College Basketball Odds, Picks: Our Staff’s 5 Best Bets for Tuesday’s Slate (Dec. 13)
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images. Pictured: Marcus Sasser (Houston)
It’s exam week across the country, so the Tuesday slate doesn’t exactly give us much meat on the bone.
But there’s still plenty of value on the betting board.
Our staff has five best bets (!) for Tuesday’s slate, including one featuring the former No. 1 team in the country.
So, dive in now for college basketball odds and picks for December 13.
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 Tuesday’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.|
Furman vs. NC State
The Wolfpack will look to bounce back after dropping their first road game of the season against Miami, 80-73, in which the Hurricanes closed the game out on an 18-6 run.
Furman enters this matchup after knocking off Winthrop at home, 82-67, covering for just the third time this season.
One reason this game jumps out is because of a discrepancy between Furman’s rankings on KenPom and Bart Torvik. Furman ranks 83rd in KenPom’s rankings, but just 117 by Bart Torvik.
When there’s a discrepancy like this, I like to defer to Massey as a tiebreaker, where Furman has a ranking of 113.
I think that the differences can be attributed to the strength of schedule thus far. So far, Furman has played a relatively soft schedule, with a strength of schedule ranking of 220th nationally. The surging and more tested North Carolina State offense will be the toughest test for the Paladins this season.
The ranking discrepancies aside, NC State hosts tonight’s game featuring an offense that has been on fire. The Wolfpack are tied for 31st in the nation in AdjO and are presented a very favorable matchup against a Paladins defense that ranks 197th nationally in AdjD.
Graduate student Jarkel Joiner has been on fire the last two games, averaging 27.5 points on 63.6% shooting. Joiner, an Ole Miss transfer, will look to continue his hot streak as he faces a Furman defense that ranks 344th in the nation in effective field goal percentage.
Terquavion Smith and Casey Morsell join Joiner as the NC State scorers that are averaging double digits so far this season. Where this trio shines is beyond the arc, and I expect favorable deep balls to be the differentiator on the way to the cover in this game.
My model is projecting NC State as 9.5-point favorites, representing a near 50% margin to available markets.
The offensive prowess of the Wolfpack — especially the 3 ball — will be too much for Furman. Back NC State at home as it closes out non-conference play.
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Princeton vs. Iona
Union is located just over 30 miles from the campuses of both teams, which will result in a true neutral-site atmosphere.
Princeton is coming into this matchup red-hot, winning its last eight games. The only question mark for the Tigers so far this season has been their strength of schedule, as they rank 332nd in this category.
Similarly, Rick Pitino and Iona come into Tuesday’s matchup on a four-game winning streak. Their most impressive victory so far this season came a week ago at home against Saint Louis, in which the Gaels were able to allow just 62 total points, winning by 22.
The biggest question mark in this matchup is if Princeton will be able to match its toughest opponent of the season.
The Tigers have been able to string together eight straight wins through their impressive fundamental defense. Princeton has not allowed a team to score 70 points since November 11. This is a result of a unit that ranks inside the top 100 in effective FG%, 3P% and 2P%.
Not only do the Tigers make their opponents work for every basket, they also limit the amount of possessions their opponents receive. Princeton is No. 1 in the country in defending offensive rebounds, allowing just 19.2% per game.
This advantage on the boards will continue against an Iona team that ranks 169th in average height and 150th in offensive rebounding percentage (29.7%).
Look for Princeton to create problems for an Iona offense that wants to create scoring opportunities early and often (19th in average possession length).
Additionally, Princeton has shown signs offensively that it’s able to keep up with the high-powered Gaels on Tuesday. The Tigers rank 44th nationally in effective FG% as a result of turning the ball over at just a 16.6% clip (54th nationally).
Taking care of the ball will help them greatly against an Iona team that relies on its 24% turnover% (27th nationally) to give it the upper hand.
The Tigers have been their most effective from 2-point range, ranking 27th nationally in 2P% at 56.3%. The Tigers’ senior frontcourt duo of Keeshawn Kellman and Tosan Evbuomwan will look to excel against an Iona frontcourt that has underperformed this season.
