Tuesday Totals: Best Bets for January 24

It’s pretty rare to see Duke and Kansas both as underdogs on the same night. We had it last night, and both fell short. The Blue Devils being an underdog was no surprise; Duke’s played very poorly on the road. Kansas, on the other hand, has mostly looked like a title contender outside of one pratfall against TCU.

Regardless, both went down on Monday, calling into question both teams’ situations. The Jayhawks still should be in good shape for a top-four seed, but they’re heading the wrong way. Duke, on the other hand, is clearly struggling on the road. The Blue Devils don’t have an impressive win on the season, and they’re fast running out of chances. We’ve still got five chances to fade Duke on the road, and the fact that the public loves to bet big names should give us some good odds against them.

But that comes later. Today, we’ve got some of my favorite defenses in action, which is always great for total plays. Here are my plays for January 23.


Before we get to the defense, we’ve got to take a look at some Bundesliga action. Bayern Munich should have put home more than one goal against RB Leipzig, and I think they get there here. This matchup with Koln should produce goals, as six of seven meetings have gone over 3.5 goals. Usually, Koln is good value for a goal against Bayern’s leaky defense, but over 3.5 goals comes with slightly less juice than BTTS (-140 vs. -150), so this makes more sense.


I really want this to develop into a rivalry. These teams are fun to watch if you’re a basketball purist. If you want NBA action, shield your eyes from Piscataway. As I’ve said all year, Piscataway is where offense goes to die. Rutgers’ penchant for preventing scores remains very well known here.

Meanwhile, Micah Shrewsberry prides Penn State on “gritty, not pretty”. Penn State’s offense has improved, but this is still a defense-first squad. Plus, it’s not scoring very well away from Happy Valley. In trips to Michigan and Wisconsin and a home game with Purdue in Philadelphia, Penn State didn’t crack 70. Neither should get anywhere near 70 in this matchup unless overtime happens.


I love to talk about where offense goes to die. Piscataway often wins that description, but Ames is right up there. Iowa State leads the nation in fewest shots allowed per the analytics, because the Cyclones make opponents work for everything. Texas is the only team to break 62 points at Hilton Coliseum this season, and K-State usually doesn’t score very well in Ames anyway. This likely becomes a low-scoring game that Iowa State grinds out for a win.

LSU TTU 63, -110

Finally, Arkansas. The Razorbacks got back to what they do best in Bud Walton Arena by locking down on Mississippi, and they get an easier opportunity here. Arkansas usually keeps teams to 60 or less at home, and LSU rarely gets there anyway. The Bayou Bengals have failed to hit 60 in four of five games, and the exception was Alabama. To be more accurate, the exception was a 40-point beatdown at Alabama’s breakneck pace. Arkansas opts for more defense and less running, which should mean a lot of bricks for the Tigers.


On paper, Missouri presents a bad matchup for Mississippi. The Tigers lead the nation in points off steals, and the Rebels struggle against teams who play fast. But the Tigers have a problem of their own: playing poorly away from Columbia. Missouri has failed to break 70 in three straight SEC road games, while giving up at least 73 in all three.

That suggests that we might need Mississippi to do its share of scoring. The Rebels should be able to handle when they don’t turn the ball over. As long as Mississippi is either getting shots off or giving Missouri the ball in transition, the over will work.


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