Home | News | Top NCAAB Betting Picks of the Week – January 1st, 2024

Top NCAAB Betting Picks of the Week – January 1st, 2024

By Hank Blaine

Potential national championship-altering news last week with Illinois star Terrance Shannon Jr. arrested and charged with rape for an alleged incident that happened when the football team played at Kansas in September. The guard leads the Illini with 21.7 points per game and has connected on 40.8% of his 3-point attempts. They aren’t going deep into the Big Dance without him, and it seems rather unlikely Shannon returns this season from suspension. Here are two intriguing early-week matchups around college basketball.

Top NCAAB Betting Picks of the Week (January 1st, 2024)

North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Pittsburgh Panthers

ACC game on ESPN and the Heels (9-3) are definitely on upset alert. They finished up non-conference play on Friday with a 105-60 rout of Charleston Southern. RJ Davis posted his first career double-double in points and assists, finishing with 20 points, 10 assists, five steals and zero turnovers in 26 minutes. It was his 21st career 20-point game and ninth in 13 games this season. He was the first Tar Heel player ever to amass 20 points, 10 assists and five steals without a turnover in a single game.

,p>It was Davis’ second consecutive game with at least 20 points and five assists without a turnover (he had 23 and five assists against Oklahoma). In the last two games, Davis has 43 points, 15 assists and zero turnovers. He’s led UNC in scoring in eight consecutive games, the first Tar Heel to do so in 15 seasons.

“He’s in a really good rhythm,” said UNC head coach Hubert Davis. “His leadership has been off the charts this year, his defense has been terrific, and there are very few players that from an offensive standpoint have the ability to be able to score with the ball in his hands and off the ball and still be able to distribute and get other people involved.”

Armando Bacot scored 12 first-half points to pass Larry Miller for seventh all-time in scoring by a Tar Heel. Bacot has 1,987. Miller had 1,982 from 1965-68. The 105 points were a season high for UNC and the most in Davis’ three seasons as head coach (previous 102 vs. College of Charleston on 11/11/2022). UNC scored 51 and 54 points by half. It was the first time UNC scored 50 in both halves since scoring 50 and 51 against Notre Dame on 3/10/21 in the ACC Tournament.

The 45-point win was the largest margin of the season and the largest in Davis’ three seasons. It was UNC’s largest margin of victory since defeating Louisville, 99-54, on 2/20/2021. Carolina shot a season-best 56.2% from the floor (previous was 52.5% vs. Radford).

Purdue is the only power conference team in the country with a more difficult non-conference schedule than the Tar Heels. Arkansas (20th), Tennessee (10th), UConn (5th), Kentucky (14th) and Oklahoma (7th) were all ranked in the top 20 by the Associated Press when they played the Tar Heels. It was the first time in Carolina history, UNC played five consecutive non-conference games against ranked opponents.

Pittsburgh (9-4) had a four-game winning streak snapped Saturday in an 81-73 loss at Syracuse, which snapped a three-game losing streak against Pitt and won for just the second time in the last seven matchups. Carlton Carrington finished with 17 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, but the Panthers managed to go just 11-of-24 from the foul line, while committing a season-high 15 turnovers to slip to 0-2 in the ACC. Pitt went 10-of-25 (.400) from three-point range, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the sub-par effort from the foul line. Syracuse got 52 points off the bench, including a game-high 22 points, including a 13-of-15 effort from the foul line from Quadir Copeland.

The Panthers lead the ACC in rebounds (42.15 rpg.), rebound margin (+9.23), and defensive rebound percentage (.786), while ranking second in offensive rebounds (13.3 orpg.), defensive rebounds (28.85 drpg.), and offensive rebound percentage (.347). Blake Hinson ranks among the NCAA leaders in scoring (30th – 19.5 ppg.), three-pointers (9th – 46), and three-point percentage (23rd – .438).

The Tar Heels have lost three in a row and five out of the last six games to the Panthers over the past four seasons. UNC is 6-3 all-time at Pittsburgh, including 3-3 in the Petersen Center.

NCAAB Betting Pick: Pittsburgh Panthers

Seton Hall Pirates vs. Providence Friars

  • When: Wednesday, January 3rd, 2024, 6:30 PM ET
  • Where: Amica Mutual Pavilion, Providence, RI
  • TV: FS1
  • Radio: AM 970 The Answer (Seton Hall) // WPRO 630 AM(Providence)
  • Live Stream: ESPN+
  • NCAAB Betting Odds: TBA

Big East game on Fox Sports 1. Seton Hall (8-5) hasn’t played since having a three-game winning streak snapped in a 74-54 loss at Xavier back on Dec. 23. Despite cutting their deficit to one on two occasions in the second half, the Pirates couldn’t slow down a hot-shooting Musketeers squad that finished with 10 made three-pointers.

Seton Hall shot just 32 percent from the field and 13 percent from three, and allowed Xavier to shoot 44 percent from the floor and 50 percent from deep. The Pirates finished even with the Musketeers on the glass, 45-45. Seton Hall finished with 21 second-chance points to Xavier’s 14. Senior Dre Davis finished with a team-high 18 points, and senior Kadary Richmond had 13 points and eight rebounds for the Pirates.

Richmond has two Big East Weekly Honor Roll appearances this season. He is three assists away from becoming just the 15th Pirate to register 300 career dimes and he’s currently tied with Quincy McKnight for 19th on the program’s all-time assists list with 295. Richmond’s teams are 15-3 all-time when he grabs seven or more rebounds and 4-0 when he posts a double-double.

Jaden Bediako continues to be Seton Hall’s most consistent performer on both ends of the floor. Bediako entered this season with 18 double-figure scoring games in four seasons at Santa Clara and he already has 10 through 13 games this season. Bediako ranks second in the Big East and fifth in Division I averaging 4.2 offensive rebounds per game. He ranks second in Division I in offensive rebounding percentage (20.7 pct).

The Pirates rank 15th nationally in KenPom’s D-1 Experience metric (2.94 years), which measures a player’s experience by minutes played in previous seasons.

Providence (11-2) has won four straight but also hasn’t played since Dec. 23, an 85-75 OT win over Butler. Junior Devin Carter led the way for the Friars with 24 points, scoring 10 points in overtime while outscoring the Bulldogs himself in OT. Graduate student Josh Oduro and junior Bryce Hopkins finished with double-doubles, scoring 19 and 12 points and grabbing 14 and 13 rebounds, respectively.

The Friars are 11-0 this season when scoring 71 or more points. They have made 10 threes in each of the last three games and are 5-0 this season when hitting 10 or more. PC is 46-3 in their last 49 games at home. PC ranks second in the Big East in scoring defense (63.9 ppg) and 32nd in the nation. At .379 (302-795), PC, which has the top field goal % defense in the Big East, ranks 16th in the nation. The Friars rank first in the Big East and 10th in the nation in blocked shots, averaging 5.9 bpg.

Providence holds a 57-55 mark all-time versus Seton Hall. The Friars have posted a 30-18 mark all-time versus Seton Hall at home. The Pirates are also one of the Friars’ oldest rivals, with the first matchup on February 26, 1927, when Seton Hall won, 25-24, in South Orange. The last time the two teams played in Providence, the Friars were defeated by the Pirates, 82-58, at the AMP on March 4, 2023.

NCAAB Betting Pick: Providence Friars

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