This number that opened at +5 has simply gone too high for a matchup between two teams that have found their stride so far this season. The Tigers will keep this one close by limiting second opportunities and turnovers.
Dartmouth vs. Boston University
By Doug Ziefel
These two teams have been abysmal offensively. This matchup has all the makes of an under you should track on the app and not watch.
Let’s start with Dartmouth. The Big Green have been very reliant on the 3 ball, but have only seen success because of their high volume. Overall, they are 261st in 3-point percentage, and that is directly related to their poor offensive efficiency thus far.
In addition, Boston University has defended well from beyond the arc, as it’s held opponents to under 34% on the season. The Terriers have been even better inside the arc, and that points to a difficult shooting day for the Big Green.
However, the Terriers have not given us anything to write home about, as they enter this matchup 310th in effective shooting percentage. They have the opposite philosophy — they opt to work the ball inside to get a high-percentage look or get to the line.
The Big Green will have the size advantage in this matchup and should be able to limit the Terriers inside. Also, BU is 315th in 2-point percentage already.
Lock in this under, as these two teams won’t get the lid off the rim tonight.
Eastern Washington vs. Texas Tech
This is too many points to lay with a Texas Tech team that has looked surprisingly poor this season.
Remember how scary the Red Raiders’ no-middle defense was last season? The Red Raiders ranked in the 99th percentile of teams in FGA% allowed in the paint, allowing just 6.4 field goals per game.
This season, that same scheme hasn’t been as dominant. While Texas Tech still ranks above average in those areas, the Red Raiders are as vulnerable as ever.
Texas Tech is still hitting shots, getting to the line and crashing the boards, but the offense has been stagnated by turnovers, as the Red Raiders rank 338th in offensive turnover rate.
Plus, center Daniel Batcho is questionable for this game. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mark Adams rested him until the start of Big 12 play, given that the Red Raiders are hosting four KenPom sub-300 teams between now and then.
— Sean Dillon 🎙📻 Hosts Beyond the Mic (@SeanADillon) December 12, 2022
Batcho has been a lifesaver for Texas Tech this season with his interior scoring and defense. The Red Raiders are much-less efficient without him.
This play is mostly a fade of Texas Tech, but Eastern Washington has some advantages.
Eastern Washington runs a motion offense that moves the ball around the perimeter and looks for open 3s (74th in 3-point rate). That’s the quintessential way to beat the no-middle — looking for skip passes to weak-side open shooters.
The deep shots have to fall, which they haven’t this season (29.8%). But ShotQuality does project some positive regression for the Eagles (+11.09 record luck).
Eastern Washington is also a top-tier rebounding team (13th in defensive rebounding rate), so it should prevent second possessions and keep this game from turning into a blowout.
Texas Tech is 2-5 ATS as a favorite and 1-4 ATS at home this season, so I’ll try and fade it one more time.
North Carolina A&T vs. Houston
By D.J. James
The Cougars are already running at the 351st-ranked Adjusted Tempo in the nation, per KenPom. This team is 8-2 on unders this season, and it should be on its way to another on Tuesday night.
For one, North Carolina A&T does not do anything well offensively. It has an eFG% of only 47.1%, which ranks 277th in college basketball. It hits 31.5% of its 3s and only 47.1% of its 2-pointers.
However, 38.1% of NC A&T’s total point distribution comes from beyond the arc. Kam Woods and Demetric Horton shoot above 40% from outside.
Unfortunately for the Aggies, the Cougars are holding the opposition to only 23.6% from outside the perimeter and 38.9% inside. Essentially, the Aggies will have nowhere to go for scoring options.
Houston does have a tendency to foul a little too often, but this is mostly a result of over-aggression defensively. Look for the knob to be turned down a little bit in the second half when the Cougars are up by 20 points.
The only hindrance to an under in this game will be if suddenly Houston explodes offensively. The Cougars will likely score with ease, but on the season, they rank 124th in eFG%. They can take ill-advised shots at times, so the under should still be in play.
Since defense is sometimes a mental thing, expect the Cougars to lock down the Aggies.