We got right back to our winning ways yesterday as we nailed our 3-team point spread parlay for a juicy $700 payout! The bet came in when we found covers on Wisconsin (+13), Washington (+24.5), and Maryland (+9), who all covered as underdogs. I mentioned in my pick yesterday that I knew I was playing with fire by betting on all road teams in league play, but at the end of the day, bad lines are bad lines, and as a sharp handicapper, you have to take the value wherever you can find it.
2022 UNDERWAY WITH A BANG ? pic.twitter.com/b92vrwr5Qo
— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) January 4, 2022
Today, we have all kinds of action on the college hoops hardwood, as all teams are now out of their Christmas breaks and are jumping into conference play. Conference play is where the boys are separated from the men in college basketball, and no wins come easy. While COVID-19 is still forcing some cancelations today, we still have plenty of games to bet on, including some blockbuster matchups between Kentucky and LSU, Texas and Kansas State, and Oklahoma and Baylor. With that, let’s jump right into it with everyone’s favorite way to play, the parlay!
Money Line Magic Parlay
Our money line magic parlay is a parlay that is made up of exclusively money line bets. Unlike point spread plays where a team has to win by a certain amount of points to win your bet, on a money line play, all your team has to do is win the game to get you paid. To make up for the fact that some teams are favorites and others are underdogs, you are going to either lay odds when betting on favorites or be paid out at odds for your bet if you take the underdog.
North Carolina State Wolfpack at Virginia Tech Hokies (-450)
The ACC is as down this year as I have ever seen it, with only the Duke Blue Devils making the top-25 of the most recent AP Poll from the league. That being said, the ACC isn’t going to be a 1-bid league, no matter how down it is, and this matchup between Virginia Tech and North Carolina State is a game between a couple of teams hoping to play their way into the NCAA tournament by year’s end.
The season started out well enough for NC State as they came out of the gates hot by winning 7 of their first 9 games. But a combination of inconsistent play and tough scheduling has led the Wolfpack to lose 5 straight games, including an embarrassing loss to 192nd ranked Wright State, at home no less! If the Wolfpack wants any shot at hearing their name’s called on Selection Sunday, they are going to have to find ways to win games like this one against solid competition.
Hype isn’t even the word. It’s ??????? ?
— Virginia Tech Men's Basketball (@HokiesMBB) January 4, 2022
While the Hokies 8-5 record certainly isn’t anything to write home about, this Virginia Tech team is actually quite a bit better than most people seem to think. Virginia Tech is currently ranked 24th on Kenpom, suggesting that the Hokies are closer to being ranked nationally than they are to missing the NCAA tournament. None of the Hokie’s losses are bad ones, and they have nice wins over the likes of St. Bonaventure and Maryland on their resume. I see Mike Young’s team adding NC State to their hit list tonight with a hard-fought home victory tonight from Blacksburg.
Auburn Tigers (-475) at South Carolina Gamecocks
The Auburn Tigers take their show on the road tonight as they head to Columbia to play the Gamecocks of South Carolina in an SEC conference game. Bruce Pearl has had a lot of great teams in his time at Auburn, but this squad, currently ranked 9th in the latest AP Poll, might be his best yet. The Tigers have one of the best collections of top-100 wins in the nation, with wins over Loyola-Chicago, Syracuse, UCF, Saint Louis, Murray State, and LSU.
For the Gamecocks, they find themselves on the outside looking in right now in terms of the NCAA tournament, and a win today over the Tigers would go a long way into cementing their status as a tournament-level team. USC has wins over Florida State and UAB, but they have yet to play any team as talented as this Tigers team. And the losses to Princeton and Coastal Carolina are going to be games they wish they could have back at the end of the year if they don’t make the NCAA tournament. Expect South Carolina to put up a fight but eventually come up short as they just don’t have the dudes to hang with Auburn right now.
Seton Hall Pirates (-165) at Butler Bulldogs
I have been handicapping college basketball at a professional level for over a decade, and in that time, I have learned a lot of lessons. One of those lessons has been don’t bet against Butler at Hinkle! The Bulldogs have always had one of the best home-court advantages in the nation, but since the team moved to the Big East after the 2013 season, the increased competition has led to a lot of home floor losses for the Bulldogs. Butler has played a joke of a schedule thus far, and when they have played good teams, they have gotten mauled.
