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DAYTON, OHIO - FEBRUARY 22: Head coach Keith Dambrot of the Duquesne Dukes directs his team in the game against the Dayton Flyers during the second half at UD Arena on February 22, 2020 in Dayton, Ohio. Justin Casterline/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Justin Casterline / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

The college hoops season resumes with a full slate of Monday games. We break it down with our top college basketball picks and predictions.

It was a tremendous opening weekend, with multiple matchups of Top 25 teams whetting our appetite for an upcoming great season. Our first “Big Monday” brings a robust schedule of 44 games.

Here are my top picks for Monday’s college basketball schedule (odds via DraftKings Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Monday’s Top College Basketball Picks

Duquesne +1 vs. Weber State (-110) ????Massachusetts +3.5 vs. Penn State (-105) ???Navy +15 vs. Louisville (-105) ????

SEE ALSO: All College Basketball Predictions

College Basketball Predictions

Duquesne +1 (-110)

Whenever I can bet on Duquesne head coach Keith Dambrot getting points at home, I do it. Dambrot is one of the best coaching strategists in the country, and his emphasis on defense makes the Dukes tough to beat. 

Duquesne revamped its roster after battling extensive COVID-19 and chemistry issues all of last season. F Kevin Easley (TCU), G Leon Ayers III (Mercer), and C Tre Williams (Indiana State) bring a physicality to the interior that Weber State will struggle to match. 

Head coach Randy Rahe’s Wildcats want to push the pace, ranking 33rd overall last year in adjusted-tempo, per KenPom.  Weber State is the class of the Big Sky, but Dambrot’s teams have thrived in these home games vs. non-conference opponents in recent history.

Duquesne has produced outright wins over William & Mary, Illinois-Chicago, Marshall, Lipscomb, and UNC Greensboro the past three seasons. I’m grabbing the point for our college basketball picks with a Dukes team that should have a legitimate chance to win by controlling the pace.

UMass +3.5 (-105)

I don’t particularly like UMass, but this line has gotten too high for Penn State on the road. New Penn State head coach Micah Shrewsberry was able to retain three starters from last year’s team, but they face a Massachusetts team that plays very well at Mullins Center. 

Prior to COVID, the Minutemen were 13-2-1 against the spread at home in 2019-2020. UMass has a strong collection of guards that limit turnovers and get hot from 3-point range. Penn State transfer F Trent Buttrick (13.5 points per game, 40 percent from three) leads the team in scoring and should be particularly motivated in this revenge spot.

G Noah Fernandes (12.5 PPG), G T.J. Weeks (9.5 PPG), and Boston College-transfer G Rich Kelly (9.5 PPG, 50 percent 3P) can all get hot from deep and should take advantage of a Penn State perimeter defense that allowed opponents to shoot 35 percent from beyond the arc last season. 

This is a play based on a home team getting too many points against a similar opponent in Penn State. I expect a one-possession game with under two minutes left. UMass +3.5 is a great addition to our college basketball picks.

Navy +15 (-105)

Louisville is still playing without head coach Chris Mack, who is suspended for the first six games from the fallout of the Dino Gaudio firing. The Cardinals host a Navy team that already has a true road win over Virginia under its belt. 

This line is surprisingly high as a result of the Midshipmen’s 77-57 blowout loss at home to Virginia Tech. However, Navy suffered from extreme 3-point shooting variance, going just 3 of 25 (12 percent) from deep. In the prior game against Virginia, Navy went 11-for-21 (52.4 percent) from beyond the arc. 

Louisville has played at a slower pace since Mack’s arrival and ranked 300th last year in adjusted tempo. That means fewer possessions, increasing the outcome variance and allowing a disciplined team like Navy to stay competitive. 

Navy returns almost every significant player from last year’s team, except leading-scorer G Cam Davis. However, seniors G John Carter Jr., G Greg Summers, and junior SG ean Yoder have all assumed larger roles in the offense. 

Louisville will have a height advantage inside with 6-foot-7 F Samuell Williamson and 6-foot-11 F Malik Williams, but the Cardinals will also need to compensate for the perimeter prowess of Navy. 

I’m taking the points with Navy on the road at Louisville, who is still without its head coach, for our Monday college basketball picks. Navy has proven to be a dangerous opponent against Virginia, and I think they can keep this game within double-digits at KFC Yum! Center.

SEE ALSO: All College Basketball Odds and Lines

Monday's college basketball picks made on 11/15/21 at 10:20 a.m. ET.