NCAA CBB Best Bets: The Heart Of College Hoops Season Is Here

Jan 06, 2023
NCAA College Basketball Best Bets (January 7)

The calendar has flipped to 2023, and it is time for another Saturday full of college basketball. With over 100 games to watch and bet on from start to finish, we’ve officially reached the heart of the college hoops season.

Headlining Saturday's action, Kansas will travel to Morgantown to face a hungry West Virginia squad. Arkansas and Auburn will face off in the SEC, Gonzaga has a battle with Santa Clara on deck, and don’t forget about the Big East showdown between Creighton and Connecticut. Not to mention nearly every Big 12 game is must-watch television this year.

After going 0-3 in last week’s best bets column on New Year's Eve, I need a clean slate in the worst way. My Betstamp verified college basketball record is 36-32-1 (+5.27 units) this season, but it definitely feels like we’ve left some winners on the table. In a season full of parity, it is up to us bettors to sift through the mess and make good bets. Let’s try to do that today.

Today’s CBB Best Bets (January 7)

Kansas at West Virginia Over 141.5 Points (-110, FanDuel)

Let’s start with what might be the best game of the day. West Virginia has started 0-2 in Big 12 play after road losses to Kansas State and Oklahoma State, so the WVU Coliseum is going to be extra juiced when No. 3 Kansas comes to town. The Jayhawks are 4-6 in Morgantown, as this is a very tough place to play.

Discord subscribers already got a spread pick for this game, as Kansas opened as a 1-point favorite. But I’m writing up the over in the best bets column, taking advantage of FanDuel’s offering of 141.5 while Caesars is listing this line at 143.

Both teams rank inside the top 36 in turnover rate on the defensive end, so don't be surprised if this game turns out to be a bit of a track meet. A physical game could lead to more free throws, especially with the rate at which WVU is sending opponents to the line. Kansas has shot the ball well from three-point range to begin league play, and if that continues, this total should be cleared by a comfortable margin.

Risk: 1.1 units at FanDuel to win 1 unit. (Playable to 143.5)

Arkansas at Auburn Over 138.5 Points (-110, Caesars)

This is another total that has differing prices at the time of this writing. Caesars is hanging a 138.5, while most other sportsbooks are sitting at 140.5. That might not seem like much, but it does illustrate the importance of line shopping.

ShotQuality’s (SQ) projection for this game is actually closer to 150, as both teams haven’t performed up to expectation from a shot-making perspective. Arkansas is 4-10 to the over this year, but ShotQuality has it at 7-7. Auburn is 8-6 to the over, but 11 of its 14 games should have finished above the point total based on ShotQuality’s numbers.

The Razorbacks rank 52nd in adjusted tempo, so while both defenses are top-16 in adjusted efficiency, this game could feature more possessions than expected. If both teams can have some positive regression from three-point range, they can get to 70 (or at least one of them can) and cash this over for us. Simple, right?

Risk: 1.1 units at Caesars to win 1 unit. (Playable to 140.5)

Creighton +6.5 at UConn

Speaking of ShotQuality, Creighton is a team to buy low on based on their metrics. The Blue Jays, who were the favorite to win the Big East entering the season, are 9-6 overall and 3-1 in conference play. They have won three in a row since a six-game skid during non-conference play.

While most people were jumping ship on this Creighton squad, ShotQuality actually graded four of those losses as wins. Now, none of these analytical websites are perfect, but I do think the Blue Jays became a bit underrated because of that losing streak. Since 7-foot-1 center Ryan Kalkbrenner returned, Creighton has been a different team.

His presence is crucial for this matchup against Adama Sanoga and the UConn Huskies. Like West Virginia, UConn has dropped back-to-back road games and will be as hungry as ever to get a win in front of a home crowd. Perhaps the Huskies do take care of business, but I think this number is too high for a Blue Jays squad that might be just as good.

Risk: 0.55 units at BetMGM to win 0.5 units. (Playable to 6)

For the most up-to-date picks check out my Twitter and subscribe to our Discord. This sheet from Dan Rivera tracks all my betting picks (and those from the rest of the betting staff) on the year. Just click on the tab with my name on it for the results.

This article is intended for entertainment purposes and adult users only. Call 1-800-GAMBLER if you have a gambling problem.

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