Corrigan's Gambling Corner: 3 College Basketball Best Bets - Jan. 4, 2022
Welcome back to the gambling corner, and welcome to Super Tuesday. With football season coming to an end, it is time to start ramping up the college basketball picks.
There are some great matchups tonight, and the board is looking lovely. College basketball is going through a "second start" to the season as we are now done with winter break, and teams are starting to clear COVID protocols.
As always, we are back with the three best bets of the night. If you decide to tail our picks, we ask that you do so responsibly.
Here are tonight's winners.
*Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook
Illinois Fighting Illini at Minnesota Golden Gophers
Minnesota has certainly been the surprise of the season so far in the Big Ten. At 10-1 on the season, the Golden Gophers are playing good basketball right now, but they are 1-1 in conference play, with their lone loss coming against Michigan State.
While their record looks sexy, Minnesota is 6-5 ATS this season, and they are 2-5 ATS in their last seven. The defense is carrying this team as they have only allowed 63.1 points per game. On the other side, Illinois is 5-1 ATS in their last six, and 4-1 ATS in their last five against Minnesota.
Minnesota has been very good to start the season, but they are getting a little too much respect in this spot. The biggest players that get consistent minutes for the Golden Gophers are only 6'9" and they are ranked 168th in opponents' shooting percentage.
The biggest question is, can anyone for Minnesota stop Kofi Cockburn? They did not last year, and based on their style of play, there is not a lot of hope that this season will be any different.
Pick: Illinois -6.5 (-110)
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Duke Blue Devils
Georgia Tech has been an absolute disaster to the bettors. They are 3-8-1 ATS this season, and they have only covered once in their last eight games. However, they have covered five straight when playing at Duke. This would usually be a good sign, but they have lost 11 in a row at and they are 1-14 in their last 15 at Duke.
The Blue Devils have covered five of their last six, and they are a hilarious 7-2-3 ATS this season. Duke is ranked fifth in scoring, seventh in scoring margin, and 11th in shooting percentage. The Yellow Jackets are not very good on offense, and they only put up 48 against a Louisville defense that is ranked 91st in scoring.
The potential for Duke coming out rusty after a two-week layoff plays well for the under. The spread is a touch higher than I would like it to be, even though Duke's offense is far superior.
The under is the play here because I just do not trust the Georgia Tech offense to get much of anything going, and Duke will probably put this game away sometime in the second half, and they will let their foot off the gas.
Pick: 141.5 (-110)
Kent State Golden Flashes at Ball State Cardinals
Kent State has dominated this series for a long time now. The Golden Flashes have covered in 13 of the last 17 matchups between these two teams, and they have won SU in 17 of their last 20.
While Kent State is 2-5 ATS in their last seven, Ball State is 4-8 ATS this season and 3-10 ATS in the last 13 against MAC East opponents. Normally, I would automatically fade Ball State because their defense is ranked 336th in scoring, 313th in effective field goal percentage, and 273rd in shooting percentage.
However, Kent State is only scoring 64.9 points per game, and the shooting numbers are atrocious especially their three-point shooting percentage.
Despite all this, and the fact that Ball State has not lost at home in their last eight, Kent State is the smart play. Their offense is not good, but over their last three, they are putting up 70.3 points per game.
If they can continue to break 70 points, they will run away with this game.
Pick: Kent State -1.5 (-115)
Parlay Odds: (+581) 1 Unit To Win 5.81 Units
Photo: Getty Images