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College Basketball Odds & Picks: Three Man Weave’s 3 Best Bets for Monday, Including Incarnate Word vs. Purdue

College Basketball Odds & Picks: Three Man Weave’s 3 Best Bets for Monday, Including Incarnate Word vs. Purdue article feature image

Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Sasha Stefanovic

With the holiday week upon us, college basketball takes a bit of a breather this weekend with limited action from Friday through Sunday.

But early this week, there is plenty of value to be had from a betting angle.

Ky McKeon from Three Man Weave looks at Monday — in particular — and has three best bets for two mid-major games and a matchup featuring one of the top teams in the country covering a large spread.

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.

5 p.m. ET
Over 155.5
7 p.m. ET
Purdue -38
8 p.m. ET
St. Thomas -3
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.

South Carolina State vs. The Citadel

Monday, Dec. 20
5 p.m. ET
Over 155.5

Everyone loves betting a total on the extra board.

Overs for The Citadel used to be an automatic bet. Head coach Duggar Baucom — and his trademarked “Duggar Ball” — plays at one of the most frenetic paces in the country year in and year out.

This season, however, the Bulldogs are just 2-4 to the over.

Why is this?

For one, oddsmakers always set The Citadel’s totals high. But the main driver is the Bulldogs’ average defensive possession length allowed. Opposing teams are taking over 18 seconds on each play before shooting or turning it over. That ranks 332nd in the country (with faster being ranked higher).

A Baucom Citadel squad has never ranked outside the top 75 in this area, and normally his squads are within the top 30.

Per Synergy, Baucom has pressed on just 1.5% of his possessions this season. That’s down from nearly 5% last year and around 20% the year before. This is driving down The Citadel’s game possession count.

Against South Carolina State, a team that is looking to run, run, run in the open floor, The Citadel won’t be able to keep the Bulldogs’ pace at a crawl. SCSU ranks 12th-nationally in offensive average possession length. Defensively, it employs a full-court press on over 16% of its possessions.

These two squads played earlier this season. The game ended 91-79 — a total of 170 points — and had 84 possessions. That final score is misleading, as the game did go to overtime, but regulation was plenty fast, and the pair combined for 154 points in 40 minutes.

We should see a high-possession game, plenty of fouls (they combined to shoot 45 free throws in game one) and plenty of 3-point attempts.

All of those factors contribute to a high-scoring contest.

Pick: Over 155.5 (Play to 157.5)

Incarnate Word vs. Purdue

Monday, Dec. 20
7 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network
Purdue -38

Let’s play a little game. It’s called “Name your Number.”

That’s essentially what Purdue will be playing tonight. How many points do the Boilermakers want to win by? How many points do they want to score?

Whatever they decide shall be the answer.

Normally betting near-40-point favorites isn’t a good decision. It’s hard to gauge motivation, especially given we are close to the holiday break. But this matchup is so unbelievably one-sided that one squad (Purdue) can’t help but blow the other side clean out of the water.

Purdue comes into this contest with the No. 1 offense in the country. Per KenPom, the Boilers are scoring a ridiculous 1.204 points per possession. On the flip side, Incarnate Word grades out as the second-worst defense in the land, allowing a whopping 1.142 points per possession.

UIW’s defense is a complete sieve. The Cardinals are allowing opponents to shoot 42% from deep and 56.4% inside the arc. Per Hoop-Math, UIW opponents are 64.6% on shot attempts near the rim.

Purdue has two All-American caliber centers in Trevion Williams and Zach Edey. They will get anything and everything inside the paint.

On any Purdue miss, Williams or Edey will likely grab the carom. The Boilermakers are the nation’s seventh-best offensive rebounding team. UIW is the nation’s 298th-best defensive rebounding squad.

Incarnate Word doesn’t have a prayer offensively, either. UIW ranks 335th in adjusted offensive efficiency, per KenPom, and Purdue is 37th in defense. The Cards will get one shot MAX on every possession (they are one of the worst offensive rebounding teams in the country), and that shot will almost always be contested.

Oddsmakers expect this game to play to a 145-point total. 95-50 Purdue sounds like a reasonable expectation.

Pick: Purdue -38 (Play to -40)

St. Thomas (MN) vs. Omaha

Monday, Dec. 20
8 p.m. ET
Mavs All-Access
St. Thomas -3

Betting on or against either of these teams this season has been a game of Whack-a-Mole. St. Thomas is 4-4 against the spread. It has won outright as an underdog three times, but it also lost to Chicago State.

Omaha is 4-6 against the number despite not having a fully healthy roster at any point this season. How the Mavericks have mustered together four covers is beyond my scope of comprehension.

Through just 11 games, head coach Derrin Hansen has used six different starting lineups. 13 different players have played at least three games. 12 have played six or more.

So why even jump into the fray and bet on / against two seemingly random teams? Because you are a degenerate, that’s why.

Also, one of these teams, St. Thomas, is actually good at one end of the floor. Head coach Johnny Tauer is an offensive wizard. He dominated the Division III circuit and is somehow competing at the Division I level with no players above 6-foot-7, and technically no Division I talent.

The Tommies rank 122nd nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency, per KenPom. Two key factors drive that success.

Factor one is turnover rate. St. Thomas ranks seventh in the country in offensive turnover rate. It has one of the most sure-handed guard groups in the nation led by senior Anders Nelson.

Factor two is 3PA rate. Only one team in the country (VMI) attempts a higher rate of triples than the Tommies, and no team scores a higher percentage of their total points from behind the arc. Nearly 55% of all St. Thomas shot attempts come from downtown. It’s called playing the percentages (Simpsons deep cut “Homer at the Bat” reference).

Omaha allows 3s at a high rate and opposing teams are shooting nearly 40% from deep against it. That is partially luck, but it’s also poor defense. With so many players constantly in and out of the lineup, it’s no surprise Omaha is discombobulated on this end of the floor.

On the other end, St. Thomas is one of the worst defensive teams in the country (size is a major reason why). But, as on defense, Omaha just doesn’t have the continuity game to game to be good on the offensive end of the floor.

The Mavs rank just 307th in adjusted offensive efficiency and won’t be able to exploit the Tommies’ porous D.

This will be St. Thomas’ first Division I conference game. It will also be its first game as a favorite. Both are scary angles to bet on, but the Tommies’ coaching, shooting, smarts and ball-handling should win out over a team in disarray.

Pick: St. Thomas -3 (Play to -4)

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