CBB best bets: Expect Purdue's elite offense to stay hot vs. Iowa
The college basketball schedule is slowing down, with less than 30 games on the card for both Thursday and Friday.
Despite the lack of action, early season conference games and exploitable matchups highlight our best bets to round out the week.
Detroit Mercy (-6, 134) @ IUPUI
Dec. 2, 7:00 p.m. ET
IUPUI may have college basketball's worst offense, failing to top 61 points in any of its games, including against a D-II school. The Jaguars turn the ball over on more than a quarter of their possessions and have yet to shoot 50% from the floor this season.
Detroit Mercy's 0-6 start is a result of a difficult schedule and the country's fifth-worst effective field-goal percentage defense. That defense shouldn't be tested against IUPUI. With a plethora of explosive offensive pieces led by elite scorer Antoine Davis, the Titans should win in a blowout.
Pick: Detroit Mercy -9 or better
Southern Utah (-3, 151) @ Eastern Washington
Dec. 2, 9:00 p.m.
Southern Utah and Eastern Washington both like to push on offense, shoot a bunch of threes, and get to the free-throw line. That equation alone should lead to an over pick with this early season conference matchup.
Last season's battles saw one hot-scoring game with 193 points and a cold shooting one at 138. Importantly, each contest had at least 76 possessions and an average of 43 free-throw attempts between the teams. After starting the year against a bunch of slower-paced programs, expect these two squads to come out gunning.
Pick: Over 154 or better
UTSA @ Grand Canyon (-13, 133)
Dec. 2, 9:00 p.m.
UTSA has only played one team ranked above No. 289 on KenPom (Oklahoma) and lost by 52 while getting outrebounded 52-32 and shooting 20% from inside the arc. Grand Canyon has the size of a power conference team and should dominate the Roadrunners from start to finish.
Pick: Grand Canyon -16 or better
Kansas (-8, 158) vs. St. John's
Dec. 3, 7:00 p.m.
St. John's loves to force turnovers, but Kansas has done a good job taking care of the ball this season. However, transfer point guard Remy Martin took on the vaunted Red Storm press twice as a starter with Arizona State and turned it over 11 times.
Should St. John's put the pressure on Martin, the team has a chance to keep things close in a semi-home contest. The Red Storm are built much like Dayton, who upset the Jayhawks last week. A quick and athletic team hyper-efficient inside the arc could cause Kansas trouble once again.
Pick: St. John's +5 or better
Iowa @ Purdue (-9, 161)
Dec. 3, 9:00 p.m.
Purdue's offense has been a juggernaut this season, dropping 80+ points on Villanova, North Carolina, and Florida State. The Boilermakers begin Big Ten play by hosting an unproven Iowa bunch who just allowed 74 points to a Virginia team that couldn't even score 60 against Navy.
Iowa is surprisingly thin down low, making for what should be a tough matchup against Purdue's elite frontcourt. The Hawkeyes haven't faced a single team ranked in the top 100 in 3-point percentage, and take on a Purdue team sitting second nationally in that statistic. It could be a long night for Iowa.
Pick: Purdue -12 or better