College Basketball Picks & Best Bets: Tuesday, February 23
I like this NCAAB slate a lot. The feature game is in the Big 12 where we get Kansas looking for revenge on the road at Texas. Baylor is back in action too so you can be forgiven for having a focus on Texas state hoops tonight.
I am also looking for Villanova to show us a little something. Otherwise, they might be on upset alert, taking on a team that has already beaten them once.
- Illinois vs Michigan State
- West Virginia vs TCU
- Georgia Tech vs Virginia State
- Iowa State vs Baylor
- St. John’s vs Villanova
- Oklahoma vs Kansas State
- Kansas vs Texas
February 22 College Basketball Betting: Best Bets
Illinois vs Michigan State, FS1, 7:00 PM ET
Matchup: (#4) Illinois Fighting Illini (16-5 SU, 10-8-1 ATS) vs. Michigan State Spartans (11-9 SU, 5-15)
- Spread: Illinois -6.5 (-110), Michigan State +6.5 (-110)
- Total: Over 144 (-110), Under 144 (-110)
- Moneyline: Illinois -270, Michigan State +220
The Big Ten is loaded at the top. I know Michigan has picked up right where it left off before its COVID pause, but for me the best team in the conference is Illinois. I just love the duo of Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn and do not see Michigan State finding a way to slow down this team right now. They just destroyed Minnesota on the road and this could be another blowout.
Michigan State is off a road win at Indiana so kudos for not totally packing it in. They are a little healthier right now than they have been in a while but it is going to be very tough to compete with Illinois. Look for Michigan State to fall even further than they are right now too. Including this one four of their final six games are against Top 5 teams. This might be the last time we get value fading the Spartans.
Betting Advice: Take Illinois.
West Virginia vs TCU, ESPN2, 7:00 PM ET
Matchup: (#13) West Virginia Mountaineers (15-6 SU, 11-10 ATS), vs. TCU Horned Frogs (11-9 SU, 8-12 ATS)
- Spread: West Virginia -7.5 (-110), TCU +7.5 (-110)
- Total: Over 147 (-110), Under 147 (-110)
- Moneyline: West Virginia -330, TCU +265
West Virginia started the season as a rugged, defensive-oriented team but now they are one of the highest-flying teams in the country. I can’t remember a good team that changes as much as it has during a season and they are getting results too. There could be a letdown here on the road after a big win against Texas but I am not seeing it. Plus the line has dropped from -9, so even more value with the Mountaineers.
TCU broke one of the cardinal rules of the Big 12 this season in their last game, don’t lose at home to Kansas State or Iowa State. The offense totally fell apart as they scored only 55 points against the Wildcats. That can happen but it shouldn’t against a team like KSU. Jamie Dixon is a solid coach so there is some bounceback but the Horned Frogs do not look ready to score a minimum of 75 points to compete with WVU.
Betting Advice: Take West Virginia.
Georgia Tech vs Virginia Tech, ACC Network X, 7:00 PM ET
Matchup: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (11-8 SU, 10-9 ATS) vs. (#15) Virginia Tech Hokies (14-4 SU, 10-8 ATS)
- Spread: Georgia Tech +1.5 (-110), Virginia Tech -1.5 (-110)
- Total: Over 136.5 (-110), Under 136.5 (-110)
- Moneyline: Georgia Tech +106, Virginia Tech -124
Georgia Tech has been very solid this season. They have been winning the games they are supposed and with a strong, veteran leader at guard in Jose Alvarado, they are able to stay in games and make other teams sweat. They are far from the elite in the ACC but they are no pushover this season.
Virginia Tech has kind of disappeared of late. They had the big win against UVA but then lost to Pitt and then they had COVID shutdown. Now they are trying to get back at it but the spot is bad. They are off the layoff and do not have Tyrece Radford in uniform due to suspension. He is the second-leading scorer for the Hokies, who don’t score much to begin with. Keve Aluma is a nice player but not someone you want to put that much pressure on to score even more.
Betting Advice: Take Georgia Tech.
