College Basketball Odds, Picks: Three Man Weave’s 3 Best Bets for Monday’s Slate (Dec. 5)
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Malachi Smith (Gonzaga)
While Monday’s college basketball slate is thin (12 total games and no true marquee matchups), that doesn’t mean there isn’t value to be had from a betting perspective.
So, with that in mind, let’s jump right into it.
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.|
Kennesaw State vs. Charleston Southern
By Jim Root
When Kennesaw State hired Amir Abdur-Rahim, it hoped he could bring about a new era. In 14 Division I seasons prior to his hiring, the Owls had never had a winning record — overall or in league play. Their highest KenPom finish was 252nd in 2017.
That new era appears to be arriving.
Abdur-Rahim quickly added talent, highlighted by a 2020 recruiting class that featured multiple high-major targets in Chris Youngblood and Brandon Stroud.
A young group started to mesh last season — finishing 13-18 overall and 7-9 in ASUN play — and those Owls ascended to a previously-unimaginable 223rd in KenPom.
This looks like the true breakthrough year, as the Owls are off to a 5-3 start and sit 211th in those same Pomeroy rankings.
Youngblood, Stroud and point guard Terrell Burden spearhead an Owls offense that has already managed road wins at Appalachian State and Mercer. Now, they look to continue rolling at Charleston Southern.
For their part, the Buccaneers appear to be trending up as well. After two dismal seasons, they look significantly feistier, including a near-miss at Virginia Tech just nine days ago.
The big worry for these Bucs is the absence of RJ Johnson, a steadying force at point guard. He missed their last game at South Florida, and Charleston Southern got blown out by a team that typically struggles to put away inferior foes.
His status is unclear — many mid-majors are extremely difficult to find information on — but another absence would be a brutal blow.
Even if he plays, I like the Owls. They are further along the developmental curve than Charleston Southern. They rank first nationally in KenPom’s minutes continuity status, making their strong early performances an understandable phenomenon.
Plus, Kennesaw’s athleticism belies its mid-major status and will give CSU issues.
If Johnson misses the game, that is just a bonus.
What is QuickSlip?
QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Kent State vs. Gonzaga
By Jim Root
Let me get this out of the way: I fear “Home Gonzaga” in The Kennel.
The Bulldogs’ breakneck tempo and devastating offense make them a terrifying favorite, capable of burying opponents with huge runs at any time.
The data says that fear is founded in reality. Over the past five seasons — when Gonzaga’s talent level has ascended to new heights — the Bulldogs are 33-23-4 against the spread as a double-digit home favorite (BetLabs).
Fighting upstream against that trend calls for special circumstances. And backing this Kent State squad qualifies as special circumstances.
These Golden Flashes are tough as nails, having already gone to Houston — the best team in the country — where they nearly won outright. They did that despite not playing all that well — they shot 6-for-29 from deep (20.7%) and star guard Sincere Carry was a gruesome 2-for-22 from the field.
So, how exactly did Kent State only lose by five? And how will it stop this Zags offense?
The answer is a resolute defense built on physicality and interior dominance. Kent State ranks 12th nationally in 2-point percentage defense (KenPom), with Cli’Ron Hornbeak and Miryne Thomas forming an intimidating paint duo that contests everything.
The Golden Flashes also rank sixth nationally in defensive turnover rate, allowing them to exploit a crucial Gonzaga weakness.
The Bulldogs’ guard play is still a work in progress, and they have tumbled to 236th in offensive turnover rate (KenPom). Over the past five seasons, they have never ranked worse than 40th in that same stat.
Kent State’s Malique Jacobs is one of the country’s best ballhawks, and he will gladly take advantage of any sloppy play.
If Gonzaga cannot totally dominate at the basket and concedes too many possessions via turnovers, Kent State will hang around.
Troy vs. San Diego State
By Jim Root
These aren’t your typical Aztecs.
In the past, San Diego State has been a difficult team to back as a big favorite. The Aztecs lacked the offensive juice to go on big runs. Plus, they played at such a crawling tempo that there often were not enough possessions for their immense talent to bear out.
That is no longer the case.
These Aztecs are playing up-tempo, clocking the quickest average possession length of Brian Dutcher’s coaching tenure. The offense gets easy transition baskets, and transfers Darrion Trammell and Jaedon LeDee have given the offense a necessary jolt.
Of note: Trammell and forward Aguek Arop missed SDSU’s clash with non-Division I foe Occidental on Friday. However, both absences read as precautionary, so expect both to suit up tonight.
On the other side of the court is Troy, an extremely well-coached team under Scott Cross. The Trojans recently gave Arkansas all it could handle in Fayetteville. They ultimately fell by 13 points, but it was an easy wire-to-wire cover for Cross’ crew.
Repeating that effort will be a challenge. Troy was rested and playing a local rival who was short-handed (no Davonte Davis) and had returned from Maui only a few days prior.
Now Troy is coming off of a loss at SIU Edwardsville and must trek almost 2,000 miles west to one of the better home courts in the sport.
The Trojans may be short-handed themselves, as well. Point guard Duke Miles has missed the last two games. In the four contests before his absence, he racked up averages of 16.0 points and 2.5 assists per game.
His dynamic playmaking would be a great aid against the Aztecs’ stingy defense.
With SDSU’s tempo and bolstered offensive attack profiling as a better favorite, I am looking to back it in the right situation. Considering Troy’s brutal travel and the possible absence of Miles, this spot feels ripe for a blowout.