Home | News | Top NCAAB Betting Picks of the Week – January 8th, 2024

Top NCAAB Betting Picks of the Week – January 8th, 2024

By Hank Blaine

Any realistic shot that Providence had of reaching a Final Four for the first time in many years likely ended last week when the school announced that star Bryce Hopkins was done for the year with a torn ACL suffered last Wednesday in a loss to Seton Hall. Hopkins was first-team All-Big East last season and this season was averaging 15.5 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. Here are two intriguing early-week matchups around the nation.

Top NCAAB Betting Picks of the Week (January 8th, 2024)

Houston Cougars vs. Iowa State Cyclones

  • When: Tuesday, January 9th, 2024, 7:00 PM ET
  • Where: James H. Hilton Coliseum, Ames, IA
  • TV: ESPN2
  • Radio: SportsTalk 790 AM (Houston) // 95.9 FM KCHA (Iowa State)
  • Live Stream: SEC Network
  • NCAAB Betting Odds: TBA

Big 12 action at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2. No. 3 Houston (14-0) is a legit national title contender and the nation’s final unbeaten team that just slaughtered a solid West Virginia club 89-55 on Saturday in the conference opener and first-ever Big 12 game for the Cougars. Senior guard L.J. Cryer scored 20 points and fellow senior guard Damian Dunn added 14 points.

Cryer scored 16 points in the first half on 6-of-7 shooting, including four 3-pointers, as Houston shot 58% as a team and took a 48-22 lead into halftime. Cryer has scored at least 20 points in five games this season. Junior forward Ja’Vier Francis had 13 points and five rebounds, and senior point guard Jamal Shead had eight points and 11 assists with a career-high-tying four blocked shots and only one turnover for Houston, which shot 53% overall, including 9 of 18 on 3-pointers. Senior forward J’Wan Roberts returned after missing the last game Dec. 30 against Penn with a knee injury. He scored nine points.

“I was excited for our fans, and I was excited for the university,” Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said. “For us, we wanted to win, for sure, and there is excitement about playing our first conference game. Now, we’re going to play our second one. I just don’t spend a lot of time with the hoopla stuff.”

Cryer leads the Cougars and ranks fourth in the Big 12 with 17.1. points per game. He leads the league with 3.2 3-pointers per contest and recently moved past 1,000 points in his collegiate career. Shead leads the Cougars and ranks among the Big 12’s Top 5 in both assists per game (5.8) and steals per game (2.5). He needs nine more points to become the 51st Cougar in school history to reach 1,000 points in his career.

The Cougars lead the nation in scoring defense (49.4 ppg), field goal percentage defense (34.5) and turnover margin (+9.0). In addition, the Cougars are ranked #1 in the NCAA NET rankings, own the lowest KenPom defensive efficiency rating in the country since 1998-99 and are tied for the national lead with four Quad 1 wins. Nine of Houston’s 14 wins have been by 30 or more points.

Iowa State (11-3) had a six-game winning streak end in a 71-63 loss at No. 11 Oklahoma on Saturday. The Cyclones trailed for the majority of the contest, holding just a one point lead twice late in the second half for a total of 21 seconds of game time. Three ISU finished in double figures in the evening, as Robert Jones, Milan Momcilovic and Hason Ward each had 12-point outings. Ward was 6-7 from the field and was tied for the team-lead in rebounds with seven in just 18 minutes of action as he continues to be integrated back into the lineup following his foot injury.

Oklahoma worked to take away Iowa State’s dynamic backcourt – each of which has a triple-double on the season – holding both Tamin Lipsey and Keshon Gilbert to a combined 10 points and forcing both to foul out of the contest. The Sooners had four players score in double figures, led by Javian McCollum with 15. McCollum and the Sooners shot 40 percent from deep compared to Iowa State’s 18.8, making 10 3-balls on the day.

Houston and Iowa State haven’t played since 2010 because they are new conference foes.

