College Basketball Best Bets: Three Man Weave’s 3 Top Picks for Monday
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Feast Week is over, but two conference challenges (ACC/Big Ten Challenge, Big East-Big 12 Battle) begin this week to keep the momentum of the new college hoops season going.
To kick off the week, Jim Root of Three Man Weave is providing you with three best bets for Monday’s slate, including the first game of the aforementioned ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Let’s dive in right away.
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.
|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.|
Minnesota vs. Virginia Tech
By Jim Root
Minnesota has dragged down the Big Ten’s dominant start to the season. Improved health could see that turning around soon, though — against the spread, at least.
Jamison Battle has now played two games after sitting out the first four with injury. The smooth lefty forward provides a desperately-needed shot in the arm offensively.
As he gets his legs under him, his efficiency should improve drastically. In two multi-team event (MTE) games in California, Battle shot just 9-of-32 from the field.
Virginia Tech, meanwhile, has seen its early-season success taper off. The Hokies pounded three vastly inferior foes to begin the year. Since then, though, they have struggled.
At the Charleston Classic, they narrowly beat Penn State and Old Dominion before falling to host Charleston in the championship game. Most concerningly, they could not get away from Charleston Southern on Black Friday.
Battle’s return poses a significant matchup problem for the Hokies. He and fellow southpaw scorer Dawson Garcia can both fill it up offensively.
Unfortunately, Virginia Tech only has one Justyn Mutts to throw at them. Mutts is an elite defender, but Virginia Tech’s other options are either small (Hunter Cattoor, Darius Maddox) or lacking in mobility (Lynn Kidd, Grant Basile).
Expect Ben Johnson to zero in on whichever of his best bucket-getters is not guarded by Mutts.
Virginia Tech’s incendiary offense is always a concern when fading it. Between Cattoor, Maddox and Sean Pedulla, the Hokies have one of the most lethal perimeter shooting trios nationally. Coach Mike Young runs beautiful action to get them open.
Minnesota has time to prepare, though, having not played since before Thanksgiving. Johnson showed the ability to game plan effectively last season.
Plus, Minnesota has length in the backcourt with Ta’Lon Cooper, Braeden Carrington, Jaden Henley and Will Ramberg.
The Gophers will also short the game. KenPom projects this one at 60 possessions, making it difficult for Virginia Tech to fully stretch out its advantage.
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Incarnate Word vs. UTSA
By Jim Root
You thought the end of Feast Week meant the end of MTEs, right? Not quite!
The San Antonio Shootout continues into Monday, featuring the city’s two Division I programs. Neither are in a golden age — both are well outside of KenPom’s top 300 — but this one should be particularly meaningful.
The host Roadrunners have already lost at home twice in their own event, falling to Grambling State and Dartmouth (in overtime). Avoiding an embarrassing sweep should have the Roadrunners laser-focused.
Plus, that overtime game happened yesterday. It may get into UTSA’s legs and prompt a more meticulous tempo.
UTSA’s win over Texas State on Nov. 17 is a strong proxy for this game. Against another in-state rival that prefers to crawl on offense, the game had just 66 possessions and finished with 117 points.
Incarnate Word will attempt to force a similar tempo, and the Roadrunners have shown that they do not always live up to their nickname.
Incarnate Word, meanwhile, played a wild game of its own yesterday. The Cardinals forced three turnovers in the final 30 seconds to stun Grambling just before the buzzer. Despite now facing a local rival, the emotional letdown from that stunning victory could lead to a slow start on Monday evening.
On a more macro level, identifying these back-to-back games has been a profitable angle for the under. Over the last 10 years, games where both teams are playing with no rest have gone under 54.3% of the time (Bet Labs).
For a sample of over 1,000 games, profiting while blindly betting the under is rather impressive. Given the slower nature of both teams, this should be perfect half-court slog.
Now, if we can just avoid overtime.
Seattle vs. Washington
By Jim Root
The theme of “intra-city rivalry” continues here.
The importance of the matchup should aid the under. Higher stakes typically equal slower games; postseason tournament play underscores this trend.
This is no ordinary regular season game for either side, so both teams will value possessions highly.
Washington’s usage of the 2-3 zone defensively forces long possessions. It is difficult to control an opponent’s tempo, but as long as they are played with some discipline, zones inherently dictate a more patient approach.
Additionally, Seattle lacks potent perimeter threats to crack that zone aside from Cam Tyson. Tyson can be a one-man zone buster, but Washington should be tuned into his location. The Redhawks must prove they can pick apart the Husky defense if Tyson is not lighting the scoreboard up by himself.
Notably, Tyson also missed Seattle’s last contest against Pacific Lutheran. Fellow vital wing Riley Grigsby has missed two straight games. I handicapped this assuming both will play, but if either is absent, that only bolsters my stance.
Washington’s own offense has scuffled so far this year, ranking just 153rd in KenPom’s Adjusted Offensive Efficiency rankings.
For a mid-major team, Seattle possesses a surprising amount of size and switchability (especially if Grigsby plays). The Redhawks will not be overmatched athletically or on the glass.
A final trend of note: these teams have met during every season since 2008-09. Unfortunately, only the last four meetings have been lined, but the under has won comfortably three of those times — by 22.5, 21 and 16 points. The fourth was a push.