I always try my best to stay positive and focus on the good things, not the bad, but the college hoops Gods have been really testing me the last couple of days. It’s not like yesterday was an especially bad day betting on men’s basketball as we found money line winners on the Missouri State Bears (-115) and Alabama (+110), as well as winners on UNC-Greensboro (+4.5), VCU/Dayton under 125.5, and North Carolina/Notre Dame over 143.5. But it was the way we lost that hurt so bad.
For the second consecutive day, we missed multiple parlay of the day plays by just 1 game and the loss on Miami (-2) was an all-time heartbreaker. The Hurricanes fell behind early as Syracuse came out shooting the rock well. But eventually, the Orange’s habit of taking way too many bad shots caught up with them, and in the second half, Miami took control.
— Alabama Men’s Basketball (@AlabamaMBB) January 6, 2022
The Hurricanes led by 7 points with just 11 seconds left on the clock, and the cover looked to be a lock. But in a brutal turn of savagery, Syracuse hit 3 3-pointers in the game’s final 11 seconds, including a completely meaningless one at the buzzer when they were down 4, to ruin our play.
What can you do? Runs like this where you are right on the cusp of scooping the world only to take bad beats late are going to happen when you bet basketball every day like I do, so I won’t let it get to me too much. As long as you are doing your homework and you are consistently putting yourself in high-value positions, the variance is going to even itself out in the long run. With that, we will get right back to the grind today, 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.
Iowa Hawkeyes at Wisconsin Badgers (-125)
Conference play in the Big 10 is always fun to watch as the league is solid top to bottom, and no team ever gets a night off, as you have to earn each and every win in what is nearly always one of the deepest leagues in the country. Today the Wisconsin Badgers welcome the Iowa Hawkeyes to town in yet another entertaining matchup between a couple of very good teams.
It has been a bit of a bumpy ride for Iowa, as they started out the season 7-0, including a true road win in Charlottesville against Virginia. But then league play kicked in, and the Hawkeyes lost back-to-back games to Purdue and Illinois and made it 3 straight losses when they lost to in-state rival Iowa State. But since that 3-game skid Iowa has things moving in the right direction again as they have won 4 in a row while picking up their first conference win over Maryland in their last game.
Back home for a B1G one tonight! pic.twitter.com/PFt2Q8Ob4k
— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) January 6, 2022
For Wisconsin, the Badgers have overachieved just about everybody’s expectations with an 11-2 start. The Badgers have one of the best collections of wins in the nation as they were able to defeat Purdue, Indiana, Marquette, St Mary’s, Houston, and Texas A&M. After looking like a middle of the pack team in their conference coming into the season, the Badgers are now looking like a Sweet 16 threat, and I just can’t resist being able to get them at home at such a reasonable price. This one won’t be easy, but games are rarely easy in the Big 10, and I see the Badgers gutting out a hard-fought victory tonight on their home floor.
Stephen F Austin Lumberjacks at Abilene Christian Wildcats (-225)
You are never going to hear too much about the WAC in the mainstream media, but don’t sleep on this conference, as whichever team emerges from this league is going to be a scary matchup for anybody in the NCAA tournament. The league currently has 5 teams inside of the Kenpom top-150, which makes it one of the better small conferences right now, and two of the league’s top teams will square off tonight in an early-season showdown as Abilene Christian plays Stephen F Austin.
Come out for our Military Appreciation Night! Military members get in for free with their military ID!
— ACU Basketball (@ACU_MBB) January 6, 2022
Abilene had a slow start to their season as they lost each of their first 2 games of the year, but since then, the Wildcats have caught fire and have reeled off 11 straight wins. That includes a 2-0 start to conference play, and a win tonight at home would go a long way into setting them up for the regular season league title. I like them tonight in this matchup as they have caught the Lumberjacks at the perfect time.
SFA hasn’t played in nearly a month as COVID-19 reared its ugly head inside the program, and prior to the delay, they had lost back-to-back games, including a bad one to Louisiana Monroe. Having to face the Wildcats on the road in their first game back is a tough break, and I see it as being just a bit too much for them to overcome. The Lumberjacks are sure to be at least a little bit rusty, and while I am sure that this game is going to be competitive, I see Abilene Christian taking care of business on their own floor.
Appalachian State Mountaineers at South Alabama Jaguars (-200)
You have to commend the Appalachian State Mountaineers for going out and scheduling tough in the non-conference with games against the likes of Duke, Vermont, Iona, and North Carolina, but that tough schedule has led to a lot of losing for the Mountaineers as they are just 7-8 on the year. Things will stay tough for App State tonight, with a road game against a solid South Alabama team that should contend for the Sunbelt title this season.
