We’re edging closer to NCAA March Madness. Some shuffling goes on with the AP Top 25 and we’re seeing nine of the teams in action Tuesday. Naturally, we’ll take the three best bets from them for our college basketball betting parlay.
(5) Illinois Fighting Illini vs Michigan State Spartans
Here’s a Big Ten showdown between the second-placed Fighting Illini taking against the disappointing Spartans. Illinois is 12-3 in the conference and 16-5 overall while MSU is 5-9 and 11-9. This will be their first and only meeting.
The Illini have won seven straight following back-to-back defeats against Ohio State and Maryland. They are one of only three teams to rank in the top 10 in both offense and defense by KenPom metrics. The other two? Gonzaga and Baylor.
As for MSU, their struggles center around their offense. The Spartans are only hitting 42.5% of their shots and 33.2% of their “3s,” two of the worst rates in the division. And despite having the 50th-ranked defense, they tend to lose the turnover battle.
Illinois is much more effective on offense than MSU and their defense typically forces more turnovers than assists. They should handily beat the Spartans here.
Pick: Illinois to win and cover
Iowa State Cyclones vs (2) Baylor Bears
Here we have a good ol’ butt-whooping courtesy of the Baylor Bears. This matchup pits the Big 12’s best against its worst although ISU covered the spread when these two met earlier. Baylor is unbeaten, 9-0 in the conference and 17-0 overall while ISU is winless in the conference at 0-13 and is 2-16 overall.
The spread has actually gotten bigger here at over 20 points. But to the Bears’ credit, they are 4-1 in spreads where they were favored by over 20 points including covering a 43-point one. This is a stacked team that has five double-digit scorers and a top-six offense and defense by KenPom.
The last time they played, Baylor shot poorly from deep making only four of their 19 threes. They also had 17 turnovers to just 10 assists. It was one of their worst showings and they still won by 11 points.
Expect Baylor to be the unbeatable force they are now and thoroughly blow out the Cyclones.
Pick: Baylor to win and cover
(17) Kansas Jayhawks vs (12) Texas Longhorns
Sticking with the Big 12, we have a more even matchup as the third-place Kansas Jayhawks going up against the fifth-placed Texas Longhorns. The Jayhawks are 11-5 in the conference and 17-7 overall while the Longhorns are 7-5 and 13-6.
Kansas went through a rough stretch starting in late January where they lost every other game, but they’ve since won five in a row. The Jayhawks are in a groove and have covered six of their last seven games. Most notably, they took out Texas Tech.
The Longhorns are struggling now having lost five of their last eight. Even worse, they’ve only covered three of their last 13 games. The team’s slow and grinding style of play and the on-and-off offense just make them unreliable in most evenings. Most, not all.
The last time these two teams met, Texas blew out Kansas and I expect them to win again. Despite the Jayhawks’ momentum, the Longhorns are a bad matchup and will outrebound and outshoot KU like they did the last time.
Pick: Texas to win
Parlay: Illinois to cover, Baylor to cover, and Texas to win
These are Top 25 matchups in our NCAAB odds, but not easy ones. Illinois should soundly beat MSU as the better overall team while Baylor will blow out Iowa State and Texas will make it two straight against KU.
If you’re not feeling these college basketball betting picks, head to the BetUS online sportsbook and make your own parlay. If you bet the other way, the odds are pretty much the same. Read the sportsbook reviews and learn how you can avail of the site’s bonuses for a richer betting experience.