Top College Basketball Picks and Predictions Today (How to bet Monday’s Big 12 action)
Monday slates, as per usual, aren’t as deep as others, but there’s always value to be had on the college basketball card.
We have two matchups in the Big 12 with close spreads and a ton of intrigue for different reasons. Texas and Baylor are trying to climb towards a regular season title while Texas Tech hosts Iowa State in hopes of getting their first league victory of the season against Iowa State.
I have a play on both Big 12 contests on Monday, so let’s get to it:
College basketball record to date
College basketball best bets for Monday, January 30th
- Baylor +3 vs. Texas
- Iowa State -1 vs. Texas Tech
Baylor vs. Texas prediction and pick
Each team’s defense is outside the top 100 nationally per Bart Torvik since the beginning of January, a concerning sign moving forward. However, Baylor has offset some of their defensive struggles with the best offense in the country in that span led by future lottery pick Keyonte George and veteran guard Adam Flagler, among others.
The Longhorns have been fouling at an alarming rate, which is a big concern against Baylor’s guard play that has this club shooting over 77% from the charity stripe. Not to mention, they are relentless on the glass, leading all Big 12 teams in offensive rebounding rate.
Texas is an elite team as well, led by guards Marcus Carr and Tyrese Hunter, but the defense has been a huge concern since the team fired Chris Beard and I’m concerned that the team can contain Baylor’s set of ball handlers. Carr and forward Timmy Allen are both minus defenders, and I expect Bears’ head coach Scott Drew have his ball handlers hunt those mismatches at will for all 40 minutes.
On offense, Texas is going to struggle to get inside against Baylor’s defense that does a great job of staying in front of its man, the team is allowing the 19th furthest average shot proximity in the country, per Haslametrics. The Bears are lacking a rim protector, bottom 10 in field goal percentage at the rim, but if Texas is going to settle for jump shots I’ll side with Baylor’s offense at the moment.
Texas has been fairly overvalued this season, especially as a favorite, 6-10 against the spread at home and 7-11 as a favorite. There are warning signs up about this Longhorns defense and they are facing arguably the best O in the country right now. I think Baylor hangs around in this one and covers the two possession spread.
PICK: Baylor +3
Iowa State vs. Texas prediction and pick
While Iowa State’s performance on the road this weekend was a bit concerning with a quick turnaround to face Texas Tech, this matchup is far different and I still give the edge to the Cyclones.
Unlike Missouri’s top 40 turnover rate in the country, Texas Tech’s ball handlers struggle to protect the ball, which is unacceptable against Iowa State’s defense. The Red Raiders are bottom 100 nationally in turnover rate while the Cyclones have the highest turnover rate on defense in the country, forcing opponents to cough the ball off on more than 27% of their possessions.
This season has gone off the rails for the Red Raiders, who have lost several close games, but also have dealt with injuries all season long, most recently to guard Pop Isaacs, who left the team’s loss to West Virginia and missed the LSU game.
Isaacs status is unclear as of this writing, but down a key ball handler to a team that already struggles to limit turnovers is a tough blow. In Iowa State’s 34-point drubbing earlier this month, the Red Raiders turned it over 19 times.
On the other side of the ball, Iowa State’s offense has been humming in league play, shooting 39% from beyond the arc. I’m not sure if it’s sustainable long term, but I do trust the team’s offense to travel given that they can crash the glass against this Red Raiders team that has the second worst defensive rebounding rate in Big 12 play.
Texas Tech has been hurting bettors’ wallets all season long, 8-13 against the spread and 4-9 at home. I’ll take the better team to make it a season sweep and win this one outright.
PICK: Iowa State -1
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.