Pirates ? Bulldogs coming up later tonight ?
— Seton Hall Men's Basketball (@SetonHallMBB) January 4, 2022
Coming out of the non-conference, Seton Hall looked like a team that just might contend for a Big East title. The Pirates went 9-1 in the non-conference, including elite wins over Texas and Michigan. But life in the Big East can be brutal, and the Pirates are off to an 0-2 start in league play with losses to Providence and Villanova.
Even though it is still very early in conference play, this is a game that Seton Hall must win if they want any real shot at contending in the Big East. Winning on the road is never easy, and winning at Hinkle Fieldhouse is even tougher, but I see the Pirates finding a way to take this game. We are for sure going to sweat this game out, and we will need the ball to bounce our way late to cash the ticket, but the Pirates are the side to back.
Texas A&M Aggies (-240) at Georgia Bulldogs
There is a lot of talk about which conference is the best in the nation right now. Is it the Big East? The Big 12? The Big 10? The SEC? If you ask me, my money is on the SEC, as this league is loaded! We all know about the top of the league with elite teams like Auburn, Kentucky, LSU, Alabama, and Tennessee, but there are some sneaky good teams in this second tier of squads in the SEC. Teams like Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi State, and this Texas A&M team are all threats to win games in the tournament in March.
Buzz Williams is a fantastic head coach, and although many people were somewhat surprised when Buzz bolted from Virginia Tech in the ACC to take over this program at College Station, the veteran head coach has done a really nice job of establishing a winning culture at A&M, and he is on pace to take the Aggie’s dancing this year with an 11-2 start.
— Buzz Williams (@TeamCoachBuzz) January 4, 2022
Road wins are going to be extremely tough to find in the SEC this season, but if you are going to win on the road, it is likely going to be at Georgia, as the Bulldogs are in bad shape right now. Georgia has been getting smashed by everyone this year, including pitiful home losses to Georgia Tech, Wofford, George Mason, East Tennessee State, and Garnder Webb. The Aggies don’t have many quality victories on their resume, but that doesn’t mean they can’t win in hostile territory against a bad Bulldogs team. I see Buzz Williams and company coasting to an easy win tonight on the road.
Money Line Magic Parlay
- Teams Odds
- Virginia Tech Hokies -450
- Auburn Tigers -475
- Seton Hall Pirates -165
- Texas A&M Aggies -240
$100 Bet Pays $337
Game Total Parlay
Game total plays are commonly referred to as over/under bets because you are betting over or under the posted point total for a game. The game total is calculated by adding up the final scores of both teams. If that total score adds up to more than the total, the over bets win. If the total score adds up to under that total, bets on the under win. If the total score lands exactly on the posted total, all bets push.
Eastern Michigan Eagles at Western Michigan Broncos Over 134.5
Even in a down MAC this year, Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan stand out as bad teams. These teams are both awful on D, with Western Michigan in competition for the title of the worst defensive team in the country, currently ranked 344th in defensive efficiency per Kenpom. I guess the public never got that memo as they have been hammering the under on this total since it was posted, driving it down from the opening line of 138.5 to where it stands now at 134.5. Kenpom has this one coming in at 140 points, making that line move make even less sense. Say it with me, guys. Fade. The. Public. I am taking the over.
Toledo Rockets at Central Michigan Chippewas Over 148.5
The bet is another line move play as the line opened up at 153 points and has been steadily moving down ever since. The line is currently sitting at 148.5 points, and while the opening line was likely a bit high, this line move has gone too far. Kenpom has this game finishing at 152 points, and you always want to be on the side of the data rather than the side of the betting public. Every once in a while, the books will post a bad number, but most of the time you find a bad line, it is because the public moved it from being a sharp line to a bad one. That is the case here, and I will bet against that line move and take the over.
Kentucky Wildcats at LSU Tigers Under 143.5
Our final totals play for today comes to us from Baton Rouge, where the LSU Tigers host the Kentucky Wildcats in what is the game of the day, pitting a couple of very good teams from the SEC against each other. This line opened at 139.5 points and quickly shot all of the way up to 143.5 points. The public loves to bet the home team and the over in high-profile games, and this line move reflects that trend.
