Home | News | Top NCAAB Betting Picks of the Week – February 5th, 2024

Top NCAAB Betting Picks of the Week – February 5th, 2024

By Hank Blaine

The University of Michigan already lost very successful football coach Jim Harbaugh, and the school might soon have to make a change in men’s basketball as well regarding former Fab Five player Juwan Howard as UM is last in the Big Ten. That’s just not acceptable in Ann Arbor. Here’s a look at two intriguing early-week college basketball matchups.

Top NCAAB Betting Picks of the Week (February 5th, 2024)

Miami Hurricanes vs. Virginia Cavaliers

  • When: Monday, February 5th, 2024, 7:00 PM ET
  • Where: John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, VA
  • TV: ESPN
  • Radio: 560 WQAM (Miami) // Newsradio WINA 98.9 (Virginia)
  • Live Stream: ESPN+
  • NCAAB Betting Odds: Miami (+5.5) // Virginia (-5.5)

ESPN tip at 7 p.m. ET. Both these teams are on the NCAA Tournament bubble – Miami was a Final Four team last season and got pretty much every key player back but is just 15-7 and 6-4 in the ACC. The Canes do come off a nice win Saturday over Virginia Tech, 82-74. The Hurricanes trailed by 10 points near the 12-minute mark of the second half. Miami outscored the Hokies by 11 points at the free-throw line in the first 34 minutes and the advantage grew down the stretch when Virginia Tech chose to foul four times in the final minute. Miami made 7 of 8 free throws in the final 49 seconds and was 27-for-29 in the game. Virginia Tech made 7 of 14 from the line.

“I thought the first five minutes, we played well,” head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “We were 7-for-10 from the field and playing pretty good. And then we went 2-for-16 and played awful for about 10 minutes. We made some adjustments at halftime and our players really rose to the occasion and fought like crazy. They got us back in the game and then we finished strong.”

Virginia (17-5, 8-3 ACC) won its sixth game in a row Saturday, 66-65 at Clemson. Three players scored in double figures for Virginia: Jake Groves (17 points), Isaac McKneely (14) and Reece Beekman (14). That put Beekman, the reigning ACC Defensive Player of the Year, past the 1,000-point mark for his illustrious UVA career, and he also had a game-high three steals. Beekman ranks first in the ACC in assists (6.1 apg) and steals (2.5), and second in assist/turnover ratio (3.1).

The Cavs are 12-0 at home this season and have 22 consecutive home games. UVA has held 47 straight ACC opponents to fewer than 70 points at John Paul Jones Arena. What’s kept the Hoos from being rated as locks for the NCAA tournament are their struggles away from home during the first half of the season. They lost by 24 points to Wisconsin in Fort Myers, Fla., by 23 at Memphis, by 22 at Notre Dame, by 16 at NC State, and by 19 at Wake Forest.

UVA ranks second nationally in scoring defense (57.7 ppg) and turnovers per game (8.6), fifth in assist/turnover ratio (1.81), sixth in fouls per game (13.5), ninth in turnover margin (4.9), 11th in field goal percentage defense (39.4), 33rd in blocks per game (4.9) and 38th in 3-point percentage (37.1).

Virginia is 15-13 all-time vs. Miami in the series that dates to 1965-66. UVA has a three-game win streak against Miami at John Paul Jones Arena. UVA is 9-4, including a 7-2 mark at JPJ, against the Hurricanes in Charlottesville. Fourteen of the last 16 meetings between the teams have been decided by 10 points or less. UVA has limited Miami to 58 or fewer points in six of the last eight meetings.

NCAAB Betting Pick: Virginia Cavaliers

Texas Tech Red Aggies vs. Baylor Bears

  • When: Tuesday, February 6th, 2024, 9:00 PM ET
  • Where: Foster Pavilion, Waco, TX
  • TV: ESPN
  • Radio: Double T 97.3 (Texas Tech) // KRZI 1660 AM (Baylor)
  • Live Stream: ESPN+
  • NCAAB Betting Odds: TBA

Good matchup of Big 12 contenders on Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET with ESPN showing it. Texas Tech (16-5, 5-3 Big 12) comes off a tough 75-72 home loss to Cincinnati on Saturday. Simas Lukosius’ floater with 21 seconds left, after a go-ahead 3-pointer by Texas Tech, powered Cincinnati to the upset. Following Lukosius’ shot, Pop Isaacs missed a jumper with nine seconds on the clock on the final possession. John Newman III grabbed the loose ball on the Isaacs miss and finished the game off with a dunk.

Isaacs finished with a game-high 22 points after making three 3-pointers and going 9-for-12 from the free-throw line, while Robert Jennings had a career-high 14 points and added six rebounds and Kerwin Walton scored 12 pointers with two 3-pointers. Isaacs is now scoring a Big 12-best 20.5 points per conference game this season, and has scored in double figures in a career-best 12 straight games. He is averaging 17.6 points through all 21 games, and now has seven games this season with 20 or more points.

Chance McMillian added eight points and Darrion Williams and Warren Washington had seven points each. Williams led Tech with seven rebounds in a game where Cincinnati had a 39-35 rebounding advantage, while Joe Toussaint led the team with four points and two steals but was limited to two points.

“We had several guys that weren’t 100 percent in this game and I thought Cincinnati was just extremely physical,” Texas Tech coach Grant McCasland said. “They kept putting pressure on us by rebounding the basketball offensively. They ended up with eight blocked shots and I thought they drove the ball to the rim several times. I thought our contests were solid, and I loved our scrap.”

Baylor (16-5, 5-3 Big 12) won their second game in a row Saturday, 70-68 over No. 12 Iowa State. It was a fabulous game that included the ejection of Baylor head coach Scott Drew, a 20-0 Iowa State run (its largest of the season), a 15-point ISU deficit erased, a Baylor go-ahead shot with two seconds left and a potential Cyclone game-winner waved off. After the visiting Cyclones went on that 20-0 run that included 10 free throws, Baylor answered with a 14-4 run of its own and pulled out the win when VCU transfer Jayden Nunn went the length of the court and hit a bucket through contact with 2.0 seconds left. “What’s crazy is, we work on that end-of-the-game situation every day in practice,” said Nunn, who missed three free throws in the last 20 seconds that would have pretty much iced the game. “And I’m always the one getting downhill and scoring. When we were doing it, I’m like, ‘It’s just like practice. I do this every day in practice.’ The coaches always tell me, ‘Just go’. Baylor led 54-44 midway through the second half when Drew was hit with his second technical foul for stepping outside the coaching box, leading to an ejection. Iowa State launched a 17-0 run to take a 61-54 lead after the ejection. Drew had coached 706 games in his career and never been ejected before Saturday. He said he was happy to see his team rally without him. He said he did not get “an explanation” for his ejection. “I’m not somebody that calls the officials or calls the league after every game,” Baylor AD Mack Rhoades told reporters. “In fact, I never call when it comes to officiating. It’s always about, ‘We need to play better, we need to execute better, we need to play tougher,’ all of those things. But tonight was an embarrassment for this league. We have the best basketball league in the country, and the officiating tonight did not match it. Period. End of story.” Baylor was 2-0 vs. Texas Tech last season. They will close this regular season against one another in a rematch in Lubbock.

NCAAB Betting Pick: Baylor Bears

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