Making smart college basketball picks used to be a lot more labor-intensive and time-consuming. You had to build your own power rankings – or buy someone else’s – then compare them to the NCAAB odds board and try to find the matchups with the biggest potential profit margin attached.
Now we have the internet to do the heavy lifting for us. The free OddsTrader BetStation app generates projections for each game on the sports calendar – including Tuesday’s college basketball slate, where we’ve chosen three games that are worth putting in your NCAAB picks.
Tuesday, January 24, 2023 – 06:30 PM EST at Jersey Mike’s Arena
Our tour begins in Piscataway, where the AI predicts the Scarlet Knights will beat Penn State 72-68. That’s 140 points, which is a lot more than the 129.5-point total at SBK as we go to press.
Why Is the Total So Low?
You can blame Rutgers (Under 11-8) for that. They have the No. 4-ranked defense on Ken Pomeroy’s advanced stats, but only No. 124 on offense; the Knights are also No. 271 in Adjusted Tempo, getting in around 65-66 possessions per game.
Penn State (Over 10-9) also operates at a glacial tempo (No. 283 overall), but otherwise, these Lions are built to cash in the Over. They rank No. 25 on offense and No. 88 on defense, jacking up threes at an insane clip – and sinking 39.4% of them (No. 11).
As fate would have it, Rutgers allows their opponents to fire away from the perimeter, giving up 23.1 attempts per game (No. 266). This is a golden opportunity for PSU forward Seth Lundy (42.2%), guard Andrew Funk (42.4%) and others to make it rain both 3-pointers and dollar-dollar bills for us.
NCAAB Pick: Over 129.5 (-111) at SBK
Tuesday, January 24, 2023 – 07:00 PM EST at Bud Walton Arena
Moving on to the SEC, the computer predictions say the Razorbacks are about to thump LSU 79-65, which adds up to 144 points if we’re not mistaken. Again, that’s well clear of the 139.5-point total at FanDuel.
Isn’t Arkansas an Under Team?
More often than not. The Hogs have the Under at 12-6-1 thus far, powered by the No. 52-ranked offense and No. 21 defense on the Pomeroy charts. However, Arkansas also moves at the No. 55-ranked pace in Division I, getting in about 70 possessions per game. And this is one of the smaller totals they’ve seen all year.
The Tigers (Under 11-7-1) have a similar imbalance between their No. 142 offense and their No. 101 defense, although they’re a much slower team at No. 243 (66.2 possessions) in Adjusted Tempo, and Tuesday’s total is right in their wheelhouse.
So what does the AI see in this matchup? It’s probably the clash of styles; LSU are one of the worst teams in Division I when it comes to interior defense, allowing teams to shoot 52.6% (No. 312) from inside the arc. And the Razorbacks are No. 15 overall in made 2-pointers at 22.4 per game.
NCAAB Pick: Over 139.5 (-110) at FanDuel
Tuesday, January 24, 2023 – 07:00 PM EST at James A. Rhodes Arena
Our last stop is in the MAC, where the Zips are projected to beat Miami 80-66, thus going Over the posted total of 141.5 at Caesars Sportsbook by a healthy 4.5 points – the same margin as the LSU-Arkansas matchup.
Is MAC Basketball Any Good?
It’s way better than their football these days. According to Sports Reference, the Mid-American was the worst conference in the FBS, but they rank No. 17 out of the 32 Division I conferences, ahead of the Big Sky and the Southern. Life could be worse.
This game features one of the better MAC teams in the Zips, whose 10-7 Under record has helped to drive this total down to a manageable size – that, plus the No. 292-ranked pace (65.2 possessions) in college hoops, married with the No. 181 offense and No. 78 defense.
Fortunately for us, the RedHawks (Over 10-6) are exactly the kind of team we’re looking for when it comes to betting the Over. They’re one of the very worst defensive teams in the nation at No. 349 of the 363 teams in Division I, compared to No. 189 on offense.
Miami also gets in about 68.5 possessions per game (No. 122), and that extra possession or two that they’ll squeeze out of Akron should be enough to get us to the pay window. The AI has spoken.
NCAAB Pick: Over 141.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook