Top College Basketball Picks for Wednesday, January 6th, 2021

Top College Basketball Picks for Wednesday, January 6th, 2021
Tue 5th January 2021

Virginia Tech vs Louisville 

A couple of in-form teams take on each other in the Atlantic Coast Conference showdown at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky, as the #19 Virginia Tech Hokies ride a four-game win streak, while the Louisville Cardinals have won their last three contests. 

Both teams are 2-0 in the conference play and have suffered just one loss so far this season. However, the Hokies have never beaten Louisville and are 0-4 ATS in their previous four encounters with the Cardinals. 

This should be a tight contest, as both schools lean mostly on a stout defense while playing at a very slow pace. The Hokies tally 67.1 possessions per 40 minutes (303rd in the country), while Louisville records 66.1 (326th), so betting on the under should be the best move here. 

When it comes to the pointspread, we would stick with the betting trends. The Hokies are a terrible 0-6 straight up and ATS in their last six outings on the road. The Cardinals are 11-6-1 ATS in their previous 18 home tilts. 

Interestingly, this will be the first road clash of the season for the Hokies. They lost at Louisville 68-52 last March. 

College basketball pick – Louisville by 4. 

Arkansas vs Tennessee 

The Arkansas Razorbacks are 9-1 on the season following an 81-68 home loss to #12 Missouri last Saturday. It was their first clash against the ranked team this term, and the Razorbacks put on a disappointing performance which is not a good sign ahead of Wednesday’s contest at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee. 

The Volunteers are coming off their first defeat of the season, too. They lost to Alabama 71-63 as 10-point home favorites on Saturday, and just a few days before that upset, the Vols dismantled Missouri 73-53 as 4-point road favorites. 

Tennessee dropped two spots to No. 9 in the AP Top 25 Poll, but the Volunteers still have the best defensive rating in the country, surrendering only 86.4 points per 100 possessions.

They average just 67.2 possessions per 40 minutes (300th), so the Vols will try their best to slow down things against the Razorbacks who tally 73.3 possessions per 40 minutes (29th). 

The Volunteers’ defense should be a key factor in this matchup, especially after a surprising defeat against Bama. Tennessee is 9-2 straight up and 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games overall, while the Vols went 3-1 SU and ATS in their previous four encounters with the Razorbacks. Each of those three wins over Arkansas came by 18 or more points. 

College basketball pick – Tennessee by 7. 

Wichita State vs Houston 

The #11 Houston Cougars dropped six spots in the latest AP Top 25 Poll after losing at Tulsa 65-64 last week. Still, the Cougars bounced back with a nice 74-60 victory at SMU, improving to 8-1 on the season and 3-1 in the conference play. 

Houston remains the top-15 team in the country in both offensive and defensive efficiency. The Cougars are 5-2 ATS over their last seven outings and 15-0 SU and 10-5 ATS in their previous 15 showings on the home court. 

On the other side, the 6-2 Wichita State Shockers are topping the American Athletic Conference thanks to a couple of wins over South Florida and Tulsa on the road. They are on a five-game win streak following an 83-79 victory at Ole Miss this past Saturday. 

However, the Shockers have struggled mightily against the Cougars over the last few years. Back in February, Houston smashed Wichita State 76-43 as 5-point home favorites, and the Cougars are 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings with the Shockers. 

Wichita State is No. 83 in the latest KenPom rankings (Houston is No. 9). The Shockers score 107.4 points per 100 possessions (71st), but they allow 98.0 in a return (107th). 

College basketball pick – Houston by 10. 

Minnesota vs Michigan 

The Big Ten showdown between the #16 Minnesota Golden Gophers and #10 Michigan Wolverines will be a pure joy to watch, as both teams have played in excellent form since the start of the season. Michigan opened as a 5.5-point fave, and the Wolverines are 17-3 SU and 12-8 ATS in their last 20 encounters with the Gophers. 

Minnesota is 10-2 on the season and 3-2 in the Big Ten play. The Golden Gophers are 3-2 straight up against the top-25 teams, coming off a 77-60 victory to the #25 Ohio State Buckeyes. They have the 20th-best offensive rating (112.1) and the 36th-best defensive rating in the country (92.8). 

Michigan, on the other side, is 9-0 on the season and 4-0 in the conference play, topping the Big Ten standings at the moment. The Wolverines are coming off an 85-66 win to #19 Northwestern which was their lone encounter with the top-25 team this season. 

