College Basketball Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s 3 Best Bets for Tuesday, Including Kansas vs. Colorado

College Basketball Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s 3 Best Bets for Tuesday, Including Kansas vs. Colorado article feature image
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Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Ochai Agbaji

Beyond Xavier-Villanova, Tuesday’s college basketball slate doesn’t necessarily bring any true must-see showdowns.

However, what makes today (and Wednesday, for that matter) so intriguing for bettors is that there are games being played from noon to 11 p.m. ET.

That offers a plethora of opportunity to find value and potentially pad your wallet before the holidays.

With that in mind, our staff dives into three games — including one this afternoon and a couple this evening — to provide their best bets.


Tuesday’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.

Game
Time
Pick
2 p.m. ET
Jacksonville +6.5
7:30 p.m. ET
Oakland +10
9 p.m. ET
Kansas -10
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.

Jacksonville vs. Pitt

Tuesday, Dec. 21
2 p.m. ET
ACC Network
Jacksonville +6.5

By Tanner McGrath

A perfect sell-high spot for a Pitt team that isn’t any good. The Panthers finally saw some success with a win against St. John’s — as 11-point underdogs no less — but they’ll instantly come back to Earth.

This Jacksonville defense is feisty. Jordan Mincy switches between packline and zone without a hitch, and it has confused college basketball teams across the nation. The Dolphins held Minnesota to just 55 and UCF to just 63.

Behind this defense, the Dolphins have overachieved this season. Jacksonville is 6-1 ATS, 4-1 ATS on the road and 3-1 ATS as an underdog.

Meanwhile, Pitt is just 1-3 ATS as a favorite, mostly behind an inept offense (303rd in eFG%, 321st in turnover rate). The Panthers are in for a long day against Mincy & Co.

Throw in that both teams rank outside the top 300 in tempo, and I love catching over six in a potential grinder.

Pick: Jacksonville +6.5 (Play to +5.5)



Michigan State vs. Oakland

Tuesday, Dec. 21
7:30 p.m. ET
ESPN+
Oakland +10

By Tanner McGrath

Greg Kampe has dropped 19 straight to Tom Izzo and Sparty, so he’ll have his team prepared. Moreover, this game is actually being played in Detroit rather than East Lansing, which gives an edge to the Grizzlies.

I love the Oakland point guard Jalen Moore. He’s one of the top mid-major point guards in the nation, averaging 14 points per game while ranking top-30 nationally in assist rate.

With Moore, I actually give the backcourt advantage to Oakland. Tyson Walker and AJ Hoggard definitely have a higher upside, but those two are leading an offense that’s been mostly mediocre (93rd in eFG%, 276th in turnover rate).

Marcus Bingham Jr. should dominate down low, but Oakland forward Jamal Cain is averaging over 20 points per game with incredible efficiency. Cain is undersized, but he should somewhat neutralize Sparty’s interior advantage.

Add up all the edges, and 10 points is a few too many. The sharps are with me, as this line has been steamed down from the MSU -11 opening.

I like following the smart money, and I still think the Grizzlies keep this to single digits.

Pick: Oakland +10 (Play to +9.5)



Kansas vs. Colorado

Tuesday, Dec. 21
9 p.m. ET
ESPN2
Kansas -10

By Kyle Remillard

Colorado is 9-3 on the season, but has only beaten one opponent that ranks inside the top 150, according to KenPom. The Buffaloes needed overtime to defeat Montana State and Duquesne, while only beating Brown and Eastern Washington by one-point.

They’ve had two matchups against top-10 teams in UCLA and Tennessee and lost both by double-digits.

The offense has struggled recently, only averaging 60 points over its last five games. Much of that is due to shooting woes, as Colorado has hit 31% of its 3-point attempts (264th) and 51% of its 2-point attempts (128th).

That will be a disaster matching up against Kansas, which owns the third offensive efficiency ranking in the country. The Jayhawks have been rolling, averaging 86 points and outscoring opponents by 18 points per contest.

The program has three prolific scorers in Ochai Agbaji, Christian Braun and Remy Martin, who are averaging a combined 50 points per game. Agbaji has been lights out from behind the arc, hitting 48.4% of his 64 3-pointers this season.

Kansas has hit 59% of its shot attempts inside the perimeter, which is third-best in the nation.

Colorado will look to slow the pace down and play a possession-by-possession game, but Kansas won’t allow that to happen. The Jayhawks will jump out to an early lead and Colorado’s style isn’t made for playing from behind, which will allow that lead to snowball.

Colorado is set to suffer its third double-digit defeat to a top-10 opponent this season.

Pick: Kansas -10 (Play to -12)

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