College basketball best bets today

The daily college basketball grind rolls on with 31 games on the betting board for Tuesday. More familiar teams are on the slate here, as we move away from the MEAC, SWAC, and Southland and focus on some bigger names and bigger games. We are under a week from the start of conference tournaments, so we’re starting to run into Senior Nights and home finales.

For the college basketball best bets today, I looked at every game and here’s what made the most sense to me.


Before getting into the college basketball best bets for today, a quick note on upcoming VSiN content. We will be previewing all 32 conference tournaments this season, as myself, Zachary Cohen, Jonathan Von Tobel, Matt Youmans, Wes Reynolds, Mike Somich, Tyler Shoemaker, and Aaron Moore will all be involved in that process. The first conference tournament starts March 4 (Atlantic Sun) and we’ll get those out as quickly as possible.

We’ll also have a March Madness Primer with some general NCAA Tournament betting tips on either March 10 or 11 and then our March Madness Betting Guide on March 19. Lots of college hoops coming your way!

Check the latest college basketball odds for legal U.S. sportsbooks across the country and our Vegas odds if you share a state with us here at VSiN. Also, give the college basketball betting splits a look for these or any other college basketball games today have your interest. Check out the Tracking Sheet for this season’s results and our college basketball home page for more CBB content.

Here are three college basketball best bets for today.

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publish.

Northern Illinois Huskies at Toledo Rockets (-14, 155)

7 p.m. ET

It seemed like Tod Kowalczyk had his team pointed in the right direction at the right time once again. After playing the bully role rather well early in MAC play, Toledo had beaten Ohio and then Akron at home before traveling to rival Bowling Green this past Friday. Toledo lost that game by eight and I think they’re in a bounce back spot against a really awful Northern Illinois team here.

Northern Illinois is all but eliminated from MAC Tournament contention, as the tournament parameters changed last season and only the top eight teams qualify. Northern Illinois is three games back and a double-digit dog this week twice with stops in Toledo and Akron. There may not be a lot left in the tank for the Huskies, as they’ve lost by 38, 7, and 21 over the last three games while scoring .765, .886, and .864 points per possession. Their three leading scorers have all missed time within the last two weeks as well.

Ironically, leading scorer David Coit, who has averaged 20.5 points per game, missed the loss to South Alabama and the win over Buffalo prior to this three-game stretch, in which he’s scored 69 of the team’s 169 points. Third-leading scorer Xavier Amos has missed time recently and second-leading scorer Zarique Nutter (15.3 PPG) has missed the last two games after playing just 22 minutes against Kent State 10 days ago.

Toledo is definitely a shaky defensive team, but an offensive juggernaut once again, leading the conference in adjusted offensive efficiency and TO%, along with being in the top three in eFG%, 3P%, 2P%, and FT%. Defensively, they are tops in the conference in TO% and NIU is 11th out of 12 teams in TO%, so we should see some extra Rockets possessions.

NIU is 10th, 11th, or 12th in most defensive categories, while also being 12th in 2P% on offense. With Toledo in what should be a bounce back spot and NIU’s litany of banged-up bodies, I like the Rockets laying a hefty number.

Pick: Toledo -14

BYU Cougars at Kansas Jayhawks (-6.5, 156.5)

8 p.m. ET

I stared at this game for a long time this morning and decided to add it to the card. I haven’t played a lot of major-conference games, as you know if you’ve read throughout or check the tracking sheet, but I felt like I had to play this one.

In my opinion, BYU is overrated. They were a top-15 team in adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency and ranked seventh in eFG% offense at 58.5% and 24th in eFG% defense at 44.6% in the non-conference while going 12-1. They shot 38% from 3, 60% from 2, and held opponents to 25.7% from 3. They were largely dominant.

In conference play, they have a 52.2% eFG% (3rd in Big 12), a 52% eFG% defense (10th), a 32% 3P% (11th), a 56.5% 2P% (2nd), a 35.4% 3P% against (12th), and a 51.4% 2P% against (8th). I realize they’re played a great schedule in the Big 12, but they’re a 7-7 team in that conference.

Let’s go one step further. In seven road games in Big 12 play, they’re 2-5 and 13th in adjusted defensive efficiency. They’re only shooting 30.4% from 3 in those games and most of them are unfamiliar venues as a first-year member of the conference.

Kansas leads the conference in eFG% and 2P%. They’re also a top-four defense in a lot of categories. They’ve had plenty of issues away from Phog Allen, but they’ve been dominant at home and much better at shooting the 3 at 35% compared to 29.8% on the road.

It’s a home-happy conference. Both teams have home/road splits. I find BYU overrated. Maybe they aren’t and I find out the hard way, but I like Kansas here.

Pick: Kansas -6.5

San Jose State Spartans at San Diego State Aztecs (-21.5, 139.5)

11 p.m. ET

A couple state schools in California square off tonight with San Diego State laying a monster home number against San Jose State. The Spartans seem to be running on fumes right now, as they’ve really been victimized defensively, but I have some hope that they’ll rally tonight and play a competitive game.

Point guard Alvaro Cardenas missed the losses to Wyoming and Boise State before coming back with 28 minutes against Nevada. The Spartans were tied at 42 with 15:26 left in the 21-point loss to Nevada, so they went ice cold and the Wolf Pack went nuclear. Cardenas is further removed from his illness now and he’s clearly SJSU’s best player, so I think he’ll be better tonight.

Also, San Diego State, while elite defensively, ranks in the middle of the pack among Mountain West teams in adjusted offensive efficiency and eFG%. They’re only shooting 30.9% from 3, which is the stat where SJSU comes up the shortest on defense.

In a game likely to be played around 66 or 67 possessions, the Aztecs are going to need to be really efficient on both ends of the floor. They just hammered Fresno State by 32 points in a game played to 59 possessions, but that was a vengeful team after losing to Utah State. With a week until their next game, I think this could be a bit of a sleepy spot for the Aztecs, which they can ill-afford while laying three touchdowns.

Pick: San Jose State +21.5