NCAA Basketball: Pick of the Day for January 24th

by Aaron Ogdahl
College Basketball Pick of the Day

We're well into the college basketball season and with that, markets have increasingly become sharper, especially on the bigger brands of college basketball. And that is why we will look outside the majors for our Pick of the Day for January 24th.

With the volume and handle that the Dukes and the Kentuckys and other blue bloods take in, sportsbooks dedicate time to getting those lines as sharp as possible. They adjust them quicker than the smaller betting markets. It's time to attack the smaller betting markets with the aforementioned in mind.

One of the major advantages of betting in the smaller college basketball markets is that the sportsbooks don’t have as much information on them. Or they simply don't dedicate the manpower to them. This can create an opportunity for bettors to find value and create an edge when it comes to making their picks.

When researching small college basketball markets, it’s important to look at statistics such as team history, current form, injuries, and team matchups. All of this can help bettors create an edge and find value in their wagers. In my models, I've tried to reflect those aforementioned factors in an ensemble methodology.

Ensemble betting

Ensemble betting is a method of combining multiple betting strategies together to yield higher returns than any single strategy could achieve on its own. This is done by diversifying the sources of information used to make predictions and by combining different techniques for placing bets.

Using an ensemble approach can be very effective. The combination of multiple strategies with different strengths and weaknesses can reduce the overall risk. Us "Ensemblers" try to maximize the return on investment by taking advantage of the strengths of each individual strategy, while also minimizing the weaknesses.

Pick of the Day for January 24th

Today's game: University of Illinois-Chicago Flames @ Missouri St Bears

  • Spread: Missouri St -13
  • Total: 129.5
  • TV: ESPN+

The Models: 

You can see how I've modeled all of today's spreads and totals here, but today's POTD is not on the total, as I modeled that at 133, just a little too tight within my "play range." I've chosen to take the away dog because I have this modeled closer to 10.

I also like to bet underdogs, especially with spreads right around the 10 mark. In general, teams up by double digits, don't always press to run it up, especially toward the end of the game. However, an opponent down by quite a bit will press to "get it under 10."

Embed from Getty Images

Missouri State Bears

Coach Dana Ford has had to rebuild the Missouri State men's basketball team for the 2022-23 season. The team features one returned starting player, Donovan Clay, and three total returning players on the roster.

The Bears basketball team has some impressively even scoring distribution, with Chance Moore leading the scoring with 11.7 ppg. Donovan Clay leads in the rebound category with 5.6 rpg, and Bryan Trimble Jr. leads the assists category. Jonathan Mogbo leads the team in blocks with 31 this season and that has contributed to a stingy defense.

Still, at a 10-10 record, I worry about the cohesiveness of the team. They'll likely get a win tonight in Springfield, but I don't think it will be by 13.

UIC Flames

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Concerning the UIC Flames, I think they have enough to keep it within double digits.

Jace Carter is the standout performer, topping the stats with an impressive 15.5 points per game. Meanwhile, Toby Okani and Trevante Anderson each add 13 and 12 per game. Missouri St will have to shut down three scorers if they're going to cover. Knowing the Flames get points from a variety of players, we get some built-in safety from one player potentially having an off-game.

It'll be a lower-scoring game which makes me like the 13 points even more. Look for the Flames to keep it within 10. And with 13, the potential for a backdoor always exists.

The Play: UIC Flames +13


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