Monday's NCAA Basketball Picks Against the Spread

Steven Suarez

Monday, January 26, 2015 8:07 PM GMT

Who should we be putting our faith in with our college basketball picks on Monday night? Let's run over the slate and try and come up with two great value plays.

Syracuse Orange vs. North Carolina Tar Heels
The Tar Heels are on a five-game winning streak and now they will welcome the Orange to their home court. This sets up as a nice spot for UNC, and as a result the college basketball betting odds board shows the hosts favored by as many as 10.5 points. This is obviously going to be a daunting task for Syracuse.

The fact of the matter is that the Tar Heels have been performing at a much higher level this season, and that coupled with the home-court advantage, has had a dramatic effect on the odds. North Carolina is 16-4 overall and has gone 6-1 in conference play, with the team's only loss coming at home to Notre Dame. UNC has been on a great run of late, beating some top-notch competition like Louisville, so confidence should be high.

Meanwhile, the Orange are just trying to hold their own in the mighty tough ACC. They're 5-2 through their first two conference contests, but there hasn't been a statement win yet for Jim Boeheim's squad. Syracuse simply isn't as talented as the program has been in the past, and that's why the Orange haven't been given much of a chance tonight at UNC.

However, the thing is: Syracuse does have talent, and they also have one of the best coaches in the business too. We expect the Orange to put up a good fight here, at least enough to help us steer clear of a blowout. There's no doubt the Tar Heels are a talented bunch, but they haven't proven to be invincible this season. Take all of those points and back Boeheim and the Orange.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Syracuse Orange +10.5 at BookMaker

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Texas Longhorns vs. Iowa State Cyclones 
Later tonight, we'll see the Cyclones take on the Longhorns. Though Iowa State suffered a shock loss its last time out on the court, oddsmakers are still liking their chances of dispatching Texas.

Looking over the college basketball betting lines, we see Iowa State favored by 4.5 points, with the O/U listed at 141. We should be seeing a pretty high tempo in this matchup,, as the Cyclones figure to force the pace - we know they like to get up and down the court and put up a lot of points. We'll have to see if Texas has the necessary firepower to keep up.

The Cyclones just lost at Texas Tech in their latest appearance, but they've been strong for the most part. They're 14-4 overall this season and currently find themselves in third place in the Big 12 standings. As for the Longhorns, they've gone 14-5 and are in fifth place in the conference. The Longhorns also lost in their latest matchup, losing to Kansas at home. It was a very disappointing game that could end up having major implications in the Big 12.

So, who do we think will be covering the spread in this matchup? We like Iowa State to win by at least five points, as they've been the far more efficient team on the offensive side of the things. Throw in the fact the Cyclones will be at home, where they've shown to be quite the handful, and we'll be recommending that readers consider a play on the hosts. To wrap up our NCAA basketball picks for a slow Monday night, roll with Iowa State.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Iowa State Cyclones -4.5