College Basketball Betting Picks: Our Staff’s 4 Best Bets for Tuesday
Loren Orr/Getty Images. Pictured: Buster Bronco of Boise State at ExtraMile Arena.
With football behind us, it’s time to turn our full attention to college basketball.
Fortunately, our team has been hitting the betting trail hard since November, and have a few plays they like on Tuesday night.
Here are our staff’s four favorite bets.
College Basketball Betting Picks
Odds as of Tuesday morning and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
- Odds: Auburn +1.5 at Arkansas
- Over/Under: 143
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: SECN
Auburn (19-2) has struggled on the road in conference play, losing two of its last three games away from home. Their only win was a double-overtime miracle at Mississippi. While many will argue this is a prime upset spot for the No. 11 Tigers, the matchups tell a different story.
Arkansas’s defensive strength is on the perimeter, where its the toughest defensive team against the 3P, allowing opponents a microscopic 24.7%. However, in SEC play, Auburn is only generating 27.8% of its points from beyond the arc. The Tigers offense is not predicated on making three-pointers.
Auburn will also have a big advantage inside, ranking 35th overall in offensive 2P%. In its last home loss to South Carolina, Arkansas allowed the Gamecocks to shoot 62.9% (22 of 35) from inside the arc.
The trio of 6-foot-11 Austin Wiley, 6-foot-7 Danjel Purifoy, and sensational freshman Isaac Okoro will cause matchup problems and draw fouls on the undisciplined Razorbacks, who rank 264th with an average of 18.8 fouls per game.
Arkansas is known for its 3P shooting with guards Mason Jones (19.8 ppg) and Isaiah Joe (16 ppg) leading the way. But as a team the Razorbacks only average 31.2% from beyond the arc. In conference play that number drops to 30.8%, indicating Arkansas relies more on volume over accuracy.
However, Auburn’s SEC-leading defensive rebounding will limit Arkansas’ chances, forcing the Razorbacks to rely on efficiency.
Arkansas is just 1-3 at home against the spread in their last four games, with the only cover coming against a Vanderbilt team playing without star Aaron Nesmith.
I expect Auburn’s dominance inside and ability to limit second-chance points for Arkansas to be the difference in a huge SEC matchup.
Pick: Auburn +1.5
- Odds: Toledo -6 vs. NIU
- Over/Under: 134.5
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN+
Toledo as a favorite may surprise you, as the Rockets have lost three consecutive games. Northern Illinois is on a four-game winning streak and carries a better conference record than Toledo as the Huskies try to keep pace with Central Michigan in the MAC.
Toledo has the second-highest adjusted offensive efficiency rating in the MAC per KenPom, but struggle with the second worst efficiency rating in the conference on defense.
But NIU can’t expose that flaw. The Huskies have relied on 2-point shots through conference play, ranking second in point distribution from inside the arc. Northern Illinois is 11th in conference in 2-point percentage, an area the Toledo defense is best at defending.
Toledo has been humming on offense, ranking No. 4 in shooting percentage from beyond the arc. The Rockets average more than nine buckets a game from 3-point territory.
Their 3-game losing streak has featured a shooting percentage well below their yearly mark of 37.5%. Expect correction on Toledo shooting against a Northern Illinois team that has been feasting on opponents outside the top 200.
Pick: Toledo -6
- Odds: DePaul -1 vs. Xavier
- Over/Under: 137
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- TV: FS1
Xavier is coming off its best win of the season — a 12-point victory at Seton Hall on Saturday after closing as an eight-point dog. But that doesn’t mean you should back them this time around.
Travis Steele’s unit will square off against the Blue Demons, who have lost their past 9 of 10 games while covering in their past two matchups. Even though this could be the turning point in Xavier’s season, look for a desperate DePaul team to come out focused on forcing turnovers.
The Blue Demons have notched the 28th-highest opponents’ turnover rate (second in Big East play), led by juniors Paul Reed and Charlie Moore. On the flip side, the Musketeers’ offense has generated the fourth-highest turnover rate during their conference slate, so Dave Leitao’s squad should have an advantage at that end despite Xavier’s size edge.
If DePaul’s can push the tempo in the process, it’ll have a prime opportunity to attack the paint and get to the line, which have been the Musketeers’ biggest defensive liabilities.
Reed and Moore will be critical factors in this department as well, and I’m willing to back the motivated Blue Demons with their best players set up to excel.
Pick: DePaul -1
- Odds: Boise State -10 at Wyoming
- Over/Under: 133.5
- Time: 10 p.m. ET
- TV: ATSN
Before I explain why it’s the right move to fade Wyoming on Tuesday night, I’d like to give a nod to the Dome of Doom. The altitude and the atmosphere have served the Cowboys well over the years, particularly against the spread. Unfortunately for Wyoming, that is simply not the case here in 2020.
This season in Laramie, the Cowboys are 4-9 ATS at home and an eye-popping 1-8 ATS as a home dog. This disparity isn’t a result of a lack of effort from oddsmakers; they’ve been showering the Cowboys in points. The Pokes have lost by an average of 17 points per game over their last four home games, and their only cover as a home dog all season came by hook against Utah Valley.
The combination of the Cowboys’ offensive inefficiency, preference for halfcourt basketball and complete inability to rebound leaves me in a generous mood on the other side of this play. I would take the Broncos and lay up to 15 points in this spot, and would advocate for an alternate line if you can find one.
Speaking of Boise State, the Broncos are nearly the opposite of the Cowboys, as described above. Boise can really fill it up, prefers to play uptempo and do a heck of a job rebounding and keeping opponents off the offensive glass.
My only fear with BSU just a few weeks ago was their uneven play, particularly when they left Idaho. Their first three road trips in MWC play resulted in losses of 17, 18 and seven, failing to cover in all three. Since then, Boise has reeled off four straight wins including a 34-point rout of Fresno State down in the San Joaquin Valley.
During this mini-run, the Broncos are averaging 86.7 ppg and can now boast four starters who average double figures nightly. Now is the time to back the red-hot Broncos.
Pick: Boise State -10