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College basketball best bets.
College basketball best bets.

There are several intense league matchups in college basketball on tap Tuesday to close out the month of January. Read on for our college basketball best bets for Tuesday based on the top NCAAB odds.

The most high-profile matchup of the day is in the Big 12, as the Kansas Jayhawks host the Kansas State Wildcats. Kansas State was responsible for starting Kansas’s three-game slide with a home victory on Jan. 17. Still, the Jayhawks avoided the first-ever four-game losing streak in the Bill Self era with a big road win against Kentucky over the weekend.

Here are our college basketball best bets for Tuesday (odds via BetMGM, Caesars, and DraftKings; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Check out our top college basketball picks and our best March Madness betting sites.

Tuesday’s college basketball schedule and odds

(odds via DraftKings)

  • Indiana vs. Maryland (-2.5)
  • West Virginia vs. TCU (-2.5)
  • San Diego State (-4) vs. Nevada
  • Kansas State vs. Kansas (-7)

Check out our best March Madness odds and Wooden Award odds.

College basketball best bets for Tuesday

  • Spread: Iowa -6.5 (-110 via BetMGM) vs. Northwestern ⭐⭐⭐
  • Moneyline: Kentucky (-230 via DraftKings) vs. Ole Miss ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Total: Wake Forest-Duke Under 147 (-110 via Caesars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Upset: Indiana (+130 via Caesars) vs. Maryland ⭐⭐

College basketball top picks

Spread: Iowa -6.5 vs. Northwestern (-110) ⭐⭐⭐

Iowa welcomed Patrick McCaffery back after a six-game absence, and though the coach’s son played just 13 minutes, he immediately contributed nine points on 3-for-3 shooting from deep. The Hawkeyes as a whole torched Rutgers’ second-ranked overall defense (per KenPom) for 12 3-pointers (50% shooting from deep) and were difficult to keep out of the paint, attempting 34 free throws (and converting on 29).

It was a masterful offensive performance, and Northwestern will have difficulty keeping pace despite winning three consecutive games out of its COVID-19 pause.

This is a three-star play, as the Wildcats rank 310th in effective field-goal percentage, which will not get it done against a team as polished offensively as the Hawkeyes.

This spread is -7 at DraftKings, so we are taking the 6.5 before the number moves at all sportsbooks.

Moneyline: Kentucky ML vs. Ole Miss (-230) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

There is some concern about a Wildcats letdown coming off a tough non-conference loss to Kansas and with this game sandwiched between a weekend date with Florida. Kentucky has won 12 of 13 meetings with Ole Miss, and the lone loss in that span came in 2021 when the Wildcats went 9-16 and missed the NCAA tournament.

The Wildcats are a much different team this year, and in last year’s meeting, the Rebels had no answer for the duo of Sahvir Wheeler and Oscar Tshiebwe, who combined for 34 points on 15-of-21 shooting.

Kentucky had righted the ship with two straight road wins by a combined 23 points against Tennessee and Vanderbilt before last weekend’s loss, and we expect Ole Miss’s SEC-worst 3-point defense (36.2% allowed in league play) to be its downfall in this matchup.

Total: Wake Forest vs. Duke Under 147 (-110) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Despite the Blue Devils’ struggles relative to their usual success (15-6, 6-4), they have been a solid defensive team, holding 18 of 21 opponents below their season-scoring averages this year. Thus, that trend bodes well for their chances of success against a Wake Forest team that ranks fourth in the ACC, scoring 77.4 points per game.

Even if Duke’s Dariq Whitehead can't suit up for a second consecutive game, the Blue Devils come in confident off their best defensive effort of the year, in which they held Georgia Tech to 17-for-55 shooting (30.9%) and 0.67 points per possession.

Caesars is the only sportsbook offering a line as high as 147 with standard juice to back the Under.

Upset: Indiana ML vs. Maryland (+130) ⭐⭐

Maryland is 11-1 at home this season and a perfect 5-0 at home in Big Ten play. But the Terrapins have beaten only one team ahead of them in the standings on their home court (Illinois), and Indiana is arguably playing its best basketball of the season.

The Hoosiers have won five straight games and four by 13-plus points. Indiana has shown its versatility in that stretch, scoring 80-plus points three times but winning grind-out games twice when it did not have its best offense and held Wisconsin and Minnesota to an average of 51 points. Trayce Jackson-Davis has averaged 25.4 points per game during the winning streak while shooting 59.6% from the field. Indiana has won three consecutive games in this rivalry, all by eight or more points, and will do so again with its best player playing at a high level.

We are undeterred that this line has moved away from Indiana so much since opening at -105 last night.

College basketball best bets made 1/31/2023 at 6:20 a.m. ET.

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