The Thursday, January 21 CBB lines are live on BetRivers.com, and as has been the case all season long, Tuesdays tend to provide the strongest slate of college basketball games.
Rob Dauster, a longtime national college basketball writer, and co-founder of the Field of 68 Podcast Network breaks down the January 21 odds, and has some opinions on where to put your money on Thursday night.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL ODDS: JANUARY 21 CBB ODDS
INDIANA (8-6, 3-4) at #4 IOWA (12-2, 6-1), 9:00 p.m.
MONEYLINE: Iowa -560, Indiana +420
SPREAD: Iowa -10
OVER/UNDER: 150.5 points
Click here for the full list of Iowa-Indiana odds.
This game is a tale of two teams heading in opposite directions.
Iowa is 6-1 in the Big Ten, with a very real chance of winning the league title. Indiana is 3-4 in the Big Ten, 8-6 overall and Archie Miller is on the verge of having Assembly Hall burnt down around him.
Historically, these two programs have played close games in the Archie era, but this is the biggest gap in talent that we have seen between the two programs in a long, long time. Iowa has been a covering machine this season, especially at home, and I don’t expect that to change. The key matchup here is the three-point shooting. Yes, I know, there is a certain amount of good and bad luck that goes into defensive three-point percentages, but Indiana ranks dead-last in the Big Ten, allowing opponents to shoot better than 40 percent from three, while Iowa is knocking down 41 percent of their triples, which leads the league.
This does make some sense: Indiana plays a Pack-Line. They want you to try and shoot over the top of their defense, and to date, teams have made those shots. Indiana is also a team that is built around pounding the ball inside to Trayce Jackson-Davis, and that’s not the way to beat Iowa. You need shooters, floor-spacers and guards that can penetrate. Indiana doesn’t have those things.
WICHITA STATE (8-3, 4-1) at MEMPHIS (6-5, 2-2), 7:00 p.m.
MONEYLINE: Memphis -159, Wichita State +135
SPREAD: Memphis -3
OVER/UNDER: 138.5 points
Click here for the full list of Memphis-Wichita State odds
Memphis has played 11 games this season. They’ve covered the spread twice. They’ve hit the over once. They are an absolute train wreck on the offensive end of the floor, turning the ball over on more than 25 percent of their possessions in league play. They rank outside the top 250 in every shooting category that KenPom has listed in his database. The only thing they do well on that end of the floor is grabbing offensive rebounds and, occasionally, scoring in transition when they force a turnover.
And they can force turnovers. The Tigers are actually really good on the defensive end. For the second straight season, they rank as a top ten defense. But the thing about Wichita State is that they have actually been pretty good this season despite the fact that Gregg Marshall was fired. They have veteran guards that don’t turn the ball over. They draw a ton of fouls, and Memphis fouls a ton.
I look for any excuse in the world to fade Memphis these days. I just gave you four or five of them.
#24 UCLA (11-2, 7-0) at CAL (7-8, 2-6), 9:00 p.m.
MONEYLINE: UCLA -455, Cal +360
SPREAD: UCLA -9
OVER/UNDER: 133.5 points
Click here for the full list of UCLA-Cal odds
Cal is still expected to be without Matt Bradley in this game, and while that did not matter on Saturday — when the Golden Bears went into Utah and won — UCLA is significantly better than Utah.
Despite the fact that Chris Smith is done for the season with a torn ACL, Mick Cronin has UCLA winning. A lot. They are 7-0 in the Pac-12 now, and they are doing it with an offense that has developed into one of the most efficient in college basketball. This is a problem for Cal. They can’t get stops, and they really struggle to defend the three-point line. UCLA is the best three-point shooting team in the Pac-12, hitting 44.6 percent from beyond the arc.