Tuesday College Basketball Best Bets: 2021 Jimmy V Classic And A Mid-Major Threat

Written By Eli Hershkovich on December 7, 2021 - Last Updated on December 8, 2021
College Basketball Best Bets

After a dull Monday slate, my college basketball best bets include some intriguing games.

They’re highlighted by the 2021 Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden, where No. 6 Villanova faces Syracuse after No. 13 Tennessee takes on Texas Tech. There’s Providence vs. Vermont too, in which the Friars aim to improve on their 8-1 straight-up start.

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

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Providence vs. Vermont

After consecutive covers against Texas Tech and Rhode Island, Ed Cooley’s team is now overvalued in the market. Vermont is in prime position to take advantage.

The Friars’ length — led by the 6-foot-10 Nate Watson — poses an issue for the Catamounts’ ball-screen motion offense to attack the paint. Nevertheless, John Becker’s unit should see positive shooting luck after accumulating the 21st-lowest three-point clip (26.5%) across college basketball to begin the campaign. Expect Vermont guard Ben Shengu & Co. to have success within its set-up to find open pockets from deep.

Providence’s defense is most susceptible in that category, and it’s even seen its own shooting woes from behind the arc after a red-hot start. That’s the area where opponents can exploit Becker’s man-to-man defense most.

Without Friars floor general Jared Bynum (foot) on the court, I’d anticipate their perimeter woes continuing if the Catamounts limit their transition opportunities.

If you weren’t able to grab a valuable pregame line, aim for a live bet instead. The swings are volatile in the live betting market because it’s centered around a computer algorithm.

Eli’s Bet: Vermont +8.5 (placed on Monday night at FanDuel Sportsbook)
College Basketball Best Bets: Vermont +7 or better
Best Available Line: Vermont

No. 13 Tennessee vs. Texas Tech

Despite the Vols sitting high up in my college basketball power rankings, the market has overreacted after Rick Barnes’ bunch opened as a 1.5-point favorite on a neutral court.

Sure, Texas Tech has a first-year head coach in Mark Adams. But he served as the defensive coordinator under now-Texas coach Chris Beard all the way back to their Little Rock days in 2015 — with Adams’ formula rooted in a no-middle philosophy.

Considering Tennessee is producing the 17th-highest near-proximity scoring rate (lay-ups, dunks and tip-ins), it should struggle with its efficiency from inside the arc. The Red Raiders present a size advantage as well, leading to their prowess on the glass at both ends. Don’t expect many second-chance opportunities for Vols point guard Kennedy Chandler and his teammates.

Moreover, Barnes’ havoc-driven defense allows for opponents to thrive with their long-range gunners. Texas Tech doesn’t rely on its perimeter game, but its five-out arsenal possesses a mismatch by dragging Tennessee’s bigs out behind the arc.

Eli’s Bet: Texas Tech +4.5 (placed on Tuesday morning at FanDuel)
College Basketball Best Bets: Texas Tech +3.5 or better
Best Available Line: Texas Tech

No. 6 Villanova vs. Syracuse:

Following back-to-back outright wins over Indiana and Florida State, bettors have bought into Syracuse a little too much after it opened as a 9.5-point underdog.

Although Jim Boeheim has morphed the Orange’s zone into a 1-1-3 and 3-2 look, Villanova boasts the 10th-highest three-point scoring rate in the country. It’ll shoot right past either scheme in the process, especially with its ability to control the tempo via its rebounding edge.

Keep in mind, the Seminoles shot just 13.3% from distance on Saturday. Collin Gillespie & Co. won’t deliver similar results. Still, there isn’t enough value in the spread to wager on this contest.

College Basketball Best Bets: Pass

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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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