Friday College Basketball Odds & Best Bets: Three Man Weave’s Top 3 Picks for Jan. 22
David Dennis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Grand Canyon guard Jovan Blacksher Jr. (10).
- Friday's college basketball slate features 44 games, and Ky McKeon of Three Man Weave highlights his top 3 games that deserve bettors' attention.
- Check out Ky's three best bets for Friday, Jan. 22, including why he's backing the South Dakota State Jackbunnies of Brookings, SD.
- Below, find Ky's comprehensive breakdown for each of his top three games to bet on Friday.
The Action Network has partnered with the guys at Three Man Weave to bring you college basketball best bets twice weekly. The trio of Matt Cox, Ky McKeon and Jim Root highlight the top three games they’re betting for the day’s college basketball slate.
Friday’s best bets have been provided by Ky McKeon as of late Thursday night. Follow Ky and the rest of the crew on Twitter at @3MW_CBB, and download the Action App to easily track your bets for Saturday’s college basketball action.
College Basketball Odds & Picks
All listed odds have been updated as of Friday morning and via William Hill. Specific bet recommendations at the end of each matchup breakdown come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing on Friday night.
Always shop for the best price using our NCAAB Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.
Monmouth vs. Manhattan
Since Samir Stewart’s return to the Jasper lineup, Manhattan has fared well in MAAC play.
Manhattan has won and covered three straight contests, but tonight, it runs into a team of far higher caliber. Monmouth has been the second-best team in MAAC play thus far, jumping out to an impressive 7-3 league mark on the backs of its second-ranked MAAC offense and third-ranked defense.
The name of the game for Monmouth on offense is speed — King Rice wants his bunch to sprint with the ball up the floor on every possession possible.
Manhattan, meanwhile, wants to play in the half-court and slow the game to a crawl.
Monmouth has been successful this season winning the tempo battle, playing in just one game that had under 70 possessions. More possessions means more opportunities for the Hawks to score, a simple fact that heavily favors the favorites, as the Jaspers are one of the worst offensive teams in the country.
Stating that Manhattan is one of the worst offensive teams in the country is not hyperbole — in fact it might not even go far enough.
Only six teams have been worse on the offensive end than the Jaspers from an adjusted efficiency perspective, per KenPom.
Even in the five games Stewart has played, the Jaspers have managed just 0.89, 0.91, 0.70, 0.87, and 0.98 points per possession. Manhattan is dead last in the MAAC in both 3-point percentage (27.4%) and effective field goal percentage (42.6%), relying solely on the offensive glass to score. Monmouth has the size on the wings to bother Stewart and fortitude in the paint to hold glass-crashers at bay.
To cover this game, Manhattan has to consistently stop a Monmouth offense that’s been a fireball this season.
The Hawks rank 10th in the country in 3-point percentage (40%), and while Manhattan’s stats make it look like the Jaspers have been good this year at deterring outside shots, it hasn’t played anyone with near the shooting ability as Monmouth.
North Dakota vs. South Dakota State
Followers of Three Man Weave know all about my love for the Jackbunnies of South Dakota State.
Hailing from Brookings, South Dakota, the Bunnies are one of the most criminally under-discussed teams in the country.
Casual basketball fans may remember the legend of Mike Daum, a four-year starter for SDSU who ranks seventh on the NCAA’s all-time scoring list with a robust 3,067 points. SDSU dominated the Summit League while Daum was in school, but its dominance didn’t stop with the legend’s graduation. In fact it may have grown stronger.
South Dakota State is the only Summit team currently ranked in the top 100 of KenPom’s rankings, a feat driven by early-season wins over Utah State on a neutral floor and Iowa State at Hilton Coliseum.
Despite residing in a mid-major league, SDSU resembles more of a Power 6 squad, and tonight, it’ll get to remind everyone of that when it faces a North Dakota team ranked 303rd overall in KenPom.
The Jackrabbits (as they’re properly called) boast one of the best offenses in the country, an offense predicated on elite ball security and elite shooting.
Head coach Eric Henderson plays a 4-out 1-in style, running offense through presumed Summit League Player of the Year Douglas Wilson, while four shooters dot the perimeter waiting to catch and release.
Wilson missed four games in December and early January with an injury but started easing back into playing time in a series with Western Illinois on Jan. 8 and 9.
In those two contests, Wilson poured in 18 PPG in 23 MPG — the Leathernecks could not stop him. With an extra two weeks of rest under his belt, it’s safe to assume Wilson should be fully healthy heading into tonight’s matchup with North Dakota. The Hawks are a team Wilson particularly owned last season, averaging 26.5 PPG in two contests.
North Dakota has no answer for Wilson. It also has no answer for the Jackrabbits’ plethora of perimeter shooters.
Two SDSU players are shooting over 45% from deep this season and three more are shooting over 34%. The Hawks will be faced with the constant decision of allowing Wilson to be guarded one-on-one in the post or doubling and allowing open shots off kick-outs. Either way, they’re in deep trouble.
South Dakota State is the class of the Summit once again this season, and that should be apparent in a game against one of the nation’s worst squads in North Dakota.
Pick: South Dakota State -15.5 (Play to -16)
Grand Canyon vs. Dixie State
A little over 400 miles north of Phoenix lies St. George, Utah, home of one of the newest D-1 college basketball programs, the Dixie State Trailblazers.
Dixie State has been scrappier than expected this season, but it’s struggled in its last four contests without starting guard Dason Youngblood.
The Trailblazers are 1-3 against the spread in their last four matchups, including a 45-point loss to Gonzaga and a 33-point loss to UT Rio Grande Valley. Tonight, they host a Grand Canyon squad that sits atop the WAC at 2-0 and boasts the best ATS record in the league at 7-1.
Grand Canyon’s matchup advantages tonight all revolve around the paint. Dixie State cannot shoot from the outside; the Blazers rank 328th in the country in 3 percentage (27.3%) overall and are just 15% from downtown in league play.
In order to score the ball, Dixie State has to get it to the rim. Per Hoop-Math, Dixie State ranks 31st in the country in percentage of field goal attempts near the rim, accomplished by running in the open floor and driving the lane in the half-court.
Grand Canyon ranks 61st in the country in percentage of field-goal attempts allowed near the rim and 10th in FG% defense near the rim (Hoop-Math). It’s very hard for any team to score over the oversized GCU frontcourt, let alone a team like Dixie State that severely lacks size.
On the other end of the floor, Grand Canyon should have a field day in the lane, gobbling all the boards it pleases and scoring at will on the block.
Per Synergy, GCU ranks sixth in the country in percentage of plays used via post-up, and the Antelopes score 1.147 points per possession on those plays, the seventh-best mark in the country.
Dixie State is not equipped to guard the talented ‘Lope forwards, and its big men are destined to wind up in foul trouble early in tonight’s contest.
This matchup features another example of the cream of the crop in a given league versus one of its dregs.
Grand Canyon should have no trouble scoring at will against Dixie State, nor stopping it on the other end of the floor.
Pick: Grand Canyon -11 (Play to -12)