College basketball schedule today has 27 games
We’re one game shy of double the number of options we had last night on a really ugly Monday card. Today’s card is short on volume, but definitely has some bangers, so it should be a fun night on the college hardwood. Hopefully with a few winners to boot. Here is the tracking sheet.
We also have a dozen games spread throughout the NBA and NHL with a six-pack in each league. Jonathan Von Tobel has NBA best bets today and Andy MacNeil has daily NHL picks, so check out what my pals had to say about the Tuesday cards.
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Here are some thoughts on the February 7 card (odds from DraftKings):
Back on Jan. 25, I was on Texas A&M +4.5 at Auburn. The Aggies won that game by 16. I’ll be back on Texas A&M, but this time in College Station and as a favorite. As you know, I prefer to look at the small conferences for my edges, but this is such a terrible matchup for Auburn that I can’t pass on this game. I also expect Texas A&M to make some positive adjustments, which might be crazy to say after winning by 16, but let me explain.
The Aggies have allowed a shot share of 28.9% on Close Twos, which ranks 17th in the country. In the first meeting, Auburn was 16-of-21 on shots at the rim. The Tigers are 72nd in shot share on Close Twos, so they do get to the rim, but I was surprised with both the effectiveness and efficiency that they had on those high-percentage shots. And, yet, they still lost by 16.
Texas A&M forces teams to take a ton of 3s, which is problematic for Auburn because they’re shooting 28.8%, which ranks 355th in the country. Opponents have been forced into a 3-point attempt on 45.5% of shots against the Aggies overall and 45.4% in SEC play. They’re shooting 28.9% on those 3s in 10 league games.
Texas A&M is also the top offensive rebounding team in the conference and third in defensive rebounding. To that end, Auburn is allowing opponents to take a Close Two on 40.8% of shots, which ranks 321st in the nation, but they’ve been fortunate to allow just a 53.3% success rate, which ranks 38th. The Aggies were only 12-of-24 at the rim in the first meeting and still won by 16.
Auburn had to play a 46-43 slugfest on Saturday in Knoxville, while Texas A&M blew Georgia away. Bad spot. Bad matchup. Aggies it is for me.
Pick: Texas A&M -3
The quick two-game road trip to Cincinnati and Indianapolis started poorly for St. John’s, as they had travel issues getting out of New York City and played from behind all game long against Xavier. The Musketeers ultimately won by 25 and the Red Storm never really seemed to get off the bus. Big East play has not gone well and head coach Mike Anderson is on the chopping block, but I like this matchup for the small dog on Tuesday.
St. John’s won the first game in Queens by 18. There weren’t really any huge outliers in the game. Butler had 22 turnovers, but St. John’s had 18 giveaways. The Red Storm had one more offensive rebound and one more made 3-pointer. So, what was the difference?
The same thing I expect to be the difference tonight. St. John’s was 14-of-24 at the rim, while Butler was just 5-of-11. St. John’s has a shot share of 42.7% on Close Twos, which ranks 19th. Butler has a shot share of 31%, which ranks 321st. The Bulldogs also have a shot share against on Close Twos of 40.6%, which ranks 318th. St. John’s is more around the national average.
When you look at Butler’s defensive metrics, they’re a bit misleading. Opponents are only shooting 31.9% from 3 and they don’t foul a lot, so the efficiency metrics give them more credit than they should. Teams aren’t taking a lot of 3s because they’re getting the ball inside so effectively. Butler’s alleged strength on the perimeter is less meaningful here because St. John’s is only taking a 3 on 27.5% of shot attempts, which ranks 351st in the country.
Instead, the Red Storm will play to their strengths and Butler’s weaknesses. I think the wrong team is favored here. It’ll be graded as +1.5 to keep the tracking sheet clean, but the +105 moneyline is a good bet as well.
Pick: St. John’s +1.5
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