Sunday College Basketball Odds & Picks: Our 2 Best Bets for Regular-Season Games
Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images. Pictured: Jordan Bohannon.
- It's the last day of the college basketball regular season, and our staff came through with two best bets for this joyous occasion.
- Collin Wilson and Tanner McGrath are focused on the Big Ten with picks for Iowa vs. Illinois and Penn State vs. Rutgers.
- Check out both bets and breakdowns for Sunday below.
We made it. The last day of this incredible college basketball is finally upon us.
While that may sound bittersweet, it doesn’t have to be. After all, we have a number of conference tournaments already in action, and plenty more will start this week.
Instead of being sad about the regular season is ending, let’s celebrate it. That’s exactly what Tanner McGrath and Collin Wilson are doing, as they’ve found betting value on two Big Ten games for Sunday’s slate.
Check out their two picks below, and be sure to stop back tomorrow for even more of our best bets for Monday’s conference championship games.
Sunday 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 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.|
Penn State vs. Rutgers
Rutgers is a buzzsaw at home. The Scarlet Knights have picked up home wins over Michigan State, Ohio State, Iowa, Michigan and Purdue this season.
But at the same time, Rutgers is pathetic with any expectations. It’s 1-8 against the spread as a favorite this year.
And the Scarlet Knights are playing my favorite undervalued Big Ten team. Penn State doesn’t have a lot of talent, but Micah Shrewsberry has proven himself as a more-than-competent head coach.
The Nittany Lions are fun to watch in general, as the ball movement and communication has been superb. But the Lions are also solid to back as an underdog because they’re frisky on defense (first in Big Ten in 2-point defense, 45.1%) and love to slow the game down (354th nationally in tempo, 62.4).
As a result, PSU is 10-6 ATS when catching points this season. That includes wins over Indiana, Iowa, and Michigan State. And lest we forget when Rutgers visited Penn State in University Park and was non-competitive, losing by 17.
We have some sharp money on our side here, too, as Penn State has pulled just 42% of the tickets but over 52% of the handle.
If the Nittany Lions are catching more than five on Sunday, I’ll be backing them to keep the regular-season finale close.
Pick: Penn State +5.5 (Play to +5)
Iowa vs. Illinois
There are a number of scenarios that will dictate seeding for the Big Ten Tournament.
Before tip-off of all games on Sunday, Illinois has a chance to land anywhere from the top to the third seed in the Big Ten Tournament.
For Iowa, a placement of fourth through sixth is expected.
The fourth seed in the tournament will receive a double-bye and will not play until Friday. Iowa will be heavily motivated to win, considering Ohio State owns a tiebreaker.
Illinois has heavy advantages in offensive rebounding and effective field goal shooting on the defensive side of the ball, but the style of play makes this handicap all Iowa.
The Hawkeyes prefer a fast tempo on offense, posting the highest frequency of transition and screens for scoring in the Big Ten. The Fighting Illini defense is 322nd in transition efficiency and 243rd against offenses that use screens.
Iowa does have the best defense in the conference from a turnover rate perspective, but its defense against Illinois’ style of offense must be considered. Illinois is a heavy half-court offense using pick-and-roll. Iowa is the third-best Big Ten defense in defending half-court sets and ranks fifth against the pick-and-roll.
Led by one of the best players in the nation in Keegan Murray, expect Iowa to take advantage of the stylistic mismatches and get the double-bye in the Big Ten Tournament.