College basketball best bets today

We have exactly 40 games on the college basketball card for Valentine’s Day and it is arguably the worst game on the board that is drawing the most attention. The 0-26 Detroit Titans are favored by 5.5 points against the IUPUI Jaguars in Horizon League action, a game that is getting a lot of social media attention, including our own @VSiNLive X handle.

I will not be picking that game as one of the college basketball best bets today, but it is certainly an interesting story. I’ll be looking elsewhere for some betting value.


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 two college basketball best bets for today.

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publish.

East Tennessee State Buccaneers at Chattanooga Mocs (-7.5, 140.5)

7 p.m. ET

A few games in the SoCon caught my eye, but this was the only one I deemed worthy of a wager. Chattanooga and East Tennessee State battle it out for the second time this season, as the Mocs look for the regular season sweep after an 81-74 win back on Jan. 21 on the road.

Chattanooga is really making it rain from 3 this season, as they’ve shot 35.6% (86th) and they take a whole hell of a lot of 3s with the fourth-highest 3P Rate in the nation at 49.8%. What is odd about their 3-point prowess is that they are actually only shooting 32.2% from 3 at home. I doubt they’ll continue to shoot 38.2% from 3 on the road, but I also expect them to shoot better at home.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of that positive regression in the friendly confines hit in this one. The Mocs have scored at least 1.113 points per possession in seven of their last eight games. They’ve won every one of the games with those numbers and have scored 74, 81, 79, 90, 91, 88, and 89 points in those matchups. They lost to Samford in that span, who is the best team in this conference.

ETSU is 5-7 in league play, but they rank 10th in eFG%, 10th in 3P%, and eighth in 2P%, not to mention, they are shooting just 69.1% at the free throw line. I’m not sure how the Bucs keep up in an arms race here, especially because they’re shooting 28.2% from 3 while taking a 3 on 42.5% of their shot attempts.

The Mocs have a huge offensive advantage and are more than respectable in their defensive rankings as far as SoCon teams go.

Pick: Chattanooga -7.5

Southern Illinois Salukis at Belmont Bruins (-3, 145.5)

7:30 p.m. ET

We’ve got a good one in the Missouri Valley Conference tonight between Southern Illinois and Belmont. The first game between these two teams was a 73-63 win for Southern Illinois, as the teams combined to go just 10-of-49 from 3. To say that was an outlier performance from both offenses would be an understatement, as Southern Illinois is a 35.6% team from 3 (86th) and Belmont is at 37.4% (24th) per Bart Torvik.

Southern Illinois has done a masterful job of defending the 3-point line, holding opponents to 29.2% from deep, but I would expect Belmont to find more success here in the rematch. If nothing else, a smart head coach like Casey Alexander may focus more on getting inside, where the Bruins were 14-for-27 in the first matchup. You can get inside on Southern Illinois, as they have a 43.6% shot share against on Close Twos, which ranks in the bottom 25 nationally.

Belmont is the 16th-worst defense in FG% against on Close Twos at 64.7%, something SIU looked to exploit in the first game, going 17-of-31 on attempts at the rim. Southern Illinois is also below average when it comes to rim defense.

Both teams adopt the “Rim & 3” philosophy I like to see, as over 85% of SIU’s shot attempts are at the rim or 3s. Belmont is around 78%. I think we’ll get better 3-point shooting here and I think we’ll also see Belmont win the tempo battle.

The first game was played to 72 possessions, which is more of Belmont’s speed. I don’t think the Salukis, who are 341st in tempo, will slow this one down either.

Pick: Over 145.5