There is one college basketball game on Monday’s slate that may catch bettors by surprise: Wisconsin at Northwestern from the Big Ten. It was to be played Saturday but wasn’t due to health and safety protocols within the Wildcats’ program. Northwestern also could not play last Wednesday vs. Iowa due to the illness but apparently all is good now. Here are two better matchups on Monday with NCAAB odds.
Bet Baylor, Nevada In Conference Showdowns
No. 2 Kansas at No. 21 Baylor (-3.5)
These rankings will change in Monday’s new polls. ESPN has the game of the night at 9 p.m. ET and first of two scheduled meetings between the Big 12 contenders. Kansas (16-3) is definitely going to fall from No. 2 in the AP Poll with two losses last week: 83-82 in OT at No. 13 Kansas State on Tuesday and then a shocking 83-60 blowout defeat at home to unranked TCU on Saturday. It was Kansas’ second-largest loss at home under Coach Bill Self. The Jayhawks fell 84-59 to Texas on Jan. 2, 2021.
The loss also snapped a 16-game winning streak at home for Kansas. The Jayhawks had not lost consecutive games in the state since 1989, when it had home losses on Jan. 28 to K-State and on Feb. 1 to Missouri. The last time KU dropped two in a row with one of them at home was December 2017.
Junior Jalen Wilson finished with team highs of 30 points and seven rebounds in 35 minutes against TCU. He finished with 30+ points in consecutive games for the first time in his career and is the first Jayhawk to do so since Lagerald Vick (Nov. 12-16, 2018 vs. Vermont/vs. Louisiana). He is the first KU player with 30+ points in back-to-back games against conference opponents since Andrew Wiggins (March 8-13, 2014 at West Virginia/vs. Oklahoma State).
Baylor (14-5) won its fourth in a row Saturday, 62-20 at Oklahoma. Jalen Bridges and Adam Flagler hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the last 1½ minutes for the win. The Sooners only trailed once in the second half before Bridges’ late heroics. Baylor won despite shooting 36.2% (21 of 58) from the field compared to 45.6% (26 of 57) for the Sooners. Baylor outrebounded Oklahoma 39-30, grabbing 17 offensive rebounds.
Monday’s matchup features the last two national champions (BU in 2021, KU in 2022). Baylor has won the last two meetings in Waco, the first time that has happened in series history. Seven of Baylor’s eight wins over Kansas have come under the direction of Scott Drew. BU’s four wins over Kansas since 2018 are tied for the most in the conference. Monday is the 44th series meeting. BU is 4-5 in the last 9 meetings after starting 4-30 in the series.
Kansas is 109-17 following a loss in the Bill Self era, which started in 2003-04. Since 2012-13, KU has been even more efficient with a record of 56-8 after losses.
New Mexico at Nevada (-1.5)
CBS Sports Network has this important Mountain West game at 9 p.m. ET. New Mexico and Nevada, along with Boise State and Utah State, are tied for second in the Mountain West at 5-2 in conference play, one game behind San Diego State, who is 6-1 in the league.
New Mexico (18-2) should be in the new AP Top 25 on Monday after an 81-79 OT home win over a good Boise State team on Friday on a basket from Morris Udeze in the final seconds.
The Lobos 18-2 start to the season is their best 20-game start to a season since 1977-78 and tied for the second-best 20-game start in school history (19-1 in 1967-68). New Mexico snapped a four-game losing streak in overtime games, with their first overtime win since a 95-86 win over Fresno State in the 2017-18 home finale. The Lobos have already tied their conference win total of five from last season.
Jamal Mashburn, Jr. scored a season-high 25 points in the win and is the leading scorer in the conference at 18.6 ppg. Jaelen House is second in the Mountain West in scoring at 17.4 ppg.
Nevada (15-5) will be well rested as it hasn’t played since a 77-62 loss at Boise State last Tuesday. The Wolf Pack are led by Jarod Lucas, who averages 16.8 ppg to rank third in the conference, behind Mashburn and House.
Nevada is unbeaten at home this season and has won nine straight at Lawlor Events Center. The Lobos have already snapped two long home win streaks this season, ending Saint Mary’s 23-game home win streak on Nov. 30 and San Diego State’s 16-game home win streak on Jan. 14.
Nevada continues to rank in the top-five of the Mountain West in almost every defensive statistical category. Nevada is currently second in the league in opponent field goal percentage (40.2%), fourth in opponent points per game (64.7 PPG), fifth in opponent 3-point field goal percentage (32.3%), fifth in defensive rebounding (26.7 per game), and fifth in turnovers forced (245).
Nevada leads the all-time series 12-7, including a 6-3 mark in Reno. The Wolf Pack have won the last seven meetings, tied for the Lobos’ longest active losing streak against any opponent (Fresno State).
Expert ATS Picks
- Baylor and Nevada as short home favorites