Tuesday College Basketball Picks: Our 4 Best Bets, Including Oklahoma State vs. West Virginia
Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images. Pictured: Isaac Likekele (Oklahoma State)
- Our college basketball betting staff breaks down their four best bets for Tuesday's slate of games, beginning with USC vs. Stanford at 5 p.m. ET.
- Our CBB bettors are also targeting the Big 12 rivalry between Oklahoma and Texas, an important AAC conference matchup, and a sneaky Big 12 game to close out tonight's slate at 9 p.m. ET.
- Check out each of our top four picks below, complete with full analysis and strike prices for every bet.
The Georgia Bulldogs are your college football national title winner.
And now, that means more eyes and attention will officially be focused on college basketball as we creep closer and closer to March Madness.
Tuesday’s slate tips the “new season” of college hoops off in marvelous fashion, as 13 ranked teams hit the hardwood, including three all-top-25 duels.
With that in mind, our staff dove in to provide four best bets across four different games on Tuesday evening. The picks below could help formulate your betting card.
Tuesday’s College Basketball Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our college basketball staff is targeting from today’s slate of games. Click the team logos for one the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
|Specific bet 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.|
USC vs. Stanford
USC and Baylor are the only two remaining unbeaten teams in the country.
The Trojans, who opened the season 13-0, will play their second game in 24 days after having three straight games canceled. Stanford will be playing its first game since Dec. 23 due to COVID-19 issues running through the program.
Though Stanford is 8-4, the group has struggled against lesser competition this season. The Cardinal needed overtime to defeat Dartmouth, then beat Wyoming and Liberty by three points before the hiatus.
Meanwhile, USC has run through all 13 of its opponents by an average margin of 15 points per game.
The defense has been elite, holding opponents to 61 points per game, which ranks 23rd in the country.
The Trojans start four players who stand at 6-foot-7 or taller and use their length to disrupt opponents. That size has played a major role in the dominant defense that has held opponents to 40% from the field, which is the best mark in the country.
The group has held opponents to 40% on 2-point attempts (3rd) and 27% on 3-point attempts (19th).
Stanford has had issues with taking care of the basketball, as it has turned the ball over on 22% of its offensive possessions, which ranks 330th nationally. The Cardinal haven’t been able to stop opponents from scoring inside the arc, and that’s where USC finds 62% of its points.
USC looked sharp in its matchup with Cal on Thursday, which will prove to be a pivotal warm-up game, while Stanford hasn’t played in nearly three weeks.
Most of the country isn’t aware of the talent this USC team has, and it’s still being undervalued by oddsmakers.
Pick: USC -5.5 (Play to -7)
Oklahoma vs. Texas
By D.J. James
Texas is the 355th-slowest basketball team in the NCAA. It hosts Oklahoma, which is not very fast either, ranking 242nd in adjusted tempo, per KenPom.
The Longhorns are elite when it comes to turning over opponents. They rank fourth at a rate of 26.6%, which means they turn the opposition over more than a quarter of the time on defense. Oklahoma is relatively sloppy, turning it over about 20.8% of the time.
As long as the Longhorns slow the ball down, instead of pushing the pace on a fast break, the under should be in play.
On the contrary, Oklahoma ranks 45th in defensive rebounding. Texas tends to have an offensive rebounding edge over most opponents, so the Sooners should limit the Longhorns’ ability to get second scoring chances on the offensive end.
Now, Oklahoma hoists 3s consistently. In fact, 32.6% of its scoring comes from behind the arc, and it’s very efficient at 36.3%. This is where Texas tends to struggle, permitting a 31.6% opponent 3-point percentage. If Andrew Jones and Marcus Carr can guard the arc well, this should eliminate outside opportunities for the Sooners.
Each team has an antidote that should send the total of this game under, so take it early.
Pick: Under 126 (Play to 124)
Providence vs. Creighton
Creighton has been awesome, and Greg McDermott is building something special with this group. Moreover, this line continues to get steamed the Bluejays’ way, now sitting at over -4 after opening at -2.
Sorry, but I don’t buy it.
Because I will always buy Providence as an underdog — especially as a road dog, a situation in which Ed Cooley has covered a cool 59.4% of the time, including three of his four opportunities this season.
The line may continue to travel this way as well, so I wouldn’t mind waiting to see if a +5 or +5.5 pops before tip.
But I digress. In terms of actual basketball, this will be another gritty Big East battle. Both teams play at a slow tempo and emphasize interior defense. That game situation already bodes well for the underdog.
Creighton has been uber efficient inside the arc this season, both on offense and defense. However, Providence can hold its own in both those areas and is much better in other, also-important areas.
The Friars get to the line more (Providence 40.3% FTA/FGA; Creighton 26.4%), take care of the ball better (Providence 17.7% turnover rate; Creighton 20.9%) and share the ball better (Providence 55% AST/FGM; Creighton 52%).
Let’s also not forget the Bluejays are a lousy 2-6 against the spread as a favorite this season, with the worst of those defeats being an outright home loss to a hapless Arizona State team as 7.5-point favorites.
If Cooley & Co. are catching north of four points, it’s an auto-buy from me. But I also like their chances against this sometimes mercurial Creighton team.
Pick: Providence +4.5 (Play to +4)
Oklahoma State vs. West Virginia
I was really impressed with how the Pokes competed on the defensive end in their home victory over Texas on Saturday. Mike Boynton’s team was given a ridiculous postseason ban by the NCAA, but you certainly would not know it with how hard it’s playing.
Meanwhile in Morgantown, the record looks really nice for the Mountaineers, but the wins have not exactly been against the toughest competition. WVU came back to beat Kansas State on Saturday after trailing for most of the game. You have to give this team credit — it’s finding ways to win.
Both of these teams’ strengths lie on the defensive end, and I expect this to be a close and hard-fought battle the entire way. Points will be hard to come by.
Keylan Boone went 5-of-7 from 3-point range for the Cowboys against Texas, and if he can continue to shoot the ball with confidence, the Pokes’ offense could take another step in the right direction.
Oklahoma State will be looking to build on the win against Texas, and Bob Huggins will have his team ready to go after the slow start against Kansas State.
Ultimately I expect this game to come down to the wire, so I think there’s good value on the Cowboys as a four-point underdog.