Monday’s College Basketball Best Bets

Monday’s College Basketball Best Bets article feature image
Credit:

Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG. Pictured: Dane Erikstrup (Eastern Washington)

In our first full weekend without football, college basketball didn't disappoint.

Now we turn our attention to Big Monday, as the betting value in the sport doesn't slow down.

Dive in below for college basketball best bets and odds, including Three Man Weave's three top picks for Monday, February 5. Take it away Jim Root!


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.
9 p.m.
10 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.

Miami vs. Virginia

Monday, Feb. 5
7 p.m. ET
ESPN
Under 132.5

By Jim Root

Here come the Hoos.

Tony Bennett’s demise has been overstated, as his Virginia Cavaliers quietly sit alone in second in the ACC standings after a massive win at Clemson on Saturday. That surge has been led by a hyper-stingy defense, harkening back to Bennett’s elite squads from the mid-2010s.

This year’s defense has been especially stout at home. Virginia ranks fourth nationally in Defensive Efficiency in home games, with a ridiculous 86.4 defensive rating, per Bart Torvik.

Ryan Dunn and Reece Beekman are proven elite defenders, and with Jordan Minor’s continued emergence — he's started the last seven games — the Cavs can roll out some terrific defensive lineups.

That elite defense has translated to unders at home. Per TeamRankings, Virginia games have gone 8-4 to the under, going under by an average of 5.8 points per game.

This game’s total is influenced by Miami’s up-tempo style and dismal defense (115th nationally, per KenPom). However, I expect the host Hoos to dictate the pace. The last time these two teams played in Charlottesville (exactly two years ago), Virginia won by 13 in a 59-possession slog.

On a quick turnaround from Saturday, Virginia should turn this game into a crawl — even against Miami’s vulnerable defense.

Pick: Under 132.5 (Play to 130)


Kansas vs. Kansas State

Monday, Feb. 5
9 p.m. ET
ESPN
Kansas State +4.5

By Jim Root

Kansas is riding high in the college basketball world after thumping Houston this weekend. With that 13-point victory at Allen Fieldhouse, the Jayhawks rose to a tie for first in the Big 12 standings.

Unfortunately for KU, life on the road has been far less glamorous for Bill Self’s squad. The Jayhawks are 1-3 straight up on the road in league play, including losses at UCF and West Virginia — two of the bottom four teams in the league.

KU’s only Big 12 road win is at Oklahoma State, the conference’s cellar-dweller.

Kansas State is another member of that bottom four, and the Wildcats are reeling. After a 4-1 start to league play, Jerome Tang’s team has lost four in a row, nearly dropping them out of all NCAA tournament projections.

As such, the Wildcats are a “buy-low” candidate with big brother KU coming to town on Big Monday.

This bet is also a “sell high” on Kansas after a ludicrous shooting day on Saturday. The Jayhawks scored 1.51 points per shot, per ShotQuality, and went 21-of-30 (70%) on contested shots, per ESPN. That nuclear home performance will be near-impossible to sustain, especially in a hostile environment like Bramlage Coliseum.

Admittedly, this Kansas State team has issues offensively, and this price is not a bargain; KenPom makes the game -5, and Bart Torvik projects it at -5.5.

However, Tang is a tremendous coach, and the spot is a home run for the host Wildcats.

Pick: Kansas State +4.5 (Play to +3.5)

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Eastern Washington vs. Portland State

Monday, Feb. 5
10 p.m. ET
ESPN+
Eastern Washington -5

By Jim Root

In the rare Big Sky game on Big Monday, I’m riding with the road favorite Eagles, despite a challenging schedule spot.

Every team in the Big Sky has at least one schedule sequence where it plays Thursday-Saturday-Monday, and this is that stretch for Eastern Washington. Notably, Portland State didn’t have a game last Thursday, so the host Vikings are more well-rested in this spot.

Still, Eastern Washington has been a cover wagon in league play. After a brutal SWAC-esque non-conference gauntlet in which the Eagles played seven road games at power-conference foes, the Eagles are rolling.

In conference games, EWU is 7-2 against the spread with an average cover margin of +8.3 points. A loss at Montana State last Thursday didn't kill the momentum, as the Eagles won by 13 at Montana as a two-point underdog on Saturday.

That Big Sky dominance is fueled by an extremely versatile lineup stacked with size and skill. All five starters can shoot from the perimeter, and sixth man Dane Erikstrup is a 6-foot-11 stretch big who only furthers the Eagles’ spacing.

Portland State is powered by a pressing defense that needs to force turnovers. Against Eastern Washington’s cadre of big ball-handlers, that style is likely doomed.

These two teams played back on Dec. 28; EWU won by 34 and scored 1.26 points per possession.

I’m betting on a repeat of that dominance.

Pick: Eastern Washington -5 (Play to -6)

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