NCAAB Best Bets, Odds: Three Man Weave’s 3 Top Picks for Monday
Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images. Pictured: Jamie Dixon (TCU)
The Big 12 continues to rule Monday evenings in college basketball, and this week we have a special matchup between No. 5 Kansas and No. 22 TCU in Fort Worth.
Jim Root of Three Man Weave is diving into that game and two more matchups below as part of his three best bets.
So, get set for Monday evening in college basketball with the top odds, best bets and picks.
Monday’s Three Man Weave College Basketball Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that Jim is targeting from Monday’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.|
Howard vs. Morgan State
By Jim Root
The battle for the MEAC title is coming down to the final weeks of the season. Howard is in control right now, one game up on preseason favorite Norfolk State. But with the Spartans lurking, Howard must continue winning.
The Bison are on the road Monday at Morgan State, which has been reeling recently. The Bears are just 2-7 against the spread over their last nine games. Conversely, Howard is 7-2 ATS in its last nine.
Unsurprisingly, health has a lot to do with both teams’ trajectories.
Morgan State lost star wing Malik Miller to injury a month ago, and his absence has been crippling. He actually got hurt in the first meeting against Howard. The Bison ran away with that one, ultimately posting a 32-point victory.
The Bison have been firing on all cylinders now that they’re fully healthy. In December, key starters Elijah Hawkins, Marcus Dockery and Shy Odom all missed several games.
Now head coach Kenny Blakeney has a 10-man rotation with talent that can wear opponents down over the course of a 40-minute contest.
As a result, Howard has been a popular wager. This line opened -3.5 at some books, but it was quickly hammered up by aggressive early bettors.
Obviously, that has cut into the appeal, but given the form of both teams, I believe Howard still holds value.
In that blowout first meeting, Howard dominated the paint by shooting 61% inside the arc. The Bison also forced 22 turnovers. Both of those facets are sustainable, even on the road.
Like the market, I expect Howard to cruise to another MEAC win.
Pick: Howard -6.5 (Play to -7)
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Texas A&M-Commerce vs. Nicholls State
By Jim Root
The Southland rarely plays on Mondays. This game was originally scheduled for Feb. 2, but a snowstorm in Texas forced its postponement.
That means a rare three-game week for both squads, a hiccup in the schedule that could be favorable for the under.
Additionally, in a league where almost every squad wants to run in transition, Texas A&M-Commerce is the exception. The Lions, new to Division I this year, much prefer to grind in the half-court.
That means a pace battle is coming.
In the first meeting, Commerce won that battle. The Lions held Nicholls, which ranks 32nd nationally in KenPom’s Adjusted Tempo, to a crawling 64-possession game. It sailed under the total by 22 points.
One snag: the total today (145.5) is 5.5 points lower than it was in the first meeting (151). Typically, that would mean something has materially changed between the two squads. Instead, it’s a symptom of pace dropping throughout the sport in league play, so some value has been eaten away by that change.
Fortunately, this matchup also features two of the top four defenses in the league. Nicholls has the best interior defense in the league, while Commerce has several versatile wings/forwards who can switch and guard multiple positions.
Finally, Nicholls is shorthanded. Guards Micah Thomas and Pierce Spencer have both been out the past couple of games due to injury.
They’re both crucial shot creators, and the Colonels could struggle to push the tempo and generate quality looks if they remain out.
Unfortunately, injury reporting around teams at this level is nearly non-existent, so we can’t be certain they’ll remain absent.
Even if they play — they were both available in the first meeting — I like the under.
In a strange schedule spot, I expect Commerce to control the pace.
Pick: Under 145.5 (Play to 143)
Kansas vs. TCU
By Jim Root
The nightcap of Big Monday is a gem of a matchup. When we last saw these squads on Saturday, they were laying waste to quality Big 12 competition.
TCU hit the century mark and beat Oklahoma State by 25.
Meanwhile, the Jayhawks had a second half for the ages against Baylor, delivering a 55-26 beatdown in the final 20 minutes en route to a 16-point home win.
Both squads are clearly trending up. For TCU, that has a lot to do with the return of Mike Miles Jr. from a hyperextended knee.
It’s impossible to overstate how important Miles is to this TCU team. In the last six games he played and finished, TCU is 5-1 against the number with a +12.8 average cover margin. It blew out Kansas in Lawrence and crushed Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
Without him (including the game he got hurt early), TCU went 1-5 ATS with a -5.3 average cover margin. That stark difference shows just how vital Miles is to the Horned Frogs’ fate.
As mentioned, the first meeting was a stunning TCU blowout at Phog Allen Fieldhouse. The Horned Frogs dominated in almost every facet, bolstered by some hot early shooting — a rarity for this squad.
Everyone but Jalen Wilson struggled mightily on offense for Kansas. He had 30 of KU’s 60 points.
The supporting cast excelled against Baylor, and Wilson will need more help if KU is to compete here.
A word of caution: Bill Self has historically been terrific in these spots. Per Bet Labs, since 2006, Self is 58-42-3 ATS with a +2.17 average cover margin when Kansas lost the previous matchup. TCU will attempt to complete the season sweep of the Jayhawks.
Even with that knowledge, I like TCU here. The spot sets up well; it gets to stay at home, while Kansas has to travel from Lawrence 48 hours after the huge Baylor win.
The quick turnaround also limits Self’s time to game plan.
Pick: TCU -1.5 (Play to -3)
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