The Champions Classic is in the books, but the marquee matchups are just getting started as the college basketball odds and Wednesday CBB lines for December 2 are live on BetRivers.com.
Ten ranked teams are in action, including three ranked matchups, highlighted by No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 11 West Virginia and No. 2 Baylor vs. No. 5 Illinois.
Choosing the right Sportsbook to place your College Basketball bets is not easy. First of all you should choose a certified online betting platform like BetRivers.
Rob Dauster, a longtime national college basketball writer, and co-founder of the Field of 68 Podcast Network, breaks down the lines for the Champions Classic featuring Michigan State vs. Duke and Kansas vs. Kentucky and gets you ready to tackle the college basketball odds head-on.
RELATED: College Basketball Futures
COLLEGE BASKETBALL ODDS: DECEMBER 2 LINES
#1 Gonzaga (2-0) vs. #11 West Virginia (3-0), 7 p.m. ET
MONEYLINE: Gonzaga -400, WVU +320
SPREAD: Gonzaga -8.5
OVER/UNDER: 155 points
Click here for the full list of Gonzaga-WVU odds.
Gonzaga is the best team in college basketball this season.
Baylor’s really good. Illinois is right there with them as well. But Gonzaga is a tier above everyone else in the field, but if there is a team that is going to be able to test them, it’s West Virginia.
The Mountaineers are something of a throwback. This is not the Press Virginia team that you got used to seeing in the Jevon Carter era. This group plays two bigs, they attack the glass like I attack leftover Thanksgiving pies and they are as tough as you would expect a Bob Huggins team to be. Put another way, they’re going to try and win the fight and hope that they win the basketball game, too.
For my money, there are going to be two keys to this game. The first is the glass. Specifically, Gonzaga’s defensive glass. This feels like the kind of game where every West Virginia missed shot is going to end up being a layup, either due to the Mountaineers getting a putback or Gonzaga corralling the loose ball and getting down to the other end of the floor.
This, in turn, puts one of the most interesting matchups into the spotlight: the four. I’m not sure Anton Watson is quite good enough to play 25 minutes for a team that is aspiring to make a run at an undefeated season, not when Corey Kispert is big and tough enough to play some small-ball four. But if Kispert — who is a 6-foot-7, 225 lb senior shooting guard — is playing the four, will he be able to keep the likes of Derek Culver and Gabe Osabuohien from getting second -hance points?
The other key is going to be the three-point shooting. We all know how good Miles McBride is. But will Taz Sherman and Sean McNeil make shots at the same clip as they did in the first weekend?
This line opened at West Virginia (+9.5), which was too high. It’s already been bet down to (+7.5), as of this writing. I’m never fading Gonzaga, so I’m going to wait and hope it gets down to Gonzaga (-6.5) before I bet it. I also tend to lean towards the under here. I do think that West Virginia’s physicality is going to cause some problems for Gonzaga.
I don’t love any side in this game, not the way I did on Tuesday night.
#2 Baylor (2-0) vs. #5 Illinois (3-0), 10 p.m. ET
MONEYLINE: Baylor -220, Illinois +180
SPREAD: Baylor -5
Click here for the full list of Illinois-Baylor odds.
The nightcap of the Jimmy V Classic will feature two of the top three teams in the country.
Baylor is an elite defensive monster, and they play a style that is somewhat unique: They force everything to the baseline, they switch all exchanges, they zone up on the weak side of the floor and they are elite in scramble situations and rotating defensively.
The key to this matchup is going to be what Brad Underwood does with Kofi Cockburn. The way to beat that no-middle defense is to lift your offense, put shooters above the foul line and in the deep corner and allow a playmaker to attack the baseline and pick out a shooter. That won’t work with Cockburn on the floor. He makes helping too easy.
Now, there are enough guards on this Illinois roster to play small, and using Giorgi Behanishvili at the five would work because he can make shots, but the key is going to be Brad Underwood making that adjustment.
I think that he’s smart enough to do it.
Which tends to lead me to be on Illinois (+5.5) here, mostly because I think it’s too many points and the Illini are being undervalued in this spot after Baylor beat a really bad Washington team on Sunday.
I also like the over here. Baylor can really, really shoot it. And if they are going to have some issues slowing down Illinois, who is going to try and push to beat Baylor’s defense down the floor, then we should see some points.
#14 North Carolina (3-0) vs. #17 Texas (3-0)
MONEYLINE: Texas -114, UNC -105
SPREAD: Texas -1
OVER/UNDER: 140 points
Click here for the full list of UNC-Texas odds.
I would be shocked if Texas was not getting points in this spot. Shaka Smart against Roy Williams? Texas against North Carolina in North Carolina?
Yeah, Texas is going to be getting points.
And I am going to want to have my money invested with Texas.
I do it every year and it feels uncomfortable every year, but I’m buting into the Longhorns. They have good, veteran guards on their roster. They have a trio of utterly elite athletes in their frontcourt. Two of those frontcourt pieces — Greg Brown and Kai Jones — are adept at being able to step out on the perimeter and take a jumper or beat a man off the bounce. It’s actually Jericho Sims that starts at the five for Texas, and he’s the most explosive of the three. Texas is coming off an absolute beatdown of Indiana, and Indiana plays much more similarly to North Carolina than Davidson does; Davidson, if you remember, had two shots in the final seconds to beat Texas.
So I’ll be on Texas.