With the seventh-best offensive rating (115.5) and the 29th-best defensive rating in the nation, the Wolverines deserve to be considered as favorites for Wednesday’s game.

Freshman center Hunter Dickinson averages 16.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per contest, and he’ll match up with junior forward Liam Robbins, who’s tallying 14.2 points and 7.6 boards a night. 

Junior guard Marcus Carr is a key guy for the Gophers, posting 22.1 points and 5.9 assists per game. If the Wolverines manage to slow him down, they shouldn’t have any problems extending their win streak to ten games. 

Minnesota has won just two of its previous 15 games on the road while covering only five times in the process. Michigan is 8-0 SU and 6-2 ATS in its last eight home tilts. 

College basketball pick – Michigan by 6. 

Boston College vs Duke 

The #21 Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski is quarantined, but that shouldn’t stop his boys from dismantling Boston College on Wednesday night.

The Eagles surrender 98.9 points per 100 possessions (120th) while averaging 72.6 possessions per 40 minutes (45th), so we don’t see how they’re going to upset the odds here. 

The Blue Devils play at a steady pace of 70.1 possessions per 40 minutes (148th). They score 112.0 points per 100 possessions (23rd) while yielding just 90.3 in a return (13th). The only thing we are worried about is that Duke hasn’t taken the floor since December 16 and a 75-65 win at Notre Dame. 

The Eagles are 2-7 overall and 0-3 in the conference play this season. Over their last six games, the Eagles went 1-6 SU and 2-5 ATS, while they are 2-4 ATS in the previous six showings as double-digit underdogs. 

College basketball pick – Duke by 12. 

Oklahoma vs Baylor 

The #2 Baylor Bears are undefeated in five straight encounters with the Oklahoma Sooners, going 3-1-1 ATS in that span. We are looking for more of the same Wednesday at Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas, as the Baylor Bears are our top favorites to win the championship this season. 

With the third-best offensive rating (119.4) and the sixth-best defensive rating in the country (88.8), the Bears are rolling on a nine-game win streak. They are 7-2 ATS in the process, while the Bears went 6-0 SU and 4-2 ATS in their previous six outings on the home court. 

The Sooners have just wrapped up a five-game homestand with a 75-71 win over #9 West Virginia. They are 6-2 on the season and 2-1 in the Big 12 play, posting the 15th-best offensive rating in the nation (112.3). 

Still, we don’t think the Sooners will have enough defensive firepower to keep it close against the mighty Bears. Oklahoma allows 95.4 points per 100 possessions (64th) on 39.6% shooting from beyond the arc (330th). 

The Sooners upset West Virginia, but the Bears are a much better team than the Mountaineers, and we expect them to prove it on the floor. 

College basketball pick – Baylor by 11. 

Seton Hall vs Creighton 

The 8-4 Seton Hall Pirates have won three straight games including an 85-68 thrashing off Xavier on the road. Senior forward Sandro Mamukelashvili is enjoying a wonderful season, tallying 18.7 points, 6.9 boards, and 3.4 assists per game, but the Pirates will have a mountain to climb in Omaha this Wednesday. 

The #7 Creighton Bluejays are riding a four-game win streak following a 67-65 win at Providence last Saturday. It was their third straight victory on the road, while the Bluejays went 12-1 SU and 8-5 ATS through their previous 13 home contests. 

Creighton scores 114.0 points per 100 possessions, enough for the 10th-most in the country, while five Bluejays players average points in double figures. The Bluejays are not an elite defensive team, but neither are Pirates, so we are backing the hosts to win and cover. 

Last season, Creighton beat Seton Hall twice and covered on both occasions. The Bluejays are 3-1 SU and ATS in their previous four home matchups with the Pirates. 

College basketball pick – Creighton by 5. 

Wake Forest vs Virginia 

The #22 Virginia Cavaliers opened as massive 14.5-point favorites for their ACC showdown against Wake Forest, but it was pretty much expected. The Demon Deacons had to close down their facilities for a month. Since November 28, Wake Forest has played just two games including a 70-54 defeat at Georgia Tech this past Sunday. 

We are not going to overthink this one, as Virginia should rout Wake Forest. With the slowest pace in the country and the 10th-best defense that surrenders 89.6 points per 100 possessions, the Cavaliers are double-digit favorites for a few reasons. 

Wake Forest scores just 102.5 points per 100 possessions (142nd). The Demon Deacons are winless in eight straight matchups with the Cavaliers while going 1-3 ATS in the previous four. 

College basketball pick – Virginia by 15.

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