The Monday after Thanksgiving brings a late 21-game slate of betting opportunities for college hoops fans. We take a look at three matchups in Virginia and a big rivalry in Tulsa for our college basketball picks.
Top 10 teams Gonzaga, Texas, and Kentucky are all back in action tonight.
Here are my top picks for Monday’s college basketball schedule (Odds via DraftKings, FanDuel; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).
Top College Basketball Picks
Virginia-Iowa Under 131 (-105 via DraftKings) ★★★★
Tulsa vs. Oral Roberts -1 (-114 via FanDuel) ★★★★
South Florida +6.5 (-105 via FanDuel) vs. Boston College ★★★
SEE ALSO: All College Basketball Picks
College Basketball Predictions
Virginia-Iowa Under 131 (-105)
It is this exact type of game where Virginia always controls the pace.
The Cavaliers welcome in a fast-paced Iowa team that ranks 24th in adjusted tempo, per KenPom. This is not a vintage Iowa team that has to adjust to life without former dominant big man Luka Garza. The Hawkeyes are scoring at an impressive 57.7% rate inside the arc, but have not played a team that even approaches anywhere near Virginia's level of defensive efficiency. The Hawkeyes have played all six games at home and the highest-rated opponent Iowa has played is UMKC (212th in KenPom).
Tony Bennett's UVA squad is 5-2 to the Under this year. They have held their opponents to an average of 49 points in three home games this season. The Cavaliers make you play their pace, especially in non-conference home games. Under Bennett, Virginia is 19-10 (65.5%) to the Under in games with a closing total between 115 and 135 points. That is exactly where this game will land and I expect another classic Bennett defensive display by the Cavaliers.
Virginia is allowing teams to shoot just 29.9% from three and 42.1% from inside the arc. For a substandard Iowa offensive team, this bodes quite a challenge.
This line opened at 134 and has already dropped to 133. For my college basketball picks, I would bet this down to 130 in a game that I can't see both, or maybe either, of these teams reaching 65 points.
Oral Roberts -1 (-114)
Oral Roberts is still living off last year's magical Sweet 16 run and still has Max Abmas, the leading scorer in the country. Tulsa can go through spurts of struggling to score, which will be bad news against an Oral Roberts team that scored an average of 94.8 points at home this year. The Golden Eagles just came off a 78-77 overtime loss to Oklahoma State, a team that is rated much higher than Tulsa.
Tulsa tries to create easy scoring opportunities by forcing turnovers, something that Oral Roberts simply won't produce. The Golden Eagles rank second in the country in offensive turnovers, under the steady hand of Abmas.
Tulsa is simply a different team on the road. Per BetLabs, Tulsa is just 24-28 (46.2%) as a road underdog during head coach Frank Haith's tenure. In non-conference games as a road underdog, the Golden Hurricanes are just 5-6 during that span.
This is a big rivalry, with both schools located directly in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Oral Roberts is an experienced team that has started to get hot from three-point range, shooting 13 of 33 (39%) from deep. I'm taking the Golden Eagles as a slight favorite to get that home win in Tulsa's first true road game of the year.
South Florida +6.5 (-105)
Points will be at a premium with these two low-scoring teams. Both Earl Grant and Brian Gregory are defensive-oriented coaches, which makes taking the points with the Bulls the right play.
South Florida loaded up in the transfer portal with several players from high-major programs. It takes time to assimilate talent, but the Bulls almost earned an impressive home upset of Auburn on Nov. 19. Sophomore Caleb Murphy led the Bulls with 19 points, six rebounds, and four assists against the Tigers.
Boston College does not carry a strong home-court advantage, as evidenced by its 2-2 record against the spread this year in Chestnut Hill. Last year, the Eagles were only 2-6 ATS at home under former coach Jim Christian.
The Bulls' length against the three should keep the Eagles' score low, and keep South Florida in this game until the last minute of play. To cap off my college basketball picks, I'm taking the 6.5 points in a game South Florida could definitely win.
College basketball picks made 11/29/2021 at 9:49 a.m. ET