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College basketball picks and best bets for January 15

There’s plenty of hoops happening on MLK Day. Here’s who we like to bet on the holiday.

Ohio State Buckeyes forward Jamison Battle dribbles the ball as Wisconsin Badgers guard Chucky Hepburn defends during the second half at Value City Arena. Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State vs. Michigan odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Michigan -1
Total: 146
Moneyline: Michigan -122, Ohio State +102

Somebody’s gotta win, right?

The good news for Michigan is they are at home, so point guard Dug McDaniel will be a go despite his academically-related suspension from road games. That’s good after losing five in a row, including two straight at Penn State and Maryland without their starter. But MIchigan hasn’t won a game since December 16 against Eastern Michigan, and have looked like a disaster ever since.

As for Ohio State, they’ve dropped two in a row as well, at Indiana and home to Wisconsin last Wednesday. Bruce Thornton is just 1-12 in his last two games from three-point range, and the Buckeyes only forced a total of nine turnovers combined against both opponents.

But the difference today should be on the glass, where Ohio State recovers 36.6% of their misses, and Michigan allows 30.5% to all opponents, 227th in the country. The Buckeyes misses today should hurt them less than usual, and they should get the MLK Day win on the road.

Pick: Ohio State +1

Dartmouth vs. Princeton odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Spread: Princeton -18
Total: 135
Moneyline: Princeton -2100, Dartmouth +1100

In college basketball, you’ll always make more money betting against a team than on one. And Dartmouth is one of the best teams in America to fade in 2024.

The Big Green are 356th out of 362 teams in offensive efficiency. They’re coming off an 80-51 loss at Penn, where they allowed the Quakers to go 14-25 from three-point range. They were outrebounded 39-27, which is pretty tough when you take five more shots than your opponent.

Meanwhile Princeton is 13th in offensive efficiency, and is actually pretty good. The Tigers shoot a ton of threes (15-36 from downtown against Harvard in their Ivy opener), and have a real piece in Xaivian Lee (18.1 ppg), and should dominate on the glass with Caden Pierce, the Ivy’s leading rebounder.

The only thing you’ll need to fade here is late-game variance, because this one should be over quickly.

Pick: Princeton -18