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College Basketball Computer Picks for January 9: Iowa State Could Hand Houston First Loss

LJ Cryer Houston Cougars v Xavier Musketeers 
L.J. Cryer #4 of the Houston Cougars attempts a shot in the second half against the Xavier Musketeers. Dylan Buell/Getty Images/AFP

The college basketball slate is loaded with so many intriguing matchups and ranked games. I’ve added three of the best bets from our AI Computer Model that I agree with. Which games and wagers will you tail?

Picks Summary


Texas Longhorns vs. Cincinnati Bearcats

Tuesday, January 09, 2024 – 07:00 PM ET at Fifth Third Arena


Our AI Model believes the Bearcats will score 80 points in an 80-74 win over Texas. That would imply 154 scored in this game. With the total sitting at 146 on Caesars, the Over looks to be the play.

The Texas Longhorns just lost a home game to Texas Tech, 78-67, on Saturday. The Longhorns might be ranked in the top 25 via the AP Poll, but they’ve barely played any good teams this year.

They’ve lost to UConn and Marquette, and their best win came against LSU on a neutral court. There’s nothing too exciting about Texas this year.

Cincinnati’s Form

On the other hand, Cincinnati just knocked off top-rated BYU and is now 12-2 on the season. This was the only top-100 win for the Bearcats this season. Again, the resume for Cincinnati isn’t very impressive either if you take away its game on Saturday.

But with that said, the offenses should have their way. Texas won’t turn the ball over often and, therefore, will get plenty of shots up in this game. On the other hand, Cincinnati will dominate the offensive glass, as they’ve added 38.5% of offensive rebounds per game this season.

Both teams are shooting above 35% from three and have hit at least 51% from inside the arc.

Grab the Over at -110 betting odds.

NCAAB Pick: Over 146 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook (check our Caesars Sportsbook Review)


Houston Cougars vs. Iowa State Cyclones

Tuesday, January 09, 2024 – 07:00 PM ET at James H. Hilton Coliseum


The AI model has Iowa State hanging around against Houston in a tight matchup at home. Houston is projected to win by two, but Iowa State is getting three. The Cougars haven’t lost a game yet this season, but a road game against Iowa State could be the one.

Could this be the night when the Houston Cougars finally fall? Houston is No. 2 in the nation via the AP Poll and sitting at No. 1 in the nation via KenPom.

They’re 14-0 and haven’t lost a game this season. However, Houston hasn’t played a team in the top 30 via KenPom this year. Iowa State is ranked 18th via KenPom and will be the toughest matchup for Houston.

On top of that, Houston has only played one road game all year. That was against Xavier, where they squeezed out a win. Iowa State’s crowd will be a little different than Xavier’s.

Iowa State’s Performance

Meanwhile, Iowa State lost its first game of Big 12 play to Oklahoma, 71-63 on the road. It wasn’t a bad loss for Iowa State, but it was a loss nonetheless.

Iowa State hasn’t lost at home this season. However, the Cyclones’ best win came against Iowa at home earlier this year.

Iowa State had losses to Virginia Tech and Texas A&M but have improved since those losses in November.

Defensive Strategies and Turnover Dynamics

The Cyclones rank 5th in adjusted efficiency on defense and have earned 26.4% of turnovers. At home, against Houston, the Cyclones will need to earn more turnovers and keep Houston from taking shots every possession.

Meanwhile, Houston’s defense is ranked at the top of the board. However, the aggressive defense sometimes leads to lots of fouls. Iowa State hasn’t shot the ball very well from the charity stripe, but at home, that rate should increase a little bit.

I also wouldn’t be surprised if Iowa State wins the battle on the glass. Houston has allowed 28.7% of offensive rebounds, while Iowa State has given up only 23.9% of offensive rebounds. If the Cyclones can earn more second chances and win the turnover battle, they should win.

Back Iowa State against the spread.

NCAAB Pick: Iowa State +3 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook


Texas A&M Aggies vs. Auburn Tigers

Tuesday, January 09, 2024 – 09:00 PM ET at Neville Arena


The AI Model likes Auburn to dominate Texas A&M, 85-71. But with the Tigers sitting at just -7.5 at Bet365, the value is on Auburn at home against the spread.

The Texas A&M Aggies took on the LSU Tigers at home for their first SEC game of the season. The Aggies lost that game, 68-53, as favorites. Now they’re sitting at 9-5 on the year, and things won’t get easier. The Aggies will take on an Auburn squad that hasn’t lost in over a month.

Auburn’s Recent Performance

The Auburn Tigers just defeated Arkansas on the road, 83-51, and will now play their first home SEC game tonight.

Auburn has been very effective offensively this year. The Tigers have shot a 53.7% effective field goal percentage and have drained 33.7% from three with a 55.6% field goal percentage from inside.

Auburn has only turned the ball over 14.1% of the time and has earned 35.5% of offensive rebounds.

Offensive Challenges for Texas A&M

With the Aggies allowing teams to shoot above 34% from three, it’s clear that the Tigers should get some easy looks from the field and knock them down.

On the other hand, Texas A&M is one of the weakest power five teams in college basketball when it comes to shooting the basketball.

The Aggies have shot only 26.6% from three and 50% from inside the arc. 12.8% of shots taken have been blocked. The only good thing that the Aggies do is offensive rebounds.

They’ve grabbed a league-leading 44.8% of offensive rebounds due to all of their misses. However, the Auburn defense has only allowed 25.8% of offensive rebounds. It’ll be hard for the Aggies to sustain a high offensive rebound percentage against Auburn tonight.

Let’s take Auburn to get the win against the spread. I’m projecting another double-digit win for the Tigers. The AI Model is too.

NCAAB Pick: Auburn -7.5 (-110) at Bet365 (check our Bet365 Review)

*The line and/or odds referenced in this article might have changed since the content was published. For the latest information on line movements, visit OddsTrader’s free betting odds tool.

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