College Basketball Best Bets: Three Man Weave’s 3 Top Picks for Monday, Including Alcorn State vs. Houston
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyler Edwards
After a weekend in which many conferences around the country kick-started league play, the average college basketball fan will get a little breather on Monday night.
Even though the slate is thin (and features nothing extraordinary), there is no time to rest for bettors.
To help pad your wallet, Jim Root of Three Man Weave located the value on the schedule and pulled his target on three of his best bets for Monday evening.
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 today’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.|
Mercer vs. Coastal Carolina
The host Chanticleers are riding high right now, as they demolished South Carolina and controlled a solid Winthrop team in their last two contests.
Now, facing a middling Southern Conference team, why should we expect anything different?
The key element here is the versatility of Mercer’s big men, especially Felipe Haase.
Coastal Carolina packs the paint and mixes in some junk zones, but Haase can bust those defenses with his lights-out perimeter shooting. He is currently hitting a sizzling 53.7% of his triples on a high volume.
While that may seem like an outlier, Haase has been a 40% 3-point shooter for two straight seasons, and that stroke will unlock the Chants’ tight-knit fortress.
Coastal features Essam Mostafa at center, a physical but somewhat lumbering Egyptian behemoth. He is not comfortable chasing opposing bigs all the way to the arc, so expect a big game from Haase.
From a number perspective, this spread is also deceiving, implying that these two are equals on a neutral floor. Coastal’s recent wins have inflated its rating in the market, most notably the blitz of the Gamecocks.
South Carolina was missing its starting point guard in that one, though. The Chants’ big win was less impressive than it appears on the surface, inflating this number.
I would take this one down to pick’em. I think the Bears get the road win, so you will not need the points.
Feel free to grab the moneyline if you prefer a slight plus money bet.
Pick: Mercer +3 (Play to PK)
Columbia vs. Colgate
It’s quite rare we get to buy low on a very good team, while selling high on a putrid one. Fortunately, the gambling gods have smiled on us here.
Colgate, the very good team, is in the midst of a three-game losing streak after a program-defining win at Syracuse. The Raiders are coming off the nadir of that stretch, a second-half collapse against Northeastern in which Colgate blew a 13-point lead with nine minutes to play.
That is mega uncharacteristic of a well-coached, veteran squad.
On the other hand, Columbia just notched its second Division I win of the year. The Lions controlled the game against Maine, showing impressive resolve after the Black Bears cut a big lead to three in the second half.
While the double-digit win did not markedly raise Columbia’s analytical profile, it may have kept this spread from taking off into the stratosphere.
Crucially, key big man Ike Nweke remains sidelined for the Lions, so the team lacks a route to easy points inside. Patrick Harding is a rebounding machine, but he is not an offensive weapon.
Even with the emergence of Keegan Records and Jeff Woodward, Colgate is vulnerable in the paint, ranking 301st nationally in 2P% defense. If you do not take advantage of that, you let the Raiders off the hook — and Columbia cannot without Nweke.
The other and perhaps more obvious edge here is in Columbia’s defensive scheme. Without Nweke, Columbia packs the paint and allows foes to shoot over the top.
That’s a death sentence against this Colgate team, which features multiple snipers capable of lighting up a defense. Jack Ferguson and Tucker Richardson will not stay cold forever, and no miracle can save Columbia if they get hot Monday night.
This number opened a little higher than I hoped, so I’m giving less leeway on my strike price, but I would take this up to -22.
Pick: Colgate -21 (Play to -22)
Alcorn State vs. Houston
Houston just won by 67 points (yes, that is sixty-freakin-seven) against Bryant, and Bryant would be favored by 10ish on a neutral court against Alcorn State.
This one is easy, right?
Well, yes and no.
The Cougars brutalized Bryant in the paint and on the glass, a constant under Kelvin Sampson. That is actually an area where Alcorn can at least somewhat compete — via big men Lenell Henry and Darrious Agnew and active wing Dontrell McQuarter. Thus, this one might not be the same kind of bloodbath inside.
Still, though, Houston has made a habit out of crushing inferior foes. Under Sampson, Houston has been a favorite of 20 or more 15 times. In those contests, the Cougars are 10-4-1 against the spread, including the aforementioned evisceration of Bryant.
Even more impressive, the Cougars are covering by an average of +8.9 points per game — they crush bad teams.
As an added bonus, I would argue Houston is even mildly undervalued right now — yes, they are No. 4 in KenPom’s ratings — and that is due to Tramon Mark.
The sophomore wing missed the start of the year with injury, but he oozes talent, and he looks ready to realize it.
Against Bryant, he racked up 22 points, four rebounds and four assists in 28 minutes. He adds an element of wing scoring that is simply not present on the rest of the roster. He is also a legitimate NBA prospect because of his length and skill set.
With Sampson’s nonstop intensity fueling the beatdown, Houston is one of the “safer” massive favorites in the sport. Alcorn State is not pitiful, but the Braves are simply overmatched here.
I would take this up to -35.
Pick: Houston -31 (Play to -35)
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