After a relatively quiet college hoops slate on Monday, we have a loaded set of conference games on Tuesday, including Houston and BYU meeting in a Big 12 showdown.
The Cougars have acclimated well to Big 12 play, but not without some flaws, squandering a road game at Texas Tech over the weekend, but the new entrant has an opportunity to make some waves in the conference by knocking off arguably the best team in the country in Houston at home.
That game is the best one on the board, but don't overlook an intriguing battle of two ACC teams on the rise in Pitt and Georgia Tech, which has plenty of betting value.
Here's my two favorite plays for Tuesday college hoops card, you can find all my plays on my betstamp here (@rw33).
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Best College Basketball Bets for Tuesday, January 23rd
- Pitt vs. Georgia Tech (+2.5)
- Houston vs. BYU (+3)
Pitt vs. Georgia Tech Prediction and Pick
Pitt scored a massive upset win on the road against Duke and now turn around to face Georgia Tech, who has also been frisky in ACC play, taking Duke the distance at Cameron Indoor and knocking off Clemson on the road.
This matchup should set up nicely for the home dog, who can dominate on the interior against a Pitt defense that has been subpar in not just league play, but over the balance of the season. Pitt is 224th in field goal percentage allowed at the rim, which could open up the GT offense that is skewed towards taking 3s, but is efficient inside, 67th in near-rim field goal percentage.
Both teams will shoot from the perimeter, Pitt is 31st in 3-point rate and Georgia Tech is 100th, but I don't trust Pitt to maintain it's form after going 10-of-20 from 3 in an intense road win at Duke on Saturday.
Remember, this is a Panthers team that just lost to Syracuse by double-digits at home last week, I'm not rushing to back them as a small road favorite right away.
PICK: Georgia Tech +3
Houston vs. BYU Prediction and Pick
This is shaping up to be a massive game in the Big 12 with BYU grading out as a true National Championship contender despite taking a few losses early on in conference play.
Houston, also in that group, hasn't been flawless in its new conference either, losing back-to-back road games to Iowa State and TCU. While the aforementioned teams are able to pressure the ball and grind games to a halt, beating Houston by a combined score of five points with neither winner breaking 70, there are some similarities on offense for all 3.
Iowa State is 22nd in assist rate while TCU is 17th in that metric, which pales in comparison to BYU, who is second in the country in assist rate on the year. The way to beat Houston, in simple terms, is to not put the ball on the floor. The visiting Cougars are third in the nation in forcing turnovers at over 26% and play at a bottom 15 pace.
If you can't maximize time with the ball, you will be suffocated by this physical Houston team.
However, BYU is one of the most protective teams in the country with the rock, 57th in turnover percentage in addition to generating a ton of open looks. The Cougs are sixth in ShotQuality's spacing metric as well as 44th in shot making. Further, the team is top 30 on both the offensive and defensive glass in terms of rebounding percentage.
I'm happy to take points with the home underdog that has an incredible atmosphere at the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah, to keep this within a possession.
PICK: BYU +3
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.