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College Basketball Odds, Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Tuesday’s Slate, Including Jimmy V Classic (Dec. 6)

College Basketball Odds, Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Tuesday’s Slate, Including Jimmy V Classic (Dec. 6) article feature image
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Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Fran McCaffery (Iowa)

The big event in college basketball on Tuesday is the Jimmy V Classic from the World’s Most Famous Arena — No. 17 Illinois faces No. 2 Texas and Iowa takes on No. 15 Duke.

While we have a best bet from both games below, our staff is also eyeing three other spots they like beyond New York City’s matchups.

Dive right in and formulate your Tuesday college hoops betting card.


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.

Game
Time
Pick
7 p.m. ET
Under 135.5
7 p.m. ET
Winthrop -12.5
7 p.m. ET
Illinois +2.5
9 p.m. ET
Wisconsin ML (-110)
9:30 p.m. ET
Iowa 1H +115
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.

UNC Greensboro vs. Arkansas

Tuesday, Dec. 6
7 p.m. ET
SEC Network
Under 135.5

By D.J. James

The Arkansas Razorbacks only have one loss on the season for a reason, and it is mainly attributable to how tenacious their defense is. Yes, they play at one of the fastest paces in the country, but they have a seventh-ranked Adjusted Defensive Efficiency in the NCAA.

They take on the UNC Greensboro Spartans on Tuesday night, who are notoriously a slow team. At the moment, KenPom has them ranked 235th in Adjusted Tempo, utilizing an average of 17.4 seconds per possession on offense and 18.4 seconds per possession on the defensive end.

The Spartans prosper on defense. There is a reason it takes so long for an opponent to find an open shot, as they have the 105th-ranked Adjusted Defensive Efficiency.

They turn the opposition over 21.6% of the time and hold them to less than 49% on 2-pointers.

They do, however, allow a plethora of 3-point attempts and don’t do the best job of guarding the perimeter. On the year, teams are shooting over 37% from three on the Spartans’ defense.

To their benefit in this matchup, Arkansas ranks 347th in the NCAA in 3-point attempt percentage. Anthony Black and Trevon Brazile would be the Razorbacks’ offensive weapons to watch on outside shots, but overall, Arkansas will keep the ball inside to maintain its typical offensive approach.

Arkansas will turn over the Spartans often. The Razorbacks turn over opponents nearly 26% of the time, while UNCG is giving the ball away around 21% on offense.

This is one area to be concerned about with the total, but expect Arkansas to look a little limited on offense with such a concentration on driving and getting the ball into the paint.

Pick: Under 135.5 (Play to 132)

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South Carolina State vs. Winthrop

Tuesday, Dec. 6
7 p.m. ET
ESPN+
Winthrop -12.5

By Keg

There might not be a better spot to back Winthrop this season than on Tuesday night when it faces South Carolina State. Winthrop is coming off of its first loss at home since December 2019 and will look to put another win streak together before it hits the road for three straight road games.

Winthrop hasn’t been great on defense, allowing teams to average 82.4 points per game. But SCST has been even worse, giving up 87.2 points per game on average.

When it comes to the offensive side of the ball, though, there’s one area the Eagles excel at that will be a major factor in this game.

The Eagles are one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country, ranking 13th in the nation by hitting 40.6% of long-range attempts. They average nine made 3-pointers per game and have made 11.3 over their last three.

Winthrop also boasts four players who rank inside the top 15 of the conference in scoring, while Toneari Lane leads the league in 3-point percentage (49.2%) and made 3s per game (3.2).

South Carolina State, meanwhile, is allowing opposing teams to hit at a rate of 37.6% from beyond the arc. When they faced the best 3-point shooting team in the country in Western Kentucky, the Bulldogs allowed the Hilltoppers to go 13-of-33 from beyond the arc and lost by 26.

I think we’ll see a similar outcome here, so this line is well below where it should be. I’d be comfortable backing the Eagles as high as a 17-point favorite.

Pick: Winthrop -12.5 (Play to -17)


Illinois vs. Texas

Tuesday, Dec. 6
7 p.m. ET
ESPN
Illinois +2.5

By D.J. James

The Jimmy V Classic kicks off on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City with the Illinois Fighting Illini taking on the Texas Longhorns for a Big Ten/Big 12 matchup.

Illinois is getting a discount going into this game, and the market is a little down on it after it dropped its last game to Maryland on the road, 71-66.

Texas’ weaker schedule and propensity to give up the deep ball to teams will leave plenty of shots open for the 3-point heavy Illini.

Since Illinois has some favorable defensive matchups, they have value on the spread and deserve maybe a sprinkle on the moneyline.

Take Illinois +2 or better.

Pick: Illinois +2.5 (Play to +2)



Maryland vs. Wisconsin

Tuesday, Dec. 6
9 p.m. ET
ESPN2
Wisconsin ML (-110)

By Mike McNamara

On Saturday, I rolled with the Badgers as a road dog against Marquette. Wisconsin won that game outright.

Now, back to the well I go with Greg Gard’s team.

I believe this is the spot to sell Maryland after a fantastic start to the season for the Terps.

Kevin Willard used the transfer portal very well to help build a quality roster in his first year in College Park.

The Terps have been extremely balanced to start the year, ranking inside the top 35 in KenPom’s offensive and defensive efficiency rankings.

Jahmir Young has been a playmaker in the Maryland offense and hit the shot to seal the win over Illinois last Friday night.

All that said, this will be only the second true road game of the year for Maryland, and the first came against lowly Louisville. Heading to a fired up Kohl Center to face a good Wisconsin team is a new test.

Tyler Wahl has been outstanding on the block for Wisconsin, and he should be able to go to work in the paint once again in this matchup.

I also think Gard’s defensive philosophy will force Maryland to beat the Badgers from the outside, which will be difficult to do. Additionally, Wisconsin has done a good job of limiting opponents to just one shot and securing defensive rebounds.

Wisconsin let one slip away in its most recent home game to Wake Forest, so there will be an added urgency to get a win on its home floor and start off 1-0 in Big Ten play.

This should be a competitive battle, but I like the Badgers to do enough to secure the victory in their building.

Pick: Wisconsin ML (-110) | Play to -125


Iowa vs. Duke

Tuesday, Dec. 6
9:30 p.m. ET
ESPN
Iowa 1H +115

By Keg

This Jimmy V Classic game between Iowa and Duke will absolutely be can’t-miss basketball and will likely carry weight all the way to Selection Sunday. I fully expect a battle from both teams that comes down to the last possession, which is why I’m not betting this game to the last possession.

Iowa has consistently been a better team at both ends in the first half, while Duke has struggled to settle in, specifically on defense until after halftime. Iowa is averaging a third-best 42.4 points in the first half while giving up just 29.9.

Duke, meanwhile, is allowing opponents to average 30.5 points in the first half and doesn’t quite lock in until the second half, when they rank seventh in the nation, giving up just 28.2 points.

Back the Hawkeyes to come out motivated and take a lead into halftime. I’ll be backing Iowa on the moneyline as high as -125 in the first half.

Pick: Iowa 1H +115 (Play to -125)

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