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College basketball best bets.
College basketball best bets.

In the midst of a wild college basketball season, we're looking at our top college basketball player props and best bets for Monday based on the best college basketball odds.

We've already seen chaos take hold in this college basketball season, and we saw two top-10 teams lose outright to underdogs on a big weekend of hoops.

One of them was Kansas, which improved to 21-1 at home under Bill Self against higher-ranked teams. Self also now owns a .675 win percentage in top-10 matchups, which is the second-best record in the AP Poll era (min. 20 games).

In addition, Harrison Ingram and Armando Bacot were the first UNC teammates since 1998 to record 20-point double-doubles against a top-25 team during the win over Duke. Also, Tennessee earned its fourth win at Rupp Arena under Rick Barnes since 2016. 

Here are our college basketball player props and best bets for Monday (odds via our best March Madness betting sites; Pick confidence is based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Monday’s college basketball best bets

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Monday’s college basketball schedule and odds

(Odds via Caesars)

Monday’s college basketball player props

Kevin McCullar (Kansas) Under 18.5 points vs. Kansas State (-115 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐

DraftKings is offering a 25% boost for a 3+ leg college basketball parlay on Monday. Don't forget to use our DraftKings promo code! Offer excludes Ontario.

Kansas received a huge boost on Saturday with the return of Kevin McCullar after a one-game absence due to a bone bruise. Perhaps Self was being coy about McCullar’s status, as he wasn't announced as active until close to tipoff. The guard gutted through 37 minutes and was efficient with his scoring, shooting 7-of-8 from the field for 17 points.

This is McCullar’s fifth time playing in the “Octagon of Doom” after starting his career at Texas Tech, and he's scored just 31 total points over the previous four outings.

Granted, McCullar is the team’s best creator in isolation and his offensive role has been expanding considerably during his two years with the Jayhawks. But this is also a three-star play because we don't won't believe he's fully healthy.

In addition, the Wildcats play at the ninth-slowest tempo in the Big 12 and are the league’s third-most efficient defense in terms of adjusted defensive efficiency. Thus, head coach Jerome Tang’s top-three unit in effective field-goal percentage and 2-and-3-point percentage allowed should make McCullar work for everything he gets.

Bettors will pay more in juice (-125) to back this Under at bet365, so DraftKings provides the best value.

Monday’s college basketball game picks

Miami team total Under 63.5 vs. Virginia (-115 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐

Virginia is playing the kind of defense we've been accustomed to seeing under Tony Bennett while allowing 64-plus points just one time during the team's current six-game winning streak. Miami scored 66 points in a home victory against Virginia last year. But most of the damage came at the free-throw line, with the team attempting 22 free throws, and it shot 21-for-53 from the floor. 

Miami boasts the individual playmakers to give defenses fits, but it's gone long spurts without scoring too often in games, just like in Saturday’s come-from-behind win over Virginia Tech when it buried itself in a 35-26 halftime deficit after missing its final 12 shots of the first half.

The Hurricanes may have found something after inserting Kyshawn George in the starting lineup to replace Bensley Joseph, as the new five-man unit outscored the Hokies 28-17 in the 10 minutes it was on the floor together. And while that new lineup has a high ceiling going forward, it will still take more time to gel. We don't expect the same level of instant success against a Cavaliers defense that ranks 11th in adjusted defensive efficiency and in the top 22 in effective field-goal percentage and turnover rate forced.

We're making this wager at DraftKings, as bet365 charges -125 in extra juice for the same number. 

Incarnate Word +8 vs. Southeastern Louisiana (-110 via Caesars, DraftKings, bet365) ⭐⭐⭐

Just when it looked like McNeese was going to run away with the Southland Conference regular-season title, Southeastern Louisiana knocked off the Cowboys 77-74 on its home court as 9.5-point underdogs.

However, Lions head coach David Kiefer seems worried about a hangover after ending a team's 14-game winning streak and handing the squad its first conference loss. So we're selling high on a Lions outfit that was 2-5 in its seven games prior to the win over McNeese.

Incarnate Word lost its first five Southland games. And even though it is 2-2 in its last four, the team has piled up valuable experience playing in tight games, as five points or fewer have decided every contest.

We also expect regression from a Southeastern Louisiana group that's shot 50% or better from the field for two straight outings, as the Lions still rank fifth in league play in adjusted offensive efficiency and effective field-goal percentage. Additionally, we're not buying too much stock into their 12 3-pointers made on Saturday, which tied a season-high against Division I opponents. The other time they made 12 threes was also against McNeese.

The Lions' defense also isn't built to take advantage of Incarnate Word's most significant offensive weakness. The Cardinals have registered the highest turnover rate in Southland games (22.6%), but the Lions are forcing turnovers at the seventh-lowest rate (17.2%) in the league.

Incarnate Word is just 1-7 against the spread in games with equal rest, as its opponent and Southeastern Louisiana have covered two of three games on one day of rest. But this line is over-inflated after the Lions' big win on Saturday.

Many of our best sportsbooks are offering this spread as low as +7.5 points to back the underdogs, so be sure to grab one of the several +8 postings out there.

Portland State +4.5 vs. Eastern Washington (-115 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

KenPom projects this game to end in a 75-72 Eastern Washington win, but we're not convinced that projection takes into account how much of a scheduling disadvantage is at play.

The Eagles are playing their third road game in five days, while Portland State is playing its fourth consecutive home game, and only its second game since Jan. 28. The line feels fishy, as the Vikings were destroyed 91-57 at Eastern Washington on opening night in the Big Sky Conference, and we expect a much tighter game this time around.

Eastern Washington outrebounded Portland State 34-25 while forcing 21 Vikings turnovers in the conference opener, and the lead snowballed because Portland State couldn't make a perimeter shot against the Eagles' amoeba zone. Eastern Washington's size shouldn't bother the Vikings as much, and they should shoot much better on their home floor, where the team has made 12-plus 3-pointers and shot 50% or better from beyond the arc in two of its last three home games.

And while Portland State's press rate decreased from the 95th percentile in 2022-23 to just the sixth percentile through non-conference play, head coach Jase Coburn always has that in his back pocket, giving Eastern Washington something to think about. The Vikings won the turnover battle 17-7 in last year's home meeting. They've also covered the spread in seven of nine games as underdogs during 2023-24 (including 2-0 ATS as home 'dogs). We expect them to stay within the number tonight. 

FanDuel and bet365 are the only two of our best sports betting sites offering a line as high as +4.5 (all others are at +3.5 or +4). But FanDuel charges -120 to grab the points, making bet365's offering the best value.

College basketball best bets made 2/5/2024 at 8:44 a.m. ET

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