College Basketball Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Monday, February 20th

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College basketball schedule today has 18 games

There are just 18 games on the college hoops card for Monday night, but we do have a signature, spotlight game between Kansas and TCU. It’s actually quite a mixed bag to start the work week with some Big 12, ACC and Big Ten, but also Big West, MEAC and SWAC. Be sure to tune into the next edition of the College Basketball Betting Podcast, which Tim Murray and I will record after Kansas/TCU is completed. (Tracking sheet)

Jonathan Von Tobel is still enjoying the NBA All-Star Break for a few days, but Andy MacNeil is hard at work with NHL best bets today and a new NHL Betting Podcast comes your way this week with Andy and host Danny Burke. Speaking of Danny Burke, I’ll be on with him from 6-9 p.m. ET today and tomorrow for VSiN Primetime.

 
 

 

Here are some thoughts on the February 20 card (odds from DraftKings):

UC Riverside Highlanders (-7, 130.5) at Cal State Northridge Matadors

It is a hideous card today in college hoops and finding a play was a bit of a struggle. Ultimately, this is the one that I decided on, as Riverside has some good blowout potential against Northridge in this contest. The Highlanders did just that in the first game with a 68-45 win and leading scorer Zyon Pullin didn’t even play in that game. He’s averaging 17.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and leads the way with 4.2 assists per game.

UC Riverside is missing center Kyle Owens, but they’re better off playing as a jump-shooting team anyway. That’s true in this matchup, where Northridge is allowing a 41.1% FG% on mid-range jumpers and that’s a sweet spot for the Highlanders with a FG% of 42.1% on those shots. I normally don’t like mid-range teams, but it fits in this matchup, along with the fact that UC Riverside is shooting 35.7% from 3 and Northridge’s defensive strategy is to force a lot of them with a 3P Rate against of 39.2%.

The Matadors scored 45 points in the first meeting and 22 of them came at the free throw line, as they were 11-of-47 from the floor. This is a bad offensive team with only two go-to scorers and one of them, Dionte Bostick, has missed the last six games. Riverside has huge rebounding edges on offense and defense, so they’ll get some of their misses and also clean the glass on Northridge’s bricks.

In the first game, Riverside had a 44-25 rebounding edge and also had 26 shot attempts at the rim compared to 16 for the Matadors, due in large part to 11 offensive rebounds. It’s a rough card, but I liked this one enough to make it a play.

Pick: UC Riverside -7

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