Tuesday College Basketball Odds, Picks: Our 7 Best Bets, Including Ohio Bobcats & Alabama Crimson Tide
James Gilbert/Getty Images. Pictured: Keon Ellis.
- There are plenty of solid matchups on Tuesday's college basketball slate, and our staff has sniffed out where the betting value lies.
- From ranked games to mid-major matchups, we have you covered with seven best bets for six games.
- Check out each pick and breakdown for Tuesday below.
Tuesday’s college basketball slate is a big one.
There are 10 ranked teams in action, and our staff sees betting value on some of those games. But we’re not only interested in the blockbuster matchups. There are ways to make money on mid-major action as well, and our expert sniffed those games out, too.
From ranked matchups like Kansas vs. Iowa State and Alabama vs. Auburn to Ball State vs. Ohio and Nevada vs. UNLV in the mid-majors, we have you covered.
So, be sure to check out our seven best bets for six of Tuesday’s biggest games below.
Tuesday 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.|
Kansas vs. Iowa State
I know it’s not the best spot for Iowa State — the Cyclones are coming off of an overtime win on Saturday, while Kansas got smoked by Kentucky. However, I think the bounce-back narrative for Kansas has gone a bit far, creating some pretty good line value on Iowa State, which will still play at home in front of a raucous home crowd in Hilton.
Also, keep in mind this Kansas team has won five straight in conference, but four of those five came by three points or less. That includes a one-point victory in Allen Fieldhouse against these same Cyclones.
Iowa State’s elite defense and home crowd should keep this one close throughout, so I’ll gladly grab the generous 4.5 points.
Pick: Iowa State +4.5
Ball State vs. Ohio
By D.J. James
The Ohio Bobcats host the Ball State Cardinals in a MAC clash Tuesday night.
The Bobcats only have three losses on the season (Toledo, LSU and Kentucky), none of which are bad. They are only second to Toledo in the MAC at the moment while Ball State is in the middle of the pack with a 5-4 record.
However, the Cardinals are playing a bit above expectations. They have riddled off three straight victories, but all came against brutal teams: Miami (OH), Northern Illinois and Western Michigan.
Ohio is a different animal.
First off, Ohio loves to shoot the 3-ball, and Ball State is horrible at perimeter defending. In fact, the Cardinals are allowing opponents to shoot 36.2% beyond the arc. Ben Vander Plas, Mark Sears and Tommy Schmock all shoot 34.8% or higher, so the Bobcats should have plenty of outside opportunities.
In addition, one of Ball State’s positive attributes is its ability to shoot from downtown (35.9%). The only problem is Ohio can defend the 3, holding opponents to 30.4% from beyond the arc.
The Cardinals also like to get to the free throw line, but the Bobcats can withhold themselves from fouling other teams, so this shouldn’t be too prevalent in this game.
Lastly, Ohio ranks 39th in turnover percentage versus Ball State, which ranks 254th. Expect the Bobcats to turn over the Cardinals, as they do with most of their opponents.
Sears, Vander Plas, Jason Carter and Miles Brown all average at least one steal per game, so they should have a field day with the Cardinals’ backcourt.
Pick: Ohio -12 (Play to -14)
Ball State vs. Ohio
Ball State is riding high after three conference wins in a row that bumped the Cardinals up above .500 and into fifth place in the MAC.
During the stretch, the Cardinals have won by an average of 11 points, They’ve also scored 5.1 more points and limited teams to 9.2 less per game.
Ball State has hit 3s at a rate of 44.6% over their last three games, which would be first nationally in the NCAA.
Have the Cardinals figured it out? And can they make a run in the MAC to end the season?
No, they just played three of the bottom four teams in the MAC. And all good things must come to an end, which is exactly what I believe will happen when they square off against the Ohio Bobcats, who are second in the MAC at 7-1.
Ohio is the second-highest scoring offense in the league, while Ball State is the ninth-worst in scoring defense.
The Bobcats are also shooting the ball better than anyone else in the conference, hitting 48.9% of their looks as a team. Ball State is 10th in the conference with a turnover margin of -1.87, while Ohio sits at third, posting a margin of +2.43.
The Cardinals are a better rebounding team, and they can find success around the basket against an Ohio squad that ranks 224th in defensive 2-point shooting percentage.
But the Ball State defense is so bad. I just don’t see any way the Cardinals can limit the Bobcats enough to cover this spread. I think the market is overreacting to Ball State’s recent performances.
Back the Bobcats at home as high as -14.
Pick: Ohio -12.5 (Play to -14)
Texas A&M vs. Tennessee
After a scorching hot start to SEC play, things have come back to reality for Texas A&M. The Aggies have dropped four in a row, but until Saturday there wasn’t a bad loss to report.
In fact, A&M had been extremely competitive in the first three losses, coming up just short to Kentucky at home and then nearly beating LSU in Baton Rouge.
The loss on Saturday was the type that could really hurt come March. The Aggies came out flat and dropped one at home to a mediocre South Carolina team.
