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College basketball picks and predictions for Monday's slate of games. Handicapper John Hyslop has his eyes Valparaiso vs. Evansville. Don't miss this pick to get the week started with a winner.

College Basketball Picks for Monday: We Can Probably Trust Valparaiso

We're in the home stretch of the NBA being on break. After tonight, we'll need to make it two full days then we're back to normal. Long story short, we can do this. In the absence of the NBA, we have to bet something. We're gamblers. That's how gamblers operate. Lucky for us, the NCAA is playing basketball right now. It's pretty much the same game as the NBA, just not as polished. The thing I like most about it is the fact that we can bet on some school no one has ever heard of. I love to drop the old, "I got Valpo to go over 31.5 points in the first half tonight" to any of my friends that don't gamble. It immediately puts you in the alpha chair. A lot of times, they don't even know what you just said. Try it.

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Valparaiso Team Total Over 31.5 *First Half* @ -115 (Bet $115 to win $100)

Odds available at DraftKings at time of publishing

This looks to be a DraftKings special as I haven't seen a number on FanDuel yet. In all of my days of capping college hoops this season (3 days now), first half team totals aren't always offered on the smaller conferences. It is what it is.

Now I hate betting -115 anything but we don't have a ton of options today. There's nothing more I'd like to see than a nice plus money move but that's just not how college hoops works. It's tough but we'll get by. We only have a couple more days before we canning a +350 move on some rando to score 15+ in the NBA. It's fine.

The thing I like about this one is the fact that Valparaiso is firmly in the "not that bad" category while their opponent tonight is in the "pretty bad" column. That's a recipe for success in this business people.

Despite their record (12-15), Valpo has been scoring the basketball. At home on the road, it doesn't matter. In fact, they have yet to go under this number in the five games they've played in February. Over their last three games, they've got a 53% effective field goal percentage. That includes a 65.6% outing last time out against tonight's opponent, Evansville.

Evansville is bad, like real bad. They've given up at least 36 points in the first half to every opponent they've played in February except Indiana State. That includes 39 to this same Valpo team on Saturday. If I had to guess (I do), I'd say Valpo comes out fast again and scores at least 32 points in the first half. It's worth a bet so that's what I'm doing.

Article Author


John has spent the past 20+ years betting sports on a daily basis and is considered by many to be a walking sports betting encyclopedia. From obscure player props to sides and totals, if there is an angle, John will find it. His work has appeared on Rotogrinders and he has been a regular on sports talk radio stations across the country. Based in the US, John operates a blog & podcast, Sports Bets Beers, which covers betting angles in the NFL, NBA, MLB, & NHL.


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