Monday College Basketball Betting Picks: Belmont vs. High Point, WVU vs. Northern Colorado
Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Bob Huggins
Preseason tournaments are in full swing, with many schools mixing in conference games as well.
Two tournaments with high profile teams are the Gotham Classic and Cancun Challenge. Both feature several teams playing early round campus games before traveling to a neutral site to determine a champion.
Let’s take a look at two such games on the Monday slate: High Point at Belmont and Northern Colorado at West Virginia.
Monday College Basketball Betting Picks
Odds as of Monday at 9 a.m. ET and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150). No strings attached. No rollover required.
High Point at Belmont
- Spread: Belmont -22.5
- Over/Under: 146.5
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN+
This is Belmont’s second game in the Gotham Classic, a five-team round-robin tournament. Belmont hosts High Point in the second game for both teams.
And Belmont at home means one thing: points.
The Bruins scored 95 points in their only home game against Samford after averaging 90.5 points at home last season.
The Bruins were also a profitable bet against the spread last year, ranking sixth-best among all teams at 21-10-1 (67.7%).
Tonight, they face a High Point team that enters Year 2 under legendary coach and alum, Tubby Smith. The Panthers have struggled defensively, ranking 265th in adjusted defensive efficiency per KenPom. High Point also doesn’t force turnovers, sitting at 320th in defensive turnover percentage and 318th in steal percentage.
Belmont runs one of the nation’s most efficient offenses as illustrated by its 23rd best adjusted offensive efficiency mark. The Bruins are also shooting a blistering 42.7% from beyond the arc, coming off a 100-85 win at Boston College where they made 15 of 26 three-pointers.
High Point lacks the offensive firepower to keep this game close. The Panthers rank 340th in adjusted offensive efficiency, 350th in 2P%, and 328th with an average of 25.4 turnovers per game.
Belmont was 8-4 against the spread in non-conference games last season and is 2-1 this year including the big outright win at Boston College over the weekend.
I’m backing the Bruins at home, even with a 22.5 point spread, against a High Point team still very much in rebuilding mode under Tubby Smith.
THE PICK: Belmont -22.5 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
Northern Colorado at West Virginia
- Spread: West Virginia -15.5
- Over/Under: 144
- Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
- TV: SportsNet PT
This is a tricky game for Bob Huggins and the Mountaineers.
Northern Colorado returns four starters from last season’s 21-11 team and has a strong defensive nucleus. The Bears are holding opponents to 61 points per game, which ranks 77th in the country. They are are a solid rebounding team ranking 64th best in limiting their opponents’ offensive rebounds. Playing high-level defense and rebounding success are two keys to staying competitive in Morgantown.
West Virginia’s pressure defense is again at an elite level, allowing just a 39.3% effective field goal percentage, 15th best in the nation. They also rank 52nd in block percentage behind 6-foot-9 freshman Oscar Tshiebwe’s 2.1 blocks per game.
On offense, West Virginia has scored points but lacks efficiency. The Mountaineers are shooting just 45.9% from the field, 238th in the country. Their pressure defense creates turnovers and their relentless rebounding provides second chances. However, Northern Colorado has the same strengths.
This is a young Bob Huggins’ team with seven freshman and sophomores and just 11 scholarship players. The 6-foot-10 sophomore Derek Culver (11.5 ppg, 9.9 rpg) is a force inside, but there is little depth behind him.
This should be a close game throughout and the strong defensive mindsets of both teams make this lower scoring than expected.
I like Northern Colorado +15.5 to keep this game close in Morgantown. Northern Colorado was 11-5 last year against the spread in road games, while West Virginia was just 3-7-1 ATS as a home favorite.
The Mountaineers’ average margin of victory as a home favorite last season was just 4.8 points.
Consider the under 144 as well, in what should be a defensive struggle throughout.
THE PICK: Northern Colorado +15.5 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]