College Basketball Best Bets for Monday: Three Man Weave’s 3 Top Picks, Including North Dakota State vs. UNLV
David J. Becker/Getty Images. Pictured: A game takes place on the UNLV basketball court.
- The Monday night college basketball slate is highlighted by the Gavitt Tipoff Games, but there are other ways to earn some cash.
- Missouri hosts UMKC, North Dakota State travels to Vegas and Utah Valley takes on Pepperdine.
- Below, Jim Root of Three Man Weave offers up his three best bets for Monday evening.
Monday Night Football isn't the only thing worth a bet tonight.
There's a loaded college basketball slate with everything from Power Five teams in action to low-major games across the board. The good thing about betting? It doesn't have to be a big game to have value.
Check out all three of Root's breakdowns and betting picks for Monday night's college hoops slate below.
Three Man Weave'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.
UMKC vs. Missouri
By Jim Root
If you are not familiar with UMKC head coach Billy Donlon’s style, let me give you a quick rundown.
His teams play slow, they’re hyper-physical, and they are incredibly feisty as underdogs. They will suck the life out of a game, draining the clock with long possessions and forcing opponents to do the same.
If you do not try to speed up these Kangaroos, they will be plenty content to shorten the game.
Considering Missouri’s approach to the game, it seems extremely likely this one turns into a half-court slugfest.
Missouri had an average possession length of 18.1 seconds in its opener against Central Michigan, ranking the Tigers 252nd nationally. They lack depth and experience together in a major way, with only two returning rotation players from last season. Cuonzo Martin is never an up-tempo coach, but those two factors could lead to one of his slowest teams.
Missouri also lacks perimeter shooting, mostly needing to get inside to score. The Tigers especially thrive via second-shot opportunities — they had 16 offensive rebounds against CMU in a season-opening victory.
That will not work against Donlon’s shell, though. UMKC is an elite defensive rebounding team, led by stalwart Josiah Allick.
UMKC, meanwhile, sorely lacks any offensive punch. Star guard Brandon McKissic is now thriving at Florida, and New Mexico St. import Evan Gilyard has yet to fill that void.
Allick is a decent interior option, but he often ends up swamped by double- and triple-teams thanks to shooting-deficient teammates. Missouri’s physical defense should make it a chore for the Roos to find buckets.
I think this is an extremely strong play at the current number, and I would take it all the way down to 127.
Pick: Under 129 (Play to 127)
North Dakota State vs. UNLV
By Jim Root
From one grinder to another!
North Dakota State is a savvy collection of veterans heading to Sin City. Coach Dave Richman has long been a proponent of half-court hoops, never ranking higher than 253rd in tempo in seven previous years in charge.
Last year, the Bison checked in at 327th, and they’re off to a stagnant start this year, with two games totaling just 65 and 63 possessions.
To pair with that crawling pace, NDSU lacks a true point guard. Instead, a rotating committee of wings share those duties.
Sam Griesel, Tyree Eady, and Jarius Cook all do a yeoman’s job, but none of them are dynamic advantage creators who repeatedly bend a defense. Against a packed-in group like this UNLV team, that absence should be apparent.
In Vegas, new coach Kevin Kruger and his Runnin’ Rebels have scrapped to a 2-0 record, gutting out victories of 64-58 and 55-52.
Like his father, Kruger has instilled an intense physical mindset, and UNLV has thrived defensively. The Rebels’ first two opponents have managed a paltry 0.82 and 0.84 points per possession, respectively.
Unfortunately for them, the plethora of new transfers have struggled to gel on the other end, making unders an appealing option. See: the first two games going way, way under.
The risk here lies in shooting regression. UNLV is at just 22.2% from deep this year, and its opponents have made a paltry 20.6% themselves. Should the Rebels and the Bison both get hot on the same night and revert toward the mean, the total will be in trouble.
The opener on this total was fairly sharp — clearly, UNLV’s first two games have resonated. Still, there’s some value, and I would stick with this one down to 130.
Pick: Under 131.5 (Play to 130)
Utah Valley vs. Pepperdine
By Jim Root
I have to admit: I considered going with the Tulsa/Oregon State under as my third pick. A terrific trio of sub-135 under bets? Who could resist a lovely collection of bets like that?
Alas, my eyes strayed to Utah Valley, which is off to Malibu to take on the Pepperdine Waves.
Mark Madsen’s crew struggled in its opener, falling on the road at Boise State by 20. The Antelopes struggled from deep and were sloppy with the ball, coughing up 18 turnovers against the athletic Broncos.
Playmaking wing/part-time point guard Trey Woodbury missed that game and is likely still out for this contest.
Wait, am I supporting a Pepperdine pick? Not at all!
Pepperdine has issues of its own. The Waves got demolished by Point Loma Nazarene in an exhibition game (lost by 27), and early returns this year are similarly discouraging.
Pepperdine got blown out at Rice and barely skated by Idaho State, a middling Big Sky opponent, at home. Lorenzo Romar lost two key cornerstones this offseason in Colbey Ross and Kessler Edwards, and he has yet to figure out how to replace them.
Most importantly, the Waves do not have the same kind of defensive potency as Boise State, especially on the perimeter. That allows Utah Valley to get into its half-court offense, even with Blaze Nield running a solo act sans Woodbury.
Once there, double-double machine Fardaws Aimaq can absolutely dominate the Waves’ soft interior. Through two games, Pepperdine is allowing foes to convert 58.3% of their 2P attempts, good for 298th nationally.
Aimaq is a brute, carving out space with his strength and high work rate, and he can dominate the glass in the rare instances where he doesn’t get a touch on the block.
To add to his dominance, Pepperdine’s starting center, Victor Ohia Obioha, missed the Waves’ last game, leaving his status unclear for Monday. He’s their primary post defender, with Jan Zidek being more of a stretch big — paving the way for a monster Aimaq game.
Pepperdine’s offense has also peaked at just 0.92 points per possession through two games. The Waves’ youth is extremely apparent on that end of the floor. Per KenPom, Pepperdine ranks a lowly 273rd nationally in experience, with two freshman starters in key roles.
Even without Woodbury, I think UVU can bring home a win in Malibu. I would bet this down to +5, possibly reducing bet size some if it slips down to +4.5 or +4.