The college basketball world’s attention is focused on the Champions Classic on Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean that betting value can’t (and shouldn’t) be found elsewhere.
In fact, Jim Root of Three Man Weave has the three spots you want to look at outside of the massive early-season event in Indianapolis.
So, even if the big games are on your main screen, here’s different ways to earn cash on Tuesday evening in college hoops.
Tuesday’s Three Man Weave College Basketball Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our college basketball staff is targeting from today’s slate of games. Click the team logos for one the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
St. Bonaventure vs. south dakota state
By Jim Root
The likes of Cameron Indoor Stadium and Madison Square Garden get plenty of love as elite college basketball venues. But off the beaten path, the Sioux Falls Pentagon is one of my favorite arenas.
Typically a host to competitive “neutral site” games — Baylor will meet Gonzaga here in early December — this one will have more local flavor. South Dakota State makes the 50-mile drive south from Brookings, and many fans will join the fray.
On the other bench sits St. Bonaventure. Decidedly not as local, the Bonnies will likely bring a smaller cheering section — and a brand-new team.
Heading into the season, the Bonnies returned almost zero production. That became fully zero when forward Justin Ndjock-Tadjore left the team this weekend.
Coach Mark Schmidt brought in six Division I transfers to offset his losses, but that unit is still learning to play together. The Bonnies lost in overtime to Canisius over the weekend, and the early season could bring rocky results.
That does not bode well heading into a matchup with the Jackrabbits. Eric Henderson’s team returns six of its top eight scorers from last season, and this group is already battle-tested.
They fell by one point in overtime to Akron on opening night. Impressively, the Jackrabbits went to Boise 48 hours later and knocked off Mountain West foe Boise State in another tight contest.
In full disclosure, this is more of a gut bet for me than a major numerical edge. While this is not a true “home” game, South Dakota State will be playing in front of a rabid crowd for the first time this season.
A connected core with myriad offensive weapons should be able to overwhelm the still-meshing Bonnies.
Pick: South Dakota State -4.5 (Play to -5)
FIU vs. NC State
By Jim Root
Fans in Raleigh will surely head to PNC Arena on Tuesday night expecting to see a basketball game.
Instead, though, they may witness a track meet.
Both NC State and FIU want to run. Unfortunately for both, their opponents have largely thwarted such efforts so far.
The Wolfpack beat Austin Peay and Campbell, two of the slowest offenses in the entire country. As much as Kevin Keatts’ squad tried to push the tempo, their opponents made every effort to park the proverbial bus.
NC State still found a way to tally 172 points across those contests, displaying the team’s offensive prowess.
FIU faced a similarly frustrating foe in its season debut. The Panthers topped Houston Christian, 77-66, after a disjointed first half. HCU’s zone defense prevented quick shots, and the Huskies’ offense frequently drained the shot clock.
The Panthers then won an 80-possession game against non-Division I Florida National, indicating their intention to go, go, go.
FIU coach Jeremy Ballard tried to play a more conventional, two-big style last year. It did not work. As a result, he plans to ramp the tempo way back up.
“We changed our philosophy somewhat (last year),” Ballard told The Almanac this offseason. “We’re back to who we are…we’re back to being the aggressor.”
KenPom projects this game at 73 possessions. Given that both teams are willing participants in a fast-paced game and that both have just played trudging opponents, that is too low. This game should see a “slingshot” effect for both sides.
So long as efficiency does not completely tank — which seems unlikely, given the teams’ respective defensive reputations — pace should push this over.
Expect a possession count that approaches 80, which is plenty to clear this number.
Pick: Over 149.5 (Play to 153)
Bowling Green vs. Wisconsin
By Jim Root
For over 20 years, Wisconsin has been a metronomic presence atop the Big Ten standings. Dick Bennett laid a foundation, but the real architect of this program’s success was Bo Ryan, a legendary coach in Badger lore.
Hoping to capitalize on the family’s brilliance, Green Bay declared for House Ryan, hiring Bo’s son, Will, as boss back in 2020. He took over late in the offseason, though, and he has struggled to replicate his father’s success in Frozen Tundra territory .
The younger Ryan may be royalty in Madison, but the Badger faithful have been less than welcoming. In two previous trips to the Kohl Center under Ryan, Green Bay has lost 82-42 and 72-34.
Notably, both games were slogs. The first meeting ended up at 66 possessions, while last year’s bout settled at a measly 63. That tempo already projects well for the total, but Wisconsin’s outrageously disciplined defense also spells trouble for the visiting Phoenix.
Green Bay lacks athletic playmakers in the backcourt. Wisconsin is among the country’s elite in its defensive communication and rotations. That necessitates some individual advantage creators for the offense, a major issue for Ryan’s squad.
JUCO imports Davin Zeigler and Garren Davis put up impressive stats at their previous stops, but neither appear to have the ability to consistently beat the Badgers’ defenders off the bounce.
As such, we can expect another inefficient performance from the underdog. To do the math for you, the Phoenix scored just 0.64 points per possession in 2020 and 0.54 PPP in 2021.
Considering the margin of the two previous meetings, Wisconsin is tempting as a side play. The number is sky-high, though.
The stronger play is the under, where a crawling pace and Green Bay’s inefficiency should combine to deflate scoring severely.