The Saturday, January 16 CBB lines are live on BetRivers.com, and although several of the top games have been postponed due to COVID-19, there are several intriguing college basketball games with interesting betting implications.
Rob Dauster, a longtime national college basketball writer, and co-founder of the Field of 68 Podcast Network breaks down the January 16 CBB lines, featuring plenty of analysis on Kentucky vs. Auburn, Virginia vs. Clemson, and the highly anticipated matchup between Baylor and Texas Tech.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL ODDS: JANUARY 16 CBB ODDS
KENTUCKY (4-7) at AUBURN (7-6), 2:00 p.m.
MONEYLINE: Auburn -136, Kentucky +110
SPREAD: Auburn -2
OVER/UNDER: 143 points
Click here for the full list of Auburn-Kentucky odds.
One thing that I have really tried to do this season is focus on investing more in the games and the lines that I have the best feel for. Generally speaking, I think that it is smart to keep your bet size the same — a unit is a unit for a reason — but in situations where I think the metrics that oddsmakers are basing lines off of are off, or if I believe that there is a certain matchup that is impossible to ignore, I want to have more money invested.
We discussed this very point a few weeks back, when Gonzaga rolled Virginia.
And I’m making the same point now for this game.
Sharife Cooper is why.
For those that have not been paying attention to a team that is sitting at the bottom of the SEC standings, Auburn has been nowhere near as good as they have been in the last three years under Bruce Pearl. Part of the reason for that is that their five-star point guard, Cooper, was not yet ruled eligible by the NCAA. Well, a couple hours prior to last Saturday’s date with Alabama — the best team in the league — the program announced that Cooper would be playing. He dropped a cool 26 points and nine assists, following that up with 28 points and 12 assists in a win over Georgia mid-week.
Which leads us to Saturday.
The Tigers will be hosting Kentucky, who is 4-7 on the season and just got drubbed by Alabama at home, snapping a three-game winning streak to start SEC play. Kentucky is not all that good, and the metrics will tell you that Auburn is not all that good, either. That’s why Kentucky is favored, according to KenPom, on the road.
But here’s the thing.
Auburn has a roster full of finishers. They have three-point shooters. They have lob targets. They have talented wings that can score in transition. What they have been lacking is a guard that can create enough to get those finishers the shots they are capable of finishing. That’s where Cooper comes in. He is an utterly elite passer. If he was in the NBA today, he’d be one of the best passers in the league. He has the hesitation moves and he can get to the rim and he can do a lot of other things that point guards are asked to do, but the reason he is such a threat is because he’s just an incredible passer.
He is the guys that can get the finishers the shots they need. He is the guy that makes Auburn’s offense one that can score 90-plus in back-to-back games.
And he’s the guy that makes it so the Tigers can play at pace once again.
So I will be on Auburn (-1.5) here. I’ll be on the over at 143. I’ll be on Auburn’s team total over 72.5. Give me all of it.
#2 BAYLOR (11-0) at #15 TEXAS TECH (11-3), 4:00 p.m.
MONEYLINE: Baylor -205, Texas Tech +165
SPREAD: Baylor -4.5
OVER/UNDER: 139 points
Click here for the full list of Texas Tech-Baylor odds.
This feels like a great sell high spot on Texas Tech.
The Red Raiders are coming off of a game at Texas that they really didn’t have any business winning. Texas made a couple of dumb plays late, their offense turned to mush and Mac McClung made a big shot. Baylor, on the other hand, is one of college basketball’s royalty this season. They matchup perfectly with the Red Raiders, and the on-ball pressure of guys like Davion Mitchell and Jared Butler should make Tech’s guards ineffective.
The way that I think about it is this: If the last two minutes had played out differently on Wednesday night, if Texas had won a game they dominated against Texas Tech, what would the line be today?
Probably higher than Baylor (-4.5).
So I’ll take that point or two of value and bet on the second-best team in the country.
#18 VIRGINIA (8-2) at #12 CLEMSON (9-1), 6:00 p.m.
MONEYLINE: Virginia -117, Clemson -105
SPREAD: Virginia -1
OVER/UNDER: 116 points
Click here for the full list of Clemson-Virginia odds.
Generally speaking, people are going to look at this line as a pick-em and think that it is crazy. I get that. Clemson stinks. Virginia’s awesome. That’s the way that basketball has been in the ACC for the last five years.
This year, Clemson might actually be the best team in the ACC. They have the best defense is all of college basketball. Virginia? Well, they have all kinds of issues. Their point guard is too small. Their center is not a threat. Their best offensive weapons can’t really guard.
Clemson at home at even money has real value in a vacuum, but the thing to be careful of here is that the Tigers are coming off of a pause. So I like Clemson in this spot, there is certainly reason to feel uncomfortable about it.