We have a loaded college hoops card on Tuesday night with plenty of conference matchups to chew on.
My eyes are fixated on an SEC matchup between Texas A&M and Arkansas. The Razorbacks have been one of the biggest underachievers in the sport this season, and now welcome an Aggies team that stopped a poor SEC run with an overtime home win against Kentucky, is this the bottom for the Razorbacks?
I'll dive into that matchup as well as North Carolina State's home game against Wake Forest and a two-team Mountain West parlay for Tuesday's card.
Year to Date Record: 44-38-3 (+2.32U)
Best College Basketball Bets for Tuesday, Jan. 16
- Wake Forest vs. North Carolina State (-1.5)
- Texas A&M vs. Arkansas (+3)
- Boise State ML/New Mexico ML (+103)
Wake Forest vs. North Carolina State Prediction and Pick
Wake Forest has been a fantastic three-point shooting team all season, but how reliable is it? The team is owed a significant drop in offense as it hits the road in ACC play, per ShotQuality (six percent at the rim, two percent from beyond the arc and seven percent on post ups).
The Demon Deacons are a top 20 3-point shooting team this season despite ranking outside the top 100 in terms of open three rate. The team will face a sturdy Wolfpack defense that is does a great job of limiting opponents' 3-point shots, 103rd in opponent 3-point rate and second best in ACC play.
Meanwhile, I'm counting on a bit of a bounce back from the NC State offense that is 14th in ACC play in terms of effective field goal percentage, a near-six percent drop across the balance of the season.
The home team is top five in the country in terms of turnover percentage and has the defense to keep the Wake Forest offense under wraps, which has struggled away from home, losing to the likes of Georgia and Florida State.
I think we see the Wolfpack break out of its offensive slump with a big offensive showing against an overrated Wake Forest team that that has benefitted from a relatively easy non-conference schedule thus far.
PICK: North Carolina State -1.5
Texas A&M vs. Arkansas Prediction and Pick
Is this the bottom for Arkansas, who dropped its third straight SEC game to Florida by 22 points on the road? I'm paying to find out against a Texas A&M team that is better than its record shows, but still not reliable to travel and outduel a physical Razorbacks bunch.
These two teams play a similar style of basketball, reliant on generating free throw opportunities to offset suspect shooting, but the Aggies offense is an eye sore at the moment, reliant on Wade Taylor IV to bail the team out of poor offensive sets.
The Aggies are 330th in effective field goal percentage, but are the best offensive rebounding team in the country, so the team wins on the margins. However, Arkansas is a sturdy rebounding group, top half of the country in terms of defensive rebounding and get to the free throw line at a top 10 rate.
There may be some concern that Arkansas has let go of the rope, losing each SEC game by double digits, but I need to buy the dip here on a Razorbacks team that is shooting 25% from beyond the arc in conference play. With a physical game this one can be decided at the charity stripe, in which I'm happy to grab the home underdog.
PICK: Arkansas +3
UNLV vs. Boise State Prediction and Pick
This is the first of two home Mountain West favorites I'm pairing together.
Boise State benefits from an extra day of rest after an impressive road win at Nevada on Friday night. The team returns home to face a UNLV team that has been hit-or-miss all season, but has shown a high ceiling in beating the likes of Creighton.
However, the Rebels squandered a late lead to Utah State on Saturday afternoon, in improbable fashion, allowing a five-point play to the Aggies (yes, you read that right).
The team now turns around to face a physical Broncos team playing its best ball of the season.
Boise State bolsters a top 20 defense in terms of KenPom's adjusted defensive efficiency, and I don't trust the Rebels to win on the margins, the team is 260th in offensive rebounding rate and 331st in defensive rebound rate, to get a road upset.
This game will feature limited possessions with both teams looking to control the pace, but I'll side with the home team taking care of business behind an offense that can lean on its defense and physicality inside on offense.
Utah State vs. New Mexico Prediction and Pick
Another Mountain West home favorite is New Mexico, who welcomes Utah State to 'The Pit.'
While Utah State has an elite big man in Great Osobor, the 16-1 Aggies are in line for a loss against an explosive Lobos offense.
With Jaelan House back in the lineup, New Mexico's entire backcourt has been deployed and is fresh off a blowout win against San Diego State.
With House on the floor, the Lobos are scoring nearly seven points per 100 possessions more and allowing more than six fewer, per Hoop-Explorer. While the Lobos are 2-2 in conference play, they are sleeping giant in a loaded Mountain West.
Utah State will likely generate plenty of offense through Osobor, but I'm going to side with the home favorite to generate enough offense to out-last the Aggies at home, who are 300th in 3-point percentage.
Pairing these two Mountain West favorites to win generates about a plus money payout.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Track Reed's bets here!