College Basketball Best Bets, Jan. 3: Oklahoma State vs Chicago State, Loyola vs Saint Louis

Vaughn Dalzell breaks down his best bets in Oklahoma State vs Chicago State, plus an A-10 opener between Loyola at Saint Louis.

Chicago State at Oklahoma State (-17): O/U 135.5

Chicago State is playing the uncommon back-to-back in College Basketball as they take on Oklahoma State after a 62-55 loss at Kansas State last night.

The all-out effort for Chicago State will likely leave them vulnerable here for Oklahoma State to pull away in the second half. Chicago State last played a back-to-back earlier this season against Morgan State and beat them 84-83 on a neutral court. However, Morgan State was also on a back-to-back.

Oklahoma State last played on New Year's Eve at home, so they have a rest advantage here. Chicago State last played back-to-back with no rest in December of 2021 and lost 87-50 to Drake. This is not a common scheduling occurrence in college hoops.

Oklahoma State has scored 76 or more points in six out of seven wins this season and 15 or more points in six of seven. Give me the Cowboys -17 (-110) and Team Total Over 76.5 (-110) out to -19 and Over 78.5.

Pick: Oklahoma State -17 (1u), Oklahoma State Team Total Over 76.5 (1u)

Loyola at Saint Louis (-2): O/U 143.5

Saint Louis last played on Dec. 20, so they have had plenty of rest and prep ahead of this game, while Loyola last played Central Michigan on Dec. 30 (73-35 win).

Saint Louis is 6-1 at home this year compared to 1-5 on the road and neutral courts. For Loyola, the Ramblers are 1-4 on the road and on neutral courts with a lone win over Boston College (neutral court).

At home, the Billikens are averaging a 13.8% turnover percentage (52nd) and Loyola is 327th away from home with a 22.8% turnover percentage. Both teams have found success from three, but Loyola has struggled to defend the trey on the road with a 39.7% three-point defense (337th).

I played Saint Louis on the ML at -130 odds out to -150 or -2. This is the A-10 conference opener for both schools and Loyola's second year in the conference.

Loyola started A-10 play 0-6 last season and lost both meetings to Saint Louis by a combined 37 points. The Ramblers were 2-7 on the road in A-10 play last year.

Pick: Saint Louis ML (1u)

Season Record: 14-7 (66.6%) +6.01 units

Join in the college football conversation on Monday, January 8th at 11 AM ET! From sides to totals to props, get ready for the weekend of college football with the NBC Sports College Football Betting Q&A.