After 8 weeks of the regular season in college basketball, it is a familiar face that is sitting atop the AP Poll, with Duke once again leading the way. It may be a holiday week, but that does not mean that the schedule is that much lighter than usual. We will not have much action on New Year’s Day, but we will have one of the teams in the top 10 taking the court, so we will certainly be covering that one. The rest of the games that we will be focusing on for this piece will come later in the week, giving you plenty of time to get your NCAAB betting picks together, so let’s get right to it.
Top NCAA Basketball Betting Picks of the Week – December 31st
Notre Dame Fighting Irish at #10 Virginia Tech Hokies – Tuesday
The first game of the New Year in the NCAAB is one that you can catch on ESPNU on Tuesday afternoon. Notre Dame is coming into this one with a 10-3 record after reeling off 4 straight wins, but this will be the first time that they have faced a ranked team this season.
The Hokies have made a fantastic start to the season, dropping just one game on their way to an 11-1 record. After losing to Penn State earlier in the season, the Hokies have won 6 in a row, moving quickly up the rankings and into the top 10. This will be the first conference game for both teams and I like the Hokies to jump out to the win.
#25 Oklahoma Sooners at #5 Kansas Jayhawks – Wednesday
Oklahoma has made their way into the top 25 by putting together an 11-1 record, which includes being a perfect 3-0 in road games this season. They are on a 7-game win streak heading into this week, but they have their toughest game of the season ahead of them on Wednesday.
Kansas is also sitting at 11-1 on the season, but they have the higher ranking because of their strength of schedule, which has included 4 games against ranked opponents, with the Jayhawks going 3-1 in those games. The Sooners have only played one ranked opponent this season, going down 78-58 to Wisconsin. This should be a win for Kansas.
Penn State Nittany Lions at #2 Michigan Wolverines – Thursday
While some conferences are seeing their first head to head action of the season this week, the Big Ten has already put the wheels in motion. Penn State is off to a rather disappointing 0-2 start in conference play, which takes them to 7-6 on the season.
They look to be in very tough here, but let’s not forget that they have already beaten a ranked opponent, taking out Virginia Tech earlier in the season. The Wolverines have signaled their intent this year by opening up the season with a perfect 13-0 record, which includes 3 wins against ranked opponents. This should be a game that the Wolverines win going away.
#8 Michigan State Spartans at #13 Ohio State Buckeyes – Saturday
This looks to be one of the best games on the schedule this week, with both teams jumping out to very solid starts this season. Michigan State is 11-2 in the early going, but they are a perfect 2-0 in Big Ten Conference play. They have gone 2-1 on the road this season, with that lone loss coming at Louisville.
They are also 2-1 SU versus ranked opponents. The Buckeyes are 12-1 on the season, with their lone loss coming to Syracuse. This will be their first tilt against a ranked opponent, but they too have started well in conference play, winning both games. I think Michigan State wins a tight one on the road.