Best NCAAB Bets: Illinois vs. Rutgers Prediction, Odds & Picks for Conference Battle
On the day before Super Bowl Sunday, we will be treated to another 150-game slate of college basketball games.
While there might not be as many marquee showdowns as in previous weeks, we do have a handful of compelling matchups such as Alabama-Auburn, UConn-Creighton, Baylor-TCU, Indiana-Michigan, and Rutgers-Illinois slated for tomorrow.
With so many games to keep track of, remember to sign up for our Discord for any additional plays this weekend. Let’s try to make some money on this college hoops card before we blow it on too many player props on Sunday, shall we?
Today’s CBB Best Bets (February 10)
Illinois -2.5 vs. Rutgers (-110, PointsBet)
Illinois has had nearly a full week off since suffering an 81-79 loss to Iowa last Saturday, and this seems like a nice spot for Brad Underwood’s squad at home. That’s why I fired on an opener I expected to be closer to five.
Rutgers recently lost Mawot Mag to a season-ending ACL injury. He was one of the team’s more important players on the defensive end of the floor. In fact, his Defensive Bayesian Performance Rating (DBPR) of 2.29 ranked second on the team, per EvanMiya’s analytical website. It is a huge loss for a team that ranks second in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency, and that showed during Tuesday’s 66-60 loss to Indiana.
The Fighting Illini, meanwhile, have won seven of their last nine games since starting 0-3 in Big Ten play. They can hold their own on the defensive end, ranking 18th in adjusted efficiency. They are also holding opponents to the seventh-best two-point percentage in the country. In a potentially lower-scoring battle, I like Illinois to emerge with a comfortable victory.
Risk: 1.1 units at PointsBet to win 1 unit. (Playable to -5)
Texas vs. West Virginia Under 151 Points (-110, PointsBet)
For the second consecutive best bets column, we are going to play an under in a Texas game. Hey, it worked last weekend when the Longhorns’ 69-66 victory over the Kansas State Wildcats finished well under the closing point total of 152. Texas' defense didn’t look the part in a 88-80 loss to Kansas two days later, but let’s hope this result is closer to Saturday’s outcome.
The last time these two teams met on Jan. 21, this total was set at 146.5 and finished below that threshold by 16.5 points. My total projection for this game is closer to that number when Texas secured a hard-fought 69-61 win.
Despite the loss to KU on Big Monday, Texas is still the frontrunner in the Big 12 race with a 8-3 clip. The Longhorns gave up too many layups to the Jayhawks on Monday, but I’m betting Rodney Terry had his team watch plenty of tape in the days since. As long as West Virginia can finish at 70 or below, we should be in good shape on this under.
Risk: 1.1 units at PointsBet to win 1 unit. (Playable to 149)
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Clemson +7.5 at North Carolina (-110, FanDuel)
On some level, we always knew Clemson was playing over its head during a 10-1 start in ACC play. ShotQuality had actually graded seven of those games as losses during that impressive start.
Clemson has since predictably fallen back down to Earth, dropping back-to-back games to Boston College and Miami (FL) last week. But the Tigers have had a full week off and are playing a struggling North Carolina squad on the road this weekend.
The Tar Heels have dropped three in a row, which includes Tuesday’s 92-85 loss to Wake Forest. They are on the verge of becoming the first preseason No. 1 team to miss the NCAA Tournament.
From a situational standpoint, and the overall metrics, it makes sense why North Carolina is favored in this one. But this spread is a bit high against a team I have zero trust in at this point, so I’m willing to add a smaller play on my card for this one.
Risk: 0.55 units at FanDuel to win 0.5 units. (Playable to 7)
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