Home | News | Top NCAAB Betting Picks of the Week – January 29th, 2024

Top NCAAB Betting Picks of the Week – January 29th, 2024

By Hank Blaine

It has been a while since a team finished a college basketball season without a victory, but we have two clubs who might do it this season in Detroit Mercy of the Horizon League and Mississippi Valley State of the SWAC. Unfortunately, they don’t play one another. Here’s a look at two intriguing early-week matchups around the country.

Top NCAAB Betting Picks of the Week (January 29th, 2024)

Houston Cougars vs. Texas Longhorns

  • When: Monday, January 29th, 2024, 9:00 PM ET
  • Where: Moody Center, Austin, TX
  • TV: ESPN
  • Radio: 950 AM KPRC (Houston) // 98.5 FM (Texas)
  • Live Stream: ESPN+
  • NCAAB Betting Odds: Houston (-4.5) // Texas (+4.5)

ESPN game and the first time that Houston and Texas face off as Big 12 rivals, with UH in its first season in the league. The Cougars (18-2, 5-2 Big 12) are half-game out of the conference lead currently held by Texas Tech. Houston won its fourth straight game on Saturday, 74-52 over Kansas State.

The Wildcats were held without a field goal for the first 5:48 minutes, falling behind 11-0, and could never really recover in dropping its second consecutive game on the road to a Top 25 opponent. Houston’s defensive prowess was on full display against K-State, holding the Wildcats to their second-fewest points under head coach Jerome Tang on 40.4 percent (19-of-47) shooting while harassing them into 18 turnovers, including 11 steals, which the Cougars converted into 25 points.

Houston, which is unbeaten at home, ranks in the Top-20 in an astounding seven defensive categories, including first in scoring defense (51.9 ppg.), field goal percentage defense (34.8) and scoring margin (+22.1). Head coach Kelvin Sampson also earned a pair of milestones in the victory, earning both the 750th in his career and the 250th while in charge of the Cougars.

UH was efficient on the offensive end, scoring its 74 points on 40 percent (22-of-55) shooting, including 33.3 percent (7-of-21) from 3-point range, while taking advantage of their opportunities from the free throw line, making 23-of-34 attempts. They had just 8 turnovers. Jamal Shead scored 17 points and J’Wan Roberts added 14 points and six rebounds. He moved past 700 rebounds in his career, becoming the 21st Cougar to reach that total.

“Our Holy Trinity doesn’t change,” Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said. “Defend, rebound and take care of the ball. Do those three things, and you have a chance to win.”

Texas (14-6, 3-4 Big 12) lost 84-72 at No. 21 BYU on Saturday. The Longhorns, who played their third consecutive game against an AP Top 25 opponent, allowed opponent team season highs in field goal percentage (.640) and field goals made (32-50).

Dylan Disu led Texas with 19 points and seven rebounds. Tyrese Hunter tallied 10 points and surpassed the 1,000-point mark in his collegiate career with a three-pointer at the 12:19 mark of the first half. Graduate guard Max Abmas recorded 12 points and moved into a tie for the No. 14 spot (with Alfredrick Hughes of Loyola Chicago) on the NCAA all-time Division I career scoring list with 2,914 points in 143 games.

UT tallied 17 assists (on 27 field goals made) against just seven turnovers. The Longhorns registered a 17-12 advantage in points off turnovers and a 14-9 margin in second-chance points. Head coach Rodney Terry dropped to 10-9 against AP Top 25 opponents while at Texas.

NCAAB Betting Pick: Texas Longhorns

North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

  • When: Tuesday, January 30th, 2024, 7:00 PM ET
  • Where: McCamish Pavilion, Atlanta, GA
  • TV: ESPN
  • Radio: 97.9 The Hill WCHL (North Carolina) // WCNN-AM 680 (Georgia Tech)
  • Live Stream: ESPN+
  • NCAAB Betting Odds: TBA

ESPN has this ACC game at 7 p.m. ET. The Heels (17-3, 9-0 ACC) are the only team without an ACC loss and won their 10th game in a row Saturday, 75-68 at Florida State. Harrison Ingram blocked a Jamir Watkins drive with 33 seconds left and the Tar Heels were able to make free-throw attempts down the stretch to seal up the victory.

“We don’t panic,” UNC coach Hubert Davis said. “There’s a calmness and a confidence about this group.”

RJ Davis scored 24 points and freshman Elliot Cadeau added a season-high 16 with six assists to lead UNC. Ingram tallied 13 points and 17 rebounds for his sixth double-double this season and his sixth double-digit rebounding game in the last eight outings. He leads the ACC in rebounding in conference action.

“Elliot did a really good job of getting to the basket,” Coach Hubert Davis said. “But what brought us home was RJ and Harrison. I hate leaning on RJ so much, but we’ve leaned on him for four straight years. And Harrison had 13 points and 17 rebounds, he was a beast on both ends.”

Carolina out rebounded FSU, 41-32, the ninth straight game UNC has out rebounded the opponents (won all nine). The Tar Heels are plus 122 on the boards in the nine games. UNC has led by double digits in all nine ACC games and has allowed 70 points or fewer in 10 straight games for the first time since 2006-07. It was the fifth consecutive ACC road game this season, the Tar Heels held the home team under 70 points. It is the longest-such streak since 1982. From 2/11/1980 to 1/23/1982 the Tar Heels allowed fewer than 70 points in 13 consecutive ACC road games (the Tar Heels went 10-3 in those games).

The last time UNC started the ACC season 9-0 was in 2000-01. Carolina’s 10-game winning streak is its longest since winning 11 in a row over the last six games in 2016-17 and the first five in 2017-18. The win was also UNC’s 750th all-time ACC victory, making it the first school to 750.

Georgia Tech (9-11, 2-7) lost its third game in a row Saturday, 91-67 at Virginia Tech. The Hokies took control of the game midway through the first half, putting together a 10-0 run as the Yellow Jackets missed eight straight field goal attempts, and stretched the lead to as many as 21 points late in the period.

GT is 4-8 against Quad 1 and Quad 2 teams this season. The Jackets’ remaining ACC schedule has five Quad 1 and five Quad 2 opponents. Tech was 3-14 last season against Quad 1/2 foes. Only five Tech teams since 1997 have finished a season with a KenPom.com offensive efficiency rating higher than the current Yellow Jackets’ rating of 110.4. The Jackets have exceeded a point per possession in five straight games and in seven of nine ACC games.

Tech, which had a season-low five turnovers against Virginia Tech, has averaged 10.2 turnovers over its last 10 games, after averaging more than 19 in the three games prior and 14 over the first 10 games of the season. The Jackets have had single-digit turnovers in six games this season. Tech has four players averaging double digits in ACC games – Baye Ndongo (15.6), Miles Kelly (13.6 ppg), Kowacie Reeves, Jr. (12.1) and Naithan George (10.1).

These teams played once last season and UNC rolled at home 75-59. Armando Bacot had 21 points and 13 rebounds and Davis had 22 points and 10 rebounds. The Tar Heels out rebounded the Yellow Jackets 43-22, including 12-1 on the offensive glass.

NCAAB Betting Pick: North Carolina Tar Heels

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