Super Bowl Sunday has arrived, but that doesn’t mean we cannot focus on college basketball. We are about to turn the calendar to February and that means the tournament is rapidly approaching. With so many teams in college basketball, it is important to get some information before March Madness begins, and this is a perfect time to start getting more involved. This article is going to cover a lot of different aspects of the upcoming slate of games. It will highlight a few CBB DFS plays that stands out and a few of the potential wagers I like for the upcoming night of games.
** Make sure to hop in our premium sports betting Slack channel where we will be talking about all the upcoming games and the individual matchups thorough the week. **
Check out more CBB DFS and Betting articles with Ben Rasa HERE.
Biggest game on the slate
Iowa at Maryland -5.5 , O/U 145.5
This is a big game in the Big Ten as the Hawkeyes travel to College Park to take on Maryland. Both teams are ranked and will be factors come tourney time. Games like this are huge for positioning and for the March run. Maryland being at home is huge and that is why they are 5.5-point favorites.
Maryland sits at 16-4 and the main reason is senior point guard Anthony Cowan. He leads the team in scoring and assists and will give the Terps an advantage in the backcourt in almost any matchup. It’s not a one-man show, however, as Maryland has multiple bigs and is top-five in the country in defensive efficiency. They currently are 1-4 on the road but undefeated on neutral and home court and the resume is impressive.
On the other side, Iowa is one of the more explosive offenses in the country. The Hawkeyes sit at 15-5 on the year and are forced to outscore opponents every week. Per Kenpom, they are third in the country in offensive efficiency, but fall all the way down to 78th defensively. That’s one of the biggest splits in the entire country and may prevent a deep run come March. This game should come down to tempo and whoever can limit the turnovers as Iowa wants to push the ball while Maryland is more methodical.
** Make sure to check out our AwesemoOdds show that breaks down the upcoming college basketball slates and talks about any big events coming up from a betting perspective.**
CBB DFS Targets
Jalen Hill – UCLA – $7,000 DraftKings
UCLA welcomes Colorado in Pac-12 action. It has been a struggle for the Bruins this year as they are 10-10 and aren’t a factor in the big picture for 2020. Colorado, on the other hand, is 16-4 and a clear tournament team, but they are still just a five-point favorite on the road. For UCLA to stay close, they need to find some offense and Jalen Hill is one guy who can step up.
The sophomore Hill is starting to take the next step as he has now played 30 or more minutes in three of the last four games. The season averages of 10 points and seven boards will increase, and he contributes in every category. That gives him massive upside even though he is not taking a ton of shots. The foul trouble always is a worry when talking about bigs in college, but if he is going to see 30 minutes again, he is hard to ignore. With the double-double upside and the potential for five blocks/steals, you could do a lot worse than Hill on this slate.
CBB Games Against the Spread
Minnesota at Illinois -5
Minnesota travels to Champaign to take on Illinois in another Big Ten game. So far this season, home court has been crushing in Big Ten games as it is difficult to win on the road in these environments. Minnesota is 11-9 on the season, but they are just 1-6 on the road which shows again the massive advantage of playing at home.
On the other side, Illinois is 19th in the country with a 15-5 record. They are 11-1 at home and come into the game having won six straight. The Illini attack the glass (eighth in offensive rebounding percentage) and are a balanced team with multiple bigs. That depth will test Minnesota and their star Daniel Oturu up front. If he gets into foul trouble or Illinois is able to limit him, then I don’t see how Minnesota can hang in this game.
My Pick: Illinois -5
UAB at UTSA -3.5
I doubt this one will make the TV schedule tonight as UAB goes to UTSA in a Conference USA matchup. Neither team is really impressive as UAB is just 12-9 while UTSA sits one game below .500 at 10-11. That doesn’t mean we can’t find some value here and we have some things to take note of the home team.
UTSA relies on the backcourt with a pair of juniors, Jhivvan Jackson and Keaton Wallace. Jackson is averaging 26 a game while Wallace chips in with 18 so the one-two combo is as lethal as we have in college basketball. The problem for the Roadrunners is they do not have anything else and have to rely on these two for the majority of the offense. Offense hasn’t been the problem though as defensively, UTSA ranks 301st in the country. They will need to be better and against UAB, they will have opportunities with the way the Blazers run the offense.
UAB plays a slow, methodical tempo with limited firepower. They rank 233rd in efficiency, but the real issue is the turnovers as they give it up on almost 25% of their possessions. The final blow is their lack of outside shooting. As I mentioned, UTSA is a weaker defense, but unless something changes to their backcourt, I do see this situation improving much. UAB’s best shot is to slow the game and dictate tempo, but if this starts to get up and down, I will lean to the Jackson and Wallace backcourt.
My Pick: UTSA -3.5
If you have any CBB DFS or Betting questions find me in the sports betting channel on the Awesemo.com premium slack chat or @JazzrazDFS on twitter.