 9, getting up 14-0 after the first 5:30 of the game. The Cougars did battle back and take a lead with three minutes to play, but Hilton Magic helped the Cyclones secure a massive home win.

Unsurprisingly, neither team scored efficiently in that game, and the combined inefficiency should make covering nine points a chore for the host Cougars. Iowa State forced 16 Houston turnovers in that one, and if the Cougars don’t get shots up, they can’t exert their dominance on the offensive glass.

Houston has been outstanding at home, going 9-4-1 against the spread this year. However, Iowa State has been just as impressive on the road, sitting at 5-2 ATS in such contests. The Cyclones’ high-pressure style has translated surprisingly well.

Plus, this number is high in light of recent spreads. Houston just closed -10 against Texas, and I strongly believe that Iowa State is more than a point better than the Longhorns.

That value, combined with the likely game script and the result of the first matchup, leads me to believe Iowa State is the right side.

Pick: Iowa State +9.5 (Play to +7.5)

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Nick Sterling
May 21, 2024 UTC