When a team is at least a 25-point favorite in college basketball, the odds are pretty big that said club will win. Yet last week, Florida A&M won at Iowa State 70-68 as a 25.5-point underdog. Florida A&M ended an 0-106 winless streak against major-conference teams since the 1984-85 season. The Rattlers became the fourth team already this season to win as an underdog of at least 25 points. Here’s a look at two intriguing early-week College Basketball betting matchups this week. Check back for Mybookie NCAAB odds.
Top College Basketball Betting Picks of the Week – January 6th Edition
No. 5 Ohio State vs No. 15 Maryland
Will the Buckeyes have forward Kyle Young for this one? He missed Friday’s win over Wisconsin after having his appendix removed earlier in the week. Young had every game for the Buckeyes this season and is averaging 8.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Coach Chris Holtmann said Young is considered game-to-game going forward.
Maryland was 2-0 vs. Ohio State last year. The game in College Park was a 72-62 final. Anthony Cowan Jr. scored 19 points, Bruno Fernando had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Terps. They) used a 13-0 spree to take a 52-36 lead. After letting the margin dwindle to two points with 5:27 left, Maryland rattled off seven straight points to end the Buckeyes’ comeback bid. Duane Washington Jr. scored 15 and Andre Wesson had 13 for Ohio State. Maryland outscored Ohio State 20-5 at the free throw line and finished with a 40-28 rebounding edge.
Some Numbers to Consider for your College Basketball Betting pickOSU lost its second game in a row on Friday, 61-57, and will drop from No. 5 in the new polls on Monday. Kaleb Wesson notched his fifth double-double of the season with 22 points and 13 boards while Washington Jr. added 18 for the Buckeyes. Neither team shot the ball well, with the Buckeyes connecting on 40.4 percent (19-for-47) of their shots while the Badgers finished at 37.5 percent (21-for-56), but Wisconsin held a 16-6 advantage in points off turnovers and a 20-2 lead in bench points.
Wesson reached the 1,000 mark for career points. He is the 59th Buckeye to record 1,000 career points, 37th with 500 rebounds and 29th with both 1,000 points and 500 rebounds.
Maryland beat visiting Indiana 75-59 on Saturday. The Terrapins turned a three-point game into a blowout with second-half runs of 8-0, 11-0 and 12-0. For the second straight game, point guard Anthony Cowan didn’t commit a turnover. The back-to-back games without a turnover — in which he had 10 total assists, including six Saturday — comes after he committed nine total turnovers in road losses at Penn State and Seton Hall. It’s only the third time in his career that Cowan has not committed a turnover in two straight games. In games in which Cowan doesn’t commit a turnover, and the Terps are 8-2, including 7-2 in the Big Ten.
Pittsburgh vs North Carolina
No blue-blood team has suffered more injuries this season than North Carolina – which is why the Tar Heels are struggling and unranked. Star freshman Cole Anthony, the potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, hasn’t played since mid-December after undergoing an arthroscopic procedure on his right knee. Anthony had suffered a partially torn meniscus. He was averaging 19.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists. There is some talk that Anthony will not bother to return in order to stay healthy for NBA Draft workouts.
The news got worse last week when freshman guard Anthony Harris tore his ACL, ending his season. Harris suffered the injury last Monday during a game against Yale. That ACL tear was in his right knee; Harris tore the ACL in his left knee as a high school senior in December 2018. Harris, a 6-foot-4 guard from Virginia, averaged 6.8 points in five games this season. He has played a key reserve role since Anthony was injured.
These schools played once last season, with the Panthers losing 85-60 at home to the then-No. 15 Tar Heels. Former Pitt star Cam Johnson, who had transferred to UNC, had 15 points and nine rebounds – Johnson is in the NBA now. He grew up in the Pittsburgh suburbs and spent three seasons at Pitt. Coby White led the Tar Heels with 22 points, Luke Maye added 17 points and 11 rebounds and North Carolina used a 16-0 run in the first half to take control. Trey McGowens scored 17 points and fellow freshman Xavier Johnson chipped in 14 for the Panthers, shot just 31 percent (19 of 62) from the field – including 2-for-19 from deep.
Some Numbers to Consider for your College Basketball Betting pickPitt was upset at home by Wake Forest 69-65 on Saturday. Wake Forest held Pitt scoreless over the last 3:07 after Panther guard Trey McGowens hit a reverse layup to pull Pitt within 66-65. Pitt held the Demon Deacons without a made field goal over the final 3:56 of play but Wake went 3-of-5 from the foul line to secure the win. The Panthers missed their last five shots, including a potential go-ahead three-pointer by McGowens with 27 seconds left.
North Carolina was also upset Saturday, falling 96-83 at home to Georgia Tech. North Carolina misfired from all over the court from the opening tip, missing its first 15 shots and not getting its first basket until more than 13 minutes into the game. By that point, Georgia Tech had already jumped to a 27-4 lead and led by as many as 24 points before halftime.
Tech shot 59.0 percent from the floor, the third team to shoot at least 50 percent against UNC this season (.593 by Gonzaga, .590 by Tech and .500 by Michigan, all losses). Garrison Brooks scored a career-high 35 points, most by a Tar Heel this season. His previous career highs were 20 against Wofford as a sophomore and this season vs. Alabama.
The loss prevented UNC Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams from earning his 880th career victory to break a tie with late mentor and former UNC coach Dean Smith for fourth on the all-time men’s list.