The Jaguars showed that they can play with major conference teams when they played very competitive games with Wichita State and Alabama, and after a heartbreaking overtime loss in their Sun Belt opener to UT Arlington, I see the Jaguars getting back on track tonight at home. All of the Jaguar’s losses have come in true road games, and I think the Jaguars are going to appreciate that home cooking tonight as I see them running their already stellar home court record to 8-0 with a win over an overmatched Appalachian State squad.
Money Line Magic Parlay
- Teams Odds
- Wisconsin Badgers -125
- Abilene Christian Wildcats -225
- South Alabama Jaguars -200
$100 Bet Pays $390
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.
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers at Troy Trojans under 138.5
This play is just a line move play as this number opened up at 135 points and has been steadily on the move ever since. Kenpom has this game finishing right at 135 points, suggesting that the opening line was a sharp one, and the public action driven line move has opened up some nice value on the under. I love being able to fade the public on totals plays, especially when there is more than a full possession’s worth of points gap between the data and the line. Give me the under.
Southeast Missouri State RedHawks at Belmont Bruins Over 159.5
Belmont is one of the higher scoring teams in the nation as they play a fast pace, and they score the ball efficiently. The Bruins are currently ranked 37th in terms of offensive efficiency, and when you combine that with their quicker than average game pace, it has led to some high scoring games. Belmont has scored more than 80 points 6 times already this season, including exploding for 115 points in their last game.
I see the Bruins running up the score tonight against this Southeast Missouri State team that just might have the worst defense in the country, currently ranked 345th. We will need the RedHawks to stay at least somewhat competitive for this one to go over, and assuming that they do, we won’t have to sweat this one much at all.
Washington Huskies at Utah Utes Under 149
The Utah Utes and Washington Huskies play tonight in Salt Lake City in a game between what I see as the worst teams in the PAC-12. This game could end up being ugly, as the Huskies really struggle to score the ball at times. This is another play that the public has a strong opinion on, as the line opened up 145 and quickly jumped to 149 points. Kenpom has it at 145 points, and once again, I will fade the public and get on the other side.
Game Total Parlay
- Teams Odds
- Coastal Carolina Chanticleers at Troy Trojans under 138.5 -110
- Southeast Missouri State RedHawks at Belmont Bruins Over 159.5 -110
- Washington Huskies at Utah Utes Under 149 -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!
Montana Grizzlies at Eastern Washinton Eagles (+130)
If you are looking for an upset special, you need to look no further than home dogs in league play. Home teams are always going to perform better than expectations, and when matched up with conference opponents that they know so well, we tend to see a lot of home team upsets in conference play. I smell upset tonight in Cheney as the Eastern Washington Eagles host the Montana Grizzlies in a Big Sky league game.
Neither of these teams are very good, and I doubt we will be hearing their names called on Selection Sunday as they both project out as in the middle of the pack in the Big Sky. But the reason I am high on the Eagles boils down to the home/road splits for both teams. All 5 of the Grizzlies losses have come on the road, including an indefensibly bad loss at North Dakota.
? vs. ?
— EWU MBB (@EWUMBB) January 6, 2022
The Eagles haven’t been very good on the road either, but at home, they are a respectable 2-1. EWU hasn’t gotten to play many home games, and I am sure they are going to appreciate not having to travel for this one. Give me Eastern Washington in a mild upset.
SMU Mustangs (+125) at Cincinnati Bearcats
A month ago, this matchup would have looked a lot different. Near the end of November, Cincinnati was sitting at 5-0 and coming off of a huge win over Illinois and looking every bit like a contender in the AAC this year. But since then, the Bearcats have not played well as they are just 5-4 in their last 9 games. Losses to Xavier and Arkansas weren’t bad ones but losses to Monmouth and Tulane, both at home, have me questioning whether or not this team is any good or not.
? SMU at Cincinnati
? 8:30pm CT
? 770 AM | SMU App
— SMU Basketball (@SMUBasketball) January 6, 2022
On the flipside, SMU came out of the gates slow, going 3-3 to start the season, but have really picked it up recently, as they are riding an 8-game winning streak into this game against the Bearcats. The run has seen the Mustangs beat teams like UNLV, Vanderbilt, Dayton, Tulsa, and UCF, teams that rate out similarly to this Cincinnati squad. I am always leery of taking road teams in conference play, but with these teams moving in opposite directions, the time is right for an upset. Give me SMU.
The Daily Dog Money Line Parlay
- Teams Odds
- Eastern Washinton Eagles +130
- SMU Mustangs +125
$100 Bet Pays $518
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.
