College basketball season is in full swing and we always are combing through the nightly slate to find the best bets on the board.
While Thursday is a lighter slate than usual, there are still some home teams showing value as we gear up for a loaded weekend of hoops.
Here are my three best bets for December 2nd, which you can also find here in real time.
College Basketball Best Bets, December 2nd
- Northern Colorado -3 (-105)
- Utah State ML (-115)
- California -2.5 (-115)
Northern Colorado (-3) vs. Montana State
While Northern Colorado is 3-5 on the year, they are better than their metrics indicate, posting the 120th best offense in the country per KenPom's numbers. Not to mention the team has played the 70th most difficult schedule and have the eighth-most experience on hand.
After a four game road trip in which they lost three of them by single digits, they're happy to return home and face an overrated Montana State club, who has won three straight over lowly competition like Portland, Incarnate Word and Southeast Missouri State.
The real edge for the Bears is on the perimeter. The team is in the top 100 in three-point rate and hitting on nearly 40% of them while the Bobcats are allowing the 65th highest three-point percentage in the country.
On the other side of the ball, the home team does an excellent job of limiting three-point attempts, yielding the 21st lowest three-point rate against a Montana State team that shoots even more three's than their opponent. If Northern Colorado can take away MSU's preferred method of attack, they will be in good shape to outpace them on the scoreboard.
I expect the likes of deadeye shooter Dru Kuxhausen (career 41% three-point shooter) to get the team back in the win column.
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Utah State (PK) vs. St. Mary's
I have a full writeup on this matchup here, but the Aggies are being undervalued at home where they are 46-31-2 against the spread at Dee Glen Smith Spectrum since 2015.
With forward Justin Bean playing lights out basketball to start the year, averaging over 22 points on 67.8% field goal percentage and more than 12 rebounds per game.
While St. Mary's had a nice run at the Maui Invitational last week, we have seen Utah State handle Oklahoma already this season and they are a strong bet at home despite the line movement against them.
PICK: Utah State PK, play to -2
Cal (-2.5) vs. Oregon State
As I wrote about here, Cal has the size inside to generate enough easy buckets against an Oregon State team that is on a six game skid.
Both Grant Anticevich and Andre Kelly are 6'9" bigs that can stretch the floor and handle the Oregon matchup zone inside. I also like what I have seen from transfer guard Jordan Shepherd that has helped lead the Golden Bears to five straight covers.
PICK: Cal -2.5, play to -3.5