Tuesday night is shaping up to be a fun one for college basketball, and is proud to provide the latest December 15 CBB lines and odds. Unlike in past seasons, conference play is beginning well before the Christmas break, throwing many teams into the competitive waters of league play well before they’re prepared.

Rob Dauster, a longtime national college basketball writer, and co-founder of the Field of 68 Podcast Network, analyzes the December 15 CBB lines, and can’t quite figure out what to make of the Clemson-Virginia Tech numbers.


#24 CLEMSON (5-0) at VIRGINIA TECH (4-1), 6:30 p.m. ET
MONEYLINE: Virginia Tech -129, Clemson +108
SPREAD: Virginia Tech -2
OVER/UNDER: 129.5 points
Click here for the full list of Clemson-Virginia Tech odds.

This is the one line today that just does not make sense to me.

Clemson is good. They are ranked No. 19 on KenPom, directly behind Tennessee, Illinois and Virginia, one spot ahead of Michigan State. they are the second-most efficient defense in college basketball this season. They are coming off of a 16-point molly-whopping of Maryland and a win over Alabama on a neutral court. They beat Mississippi State. They beat Purdue. And they may have the most underrated pro prospect in college basketball in Aamir Simms.

Most importantly, they play a four-out lineup that will be able to match up, guard-for-guard, with Virginia Tech. They also happen to be league foes with the Hokies. They will be fully prepared to deal with the actions and the set plays that Mike Young is going to throw at them. That’s half of the battle when it comes to beating Virginia Tech.

I think they win outright. The moneyline right now is +108. I fired when it was +100. I fired again when the line moved in the other direction. Maybe I’m completely overrating the Tigers, but I just don’t see why they should be getting points here.

MINNESOTA (6-0) at #13 ILLINOIS (4-2), 7 p.m. ET
MONEYLINE: Illinois -385, Minnesota +310
SPREAD: Illinois -8
OVER/UNDER: 146.5 points
Click here for the full list of Minnesota-Illinois odds.

There are three reasons that make me want to be on the Gophers in this spot.

  1. Home court advantage does not exist in college basketball this season, at least not right now. This line, to me, screams valuing Illinois’ home court because …
  2. … KenPom has this at Minnesota +5. Now, betting directly off of KenPom’s metrics is not always advisable. There is plenty of context that gets lost when looking at nothing but numbers. It’s a data point, one of several to evaluate when making a bet. Now, in this instance, I tend to think that KenPom is on to something here, because …
  3. … Illinois gets ripped up in ball-screens. They rank in the 61st percentile nationally in ball-screen defense when the dribbler keeps it. They ranked in the 38th percentile in ball-screen defense when the ball is passed back to the roll man. They are, quite simply, very bad at defending ball-screens. Why does this matter? Because 30 percent of Minnesota’s offensive possessions end in a ball-screen, and 54 percent of the possessions used by Marcus Carr — Minnesota’s point guard and best player — are ball-screens.

When all three of those things line up, that’s when I really like a bet.

LONG BEACH STATE (1-2) at UCLA (5-1), 9 p.m. ET
MONEYLINE: UCLA -20000, LBSU +3000
OVER/UNDER: 145.5 points
Click here for the full list of UCLA-Long Beach State odds.

This one is simple for me: fade LBSU. We discussed this previously, but Long Beach State had as strict of protocols in dealing with COVID as anyone in the preseason. They are coming off of a 45 point drubbing at the hands of San Francisco, who just lost to Cal.

UCLA, on the other hand, still has drastic on-off splits when Jalen Hill is playing. He and Johnny Juzang have both been back in the lineup for two games now. The Bruins, at full strength, have covered in both of those wins.