This article is part of our College Basketball Picks series.
TCU +1½ vs. Oklahoma
Believe it or not, TCU is one of the top rebounding teams in the country, ranking third in offensive rebounding rate and 24th on the defensive side. Oklahoma, on the other hand, collects offensive boards at a rate that falls in the bottom 25 percent of the country. This matchup is pretty even otherwise. That said, Oklahoma lost both of its first two road conference games this season, both by double digits, so I'm siding with the home team in this one. The Horned Frogs' offense isn't elite, but it should do enough to get the job done.
Mississippi State -1½ vs. Alabama
The Bulldogs, perhaps surprisingly, enter with several advantages on paper. Mississippi State ranks 15th in the nation in offensive rebounding rate, while Alabama has been awful at allowing them on defense, ranking in the bottom third of the country. The Bulldogs are also excellent at scoring inside, making 54 percent of their two-point field goal attempts, a top-50 rate in the country. Meanwhile, the Crimson Tide haven't defended inside very well, allowing opponents to make 51 percent of two-point attempts, again ranking in the bottom third of the country. All in all, this should be a close game that likely will come down to the last couple minutes. Considering the matchup advantages, and the fact that the Bulldogs are the better free-throw shooting team, I'm betting the home team will pull off the win.
Vanderbilt at Georgia - Over 144½
Georgia's defense is bad. Its adjusted efficiency rating ranks in the bottom 20 percent of the country, not even remotely close to any SEC team. The Bulldogs have allowed at least 77 points in each of their last seven games, and in the same stretch, they've also allowed at least 81 points to each of their three SEC opponents during conference play. Similarly, on the other side of the court, SEC opponents average 75 points per game against Vanderbilt through its three conference games this season. Hitting the over seems like a pretty solid bet presuming these trends hold up. I like our odds.
Colorado at Arizona State - Under 135½
The Sun Devils have the second-worst offense in the Pac-12, per KenPom's adjusted efficiency rating, giving us a nice template for hitting an under. Arizona State is about to play only it's third game in the last month, which doesn't seem helpful for maintaining offensive rhythm and production. Although even before it endured Covid pauses, Arizona State struggled to score, as we saw in the conference opener at Washington State on Dec. 1, a game where Arizona State lost 51-29. On the other side of the court, Arizona State boasts a respectable adjusted defensive efficiency rating, No. 53 in the country. This should no doubt help our cause as well. Colorado's offense has looked great at times this year, though most of its games have come at home this season. Excluding a neutral-court game against Duquesne that went to overtime, Colorado has played just four other games away from home and the most points it put up was 63 points. Based on this matchup, this game likely will be a grinder where the winner might not hit 65 points. I'll gladly take the under.