Top College Basketball Picks for Tuesday, January 5th, 2021

Top College Basketball Picks for Tuesday, January 5th, 2021
Mon 4th January 2021

Kansas State vs Texas Tech 

Tuesday’s college basketball action starts early in the afternoon, but the first ranked to take the floor is #18 Texas Tech, as the Red Raiders welcome the Kansas State Wildcats at United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock with the tip-off at 7:00 PM ET. 

Both Texas Tech and Kansas State have dropped two of their last four games overall, but the Red Raiders are expected to bounce back, so they opened as massive 16.5-point favorites for this clash. Texas Tech is 5-1 straight up in its last six meetings with Kansas State, but the Red Raiders beat the Wildcats by 17 or more points just once in that span. 

However, the Red Raiders are a much better team than the Wildcats at the moment. Texas Tech has the third-best defensive rating in the country, allowing only 87.0 points per 100 possessions. The Red Raiders are No. 14 in the latest KenPom rankings, while Kansas State is No. 153. 

The Wildcats are 166th in the country in offensive efficiency (101.3) and 148th in defensive efficiency (100.3). Three weeks ago, they lost to Baylor 100-69, while the Wildcats barely outlasted Omaha 60-58 last week. 

College basketball pick – Texas Tech by 17.

NC State vs Clemson 

The Clemson Tigers are No. 19 on the latest AP Top 25 Poll after beating Florida State 77-67 and Miami 66-65 last week. They are 8-1 on the season 2-1 in the conference play, suffering their lone loss at Virginia Tech 66-60. 

The Tigers have the second-best defensive rating in the country, surrendering only 86.7 points per 100 possessions. They score 107.2 points in a return (72nd), but thanks to their terrific defense, the Tigers have defeated some tough teams thus far including Alabama, Purdue, and Maryland. 

This time, the Tigers take on the NC State Wolfpack who are 6-1 overall and 2-0 in the ACC play. After an 80-69 defeat at Saint Louis, the Wolfpack have won three straight games including a 79-76 victory over #17 North Carolina. 

NC State ranks 48th in offensive efficiency (109.7) and 45th in defensive efficiency (93.4). The Wolfpack should have enough defensive firepower to keep it close, but their offense could easily struggle against the Tigers’ aggressive defense. 

Clemson has lost four of its last five matchups with NC State. However, the Tigers are 8-2 SU and 6-3-1 ATS in their last ten home encounters with the Wolfpack. 

College basketball pick – Clemson by 5. 

Iowa State vs Texas 

The Texas Longhorns made a huge leap to #4 in the AP Top 25 Poll and are No. 6 in the KenPom rankings. They are 8-1 overall and 2-0 in the Big 12 play following a magnificent 84-59 victory at the #3 Kansas Jayhawks this past Saturday. 

Five Texas players scored in double figures. The Longhorns shot 49.2% from the field and 46.2% from beyond the arc while limiting the Jayhawks to only 30.8% shooting from the field and 13.0% from downtown. 

We expect the Longhorns to continue with their strong performance and dismantle the Iowa State Cyclones. Texas has the fourth-best defense in the country, yielding just 87.1 points per game. The Longhorns score 112.2 points in a return, enough for the 15th-most in the nation. 

On the other side, the Cyclones are 2-5 on the season and 0-3 in the Big 12 play. They’ve dropped five of their last six games overall, beating only Jackson State in the process, 60-45. The Cyclones are 2-9 SU and 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 outings and 2-6 SU and ATS in their previous eight encounters with Texas. 

College basketball pick – Texas by 13. 

Missouri vs Mississippi State 

The Missouri Tigers are No. 13 in the latest AP Top 25 Poll, coming off a terrific 81-68 victory at the Arkansas Razorbacks. They bounced back from a heavy 73-53 defeat at Texas, improving to 7-1 on the season and 1-1 in the SEC play. 

Now, the Tigers will face a tough challenge, going against the Mississippi State Bulldogs who owned them over the last five years. Mississippi State is 8-1 straight up and 9-0 ATS in its previous nine meetings with Missouri. 

The Tigers opened as slight 2-point favorites in this one, as the bookies expect to see a hard-fought battle that could be easily decided by a few points down the stretch. Two of the last four encounters between Missouri and Mississippi State were decided by exactly four points. 

Therefore, we are looking for more of the same Tuesday, backing the hosts to cover a 4.5-point spread. The Bulldogs are coming off a 78-73 double-overtime home loss to Kentucky, falling to 6-4 on the season and 1-1 in the SEC play, so they’ll be fired up to get back on the winning path. 

Mississippi State is 13-1 SU and 10-4 ATS in its last 14 outings on the home court. The Bulldogs play solid offense at a very slow pace, so they should keep it close against the 19th-best defense in the country. 

College basketball pick – Mississippi State by 4. 

Rutgers vs Michigan State 

The Michigan State Spartans dropped to No. 23 in the AP Top 25 Poll following three losses in their last four outings. They snapped a three-game skid with an 84-77 win at Nebraska this past Saturday, and the Spartans hope for another successful night, as Michigan State is undefeated in nine encounters with Rutgers. 

The No. 15 Rutgers Scarlet Knights haven’t played well recently either, losing two of their previous three contests. They are coming off a 77-75 defeat to Iowa, allowing 25 points to Luka Garza, and it seems that Rutgers starts to regress defensively. 

Over their last four showings, the Scarlet Knights failed to keep their rivals below 76 points. Their offense is posting 112.2 points per 100 possessions (17th), but the Scarlet Knights could be in trouble if the Spartans enjoy a solid shooting night. 

Michigan State has had a few horrible offensive displays so far. The Spartans’ D is an issue, allowing 96.3 points per 100 possessions (80th), but Michigan State should keep it close as a slight home underdog. 

College basketball pick – Michigan State by 4. 

Kansas vs TCU 

The Kansas Jayhawks dropped to No. 6 in the AP Top 25 Poll thanks to a heavy 84-59 home loss to Texas last Saturday. They put an end to an eight-game win streak, but the Jayhawks will look to put that embarrassment behind and outlast the TCU Horned Frogs as 4.5-point road favorites. 

The Horned Frogs are 9-2 on the season, riding a five-game win streak following a 67-60 victory at Kansas State. However, TCU is 0-6 straight up and 2-4 ATS in its last six encounters with the Jayhawks, and the Horned Frogs will have a tall task to improve this record Tuesday at Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. 

TCU prefers to play at a very slow pace, mostly leaning on its defense. The Horned Frogs will work hard, no doubt, but we don’t think they have enough offensive firepower to pull off an upset. The Jayhawks have the 11th-best defensive rating in the country and will be keen to make amends for that awful loss to Texas. 

College Basketball Pick – Kansas by 5.

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