BetMGM's Best College Basketball Bets & Predictions Today: Jan. 31

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College Basketball On TV Today (Jan. 31):

There are 27 college basketball games involving Division I teams scheduled for Tuesday, January 31, with many of them broadcast on linear or digital television. 

Top college basketball games on TV today include:

·         Wake Forest vs Duke at 7:00 PM ET on ESPN

·         Texas A&M vs Arkansas at 7:00 PM ET on ESPN2

·         Virginia Tech vs Miami (FL) at 7:00 PM ET on ESPNU

·         VCU vs Davidson at 7:00 PM ET on CBS Sports Net

·         No. 7 Kansas State vs No. 8 Kansas at 8:00 PM ET on ESPN+

·         No. 24 UConn vs DePaul at 8:00 PM ET on FS1

·         Kentucky vs Ole Miss at 9:00 PM ET on ESPN

·         No. 21 Indiana vs Maryland at 9:00 PM ET on ESPN2

·         West Virginia vs No. 15 TCU at 9:00 PM ET on ESPNU

·         Northwestern vs Iowa at 9:00 PM ET on Big Ten Network

·         No. 22 San Diego State vs Nevada at 11:00 PM ET on CBS Sports Net

Best College Basketball Bets Today

Every day, I’ll handicap games early in the morning (east coast time) and provide a short explanation as to why I like them.

Kansas State vs Kansas (-8.5), Analysis

The headlines say that Kansas is looking for revenge in this spot against archrival Kansas State, which knocked off the Jayhawks two weeks ago in a great overtime game in Manhattan.

The revenge angle might be nominally true, but really, Kansas should just be looking to get back on track. The KSU loss set off a three-game losing streak for the Jayhawks, which they finally ended with a win at Kentucky on Saturday in the SEC/Big 12 challenge.

Kansas just hasn’t played all that well the last few weeks, and Kansas State has. Revenge narrative power and homefield advantage is why this number opened at Kansas -7 and has been bet down from there, but frankly, I just think that’s too many points to give away.

Kansas State is the straight-up better team right now, and this is a rivalry game. A spread this big feels laughable.

Kansas State vs Kansas Prediction:

Play: Kansas State +8.5. I just don’t think this number should be this high.

Indiana vs Maryland (-2.5), Analysis:

Longtime readers of all my college sports analysis know that my favorite spot to bet into is an unranked favorite playing against a ranked dog.

The college basketball odds have spit out such a scenario for Tuesday night, with Maryland playing host to No. 24 Indiana as a small favorite.

Indiana is getting healthier, but my favorite betting trend says they Hoosiers are in trouble tonight.

Indiana vs Maryland Prediction:

Play: Maryland -2.5. Back the unranked favorite against the ranked underdog.

College Basketball Best Bets

One of the things I look for in identifying daily college basketball betting spots is a high total that moves up another four to seven points thanks to sharp money. 

I also like to look for contrarian favorites – those games that make you say, “Wait, why is that team favored?” – and ugly dogs who are getting too many points.

It’s also helpful to understand that underdogs of six or more are inherently valuable. Basketball doesn’t have key numbers quite like football does (3, 7, 10, etc) but 5.5 is about the next closest thing. 

If you watch a lot of college basketball, it’s easy to imagine how a team up by just one point with 20 seconds left could end up covering a short number like -5 thanks to all the free throws at the end. 

Once you have a favorite of -6 or more, though, those gaps start getting harder and harder to cover with just end-game nonsense.

That’s something to keep in mind when identifying valuable favorites or underdogs.

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Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.