NCAAB Betting Pick: Iowa State Cyclones

Tennessee Volunteers vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs

  • When: Wednesday, January 10th, 2024, 7:00 PM ET
  • Where: Humphrey Coliseum, Starkville, MS
  • TV: SEC Network
  • Radio: AM 970 The Answer (Tennessee) // 107.7 FM WIVK (Mississippi State)
  • Live Stream: ESPN+
  • NCAAB Betting Odds: TBA

SEC game at 7 p.m. ET on the SEC Network. The Vols (11-3) enter off a hugely impressive 90-64 blowout win over No. 22 Ole Miss on Saturday, UT’s seventh straight win and the first loss for the Rebels. It marked Tennessee’s largest win over a ranked foe under ninth-year head coach Rick Barnes and its biggest such win since Feb. 2013. The decision was also the second-largest of the season for any team against a ranked foe.

The Volunteers, who trailed for a total of 49 seconds, led by 20-plus points for the final 14:56 of the contest. The triumph was their fifth this season by over 20 points and their third, including the second in as many games, by 25-plus. Jonas Aidoo paced all players in both points (24) and rebounds (10), notching his third double-double of the season. He shot 10-of-19 from the field to tie a career high in makes, plus added two assists with zero turnovers.

Zakai Zeigler finished with 17 points to go along with a season- and game-best 10 assists and a season-high five rebounds. He committed only two turnovers in 37 minutes and went 4-of-11 from 3-point range. Santiago Vescovi totaled 11 points, four assists and just one giveaway, while Jahmai Mashack scored 10 points and tied a season best with four assists. Vescovi passed C.J. Watson (2002-06) and Ron Windby (1964-67) to move from No. 21 up to No. 19 on Tennessee’s all-time scoring list, now possessing 1,433 points.

The Volunteers improved to 27-7 (.794) while ranked in the AP top five during Coach Barnes’ tenure, across four different seasons. Tennessee upped its record in top-25 matchups, regardless of location, to 23-20 (.535) under Barnes’ direction.

Mississippi State (11-3) lost its SEC opener Saturday, 68-62 at South Carolina to see a five-game winning streak end. MSU closed a nine-point deficit down to two with 22 seconds to play, but the Bulldogs were unable to finish off the comeback.

The Dawgs outshot the Gamecocks 48 percent to 40 percent, but it wasn’t enough for State due in large part to South Carolina’s success crashing the glass. The Gamecocks held a 35-26 rebounding edge, including 15 offensive boards that resulted in 16 second-chance points.

“Zero chance to win games of this magnitude if we’re getting out rebounded like that,” State head coach Chris Jans said postgame. “That’s all I talked about with the team in the locker room. We definitely were talking about it during the timeouts. In the second half, we had unbelievable stretches where we didn’t get any offensive rebounds… That was the game.”

Three Bulldogs scored in double figures in the defeat. Josh Hubbard and Tolu Smith III scored 13 points apiece for MSU, while Shakeel Moore tallied 10. State outscored the Gamecocks, 30-20, in bench points and has outscored its opponents in 12 of 14 games this season. In those 12 aforementioned games, the Bulldogs have outscored their opponents by a 431-173 margin.

Last season, Tennessee was 2-0 vs. Mississippi State, winning both by at least 11 points.

NCAAB Betting Pick: Mississippi State Bulldogs

Where to Bet on College Basketball with Bitcoin

College Basketball odds are available all year round here at Nitrobetting. Create a Nitrobetting account now to win tons of Bitcoin from the 2023-24 NCAAB season with our up-to-date NCAAB futures odds, as well as our special Bitcoin Squares and Picks contests throughout the upcoming season!

Check out our latest sports betting guides for the 2023-24 NCAAB season. Stay tuned for more hockey previews and articles, and don’t forget to check out the latest College Basketball betting odds at our Bitcoin sportsbook.

READ MORE: Top NCAAB Betting Picks of the Week – January 15th, 2024