PRIMETIME TIGERS BABY
⏰ 6:00 p.m.
? 100.7 FM/LSU Sports Mobile pic.twitter.com/dx3GJY2mnG
— LSU Basketball (@LSUBasketball) January 4, 2022
You might be sensing a bit of a trend here but give me the other side of that line move as I again fade the betting public. Have you ever heard the saying that a person is smart, but people are stupid? Watching the betting public fall for trap lines like this one over and over again tells that the public isn’t nearly as smart as they think they are. Fade. The. Public.
Game Total Parlay
- Teams Odds
- Eastern Michigan Eagles at Western Michigan Broncos Over 134.5 Points -110
- Toledo Rockets at Central Michigan Chippewas Over 148.5 -110
- Kentucky Wildcats at LSU Tigers Under 143.5 -110
$100 Bet Pays $700
The Daily Dog
The daily dog parlay is a play where all we take are money line underdogs. Parlaying underdogs is the best way to rack up jumbo payouts on small upfront investments. Want to win a jackpot payout? Then parlaying underdogs is for you!
Kent State Golden Flashes at Ball State Cardinals (+115)
If I had to give you my favorite high-level play when betting on college hoops, it would be betting on home underdogs in conference play. Home dogs are always going to be great bets in any sport, but in college basketball, the home teams have an even bigger advantage.
When you take a quick peek at these two team’s home/road splits, you will see that Kent State is 0-2 in true road games and that Ball State is 5-0 at home. The Cardinals opened up their league play season in their last game and knocked off a very solid Bowling Green team that ranks out favorably when compared to Kent State. Kent State is coming off of their best win of the season over Toledo, but that game was at home, and losses to 323rd ranked Central Michigan and 252nd ranked Southern tells me that this team can lose to anybody.
Michigan Wolverines at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (+160)
What is going on with the Michigan Wolverines? Big Blue came into this season feeling like they had a real shot at cutting down the nets at the Final Four. But instead of being one of the best teams in the nation, the Wolverines have struggled and are sitting at just 7-5. In a vacuum, none of Michigan’s losses are all that bad, but this team was ranked 6th in the preseason AP Poll, and they should be beating teams like North Carolina, Minnesota, and UCF, not losing to them.
For Rutgers, the RAC is always a tough place for opposing teams to play, and while the Scarlet Knights aren’t an elite team this season, they do have one of the most exciting players in the country in Ron Harper JR, and if they play their best game, they can beat any team in the Big 10, which we saw when they handed the then top-ranked Purdue Boilermakers their first loss of the season. This bet is more a fade of the struggling Wolverines than any show of confidence in the Scarlet Knights, and with home teams always being my jam, I am making my play on the state college of New Jersey.
The Daily Dog Money Line Parlay
- Teams Odds
- Ball State Cardinals +115
- Rutgers Scarlet Knights +160
$100 Bet Pays $559
Point Spread Plays
In this final section, we are making plays on the point spread. A point spread bet is the most basic of all college hoops bets. In order to cash a bet on the point spread, your team must cover the number. Like a team as a big favorite? You might have to lay a bunch of points in order to win your bet. Think the underdog will lose, but keep the game close? Then snatching up the points is the side you’ll want to be on.
Texas Longhorns at Kansas State Wildcats (+6.5)
When the Texas Longhorns were able to lure away in-state rival Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard to replace Shaka Smart in Austin, Longhorns fans knew that this was their best shot in a long time at winning a national title. Beard is one of the best coaches in the country, and he has hit the ground running at Texas, as the Longhorns are out to a hot start at 11-2.
The schedule has been on the soft side for Texas, but their conference play opening win over West Virginia was a nice one, and I expect the Longhorns to finish near the top of the Big 12 standings by the end of the season. Texas has a tough test today as they play in Manhattan against what I see as an underrated Kansas State Wildcats team.
— K-State Men's Basketball (@KStateMBB) January 4, 2022
K-State has played a joke of a schedule, with 5 of their 8 wins coming against teams ranked outside of the top-300 nationally. But when you look at the Wildcat’s losses, they have been very competitive in all of their games. K-State lost to Oklahoma by 2, Marquette by 1, and Arkansas and Illinois both by single digits. You all know how much I love me some home dogs, and I see the Wildcats losing yet another nail-bitter tonight against a good, but not great, Texas team.
