Death, taxes, and game postponements. Such is life with NCAA basketball these days, but we should be thankful we still have games. With only one game featuring AP Top 25 teams, the online sportsbook still features plenty of bet and watch worthy games.
I don’t usually go to mid-major matchups but I’m looking at the Belmont Bruins, who have been one of the best online sports betting teams. It’s about time to give them some love along with two Big Ten teams who can emerge in tight matchups.
Belmont Bruins vs Eastern Illinois Panthers
The conference-leading Belmont Bruins get another layup here as they go against Eastern Illinois, third-last in the Ohio Valley. Belmont is 12-0 in the conference and 18-1 overall having won 15 in a row. Eastern Illinois is 3-9 and 6-13 and 2-8 in the last 10.
The Bruins have cleaned up in this conference. Although they’ve only covered in two of their last three spreads, they’ve covered in five of the last six spreads where they were favored to win by double-digits. This should add to that tally.
The Panthers have one of the worst offenses in the country shooting at just 41.7% (274th) and having a negative assist-to-turnover ratio. This is opposite to the Bruins who average 17.4 assists (12th) to 12 turnovers a game.
Belmont also shoots a scintillating 50.8% from the field (12th) and misses the top-50 offense by a hair, according to KenPom.com. It will be another blowout win for Belmont.
Pick: Belmont Bruins to win and cover
(7) Ohio State Buckeyes vs (8) Iowa Hawkeyes
Big Ten powers jockey for position as Ohio State looks to leapfrog Iowa in the standings. Currently, Ohio State has an 8-4 conference record and is 14-4 overall while Iowa is 7-3 and 13-4, respectively. This will be their first of two meetings.
Both OSU and Iowa have high-powered offenses with Iowa being ranked by KenPom.com as the No. 1 offense in the nation. But their failings against Illinois and Indiana reveal that great defenses can slow them down. Can OSU measure up?
The Buckeyes have the 67th-rated defense. They only allow opponents to hit 41.2% of their field goals (86th). But they aren’t exceptional at forcing turnovers. While they are solid on D, they may not have the goods to slow down the Hawkeyes. In the end, they’re more of an offensive team (rated 5th).
But you don’t beat Iowa by matching their firepower. Iowa’s star player C Luke Garza will have his way with OSU. The Hawkeyes could also win the rebounding battle, which in a close game is the difference-maker.
Pick: Iowa State to win and cover
Minnesota Golden Gophers vs Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Sticking to the Big Ten, two NCAA March Madness wild-card hopefuls duke it out. Minnesota is 4-6 in the conference and 11-6 overall while Rutgers is 6-6 and 10-6. The Gophers have wins over Iowa and Michigan while Rutgers upset Illinois, but both teams have been inconsistent.
The Gophers are winless on the road (0-5) and have failed to cover on five of their last seven games. You can blame their inefficient shooting as they only shoot 40.7 from the field and 29.9% from “3.” both ranking in the 300s.
Rutgers has shot the ball a bit better at 46.2% (78th) and 33.9% (160th) but have also had easier opponents. The adjusted offensive ratings for both teams actually puts Minnesota higher than Rutgers.
It falls on Rutgers’ 11th-rated (third in the conference) to shut down Minnesota, which they will do as defensive stalwarts like Michigan and Wisconsin have done.
Pick: Rutgers Scarlet Knights to win and cover
College Basketball Parlay
Belmont to cover, Iowa to cover, and Rutgers to cover
Three bets, three favorites. I’m laying down heavy on the chalk here, but it’s mostly a fade on the underdogs. Belmont should be one of the easier college basketball betting picks this season and you take a chance to bet them whenever you can.
Iowa and Rutgers have tricky matchups in the Big Ten, but they should deliver based on matchups. Ohio State will ultimately fall into a firefight with Iowa and lose while the Minnesota’s offense wilts against strong defenses like Rutger’s.
Betting these games can be tough, but if the parlay hits it’s a big one. To help you out, BetUS offers bonuses. Read the sportsbook reviews and learn more about how others have fared with the book. And enjoy the games.