Austin Montgomery's College Hoops Betting Preview: Duke-Ohio State, Indiana-Syracuse and much more
We have a big College Basketball betting slate, so I decided to write an article. The bets have not been the hottest but we are getting there.
I love what the board has to offer on the last day of November. So let’s end the first month of the college basketball season on a positive note okay. We got picks for three of the B1G TEN vs ACC challenge and a few Mid-Major games we can exploit.
A reminder - all point spreads are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and DraftKings has an incredible offer for first time users which you can find out about here.
Now, to the picks:
Northwestern at Wake Forest
Spread: Wake Forest (-1.5)
This will be an extremely hot take; Wake Forest will be on the NCAA tournament bubble come March. They were picked 2nd to last in the ACC preseason poll. Everyone is doubting this team. The quest to that feat starts here. I love what Steve Forbes has done with this roster. They have a combination of athleticism, toughness, and length. The Demon Deacons are shooting nearly 50% from the field as a team. Oklahoma transfer Alondes Williams has been a star averaging 19 points per game. Davien Williams has averaged 15.4 points, and Indiana State transfer Jake LaRavia has been a stud too.
Northwestern has good defense on the interior, ranking 49th in defensive two-point percentage. They do a good job of taking care of the ball, 4th best offensive turnover percentage in the country.
I feel like Wake Forest is more athletic and should be able to run on them in transition. Give me the Demon Deacons at home.
The pick: Wake Forest (-1.5)
Indiana at Syracuse
Spread: Indiana (-2.5)
Did someone say, Mike F***cking Woodson? If you haven't got some of our merch, I suggest you get him here. I'm not writing this blog to pump up some T-Shirts. I really like the Hoosiers in this spot. Let's start with why we hate Syracuse. The Boeheim Zone isn't working this year. Syracuse does not have the length they have had in the past. The Orange rank 273rd in defensive field goal percentage, and they haven't turned offenses over, ranking 286th in defensive turnover percentage. On offense, they have relied on the streakiness of their shooters behind Buddy Boeheim.
However, Indiana ranks first in the country in three-point defense. Trayce Jackson-Davis is coming off a 43-point game, and he should feast in the middle of this zone. Indiana does have some shooting and good guard play this year with the additions of Xavier Johnson. Give me Indiana to route this one at home.
The pick: Indiana -2.5
Florida State at Purdue
Spread: Purdue (-11.5)
It seems like the entire college basketball world is on Purdue here. Florida State is missing RayQuan Evans, Tanner Ngom and Naheem McLeod for this one. Evans is the Seminoles point guard, but they have Caleb Mills waiting in the wings. Anthony Polite and star freshmen Matthew Cleveland can step up too. FSU had a scare against Boston University last time out, and that's what is causing everyone to move towards Purdue. FSU has had trouble with turnovers, but defensive ball pressure isn't an emphasis in Matt Painter's defense.
The major advantage Purdue will have is on the offensive boards. FSU ranks 286th in defensive rebounding percentage, and Purdue is the 5th best offensive rebounding team in the country. FSU will only have one starter over 6-foot-9 with McLeod and Ngom out. Giving 11.5 points to an FSU coached team is simply too much.
So we will ride Over here. FSU's main strategy to win will be pressuring the ball early and forcing turnovers in the backcourt. Purdue should be able to score at will on the inside. Florida State still has the guard play to keep this one close by hitting a barrage of threes. So Over 142.5 is the play here.
The pick: over 142.5
New Mexico at New Mexico State
Spread: New Mexico State (-10.5)
Jaelan House is banged up for New Mexico, but he is playing through it. We learned last Saturday, New Mexico is a miserable basketball team when he is not on. New Mexico will have to travel to their state rival on the road. It's going to be a crazy atmosphere in the Pan Am. Aggie fans live for this game.
Also, New Mexico State is a defensive menace. They have held teams to under 1.1 points per possession in four out of five of their D-1 games. They rank in the top 50 in three-point defense. I feel like the New Mexico transfers are not going to grasp how big this rivalry game is. New Mexico State will come out with their heads on fire. Their offense should get rolling against the Lobos defense that ranks 283rd in defensive efficiency. Give me New Mexico State in the first half.
The pick: NMSU -6 first half.
South Dakota at San Jose State
Spread: San Jose State (-2.5)
I'm sure Tim Miles will get the Spartans back on track. But this isn't the year. San Jose State is the 312th ranked team according to Ken Pom. This is simply a scenario where the wrong team is getting points. South Dakota main issues have been turnovers and getting points in the paint.
They have four guys that can shoot threes, but they don't do a great job of hitting high percentage shots. In this case, that should be much easier against San Jose State ranks in the bottom 300 in defensive turnover percentage and two-point defense. This is a good get right spot for Todd Lee's Coyotes. Give me South Dakota has a short road underdog.
The pick: South Dakota (+2.5)
Duke at Ohio State
Spread: Duke (-3)
I couldn't write this piece without including the biggest game on the slate. Duke is coming off a massive win against Gonzaga in Las Vegas. The bossman Aaron Torres was there for it. Now they are ranked No. 1 in the country in the new AP poll.
With a road game against a talented and hungry Ohio State team, this is the perfect letdown spot. Duke is talented; I don't disagree that they are the top team in America. Ohio State has some guys too. EJ Liddell has been one of the most impressive college hoops players in America in my eyes, averaging 22 points per game and 3.2 blocks. Coach K doesn't like playing true road games unless he is forced to (in this case, he is).
It will be interesting to see how this team handles winning. Remember, Duke was the definition of an up and down team last season. Their best performances sometimes were followed by their worst. Ohio State is coming off a devastating buzzer-beater loss to Florida. They will be a desperate and hungry underdog in this one. The Buckeyes quietly rank 9th in offensive efficiency and 57th in defensive efficiency.
They are a worthy challenger to Duke.
The pick: Ohio State +3
Follow Austin on Twitter @AMontgomeryLive
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