It's Totals Monday with Trio of College Hoops Picks Led by Kansas

Jay Pryce

Monday, December 18, 2017 2:15 PM UTC

Monday, Dec. 18, 2017 2:15 PM UTC

Nebraska-Omaha at Kansas, Wake Forest at Coastal Carolina, and Tennessee State at Texas each present value in picking 'over/under' the total Monday night. Here's what direction were headed with each bet and why.

Nebraska-Omaha at No. 13 Kansas (-30)

No. 13 Kansas (8-2 SU, 6-5 ATS) can flat out put up points and will run amok over Nebraska-Omaha (3-10 SU, 6-6 ATS) in the first ever meeting between programs. The Jayhawks are one of five teams in Division I with five players averaging 10.4 points or more per game. They rank 16th in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency, scoring 115.8 points per 100 possessions.

At home, the numbers are scary good. Kansas is averaging 97.8 points per game in six at Allen Fieldhouse this season. All but one finished with a combined score of 154 points or more. With this in mind, there are two factors to consider in this particular matchup: 1) this is the most points (-30) Kansas is favored in any contest all year; and 2) Omaha is the fastest team it has played. The pair rank 66th and 85th in tempo nationally. What does it mean? The Jayhawks are primed to push the century mark in this encounter.

Free NCAAB Pick: Over 154Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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Wake Forest (-4.5) at Coastal Carolina

Bettors rarely see a Sun Belt team hosting an ACC opponent. That’s the case Monday night when Coastal Carolina (6-5 SU, 3-2 ATS) welcomes Wake Forest (6-4 SU, 4-3 ATS) to HTC Center. It’s also atypical to see the Demon Deacons road chalk (-4.5) under head coach Danny Manning and the Chanticleers home underdogs with Cliff Ellis in charge. The former is 6-0 SU and 3-3 ATS, while the latter is 5-4 SU and 5-3-1 ATS all-time.

One thing stands out in these rare occasions. Poor shooting typically plagues the contests. The combined field-goal percentages in each are 84.8 and 83.1, respectively. The Demon Deacons enter with the 23rd-most efficient offense in the country, but play at a more pedestrian pace than last season, ranking 260th in tempo. Manning’s crew will control the game and clock as the better offensive team, forcing Coastal to slow down (118 in tempo) and not get out in transition. Wake pushes 80 points, but the Chanticleers come up short of their projections. The 151 game total is a bucket or two too many.

Free NCAAB Pick: Under 151Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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Tennessee State at Texas (-19.5)

Tennessee State (5-4 SU, 1-2 ATS) is bad at offense. In three contests listed on the college basketball oddsboard this season, the team posts 60.3 points per game on 38.9 percent shooting. Each were vs. weaker defenses than Texas (7-3 SU, 2-4 ATS), including Kansas and Middle Tennessee, and all but Canisius plays slower.

The Tigers will be lucky to hit 50 points against the Longhorns, which rank sixth in adjusted defensive efficiency. Tennessee State has played eight games catching double digits with a game total south of 130 points under head coach Dana Ford. Big Blue averages 51.0 points per game on 36.3 percent shooting. The offense is lacking confidence as well, coming off a 64-54 away loss to North Carolina AT&T.

Texas, meanwhile, has spotted opponents double digits nine times under head coach Shaka Smart. The ‘under’ is 8-1 overall, the Longhorns failing to match their projected team total in all but two. Texas flirts with 70 points, but will likely pull its foot off the gas late in a blowout win to keep the score below an ultra-low 121.5 total.

Free NCAAB Pick: Under 121.5Best Line Offered: JustBet

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