College Basketball Best Bets: Three Man Weave’s Top 3 Picks for Monday, Including Virginia vs. Georgia
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Xavier Johnson (2) of the George Mason Patriots.
- Virginia takes on Georgia, while Nevada duels with South Dakota State.
- And don't forget about George Mason against Washington!
- Jim Root from Three Man Weave breaks down these three matchups and offers up his best bets.
Welcome to Week 3 of the 2021-22 college basketball season.
“Feast Week” is in full effect with premier matchups in the Hall of Fame Classic, Fort Myers Tip-Off and Legends Classic (among myriad other MTEs) throughout the day on Monday. On top of that, the hallowed Maui Invitational also tips off today, beginning with Texas A&M vs. Wisconsin at 2 p.m. ET.
Nonetheless, for today’s college basketball best bets column, Jim Root of Three Man Weave has looked past many of those high-profile contests and highlighted three under-the-radar matchups you should be targeting on Monday.
Check out all three of his top picks below, and download the Action App to keep up with all of our staff’s college basketball bets for Feast Week and beyond.
College Basketball Best Bets for Monday, Nov. 22
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that Three Man Weave 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.|
Virginia vs. Georgia
Tom Crean’s teams have a well-earned reputation for playing fast. During the last two years, the Bulldogs have sprinted up and down with Sahvir Wheeler at the helm, ranking 13th and 64th in tempo each season, respectively.
However, this year that is decidedly not the case.
Devoid of SEC-caliber talent and lacking the same kind of lineup versatility, Crean has hit the brakes. The Bulldogs are 251st in average possession length, spending significantly more time in the half court, and featuring bigs like Braelen Bridges and Jailyn Ingram.
And now Georgia is playing Virginia? The undisputed king of tepid tempo?
You probably know what to expect with the Cavaliers. Currently the slowest team in the country by a sizable margin, Virginia has taken its usual “crawl ball” tactics to their logical extreme. The Cavaliers’ fastest game this season had 64 possessions. For context, Campbell ranks 357th nationally in tempo at 64.1 possessions per game.
Virginia’s slow pace is further exacerbated by being an awful offensive team.
The Cavaliers lack shooters and scorers, and the halfcourt attack has repeatedly grown stagnant against competent defensive teams. Against Navy, Virginia scored three points in the final 8 minutes and 30 seconds. At Houston, the Cavs had one bucket in the first five minutes.
Georgia is not a world-beating defensive team by any means, but even token resistance can thwart this Virginia offense. Perhaps the emergence of Igor Milicic could change that — he had 11 points in 13 minutes against Coppin State — but I do not buy it.
I like this one down to 124.
Pick: Under 127.5 (Bet to 124)
Nevada vs. South Dakota State
If you have never watched a game at the Sioux Falls Pentagon (where this game is taking place), I highly recommend it. The floor is old school parquet, and it just feels like a big game atmosphere.
Moreover, for these Jackrabbits, Monday is a big game.
Nevada may be floundering early (three losses against WCC teams), but the Wolf Pack are still a talented bunch with a high ceiling. That makes this a terrific litmus test for South Dakota State, the favorite in the Summit League.
Nevada has talent; there’s no question. The backcourt of Grant Sherfield and Desmond Cambridge can fill it up in a hurry, and the frontcourt is loaded with power-conference size. Warren Washington (Oregon State) and Will Baker (Texas) transferred in and have been terrific thus far.
What the Wolf Pack lack is cohesion. That’s something the Jackrabbits have in spades, with every significant piece back from a highly successful team in 2020-21.
South Dakota State can spread the floor and take advantage of Nevada’s (frequent) defensive breakdowns. The Jackrabbits will play through versatile big man Douglas Wilson, flanked by a legion of lethal shooters.
Of note: While this is not a true home game for South Dakota State, the Jackrabbits faithful always fills the Pentagon when SDSU plays there. Plus, this experienced roster has played a bevy of games in this arena — Summit League tournaments, last year’s Crossover Classic, etc. That familiarity helps.
Early numbers already have South Dakota State favored, which makes sense given Nevada’s early-season struggles. Even so, I’m willing to lay a field goal with the Jackrabbits, so hopefully the market does not get a hold of this one early.
Pick: South Dakota State -2 (Bet to -3)
George Mason vs. Washington
The competition for this season’s honor for “worst power-conference team” is ferocious. Cal, Pitt and Georgia have each presented compelling cases but none of those schools “win” this particular competition.
Only one team is 0-4 against the spread with two buy-game losses. Ladies and gentlemen, your 2021-22 Washington Huskies!
The Huskies have already lost at home to Northern Illinois and Wyoming, and the schedule does not get easier.
One would think that the market has that all built-in by now. And yes, George Mason is a neutral-court favorite here. But, I firmly believe that the market still isn’t quite there on both teams.
Washington is adrift at sea under a coach with a scorching hot seat. Mike Hopkins desperately needs a turnaround this season to feel confident in his job security.
On the other hand, the Patriots are a program on the rise.
Situationally, George Mason is coming off its first loss of the season, and — unlike Hopkins — Kim English appears to be a master motivator. He will take full advantage of the loss as a teaching moment, using it to reignite the fire in his team that helped it defeat Maryland in College Park.
If you’re looking for reasons for hesitation with this bet, there’s really only one: Huskies shooting regression. Washington has hit just 24.1% of its triples this season, possibly foreshadowing some makes in the future. Of course, the Huskies do not take many 3s and lack quality shooters, so it’s hard to envision a sudden downpour from deep.
Similarly to the previous wager on South Dakota State, I’m willing to lay -3 here — though I might play it for one half-unit at -3.5.