College Basketball Best Bets for Today, January 27th

Jan 20, 2022; Spokane, Washington, USA; San Francisco Dons guard Jamaree Bouyea (1) celebrates a three-point shot
Jan 20, 2022; Spokane, Washington, USA; San Francisco Dons guard Jamaree Bouyea (1) celebrates a three-point shot / James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

A night off from the Best Bets column resulted in a 6-1 night for your boy. While it's good for me, and you should follow my bet stamp to grab all of these plays in real time, the column record remains underwhelming.

Let's see if we can pick it up after a 1-2 Tuesday with 4 plays of the mid-major variety on Thursday night.

Odds courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook.

Column Record: 25-31-3 (-7.12 Units)

Arkansas State (+3.5) vs. Appalachian State

App State has won four straight, a pair by 1 and another pair by 8, but I see them coming up short at home against a more formidable foe in Arkansas State.

The Red Wolves have won three straight of their own and present a ton of schematic issues for a Mountaineers defense that is terrible defending the interior. Arkansas State generates a majority of their points on two-point tries while App State is bottom 25 in defending inside the arc. In Sun Belt play it's even more jarring with the visitors posting 52.7% two-point percentage while Arkansas State is 10th on the defensive side.

Meanwhile, on the other side, Appalachian State is incredibly reliant on the three, a Sun Belt high 42% three-point rate in conference play, but Arkansas State limits foes to the second lowest 3PAR this season.

The kicker? Arkansas State is a top 50 free throw shooting team, App State is bottom 50. Getting over a possession is huge and I believe the visitors are live to win outright.

PICK: Arkansas State +3.5, play to +2

UC-Riverside (-5) vs. Long Beach State

UC-Riverside has a massive size advantage against the visiting Beach which creates some blowout potential.

The visitors take a bottom 15 amount of three's and generate 55% of their points on two-point tries, but Riverside does a great job of funneling teams inside and challenging shots, posting a top 75 mark in defensive efficiency according to KenPom.

Meanwhile, the Highlanders take a ton of three's (top 100 in three-point rate) and Long Beach State will let them do just that, allowing teams to hit on 37% of their tries from distance on a 40% three-point rate. While that number is better in conference plays, below 32%, this is a good sell high spot after LBSU beat UC-Irvine on Saturday in a big upset.

I'll lay it with UC-Riverside

PICK: UC-Riverside, play to -6.5

San Francisco (-2) vs. St. Mary's

I wrote about this game at length here, but I'm laying it with the Dons at home.

I believe that USF's interior offense is going to thrive against a disciplined St. Mary's defense that is looking to run their opponents off the three-point line and can thrive off the home court advantage and get a signature victory. I wouldn't go higher than this, but the line move in favor of the Gaels is generating line value on San Fran, who is hungry for a statement victory.

PICK: San Francisco -2

Santa Clara (+3) vs. BYU

Another late night matchup that I covered here, but I like the home dog Broncos, that have a ton of length to challenge the undersized Cougars.

Alex Barcello is shooting 45% from deep this season for BYU, but Santa Clara starts four of five players 6'6" or taller and should do a good job of chasing the Cougars guard off the perimeter and into the teeth of the hosts defense.

BYU's inability to generate turnovers will open up the Santa Clara offense that is as efficient as the visitors defense this season. According to KenPom, BYU is ranked 39th in offensive efficiency and Santa Clara is ranked 46th. I believe the matchup advantages for the Broncos sets up for a home victory late on Thursday night.

PICK: Santa Clara +3, play to +2