College Basketball Best Bets, Feb. 19: Houston vs Iowa State, Virginia vs V-Tech, Texas vs K-State

Vaughn Dalzell breaks down his best bets for the Monday College Basketball slate, including a top-10 matchup between Iowa State and Houston.

Iowa State at Houston (-9): O/U 128.0

I’ve been looking forward to this rematch as Houston’s first Big 12 road game came at Iowa State earlier this year and it was rough.

Iowa State led at the half, 31-21, and won the game 57-53. Houston shot 30% from the field (6/20) and 30.7% from deep (4/13) in the first half, while Iowa State was slightly better (44% from FG, 28.5% from 3).

That was one of the most physical games of the season between two of the three top-ranked defenses in the nation. While Iowa State will semi know what to expect, the atmoshophere will be something that should get to the Cyclones.

Houston held Texas to 27, Oklahoma State and Kansas State to 21, while UCF recorded 14 points and Texas Tech posted 29 in the first half of the Cougar’s last five at home.

Iowa State scored 26, 35, and 28 points in the first half of their three Big 12 losses this season (all on the road). When playing the top five in the Big 12, the Cyclones scored 31, 30, 28, and 38 points in the first half. Houston will keep them under 28.

This is my biggest bet on the College Basketball season. I played Iowa State’s Team Total Under 27.5 at -114 odds. I’d go down to 26.5 for 1.5 units.

Pick: Iowa State 1H Team Total Under 27.5 (2u)

Virginia at Virginia Tech (-3): O/U 126.5

Virginia and Virginia Tech meet up for the second time this season in what should be a grind-it-out rivalry game.

Virginia’s won four straight road games and finds itself as underdogs here after beating V-Tech earlier this year. Virginia led 25-18 at halftime and won 65-57 in that home game. Last year, V-Tech led 32-30 at halftime in the home matchup and won 74-68.

The Hokies beat the Cavaliers three straight times in Blacksburg and given Virginia’s last two games versus Wake Forest and Pitt, I like V-Tech’s recent form over UVA’s.

The Cavs went 1-of-11 from the free-throw line in the two-point win over Wake Forest and a combined 8-of-27 (29.6%) from deep when including the Pitt game. Virginia will go on the road here and I doubt they fix the offensive woes.

Virginia scored 26, 29, 29, and 30 points in the first halves of the last four trips to Virginia Tech. The team total for the first half is set at 28.5, which is what I expected.

I played the Hokies ML at -160 odds and risked 2 units, plus played the Virginia Cavaliers First Half Team Total Under 28.5 at +100 odds.

Picks: Virginia Tech ML (Risk 2u), Virginia 1H Team Total Under 28.5 (1u)

Kansas State at Texas (-8.5): O/U 140.5

Kansas State enters this away game with five straight road losses and a 1-6 overall record in the past seven games overall. Texas is 4-4 in the past eight games as they struggle to find consistency as we inch closer to March.

In Kansas State’s past four road games, the Wildcats have scored 29 or fewer points in the first half of all four (26.0 PPG) and trailed in all four. In the Wildcats’ last two games overall (At BYU, Vs TCU), K-State scored 27 and 28 points in the first 20 minutes.

These squads meet for the first time this season and last year’s numbers could be deceiving between the two since the teams were so different. The Wildcats brought back 21% of its minutes from last year (303rd) and the Longhorns 41% (161st).

K-State shot 1-of-15 from three in the last game and needed 29 free-throw attempts to stick around in a home loss to TCU. I don’t expect the Wildcats’ shooting to look much better in a road game at Texas on Monday after playing at home on Saturday.

I played K-State’s first-half team total Under 30.5 at -104. I’d go down to 29.5 for 1 unit.

Pick: Kansas State 1H Team Total Under 30.5 (1u)

Season Record: 33-27 (55%) +2u

Bet the Edge is your source for the day in sports betting. Get all of Jay Croucher and Drew Dinsick’s insight weekdays at 6AM ET right here or wherever you get your podcasts.

First appeared on

Leave a Comment