Providence Friars (+1.5) at Marquette Golden Eagles
Pop quiz, which team in the country has the most quad 1 wins right now? Some of you are probably guessing teams like Gonzaga, Baylor, or Duke. And while all of those teams have nice resumes, no team in the nation has more quad 1 victories right now than the Providence Friars! PC is 6-0 against quad 1 teams, and they already have a whooping 8 top-100 wins! Not many people expected much out of the Friars this season, but for my money, they are the most surprising team in the country.
Ed Cooley has his Friars sitting at 3-0 in Big East play, including road wins at UCONN and DePaul. I expect PC to run their league record to 4-0 tonight, as they might have caught the Golden Eagles at the exact perfect time for a road upset. Marquette finally moved on from failed head coach Steve Wojciechowski in the offseason and brought in Shaka Smart to lead the program. That was looking like a “smart” move early in the year when the Golden Eagles started out their season 8-2, with wins over Illinois, West Virginia, and Kansas State.
— Providence MBB (@PCFriarsmbb) January 4, 2022
But Marquette has fallen on hard times recently, dropping 4 games in a row, including 3 straight home games. The Golden Eagles are coming off of a heartbreaking double-overtime loss to Creighton in their last game, and this team has to be exhausted after playing, and losing to, UCLA, Xavier, UCONN, and Creighton. This line opened with the Friars laying -2.5 points, and that felt like a sharp number, but the early morning action has moved the line sharply towards the Golden Eagles, and I am shocked that I can now back this wrecking crew PC team as road underdogs. I am taking PC and the points, and don’t be surprised if the Friars walk out of the Fiserv Forum with yet another quality victory.
Virginia Cavaliers at Clemson Tigers (-3.5)
Since Tony Bennet took over the program at Virginia, the Cavaliers have regularly been an elite team with national title aspirations in almost every season. But that just isn’t the case this year, as the Cavs are in rebuild mode and are at real risk of missing the NCAA tournament altogether. Virginia is just 8-5 on the year, with bad losses to Navy and James Madison. Virginia’s win over Providence looks better each day as the Friars are emerging as a legit title contender, but that win was more than a month ago, and the Cavs are just 3-3 in their last 6 games as they search for their identity on the floor.
#ClemsonGRIT ? Virginia
? Tuesday, Jan. 4
? 9 PM
? RSN (https://t.co/7BhLTN68PK)
? Clemson Athletic Network (https://t.co/3uoEewzU5N)
? ???????? pic.twitter.com/wP6TaV9Ljw
— Clemson Basketball (@ClemsonMBB) January 4, 2022
We talked earlier about how the ACC is way down right now, but of all of the teams in the league that aren’t ranked nationally, Clemson might be the closest to breaking through. The Tigers had a rough patch that saw them lose 4 out of 5 games, but they have since righted the ship, and they are riding a 4-game winning streak into tonight’s game. Interestingly enough, the Tiger’s last game came against this very same Virginia team, and the Tigers hammered the Cavs to the tune of a 67-50 final score.
That game to us from Charlottesville, where Virginia has always been very hard to beat, so to see this line so small now that the season series has shifted to South Carolina is hard to understand. Clemson is going to have to shake off their rust early in order to win and cover this game, as they haven’t played in over 2 weeks, but with how poorly the Cavaliers are playing right now, and after just watching what this matchup looked like at Virginia, I love a play on the Tigers as small home court favorites.
Point Spread Plays Parlay
- Teams Odds
- Kansas State Wildcats (+6.5) -110
- Providence Friars (+1.5) -110
- Clemson Tigers (-3.5) -110
$100 Bet Pays $700
Parlays are a great way to make quick cash, and here you have three different ways to get in on the parlay bet action! Betting on NCAA Men’s College Hoops can be both fun and exciting, as well as being very profitable! Make sure you swing by TheSportsGeek’s NCAA Men’s Basketball betting page, where our team of pro handicappers bring you sharp betting advice and free college hoops picks each and every day!