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College Basketball Odds, Picks: Three Man Weave’s 3 Best Bets for Monday (Jan. 2)

College Basketball Odds, Picks: Three Man Weave’s 3 Best Bets for Monday (Jan. 2) article feature image
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Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images. Pictured: Oklahoma State Cowboys

In our first best bets piece of 2023, Jim Root of Three Man Weave has three top picks for the college basketball slate on Monday.

The schedule is rather light, but there’s still plenty of value on the board. So, let’s dive in for the top college basketball odds and picks for Monday evening.


Monday’s Three Man Weave College Basketball Best Bets

The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that Jim is targeting from Monday’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
5 p.m. ET
Alcorn State -3
7 p.m. ET
Under 139.5
7:30 p.m. ET
North Florida +4.5
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.

Jackson State vs. Alcorn State

Monday, Jan.2
5 p.m. ET
JSU Sports Network
Alcorn State -3

By Jim Root

After a grueling grind of a non-conference slate, Alcorn is finally home. The Braves played all over the country — El Paso, Tempe, Knoxville, Seattle and Dayton — surely accumulating all kinds of travel points along the way.

Monday marks their home opener as league play begins, a welcome relief for a squad that has lived out of suitcases for two months.

Curiously, the visiting Jackson State Tigers are in the same boat, having not played a home game yet this season. That changes Saturday, but they are on the road for one more time before getting there.

Because of their wild schedules, it’s hard to get a great read on either team. They both have nightmarishly bad 2-point defenses, but that should normalize against more equal competition.

The one clear matchup edge is Alcorn’s frenetic defense against JSU’s sloppy ball-handling. The Braves rank 67th nationally in defensive turnover rate, while JSU sits at 358th in offensive turnover rate.

Alcorn’s pressure should generate plenty of transition opportunities and easy buckets going the other way. SWAC teams generally struggle to create in the half-court, so transition points become pivotal.

Both sides have some roster question marks, as starters Dekedran Thorn (Alcorn) and Chase Adams (Jackson State) missed their most recent contests. Both could be back for league play, and I see it as a wash regardless.

The more important absence is Gabe Watson, JSU’s best shot creator, who has been absent for a month.

Given the home opener aspect, the turnover edge and Watson’s absence, I’m happy to back the Braves here.

Pick: Alcorn State -3 (Play to -4)

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West Virginia vs. Oklahoma State

Monday, Jan.2
7 p.m. ET
ESPNU
Under 139.5

By Jim Root

A rare power conference game on a Monday! We haven’t quite hit the true “Big Monday” portion of the ESPN TV schedule, but it will feel that way on ESPNU with West Virginia visiting Oklahoma State.

Both teams are coming off crushing defeats on Saturday. West Virginia blew an 11-point halftime lead at Kansas State, ultimately losing by six in overtime. Oklahoma State stumbled at Kansas despite holding a 13-point second half lead as well.

Given the quick turnaround and the desperation for both to avoid 0-2 starts in Big 12 play, that could compress the tempo of this Monday meeting.

And if tempo slows at all, the under should be in great shape because neither team projects to score efficiently in this one.

The host Cowboys have one of the best interior defenses in the country in Moussa Cisse, a devastating shot-blocker and elite rebounder. His presence enables Mike Boynton’s team to extend on the perimeter and contest every jump shot.

Though West Virginia has made contested jumpers this year, that proficiency could come to a screeching halt. ShotQuality has the Mountaineers due for significant regression from beyond the 3-point line and in the mid-range.

The Cowboys’ offense is an issue itself: they had an 11-minute stretch to start the second half against Kansas in which they scored only five points. West Virginia’s pressure could cause major issues, as Oklahoma State’s lack of perimeter shooting squeezes the court and leads to turnovers.

Efficient scoring should be hard to come by on both ends. Considering the spot both teams are in, tempo should also be manageable, setting up for a strong under bet.

Pick: Under 139.5 (Play to 135)


North Florida vs. Stetson

Monday, Jan.2
7:30 p.m. ET
ESPN+
North Florida +4.5

By Jim Root

The ASUN kicks off league play with a Saturday-Monday schedule, a rarity outside of the SWAC and MEAC. Florida foes North Florida and Stetson are both coming off overtime wins this weekend, hoping to boost a strong league start to 2-0.

Ordinarily, travel would be a concern considering the quick 48-hour turnaround here. But Stetson actually has more travel. The Hatters played in Nashville on Friday, while UNF simply must get from Jacksonville to DeLand, a quick 90-minute drive south.

That means the matchup is most important. North Florida is one of the most unique stylistic teams in the sport. The Ospreys bomb away from deep on offense (earning them a “Birds of Trey” moniker) and run an unconventional zone defensively.

That zone completely takes away the 3-point arc and dares foes to score in the mid-range area or against length at the rim.

That’s a problem for Stetson, whose biggest strength is 3-point shooting. Led by Wheza Panzo’s absurd 53.3% shooting, the Hatters rank 72nd nationally in 3-point conversion rate. They get 40.5% of their points via triples, the ninth-highest share in the entire country, per KenPom.

If those shots aren’t available against UNF, the Hatters may not have a viable plan B.

The matchup history between the two lends credence to that theory. UNF has won and covered four of the last six meetings, four of which were at Stetson.

I make this game close to a pick’em, giving plenty of value to the +4.5 line.

Pick: North Florida +4.5 (Play to +3)


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