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College Basketball Best Bets: Picks, Odds & Predictions for Monday, December 12

Today's slate is thin, but not nearly as barren as last Monday's wasteland. Let's have a look at what's out there.

Texas vs Rice

I don't normally endorse 20+ point favorites, but today's game in Austin is a special circumstance. By now, we've all heard the news that Texas coach Chris Beard was arrested this morning for domestic violence. Obviously, nobody knows the entire story around this incident yet, but one thing we do know is Beard won't be on the sidelines tonight. Conventional wisdom says it would be smart to bet against the Horns with the distraction and this huge number and the line moving down from 26.5 to 24 shows that to be the case. I'm going to take advantage of that extra value and advise a play on Texas. First, they don't need Beard to win this game comfortably. Second, UT has destroyed all 200+ ranked competition so far this year. Rice stuggles to defend much of anything, resulting in a perfect opponent for a team looking to pull together and rally.

College Basketball Best Bet: Texas -24 (@ DraftKings)

Liberty at Oral Roberts

This is a sweet matchup between two of the best mid-major players in the nation in Liberty's Darius McGhee and ORU's Max Abmas. It isn't often you get two teams so even they are right next to each other in the KenPom rankings (93 and 94), but their resumes to date are very different. ORU has played three very good top-100 teams (Saint Mary's, Houston and Utah St.), losing all by an average of 18.6 ppg. Its other games are all wins, but the best win was an 11-point victory at No. 198 Tulsa. Liberty has a bad loss (at home to No. 157 S. Miss) but a better win (at No. 100 Bradley by 11) than Oral. With Liberty proving to be road-tested and no proof that ORU can beat a top-100 team to date, I'll take the live road dog getting more than a bucket.

College Basketball Best Bet: Liberty +2.5 (universally)

Creighton vs Arizona State

I've said previously that Creighton is one of my favorite teams this season. The Bluejays proved they can hang with anyone in Maui, and their recent let down can be attributed largely to Ryan Kalkbrenner's illness. Kalkbrenner was unavailable in the Jays' last loss to BYU on Saturday, a fact not known to coach Greg McDermott until an hour before the game. His status is still questionable for tonight, but Creighton will be much better prepared to be without his services if he is unable to go. On the other side, I just don't don't buy the Sun Devils for a second. Their resume is OK-ish, but Creighton will be the best team they have played to date. The Jays have the coaching and talent advantage, even without Kalkbrenner, so I'll lay the points with confidence.

College Basketball Best Bet: Creighton -3.5 (@ PointsBet)

Monday College Basketball Best Bets:

  • Texas -24

  • Liberty +2.5

  • Creighton -3.5

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