Monday College Basketball Betting Picks: Georgia Tech vs. Arkansas, Auburn vs. New Mexico
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Bruce Peal and J’Von McCormick
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Feast Week brings us a ton of great college hoops action with neutral court tournaments still in full swing.
While some teams are on location, others that chose to forgo playing in tournaments have instead challenged themselves with difficult non-conference games.
Let’s take a look at one example of each when undefeated Arkansas travels to Georgia Tech and Auburn battles New Mexico at the Barclays Center in New York.
Monday College Basketball Betting
Georgia Tech vs. Arkansas
- Spread: Arkansas -1
- Over/Under: 139.5
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: ACCN
Arkansas (5-0) enters this ACC road game flying high. Under new head coach Eric Musselman, the Razorbacks have steamrolled their opponents by an average of 28.2 points per game.
They rank first overall in effective field goal percentage allowed and in defending their opponents’ shots from beyond the arc. Arkansas is holding its opponents to a microscopic 13.6% from deep.
Then why are the Razorbacks only a one-point favorite at Georgia Tech (2-1)?
Because they haven’t played anyone.
Arkansas has played three opponents with a KenPom rating 184 or higher. They have also played all their games at home.
The Razorbacks face a Georgia Tech team that is superior defensively, with a height advantage inside, led by 6-foot-10 senior James Banks (11.7 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 5.7 bpg). The Yellow Jackets hold opponents to a fourth-best 36.7% from 2P along with the fourth-best overall effective field goal percentage.
Sophomore guard Michael DeVoe (26.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 73.3% 3P) has been one of the best scorers in the country and scored 34 points in a close 82-78 loss at rival Georgia last Wednesday.
The Yellow Jackets return four starters from last year’s team and feature a roster loaded with upperclassmen. Meanwhile, the Razorbacks have a young, inexperienced team facing their first road test of the season. Arkansas’ offense is based on volume shooting as illustrated by their 26.5% team 3-point rate.
To the casual bettor, this seems like an easy one-point spread to give with the favored Razorbacks. When the books beg you, be careful.
I’ll take Georgia Tech to “upset” Arkansas and hand the Hogs their first loss of the season.
The Pick: Georgia Tech +1 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
Auburn vs. New Mexico
- Spread: Auburn -7.5
- Over/Under: 156.5
- Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
Auburn wants to run. New Mexico wants to run.
Bad idea for the Lobos.
New Mexico does rank 17th fastest in tempo, but in games against Cal St. Northridge, Green Bay, and McNeese State, that has a high percentage chance of efficiency. Against the superior athletes of Auburn on a neutral court, that will likely be a poor decision.
Auburn played a similar style team in Davidson at the Veterans Classic in Annapolis. The Tigers never trailed in a game they won comfortably 76-66.
The Tigers rank sixth in the nation in 2P field goal percentage while the Lobos rank 305th, allowing a generous 55.7% to their opponents.
Auburn is led by do-everything senior guard Samir Doughty (18.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 44.4% 3P) and the dynamic play of freshman Isaac Okoro (14.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg).
The Lobos have a balanced offensive attack with five players averaging in double-figures. Senior JaQuan Lyle (19.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 5.2 apg) leads New Mexico, but has yet to face the type of defensive pressure Auburn will provide.
I’m taking the Tigers in this up-tempo battle at the Barclays Center, as Auburn will be more efficient in that style than New Mexico.
The Pick: Auburn -7.5 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]