Best Bets: 1/21

By Ryan Coleman

Welp, it was a tough weekend for predictions but then again, did anyone do well? We all know it has been a ridiculous college season but this is getting out of hand. Last week, AP top-five ranked teams lost six times, the same amount top-five ranked teams lost all of last season combined. Anyways, you better believe I’m back with my best bets after learning from my mistakes and win you some money.

Disclaimer: I write this article the night before and it gets published the morning of the games. I shop around for the best lines but sometimes they change before gametime. If you have any questions on if I would play different lines than what is published, feel free to reach out to me @ryancoleman_98 on Twitter. 

Butler at Villanova
6:00 pm central, CBS Sports Network
Line: Villanova -3.5

The Pick: Villanova -3.5

Butler is the better team here and their excellent 3-point defense lines up well with Villanova’s dependency on the three-pointer. Villanova may be riding a four-game win streak, but they have escaped all those games including an OT game against DePaul. Butler, somehow, lost two games in a row so I expect some vengeance in their hearts here. I fully expect Butler to win this game, so that’s why I’m taking Villanova. That’s right, I’m playing mind games here but hey, if I did this at the start of Big East conference play, I would be making millions. Villanova also does play better at home if that makes you feel any better. Go Wildcats!

Kansas State at Kansas
6:00 pm central, ESPN+
Line: Kansas -15.0

The Pick: Kansas -15.0

The Jayhawks may be one of the most consistently good basketball teams in the nation. When Kansas St. beat West Virginia, the Wildcats shot 65% (20-31) from inside the arc. With Kansas’ size and paint defense there is no chance they can repeat that effort in Phog Allen. Kansas State’s worst five two-point shooting efforts were all losses and I expect that trend to continue tonight. When it comes to covering, Kansas’ plus/minus in their last six games is +60, even including their loss to Baylor. Averaging a 10-point victory over opponents that were all better than Kansas State gives me confidence that the Jayhawks can surpass the 15-point spread, especially at home.   

Miami at Duke
8:00 pm central, ESPN
Line: Duke -17.5

The Pick: Duke -17.5

Miami has been a difficult nut to crack, competing against Florida State to force OT, beating Illinois and Clemson, but getting crush by Duke earlier, by 33 points at home actually. The Blue Devils have been a bit unsteady of late, dropping their last two, but there is a value to being able to stay home and not having to travel around. Duke dominated last game by limiting their three-point shooting (Miami shot 2-12), and taking advantage of the Hurricane’s abysmal defense, posting 95 points on them. I expect Duke to be looking for a statement win to show the nation they are still elite, and they have already shown they can handle this team. Blue Devils and the Cameron Crazies take it here and cover. 

Texas Tech at TCU
7:00 pm central, ESPN+
Line: Texas Tech -2.5

The Pick: Texas Tech -2.5

The key in this matchup will be turnover margin. The Red Raider defense forces a lot of turnovers, ranking in the top 25 in the nation, while TCU ranks 198th offensively when it comes to turning the ball over. The Horned Frogs may play a bit better at home but they are still only 4-7 ATS at home this season. TCU is one of the most dependent teams on the three-ball in the nation, but I am trusting the Red Raider defense here beyond the arc, as they have limited opponents to 31.4% from three this year. Even if the game is close in the end, TCU is one of the worst free-throw shooting teams in NCAA, so I can see TTU coming back from any deficit. TCU could come out guns ablazing, or go quietly into this dark night. I expect that latter and for TTU to cover.

Illinois at Purdue
6:00 pm, central, BIG Ten+
Line: Purdue -5.5

The Pick: Purdue -5.5

It’s Purdue at home! The number one team in the nation! How can you not take them? Sure, Illinois may have beat them 63-37 earlier this month but that was road Purdue. They are legitimately two different teams with the home Boilermakers being 8-1 at home this year. When it comes to analysis, Purdue will have to be better at interior defense. Their beyond-the-arc defense is excellent, but Illinois doesn’t exactly shoot threes. Illinois does match up well against Purdue, and they showed that their last game, but I would be a fool to bet against Purdue at home and I am not going this time around, 

Florida at LSU
6:00 pm central, SEC Network
Line: LSU -2.0

The Pick: LSU -2.0 (Play of the Day)

Florida has been a bit too hot of late and I am expecting them to cool down a bit when they make the trip to LSU. The Tigers’ interior defense is legit and Florida does depend a bit on the two-ball along with getting to the free-throw line but LSU is discipline when it comes to fouling. Not only this but I expect LSU to dominate the glass and be provided many second-chance opportunities with their size out matching the Gators’. Furthermore, Florida has only won a single road game this season while falling to Butler, UConn and Missouri all on the road. LSU may have been a bit inconsistent early on but ETSU is kinda good (yea, seriously) and the Tigers are riding a six game win streak although a lot of those games were a bit too close for comfort. Geaux Tigahs. 

Other Picks:

  • Wichita State (-4.0) at USF: Wichita State -4.0
  • Akron (-4.0) at Miami OH: Akron -4.0
  • Wyoming at San Diego State (-24.0): SDSU -24.0


  • Nebraska at Wisconsin (-15.5): Nebraska +15.5
  • Maryland (-7.0) at Northwestern: Northwestern +7.0
  • Georgia at Kentucky (-11.5): Georgia +11.5

Last Time: 6-14

Last Week: 20-18-1

Play of the Day: 3-1

Season Total: 118-88-3*

*While I do not publish all my plays, you can follow all my plays on the Action Sports Network app by following me @RcCola3

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