Top College Basketball Picks for Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

Top College Basketball Picks for Tuesday, January 12th, 2021
Mon 11th January 2021

Wisconsin vs Michigan 

The Big Ten Conference showdown from Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, will see the #9 Wisconsin Badgers take on the #7 Michigan Wolverines for the first time this term. The hosts opened as slight 3.5-point favorites, searching for their 11th straight victory of the season. 

The Wolverines are still undefeated, going 5-0 in the conference play. They’re coming off an 82-57 home victory over #16 Minnesota, as freshman center Hunter Dickinson had another big game. He scored a season-high 28 points on 12-for-15 shooting from the field, and Dickinson is now averaging 18.0 points and 8.1 rebounds on the season. 

The Badgers, on the other side, are coming off an 80-73 double-overtime win over Indiana at home. They improved to 10-2 on the season and 4-1 in the conference play, while the Badgers sit at the fifth spot of the latest KenPom rankings, a couple of spots ahead of the Wolverines. 

Wisconsin has a couple of senior forwards who’ll be all over Hunter Dickinson, and we expect to see a very tight contest that will be decided by a few possessions down the stretch. If you want to take the risk, bet on any team to win by five or fewer points around +170 odds. 

Both Wisconsin and Michigan rank in the top-10 teams in the country when it comes to offensive efficiency, while the Badgers have a slightly better defense, at least on paper. We are going with the Wolverines, as they seem like playing in a rich vein of form, but this clash could easily go either way. 

Wisconsin has won two of its last three matchups with Michigan, but the Badgers are only 3-7 ATS in their previous ten encounters with the Wolverines. 

College basketball pick – Michigan by 4. 

Tennessee vs Vanderbilt 

The SEC clash between #10 Tennessee and Vanderbilt should be a one-way road, as the Volunteers are a much better team than the Commodores and shouldn’t have any problems winning this game. Still, covering a massive spread could be a problem, and the Vols are only 1-4 ATS in their previous five meetings with Vanderbilt. 

Anyway, we have to go with the visitors. The Vols are 9-1 on the season and 3-1 in the conference play, going 7-3 against the spread. They have the second-best defensive rating in the nation, allowing 87.0 points per 100 possessions, while the Vols rank 28th in offensive efficiency (111.5). 

On the other side, the Commodores are 114th in offensive efficiency (104.2) and 164th in defensive efficiency (101.4). We would be surprised if Vanderbilt manages to keep it close. The Commodores are on a three-game losing streak and have dropped four of their last five games including a 20-point defeat at Davidson. 

The Volunteers are coming off a 68-54 victory at Texas A&M as 10.5-point favorites. We are looking for another impressive performance away from home, as the Vols are 3-0 straight up and ATS in their previous three road tilts. 

College basketball pick – Tennessee by 13. 

Duke vs Virginia Tech 

The #19 Duke Blue Devils have dropped two of their first seven games, but they are 3-0 in the conference play and will look to improve their record at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Virginia. However, the Blue Devils are only 2-3 straight up and 1-4 ATS in their previous five road matchups with the Hokies. 

For the first time, Duke will take the floor in Blacksburg as an out-of-towner. The #20 Virginia Tech Hokies have already beaten a couple of top-25 teams and are 9-2 on the season (3-1 Conf.), but they’ve also had a few mediocre displays. Still, the Hokies are 5-1 SU and ATS over their last six games overall and 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS in their last five outings at home. 

The Hokies impressed in a 77-63 win to Notre Dame last Sunday, while the Blue Devils are coming off a 79-68 victory to Wake Forest this past Saturday. Both Duke and Virginia Tech rank among the top 50 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, so this is another tough matchup to lay the odds on Tuesday night. 

We would stick with the betting trends and take the hosts to cover. The Blue Devils are 1-6 ATS this term. They beat the Hokies by 24 last season, covering a 15.5-point spread at home, so we hope Virginia Tech will be fired up to get revenge. 

College basketball pick – Virginia Tech by 2. 

Kansas vs Oklahoma State 

The #6 Kansas Jayhawks are undefeated in five straight encounters with the Oklahoma State Cowboys, covering the spread four times in the process. Last year, the Jayhawks dismantled the Cowboys twice, 83-58 as 15-point home favorites and 65-50 as 7.5-point road favorites.

We are looking for more of the same in this one. The 10-2 Jayhawks got routed by #8 Texas 84-59 on January 2, but that was their only bad day in the office this season. Over their last two outings, the Jayhawks beat TCU 93-64 on the road and Oklahoma 63-59 at home. 

The 8-3 Cowboys have lost three of their last five games overall including an 87-84 home loss to #14 West Virginia on January 4. It was their second straight home defeat, and the Cowboys are 0-4 ATS in their previous four showings on the home court. 

Unlike the Jayhawks, Oklahoma State loves to play at a fast pace, averaging 71.7 possessions per 40 minutes (56th). The Cowboys score 109.7 points per 100 possessions (52nd) but shoot just 45.8% from the field (115th) and 31.6% from downtown (244th). 

If they want to stay close against the eighth-best defense in the country, the Cowboys will have to execute offensively at the highest level. Their defense ranks 28th in the country, and the Cowboys can cope with the Jayhawks’ offense, but we are not sure they’ll have enough offensive firepower to clinch the victory. 

College basketball pick – Kansas by 3.

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