Top College Basketball Picks for Monday, February 8th, 2021

Top College Basketball Picks for Monday, February 8th, 2021
Sun 7th February 2021

Ohio State vs Maryland 

The #7 Ohio State is rolling on a four-game winning streak, but the Buckeyes haven’t been successful against Maryland over the last few years. They are only 2-7 straight up and ATS in the previous nine encounters with the Terrapins, though the Buckeyes won their last duel with Maryland as 3-point home favorites, 79-72, on February 23, 2020. 

The Buckeyes are coming off an 89-85 victory at #8 Iowa, as three players accounted for 16 points each including sophomore forward E.J. Liddell who’s averaging 15.4 points and 6.9 rebounds on the season. Liddell has been terrific lately, and the Buckeyes currently possess the fourth-best offensive rating in the country, scoring 120.7 points per 100 possessions. 

On the other side, the Terrapins have been a hit-or-miss recently, going 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS in their previous five outings. They lost at Penn State 55-50 last Friday, shooting only 35.4% from the field and a miserable 17.6% from beyond the 3-point line. 

The Terrapins mostly lean on their defense while playing at a slow pace of 65.8 possessions per 40 minutes (305th in the country). They allow 93.5 points per 100 possessions (39th) and score 110.0 in a return (54th). 

The Buckeyes are not an elite defensive team and surrender 95.7 points per 100 possessions (71st). Still, they are playing in excellent form and should be fired up following that big win in Iowa, so we’re expecting Ohio State to dominate the Terrapins on the back of their prolific offense.  

Maryland failed to cover the spread in six home games in a row. Also, the Terrapins are 1-6-1 ATS in their previous eight showings on the home court as underdogs. 

College basketball pick – Ohio State by 4. 

Oklahoma State vs Kansas 

The #23 Kansas Jayhawks didn’t stand a chance in Morgantown this past Saturday. They got beaten by the #17 West Virginia Mountaineers 91-79, recording their fifth straight loss away from home. The Jayhawks are only 2-5 SU and ATS in their last seven games overall, so they desperately need a win over Oklahoma State. 

The Cowboys are coming off a huge 75-67 double-overtime victory to the Texas Longhorns last Saturday. It was their third win over the last four showings, as Cade Cunningham scored five of his 19 points in the second overtime. The 6-foot-8 freshman guard tallies 18.3 points, 6.1 boards, and 3.5 assists per contest while making 43.5% of his field goals and 41.3% of his 3-pointers. 

The Jayhawks are in a serious crisis. Their last two wins came at home against TCU 59-51 and Kansas State 74-51, and the Jayhawks haven’t beaten a top-25 team since December 17 when they outlasted Texas Tech 58-57 as 3-point road dogs. 

Kansas opened as a 4.5-point fave for Monday’s clash. The Jayhawks’ only advantage in this matchup is the fact that Oklahoma State will struggle with fatigue after playing double overtime on Saturday. Still, buying a few points on the visitors seems like the best wager here. 

These two Big 12 foes already met each other on January 12, and the Cowboys defeated Kansas 75-70 as 3.5-point home dogs. They led by as many as 16 points, but the Jayhawks rallied and had a three-point lead with just 1:22 left on the clock in the second half. 

We expect to see another hard-fought battle and a thrilling finish. The Jayhawks are 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS in their last six meetings with the Cowboys, but Kansas doesn’t look like a team capable of beating Oklahoma State by eight or more points. 

College basketball pick – Oklahoma State by 7. 

Gonzaga vs BYU  

Searching for the perfect season, the #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs (18-0, 9-0 Conf.) head to Marriott Center in Provo, opening as 10-point favorites for their West Coast Conference clash against the BYU Cougars. The Zags are only 2-5-1 ATS over their last eight outings, but they beat BYU in six of their last seven encounters while going 5-1-1 ATS in the process. 

Gonzaga is No.2 in the latest NCAA NET Rankings, just behind the Baylor Bears, so the Zags are certainly keen to cover against the Cougars who sit at the second spot of the WCC standings with a 15-4 overall record and 6-2 in the conference play. 

BYU is 6-1 SU and 4-2-1 ATS in its last seven contests, coming off a comprehensive 105-60 road victory over the hapless Portland Pilots. Just ten days ago, the Cougars barely outlasted Pacific in double overtime, 95-87, as 11-point home favorites. 

We can overthink this matchup, but that won’t help at all. Simply put, the Zags are a much better team than BYU and should win this one easily. The Cougars have a couple of big bodies in Matt Haarms (11.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG) and Richard Harward (7.5 PPG, 5.2 RPG), but their backcourt will struggle, especially on the defensive end. 

BYU will try to slow things down, as Gonzaga loves to push the ball in transition, recording a whopping 74.6 possessions per 40 minutes (7th in the nation).

Guards Jalen Suggs (13.8 PPG, 4.4 APG) and Joel Ayayi (11.7 PPG, 7.3 RPG) drive the Bulldogs’ prolific offense, while senior forward Corey Kispert (19.9 PPG, 4.9 RPG) is lethal from downtown, making 48.2% of his triples. 

Gonzaga leads the nation in field goal percentage (55.1%) while scoring 123.7 points per 100 possessions (2nd) and allowing 88.9 in a return (7th). BYU tallies 110.6 points per 100 possessions (50th) and surrenders 93.3 to its opponents (36th). 

College basketball pick – Gonzaga by 10.

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