Because of that I think you’ll see Buzz Williams’ team put its best foot forward tonight in Knoxville. A&M needs to end the skid quickly to get things back on track, and tonight is a great opportunity to add a Quad 1 road win.
On top of that, I just think 11.5 points is far too many for this Tennessee team to be laying here given some of its offensive challenges. The Vols looked terrible in the half-court for 35 minutes against Texas before going on a crazy late run and almost coming from behind to win the game.
Texas A&M has the depth and athleticism to pose similar challenges to the Volunteers’ offense. The Aggies may have a tough go on the other end against an elite Tennessee defense, but I think they’ll be able to do more than enough to hang inside the number.
Give me A&M and the points.
Pick: Texas A&M +11.5 (Play to +10.5)
North Carolina vs. Louisville
A new week means a new problem for the Louisville Cardinals.
After separating with head coach Chris Mack last week, it was announced Monday night that Malik Williams has been suspended indefinitely from the team.
This is a major loss for the Cardinals, as Williams was the leading rebounder and scorer for an already anemic offense. Louisville (182nd in AdjO, per KenPom) has struggled to generate any offense, as it’s a poor shooting team that ranks near dead last in the ACC in both field goal and 3-point percentage.
Williams’ rebounding will be a drastic loss, opening the door for more UNC second chance points. The Heels are one of the best rebounding teams in the nation and pride themselves on it, so expect another monster game out of Bacot, who will feast down low and grab every board in sight.
North Carolina’s away game production is a slight cause for concern – it’s just 3-3 in road games – but I believe this is just too much of a mismatch for Louisville.
Even though North Carolina generates turnovers at one of the lowest percentages in the nation, the Heels will drastically be helped by Louisville’s lack of scoring output.
Look for North Carolina to continue to shoot hot and start fast with a rebounding advantage. The Heels will get points in a hurry through transition play, which means this may get out of hand fast. Louisville will not be able to keep pace with North Carolina’s offense.
Pick: North Carolina -3.5 (Play to -5.5)
Alabama vs. Auburn
Alabama travels to Auburn in hopes of getting revenge after losing to the Tigers, 81-77, in early January.
The Crimson Tide are 14-7 on the year, but they tend to play to the level of their competition. The group has some bad losses (Iona, Missouri and Georgia). However, it has stepped up immensely when playing elite competition, defeating three of the four teams from last year’s Final Four (Houston, Baylor and Gonzaga).
Alabama has had the toughest strength of schedule of any team in the nation, and it owns six Quad 1 victories.
Over the last 14 Alabama games, the underdog is 13-0-1 against the spread. In this game, the Tide will be catching seven points while traveling to Auburn.
The first time these two teams met, it was Alabama that was laying three points at home. So, what has changed since the first matchup to dictate such a drastic line move?
Well, Auburn has been the hottest team in the country, winning 17 games straight. In that span, the Tigers have been destroying teams and have gone 14-3 against the spread.
Gonzaga plays with the second-fastest tempo in the country, and we saw Alabama run the Bulldogs out of the gym on a neutral floor. The Crimson Tide are one of the few teams in the nation that will want to run-and-gun with Auburn.
In the first matchup, it was a back-and-forth affair that ultimately led to a four-point Auburn victory. This is a great spot to sell high on the Tigers, who are absolutely peaking. The line has moved 10 points since that matchup three weeks ago, which is an over adjustment.
I’m taking the points with Alabama in hopes that the underdog will improve its trend to 14-0-1 over the last 15 Tide basketball games.
Pick: Alabama +7 (Play to +5)
Nevada vs. UNLV
After bedtime for most of the country, the UNLV Rebels (12-9) will host the Nevada Wolf Pack (9-9) in the Silver State Series. The Rebels are 8-3 this season on their home court and this marks just the second home game for the team in the past 18 days.
The most recent games for both teams showcased the divergent paths of these two Mountain West programs. UNLV is coming off of a statement win by defeating a strong Colorado State team on the road, 88-74. Conversely, Nevada limps into town after getting blown out in Reno by Utah State, 78-49.
Nevada has struggled in recent weeks, dropping four of its last six contests. Adding to the woes for the Wolf Pack, the team’s leading scorer, Grant Sherfield, is battling a foot injury and will be questionable for the game this evening.
Look for the Wolf Pack to rely heavily on Desmond Cambridge, Jr., the team’s second-leading scorer, to pick up the slack.
UNLV returns to its home court as the better team, per BartTorvik’s AdjO and AdjD. The Rebels benefit from excellent guard play and have protected the ball well all season.
Senior guard Bryce Hamilton leads the team in scoring and highlighted his ability to take over a game when he put up 45 points in the Rebels’ most recent win against Colorado State.
The UNLV defense will ultimately be the key to a win and cover tonight. Look for the Rebels to win the incremental battles on the glass and to force the Wolf Pack into contested shots.
A questionable Sherfield for the Wolf Pack will allow the Rebels to turn their defensive attention to Cambridge Jr.
I am projecting UNLV as 7.25-point favorites in Sin City tonight. I like backing the Rebels at home against a Nevada team with injury issues.