Iowa State vs Baylor, ESPN+, 8:00 PM ET
Matchup: Iowa State Cyclones (2-16 SU, 7-11 ATS) vs. (#2) Baylor Bears (17-0 SU, 13-4 ATS)
- Spread: Iowa State +23.5 (-110), Baylor +23.5 (-110)
- Total: Over 147 (-116), Under 147 (-106)
- Moneyline: Iowa State +1030, Baylor -2500
Iowa State has still not won a Big 12 game. However, time and again, they have shown really good compete and even though they are 0-13 SU they are 7-6 ATS in league games. They are going into the lion’s den for this one though.
Baylor has not played in weeks and maybe a layoff is the only thing that can slow them down. They are getting the perfect ease back into things opponent in the Cyclones, though one of those covers by ISU was a home game against the Bears where they only lost by 11. Baylor is winning at home by an average of 29 points per game .
Unless you are blindly fading teams off a layoff you have to go with Baylor.
Betting Advice: Take Baylor.
St. John’s vs Villanova, CBS Sports Network, 8:00 PM ET
Matchup: St. John’s Red Storm (14-9 SU, 13-10 ATS) vs. (#6) Villanova Wildcats (14-3 SU, 9-7-1 ATS
- Spread: St. John’s +11.5 (-110), Villanova -11.5 (-110)
- Total: Over 154 (-106), Under 154 (-116)
- Moneyline: St. John’s +480, Villanova -650
The Red Storm have beaten the Wildcats already this season. That was a surprise. Even more surprising, and saddening, was that the Red Storm lost to DePaul in their last home game. That loss might have undone all of their good work this season, but now they have another chance to make another addition to the resume.
Villanova got a solid win against UConn over the weekend. They are still not clicking though and I think they need to pick up the pace. This is a revenge spot and you have to like the experienced Wildcats in a situation like that. There is no way they lose twice to St. John’s this season, right? I do think the Red Storm keep it close enough, though.
Look for this one to have more pace with Villanova scoring a lot more than the season-low 59 points the Red Storm held them to. Villanova controls the game but doesn’t cover.
Betting Advice: Take St. John’s.
Oklahoma vs Kansas State, ESPN 2, 9:00 PM ET
Matchup: (#8) Oklahoma Sooners (14-5 SU, 12-7 ATS) vs. Kansas State Wildcats (6-18 SU, 8-15 ATS)
- Spread: Oklahoma -10 (-110), Kansas State +10 (-110)
- Total: Over 131 (-110), Under 131 (-110)
- Moneyline: Oklahoma -510, Kansas State +390
Oklahoma is a very good team. I am not sure they are 8th in the nation in terms of talent but they have the wins to back that up and they are so consistent too. A fall, even on the road to an obviously inferior opponent seems very unlikely. The Sooners have won 8 of 9 and their only loss was to Texas Tech on the road. Kansas State is not Texas Tech in a million different ways.
Kansas State is off a win over TCU on the road. Sadly that is their best win of the season. The Wildcats have covered in four of their last five games so give Bruce Weber some credit for getting the most out of his guys when they could have just packed it in. They are going to need to play a great game to keep this one close and there is no sign that is coming.
Betting Advice: Take Oklahoma.
Kansas vs Texas, ESPN, 9:00 PM ET
Matchup: (#19) Kansas Jayhawks (17-7 SU, 12-11 ATS) vs. (#16) Texas Longhorns (13-6 SU, 7-12 ATS)
- Spread: Kansas +3 (-116), Texas -3 (-106)
- Total: Over 139.5 (-110), Under 139 (-110)
- Moneyline: Kansas +124, Texas -146
Kansas is playing as well as it has all season right now. I am still not sure of the ceiling of this team but they are good and getting better. They are going to have revenge on their mind too. Texas whipped them on their own court, but that seems like ages ago for both programs. It looks a little weird but the markets have been right when they have pegged Kansas as an underdog. They are just 1-4 SU and 2-3 ATS in those situations.
So much has changed since that dominating Texas performance. The Longhorns are only 5-5 since that game and they could use another win over Kansas for the boost it would give to their resume and their psyche. They are healthy and now Shaka Smart has to get them organized to go on a run that leads deep into March. Otherwise, he might be in trouble.
I like them as a small favorite at home.
Betting Advice: Take Texas.