Western Kentucky and Wright State meet on another quiet of night of college hoops on Tuesday.
Unlike Monday, there will only be two picks in the Monday college basketball best bets column, but the hope is we get winners below. We are focusing on Western Kentucky's road trip to Wright State as an underdog and Austin Peay's hope of slowing down the emerging Southern Illinois Salukis.
Keep reading for my two favorite sides on a condensed hoops slate. You can load up your sportsbook account with some free bets by signing up with FanDuel Sportsbook! All you have to do is sign up through the link below, bet $5 on ANY moneyline and win, and you'll get $150 in bonus bets instantly!
Best College Basketball Bets Today
- Western Kentucky +5.5 vs. Wright State
- Austin Peay +11.5 vs. South Illinois
Western Kentucky vs. Wright State Prediction and Pick
This should be an up-tempo affair, I mean look at the total in the 160's, but I give the edge to the underdog Hilltoppers who can give the Raiders fits on defense.
Wright State's offensive numbers pop far more than WKU, 27th in effective field goal percentage, but the team is far too leaky on the defensive side of the ball to trust to cover a few possessions. The Raiders are 342nd in effective field goal percentage allowed and particularly poor on the interior, allowing foes to shoot 59.9% on two-point shots (355th in the country).
Western Kentucky's offense looks poor on the surface, 305th in the nation in effective field goal percentage, but the team lives inside, taking about 72% of its shots from two-point range. Meanwhile, the WKU defense is sturdy and pressures the ball well, generating turnovers on nearly 22% of possessions, the 37th best in the nation.
This looks like a back-and-forth affair with plenty of possessions, but Western Kentucky is more trustworthy to get stops and should have an easier time on offense against a Wright State defense that is bottom 10 in ShotQuality's points per possession at the rim allowed.
Wright State has played a tricky schedule thus far but has beaten only one team inside the top 160, meanwhile, Western Kentucky has been more competitive against like-minded teams. These teams are closer to equal and I think this one is tight throughout with plenty of swings.
PICK: Western Kentucky +5.5
Austin Peay vs. Southern Illinois Prediction and Pick
Stepping in front of Southern Illinois might be painful, but this sets up as a great sell-high spot on the surging Salukis. SIU entered the season north of 125th in Haslametrics all-play percentage, but that number has surged to 57th as of Tuesday morning. The team is 6-2 with wins over James Madison and Oklahoma State.
However, this is a big number to lay in a game that will feature two teams that are outside the top 300 in terms of adjusted tempo. If there are fewer possessions, it's going to be tough for the Salukis to get the necessary margin to cover a double-digit spread. Further, the team is due to some massive shooting regression on both sides.
This season, Southern Illinois is 17th in the country in three-point percentage (39.8%) and seventh in three-point percentage allowed (26.1%). While Austin Peay is a poor offense, the Governors are 346th in effective field goal percentage, this can be a spot to fade SIU and where the shooting splits even out on both sides.
Southern Illinois beat Oklahoma State at home last week, its first Power Five win, and travel to Wichita State on Saturday in another higher profile matchup.
As mentioned above, Southern Illinois is up to 57th in Haslametrics all play percentage but is 106th in ShotQuality's adjusted rating. The team is due a four percent drop in three-point percentage this season and a five percent rise on defense. Further, Austin Peay is due for a seven percent rise in three-point percentage on offense.
I'll take the stinky dog to cover a big number.
PICK: Austin Peay +11.5
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Track Reed's bets here!