College Basketball Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Tuesday, January 24th


College basketball schedule today has 27 games

It is another light day on the college basketball hardwood, but we’ve got much bigger conferences, colleges and universities in action. We’ve got games in the Big 12, Big Ten, SEC, ACC, Big East, MAC, A-10, Mountain West, AAC and even Missouri Valley spread across just 27 games.

I’ve talked about this before, but it bears repeating now. With a lot of people moving into the college basketball betting market now that the NFL is winding down and college football is over, try finding some conferences to specialize in. Try handicapping 12-14 teams in three or four conferences as opposed to trying to do the entire nation if you’re just getting into it. That will help you in the short term and the long term.


Two guys that will also help you are Jonathan Von Tobel and Andy MacNeil, as you can check out JVT’s daily NBA best bets and Andy’s top NHL picks each and every day here at the website.



Here are some thoughts on the Jan. 24 card (odds from DraftKings):

Davidson Wildcats (-5, 138.5) at La Salle Explorers

The first season under Matt McKillop hasn’t gone the way Davidson had hoped, at least not to this point. Matt took over from his father, Bob, with a team that had lost a lot from last year’s NCAA Tournament team. It isn’t a big surprise that the team has struggled a bit without Hyunjung Lee, Luka Brajkovic and Michael Jones. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I think the tunnel ends in Philadelphia tonight.

The A-10 is full of quality teams and Davidson has played most of them already. They’ve played the highest strength of schedule in conference play thus far, including both games against Dayton. This is a huge step down in class for the Cats, who beat Fordham by 14 and Loyola Chicago by 23 in terms of the A-10 teams that are in the same breath as La Salle.

The Explorers have played the 10th-ranked strength of schedule to this point in league play, yet they rank 13th in the 15-team league in adjusted defensive efficiency per Bart Torvik. I also like that Davidson has had a week off to figure things out in the midst of a four-game losing streak. They badly lack depth this season and just played VCU, Richmond, George Mason and Dayton in the span of 11 days. They should be fresh tonight.

Foster Loyer only had seven points in three of those four games, which won’t get it done, but serves as the outlier for his career. I think tonight is a great spot for Davidson and it’s undoubtedly the better team.

Pick: Davidson -5

Oklahoma State Cowboys at Texas Longhorns (-8.5, 136.5)

A big one in the Big 12 tonight between Oklahoma State and Texas has the chance to be a rock fight. The first game was, as Texas won 56-46 in Stillwater 17 days ago. While I’m not expecting another game that sets offense back 50 years, I don’t see either offense having a ton of success in this one.

Oklahoma State ranks 167th in adjusted offensive efficiency per Torvik and 139th per KenPom. The adjusted metrics heavily weigh the schedule and Oklahoma State has played the 13th-ranked schedule per KP and 12th per Torvik. They have a high TO% of 21.2% that ranks 316th in the nation against Division I opponents and rank outside the top 170 in 2P% and outside the top 230 in 3P%.

However, the Cowboys are excellent defensively in all of the shooting areas. They are terrific at protecting the rim, rank 18th in Farther Two shooting percentage as defined by Torvik and rank 16th in 3P% defense. Texas ranks 11th in 2P%, but they’re shooting 44.8% on Farther Twos, which seems unsustainable to me. As mentioned, Okie State is top 20 in defending those types of shots and Texas was 4-of-15 on mid-range jumpers in the first game. The Cowboys are also top 20 in defending Close Twos. 

Oklahoma State made 14 shots from the floor in the first meeting and Texas made 17. The Cowboys just beat Iowa State and only scored 45 points from the floor, relying on 16 free throws just to get to 61 points. They’ve had under a point per possession in four of their last five conference games. I like this one to stay under the total.

Pick: Under 136.5

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