College Basketball Odds, Picks: Our 4 Best Bets for Monday, Featuring Oklahoma State vs. Baylor & Iowa State vs. West Virginia
Ron Jenkins/Getty Images. Pictured: Oklahoma State’s Kalib Boone and Tyreek Smith.
- Monday's college basketball slate isn't huge, but there are a few key games taking place in the Big 12.
- Our staff came through with four best bets for Monday's regular-season games, including picks for Oklahoma State vs. Baylor and Iowa State vs. West Virginia.
- Check out all four of our best bets for Monday's college basketball games below.
Conference tournament season has officially begun, with the ASUN Tournament tipping off tonight.
However, the regular season is still rolling for a number of conferences, giving us plenty of college hoops to bet — especially in the Big 12.
Our college basketball staff came through with four best bets for tonight’s action, and all four picks come from the conference that’s widely regarded as the best in the country.
Two of our experts are aligned on Baylor vs. Oklahoma State in Stillwater, while another has a bounce-back pick for West Virginia vs. Iowa State in Ames.
Read on for all four best bets below — and be sure to check out Three Man Weave’s best bets for tonight’s ASUN Tournament games.
Monday’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 Monday’s slate of games. Click the team logos for one of 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.|
Baylor vs. Oklahoma State
I bet the Pokes on the bounce-back angle against Kansas State on Saturday, so I’m hesitant to do it again.
However, the loss to Kansas State required bad luck and a late-game collapse, given the Pokes blew an eight-point second-half lead, and ShotQuailty graded the game as an analytical win for Oklahoma State.
So, we can target Oklahoma State for some game-to-game positive regression. And after four consecutive losses, the Pokes are more than due for a bounce-back home win — especially in the Big 12, which has the third-highest home win rate among the 32 conferences (65%).
It’s also a solid letdown spot for Baylor, traveling from Waco to Stillwater on a short two-day turnaround after shooting 47% from 3 in a 10-point win over Texas.
But most importantly, this is an injury handicap.
Moussa Cisse is back for the Pokes after missing the first matchup with Baylor, and his interior two-way play will be massive against a Bears team lacking interior size.
Meanwhile, Keyonte George is likely out with an ankle injury he suffered against Texas. He’s one of the best freshmen in the country, and while his shot-making is well-documented, his defense is also underrated (second-highest DBPR on the team, per EvanMiya).
Put it all together, and I love the Cowboys as a short-home dog. It’s time for Oklahoma State to bounce back while a shorthanded Baylor team suffers a letdown, and I’ll always bet on Big 12 home-court advantage.
Pick: Oklahoma State +1.5
If you have an affinity for pain, this is the perfect game for you. A Keyonte George-less Baylor squad heads to Stillwater in Oklahoma State’s last home game of the season.
Oklahoma State’s hopes at an at-large bid may have ended on Saturday in a loss to Kansas State, but this is a perfect spot for Mike Boynton’s squad to bounce back. If it wants any shot at the postseason, a win against Baylor is a must.
Baylor hits the road after an exhausting and emotional win over Texas. The Bears had dropped two straight before returning to Waco, and despite George leaving the game early with an ankle injury, Baylor rolled by the Longhorns.
Without George, who is used on over 30% of possessions, Baylor will rely on Adam Flagler and LJ Cryer to create from the perimeter. That’s where Baylor operates most — 44.3% of its shots come from 3 — but it’s also a strength of the Cowboys.
Oklahoma State is one of the tougher defenses in the Big 12. It ranks 12th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency and inside the top 15 in defending off-the-dribble 3s. Boynton’s squad likes to force opponents into ISO-heavy looks, and without George, Baylor’s offense should battle some lulls in finishing.
Baylor is outside the top 300 in 2-point defense and battles foul trouble, especially in the frontcourt. Kalib Boone and Moussa Cisse should be able to command the offensive glass and create plenty of second chances as well. Baylor lacks size, and Cisse’s addition — he missed the first game between these teams — is a huge boost.
While Oklahoma State’s offense struggles from the perimeter, catch-and-shoot 3s occur on over a quarter of its possessions. That’s where Baylor is most vulnerable (199th), along with its weak transition defense (248th), per ShotQuality.
When fully healthy, this is a Baylor team that can compete for a national title. But this is too good of a spot to pass up. It’s without its star, which puts the focus on slowing down the combo of Cryer and Flager.
Not to mention, Monday’s game comes on the road, where Baylor has just one win since late January.
This isn’t a daunting Bears defense, and despite the offensive woes of Oklahoma State, I expect a full-fledged effort from the Pokes in a must-win game against a shorthanded Big 12 brute.
Pick: Oklahoma State +1.5 (Play to PK)
Keyonte George is out for this game, which is a big loss for Baylor considering he’s averaging 16 points and is taking over 30% of his team’s shots when he’s on the floor.
Baylor has tremendous scorers all over the floor, and per ShotQuality’s shot-making metric, it’s the top team in the country in that area. However, the Bears rank 274th in terms of shot selection, so losing one of their best shotmakers is a problem when they’re already taking bad shots.
The other problem is Baylor runs pick-and-roll and a very high frequency, and everything starts with George at the point. Oklahoma State is very good at defending the pick-and-roll, ranking 62nd in PPP allowed. In the previous meeting, the Cowboys held the Bears to just 0.91 PPP on the pick-and-roll.
Baylor is shooting the lights out from beyond the arc in conference play at over 37.5%, but Oklahoma State is No. 1 in the Big 12 in Open-3 Rate Allowed.
The flip side is Oklahoma State has a very lackluster offense, ranking ninth in the Big 12 in adjusted offensive efficiency. The Pokes are shooting 31% from beyond the arc in conference play, and that’s where 40% of their field goal attempts come from. Baylor has allowed just 31% from beyond the arc in conference play, and it’s eighth in the country in PPP allowed in half-court sets, per ShotQuality.
Baylor does tend to play a slower pace, ranking ninth in adjusted tempo in the conference, while Oklahoma State comes in at sixth.
So, with George missing this game, I like the value on under 143.
Pick: Under 141.5 (Play to 140)
West Virginia vs. Iowa State
Iowa State looks to snap a three-game losing streak when it hosts West Virginia on Monday night.
The Cyclones’ recent streak can be attributed to an offense that ranks outside the top 200 in turnover and 3-point percentage. These shortcomings will be significant against the pressure of Bob Huggins’ West Virginia defense.
Defensively, West Virginia ranks 50th nationally in turnover percentage, creating turnovers on 21% of opponents’ possessions. As a result, the Mountaineers have the 14th-lowest average defensive possession length in the country at just 16.7 seconds.
Despite their 5-11 Big-12 record, the Mountaineers are projected as an 11-seed in the NCAA Tournament, according to Bracket Matrix. This comes as a result of five Quad 1 wins and a 12-1 record against Quad two, three and four opponents.
As was highlighted in the first matchup, West Virginia has built its offense through its ability to create penetration and get to the free-throw line. The Mountaineers score 22.3% of their baskets from the charity stripe, the 18th-highest rate in college basketball.
This statistic is important because of Iowa State’s inability to defend without fouling. The Cyclones allow teams to score 22.4% of their points from the free-throw line, which ranks 33rd nationally.
The Cyclones will be desperate to end their four-game losing streak as they return to their home floor, where they rank 11th nationally in Away/Home Court advantage, according to Haslametrics.
However, West Virginia has been in better form and has distinct advantages to keep things interesting. I expect a highly competitive matchup in Ames.
Pick: West Virginia +5.5 (Play to +2.5)
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