Ohio State Buckeyes (+3.5) at Indiana Hoosiers
When you have a league as talented as the Big 10 is right now, there are going to be good teams that just aren’t able to win games. Just by the nature of how many tough games these teams will have to play, you are going to see teams that are well worthy of making the NCAA tournament finish with losing records in league play and missing out on the Big Dance. It is early, but my gut says that this year, the Indiana Hoosiers are one of those teams.
Kenpom has the Hoosiers ranked 29th, which puts them firmly on the right side of the bubble if the season were to end today, but after watching them lose 2 of their first 3 conference games, I see Indiana plummeting down those rankings in a hurry. Interestingly enough, the Buckeyes of Ohio State have played the exact same 3 teams in league play as Indiana, and they are a perfect 3-0. The Bucks didn’t schedule overly tough in the non-conference, but they do have signature wins over Duke and Seton Hall, and this is a sleeper 3rd-weekend team with EJ Liddell as one of the leading candidates for national player of the year.
Back on road ✌️
We take on Indiana at 7PM on FS1 pic.twitter.com/yM4RYvW4Tm
— Ohio State Hoops (@OhioStateHoops) January 6, 2022
You want to be very careful taking road teams in the Big 10, but I am shocked to see that Ohio State is getting more than a full possession’s worth of points. I see this game being very competitive, and to spot what is clearly the more talented and accomplished team this many points just seems like a bad line. I will snatch up the +3.5 points, and I won’t at all be shocked if Ohio State leaves Bloomington with the outright victory.
Washington State Cougars at Colorado Buffaloes (-1.5)
We all know how strong the PAC-12 is at the top of the league with elite teams like UCLA, USC, and Arizona, but after that top-3, nobody really knows what to expect from the conference of champions. If last year’s PAC-12 dominance of the NCAA tournament is any indicator, the middle of the league is very likely much better than it is getting credit for right now. That makes games like this one between Colorado and Washington State big ones, as at least a couple of these teams are going to have a shot at picking up their dancing shoes on Selection Sunday.
???????? ???? ?? ????
? Washington State
? 7pm MT
? KOA 850AM
? CU Events Center pic.twitter.com/UMcTOMt7PS
— Colorado Men's Basketball (@CUBuffsMBB) January 6, 2022
As is usually the case in conference games, I like the home team in this one. Like much of the league, the Buffaloes suffered through significant COVID-19 related delays, making this their first game since December 18th. They are going to have to shake that rust off quickly if they want to hand the Cougars their second PAC-12 loss.
The Cougs have hit the wall recently, as they have lost 6 of their last 9 games. WSU’s 8-5 record screams mediocrity, but when you realize that they have played 11 of their 13 games in their home state in home games or semi-home games, you have to wonder if this team has what it takes to beat a quality team like Colorado on the road. The only thing that worries me in this one is the lack of playtime for Colorado, but the Cougars are suffering from similar delays as they haven’t played since December 22nd, so I won’t let that dissuade me from making my play on the home team as small favorites.
USC Trojans at Cal Bears (+5.5)
Our final play of the day comes to us from the campus of the University of California, where the Cal Bears play the USC Trojans. The Trojans have all the look and feel of an elite team and the high national ranking to go with it, but they played just 1 top-100 team in the non-conference, a neutral floor win over San Diego State, so I am not totally convinced that this is an elite team yet, despite their 12-0 record. The Trojans are off to a great start in league play, with a 2-0 record with wins over Utah and Washington State, and with how their schedule is backloaded, we could see the Trojans staying undefeated for quite some time.
GAME DAY! Time to defend #OurHaas.
— Cal Basketball (@CalMBBall) January 6, 2022
That being said, this game at Cal is likely a lot tougher than most people seem to think. The Bears aren’t a great program, but the one thing that they have managed to do over the last several years is win at home. The Bears have won 9 straight home games heading into play tonight, with league wins over Arizona State and Oregon State, both of which came by double digits in blowout fashion.
I can’t imagine that the Bears are going to contend for the PAC-12 title, but they are a competitive team at home, and this line is a bit heavy for a team that protects their home floor like the Bears do. My gut says USC takes this one outright, but they are going to be on upset alert all night long, and I am snatching up the points in what should be a tightly contested affair.
Point Spread Plays Parlay
- Teams Odds
- Ohio State Buckeyes (+3.5) -110
- Colorado Buffaloes (-1.5) -110
- Cal Bears (+5.5) -110
$100 Bet Pays $700
Parlays are a great way to make quick cash, and here you have four 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!