The Tuesday college basketball bets are back. It’s finals week across the country, so we have a very light Tuesday slate. Instead of studying for finals, I have done a deep dive into the slate. We are slowly starting to get closer to the teeth of conference play. For what it’s worth we have a handful of solid matchups today. After a goose egg on NFL Sunday, I’m excited to do a deep dive into the college basketball slate.
Without further ado, onto the picks - with point spreads provided by DraftKings Sportsbook:
Furman at North Carolina
Spread: North Carolina (-10.5)
I worry this may be a look ahead spot for UNC, but this is a nightmare matchup on the defensive end for Furman. The Paladins rank 225th in defensive efficiency and they lack a true rim protector. This is a problem when facing UNC’s front court with Amando Bacot and Dawson Garcia in the post. The Paladins rank 265th in two-point defense, and they are slow at the point of attack in their pick and roll coverage. We saw Winthrop get drive penetration against them consistently. UNC’s athletic guards should easily be able to get to the rack. There is no stopping UNC here.
The one worry, Furman’s offense can compete with anyone when they are hot. The trio of Alex Hunter, Mike Bothwell, and Jalen Slawson are among the best scoring trio in the mid-major ranks. UNC’s defense has gotten much better since their blowout losses against Purdue and Tennessee. In the both of December UNC is holding opponents to less than a point per possession. Now they rank 74th nationally in defensive efficiency. UNC needs to get their mojo going ahead of a big matchup against UCLA in the CBS Sports Classic.
Give me the Tar Heels to win by more than double digits.
The pick: North Carolina (-10.5)
Arizona State at Creighton
Spread: Creighton (-7)
Creighton has been a pretty good story. Ryan Nembhard and Ryan Hawkins have been one of the more underrated back court combinations in the country. Nembhard has had just three turnovers in his past three games and Hawkins is coming off back-to-back 25-point performances. But I think this is a sandwich spot for the Bluejays.
They have Villanova coming to town on Friday and they are coming off their best win of the season against BYU. ASU is a desperate team needing a big win. Bobby Hurley is surprisingly 8-3 straight up in non-conference road games against power conference teams.
Marcus Bagley is questionable in to return. ASU has enough talent to keep it within the number.
The pick: Arizona State (+7)
Louisiana at Houston
Spread: Houston (-23.5)
Simply think this is too many points for a talented Rajun Cajuns team. They have power conference talent, led by former Arizona forward Jordan Brown. and Greg Williams Jr. Houston has Oklahoma State on deck.
Although Houston may play angry after that missed goaltending call, I think Louisiana has staying power and they compete just enough to stay inside the number.
No. 6 Alabama at Memphis
Spread: Alabama (-4)
This is what I call, a rat line. It simply doesn’t make sense. Bama has wins against Gonzaga and Houston while Memphis looks like an AAU team. The line may be too good to be true, for Bama. But for that reason, I like Memphis here. They do have the second worst turnover rate in college basketball, not good for a team that is elite in transition as Bama. But Bama doesn’t turn teams over.
In addition, Memphis young guys will be more than comfortable playing at the pace Bama play. Memphis will have a major rebounding percentage in the front court. They sneakily rank in the top 30 in adjusted defensive efficiency. Give Memphis in front of its home crowd to finally put together a great game.
The pick: Memphis (+4)
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