The January 5 CBB lines are live on BetRivers.com, and as we enter the first full week of college basketball in 2021, we’re still figuring out how to properly assess the new normal. While are you waiting for College Basketball to start, play all of your favorite online table games and win bigger.
With less practice, less games, and more back-to-backs, betting on college basketball has never been more different. On Tuesday night, there are several marquee games that we are still trying to wrap our heads around.
Rob Dauster, a longtime national college basketball writer, and co-founder of the Field of 68 Podcast Network, took a gander at the January 5 CBB lines and breaks down the numbers that matter.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL ODDS: TUESDAY, JANUARY 5 CBB ODDS
No. 15 RUTGERS (7-2) at #23 MICHIGAN STATE (7-3), 9 p.m. ET
MONEYLINE: Michigan State -141, Rutgers +118 ML
SPREAD: Michigan State -2
OVER/UNDER: 149.5 points
Click here for the full list of Rutgers-Michigan State odds.
This is the line that makes the least amount of sense to me tonight.
As weird as it sounds, Michigan State is, in fact, a bad basketball team this year. They’ve shuffled through point guards like a casino shuffles through blackjack dealers. They have yet to find an answer to their issues at the five. Josh Langford looks like a guy that has missed most of the last two seasons through injury. Rocket Watts hasn’t taken a leap. Aaron Henry hasn’t taken a leap. They cannot guard. They’re now starting freshman A.J. Hoggard at the point.
It’s not a great situation.
And they’re giving Rutgers points?
Look, I know that this game is in East Lansing, but this is not going to be played in front of a packed Breslin Center. And the simple fact of the matter is that Rutgers is a better basketball team. They’re better defensively. They have much better guards. They will have the best player on the floor in Ron Harper Jr.
I’ll be on the Rutgers money line at (+112).
No. 13 MISSOURI (7-1) at MISSISSIPPI STATE (6-4), 8 p.m. ET
MONEYLINE: Missouri -132, Mississippi State +112
SPREAD: Missouri -2
OVER/UNDER: 135 points
Click here for the full list of Missouri-Mississippi State odds.
My first inclination here was to jump all over Missouri -2 after what the Tigers did to Arkansas on Saturday.
But after taking a deeper dive into this game, I think I’m going to lean towards Mississippi State’s money line. Here’s the logic:
The Bulldogs are sitting at 6-4 on the season, but two of their losses came in the first two games of the season against a really good Clemson team and one of the better mid-majors in the country in Liberty. This is relevant because Mississippi State’s leading scorer, Iverson Molinar, missed the first three games of the season. The way this offense is set up by Ben Howland is that he more or less lets his two guards, Molinar and D.J. Stewart, go and do what they want. Not having one of them makes Mississippi State really predictable, and you can’t be predictable against good defensive teams.
The other two Mississippi State losses came in double-overtime. One was at Dayton, the other was at home against Kentucky on a day when some no-name off their bench popped of for 23 points.
Now, here’s the most important part: Missouri’s offense is built heavily around ball-screens. When they are effective — like they were against Illinois (Kofi Cockburn) and Arkansas (Connor Vanover) — and Jeremiah Tilmon can get it going, Missouri is really good. When they can’t — like against Tennessee and Bradley — Missouri is not very good.
Mississippi State is really, really good against ball-screens when the ball stays in the hands of the dribbler or ends up with the roll-man. Where they struggle is when the ball is kicked out to shooters. Missouri shoots 27 percent from three on the season.
UCONN (4-1) at MARQUETTE (6-5), 9 p.m. ET
MONEYLINE: UConn -114, Marquette -105
SPREAD: UConn -1
OVER/UNDER: 139.5 points
Click here for the full list of UConn-Marquette odds.
This is nothing more than a bet on Marquette not really being all that good.
They’ve lost three of their last four and four of their last six games. The wins during that stretch came at Georgetown and, oddly enough, at Creighton. I’m not sure DJ Carton is the answer at the point. And perhaps the most important part: The things that UConn does the best — pound the offensive glass and run teams off the three-point line — should matchup well with Marquette, who shoot at 38 percent from beyond the arc and really struggle on the glass.
JANUARY 5 CBB LINES: NOTABLE GAMES
7:00 p.m.: Kansas State at #18 Texas Tech (-15.5). O/U 125.5
7:00 p.m.: NC State at #19 Clemson (-5). O/U 137
7:00 p.m.: Vanderbilt at Kentucky (-11.5). O/U 136
7:00 p.m.: Florida at Alabama (-3). O/U 153
8:00 p.m.: Iowa State at #4 Texas (-12.5). O/U 139
8:00 p.m.: North Carolina (-3.5) at Miami. O/U 141
8:00 p.m.: #13 Missouri (-2) at Mississippi State. O/U 135
9:00 p.m.: #15 Rutgers at #23 Michigan State (-2). O/U 149.5
9:00 p.m.: UConn (-1) at Marquette. O/U 139.5
9:00 p.m.: Memphis (-2) at UCF. O/U 135.5
10:00 p.m.: #8 Kansas (-6) at TCU. O/U 138.