Wednesday College Basketball Best Bets: Why Belmont May Be Tested Vs. Chattanooga

Written By Eli Hershkovich on December 15, 2021
College Basketball Best Bets

Despite another slow night of hoops, the best game on the college basketball oddsboard may reside in Nashville, Tennessee with Chattanooga at Belmont. Here’s a deep-dive of my college basketball best bets for this game.

Click on the odds below to place a bet now. You can continue the discussion in our betting community, as we dissect all of the games throughout the week.

Chattanooga Mocs at Belmont Bruins

Both programs fall inside my college basketball rankings, and they have some potential for a Cinderella run in March Madness.

After falling to Dayton in the ESPN Events Invitational championship, Belmont has covered three straight games. Casey Alexander’s matchup zone defense is surrendering 0.92 points per possession amid that span, stifling Saint Louis down the stretch in its latest test on Dec. 7.

But Chattanooga presents the necessary pieces to combust Alexander’s scheme. Although the Mocs haven’t relied on their shooting from behind the arc, ranking No. 201 in 3-point scoring rate, they’re top-100 in perimeter attempts per 100 trips against the average opponent (via Haslametrics).

The 6-foot-5 Malachi Smith represents one of the most unheralded do-it-all threats in Division I, and he’s a floor-spacer in his own right (44.8%). Moreover, the Bruins struggle to rebound out of the zone while their opponent boasts the third-highest offensive rebounding rate in the country. As long as Kansas transfer Silvio De Sousa stays out of foul trouble, Chattanooga showcases a clear-cut advantage in that department.

If the Mocs’ offense is efficient enough, they’ll force Belmont into playing at a slow and uncomfortable pace. Alexander’s bunch relies on threes in transition, yet Chattanooga’s half-court perimeter defense is its premier attribute at that end.

While Lamont Paris’ team has played an extra game over the last week-plus — in comparison to Belmont — it came against a NAIA program in which none of his starters played over 25 minutes. Hence, there shouldn’t be any sort of a fatigue factor.

After Chattanooga opened as a 6.5-point road underdog, the betting market quickly backed the Mocs. Nevertheless, there’s still value with Chattanooga +5.5, as it shifts the other direction.

Eli’s Bet: Chattanooga +6.5 (placed at PointsBet Sportsbook on Tuesday night)
College Basketball Best Bets: Chattanooga +5.5 or better
Best Available Line: Chattanooga

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Written by
Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

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