College Basketball Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Thursday, January 12th

By Adam Burke  ( 

January 12, 2023 11:17 AM

College basketball schedule today has 55 games

Those that are just getting into college basketball have been treated to some good games and some interesting developments. Make sure you are playing to your strengths since there are so many teams and so many games on a nightly basis. 

Thursday brings us another solid slate in college hoops as we await the Wild Card Weekend. Keep an eye out for our staff best bets file on the NFL games tonight and keep checking out our VSiN YouTube page and follow us on Twitter for the latest show highlights.

There are 55 games on the CBB card, to go along with six in the Association and a full-on 12-pack on the ice. I’ve got you covered for college hoops, but Jonathan Von Tobel has NBA best bets and Andy MacNeil has NHL handicapping tips.

Here are some thoughts on the January 12 card (odds from DraftKings):

Troy Trojans (-2.5, 131.5) at Georgia State Panthers

The last thing a bad offense wants to see is a defense that forces turnovers. That is the case in this game, as Troy takes the floor as a small road favorite over Georgia State. Troy has a TO% of 22% on defense, which ranks 42nd against Division I opponents per Bart Torvik. Georgia State ranks 351st in eFG% on offense and 328th in adjusted offensive efficiency per Torvik. Ken Pomeroy has the Panthers down for 321st.

The Panthers are that bad on offense despite a schedule that ranks 296th per KenPom and 335th per Torvik. Maybe the most underrated element of this handicap, however, is that Georgia State is a regression candidate on defense. The Panthers have held opponents to a 50.7% FG% on Close Twos as defined by Torvik, but they’ve allowed a shot share of 40.9%. That shot share ranks 309th in the nation, but Georgia State is 21st in FG% defense on those shots.

Tonight, the Panthers draw a Troy team that is 51st in FG% on Close Twos. This seems like a great spot for Georgia State’s rim defense to come back to earth a bit. Add in an offense that ranks 359th in 3P%, 312th in 2P% and will lose a higher rate of possessions than normal to turnovers and it looks like a great matchup for the Troy side.

Pick: Troy -2.5

New Mexico State Aggies at Seattle Redhawks (-4, 143)

The betting market seems to have isolated New Mexico State as a team to fade right now and it’s easy to see why. The Aggies have dropped all four of their WAC games and are an underdog heading up to Seattle to take on the Redhawks. For a team that built a reputation as a strong low-major by efficiently picking apart opponents, this New Mexico State version under Greg Heiar looks nothing like the teams under Chris Jans.

The Aggies have allowed at least 1.069 points per possession in six straight games. Their offense has also gone in the tank, being held to .982 PPP or lower in the last three games. Seattle is a team that takes a lot of 3s and New Mexico State’s last four opponents have shot 39.3% from 3, as three of them have made double-digit treys.

Chris Victor of Seattle seems like quite a coach. The Redhawks were 12-11 in 2021 and went 23-9 in 2022. They were 14-4 in league play and came up two points short against a really good Abilene Christian team in the WAC Tournament. It feels like these are two ships going in opposite directions. Seattle’s only losses have been two Pac-12 teams and two strong mid-majors in Utah State and Iona. New Mexico State seems to be falling apart from within and money is coming in against them once again today.

Pick: Seattle -4

Northern Colorado Bears at Sacramento State Hornets (-4, 145)

Keep a close eye on Sacramento State as the season goes along. This is the first season at Sac State for head coach David Patrick, who has been an assistant at multiple programs, including Saint Mary’s, LSU, TCU, Arkansas and Oklahoma. He was also the head coach at UC Riverside for three seasons and has been an assistant coach for the Australian National Team. He’s a really good coach and it makes sense that the Hornets have won six of their last eight.

Patrick was also a scout with the Rockets, so he has embraced the “Rim and 3” strategy of the NBA. The Hornets mostly avoid mid-range jumpers, as over 78% of their shots have been Close Twos or 3-point attempts as defined by Torvik. Northern Colorado also ignores the mid-range game, but chucks a ton of 3s. Sacramento State’s defensive philosophy is to run teams off of the 3-point line, as their 28% shot share against on 3s ranks ninth nationally.

Like what I talked about with Georgia State, Sac State fits that mold, but on offense. The Hornets are 42nd in shot share on Close Twos, but 305th in FG%. Opponents are shooting 62.7% on their Close Twos against Northern Colorado, which ranks 290th. I see positive regression coming for the Hornets, particularly in Big Sky play, where there aren’t a lot of good defensive teams. In three Big Sky games, they’ve had 96 shot attempts at the rim, but are only shooting 50%. They should start finishing better and Northern Colorado ranks 320th in 2P% defense, so today will hopefully be the day.

Pick: Sacramento State -4

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