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Every week, we're providing a betting breakdown of college basketball's biggest games. This slate features a pair of top teams that could be in for surprisingly tight contests.
Vermont at Virginia
Vermont is led by NBA prospect Anthony Lamb, who's averaging 18.2 points and 2.8 assists per game this season. He poured in 23 points against St. John's while forward Everett Duncan and guard Stef Smith added 17 apiece.
The Cavaliers, meanwhile, lost a number of pieces from last year's title team, but they've opened this season 3-0 behind forward Mamadi Diakite, who's averaging 14.7 points and nine rebounds. Virginia's size will play a factor in this matchup, especially if Vermont isn't knocking down 3-pointers. Three Cavaliers players are averaging at least eight rebounds, while the Catamounts rank 261st in offensive-rebounding percentage, according to KenPom.
But again, this will be a tough test for Virginia. The Cavaliers are still working on replacing three key members of last year's team and Vermont is a deep, experienced mid-major program led by a future NBA player. With Virginia expected to be around a 15-point favorite, Vermont is worth considering.
East Tennessee State at Kansas
This is a dangerous game for Kansas. East Tennessee State has been projected as one of the best mid-majors in the country after returning seven of their top eight scorers from last year's squad that finished 24-10. The Buccaneers are a guard-oriented team with Bo Hodges (15.3 points per game), Tray Boyd III (13.7), and Patrick Good (13) all contributing to date.
Kansas has the size advantage, but ETSU is one of the top rebounding teams in the country thanks to double-double machine Jeromy Rodriguez. Still, the Buccaneers don't have the Jayhawks' depth along the front line, so Rodriguez will need to avoid early foul trouble. Turnovers could also be an issue for the Buccaneers, who are averaging 22 per game despite facing inferior competition.
Kansas doesn't usually lose non-conference games at home early in the season, but ETSU isn't a typical mid-major opponent. The Buccaneers are athletic and their guards will make things difficult for the Jayhawks. If Rodriguez stays out of foul trouble, this should be a competitive game. I'll look to take ETSU at +12 or higher on Tuesday night.
Texas vs. Georgetown
Georgetown may be the most unimpressive 3-1 team in the country. The Hoyas needed second-half comebacks to defeat both Mount Saint Mary's and Georgia State, and they got blown out by Penn State at home.
Scoring hasn't been the issue for the Hoyas, who are averaging 81.7 points per game. However, they must fix the defense to contend in the Big East. Despite a soft early schedule, Georgetown has allowed 77.5 points per contest.
Texas already has a quality win under its belt with a road victory at Purdue. The Longhorns are led by the guards Matt Coleman III and Andrew Jones. The dynamic duo has combined to average 27.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 6.1 assists during a 4-0 start to the campaign.
This game will be played in Madison Square Garden as part of the 2K Empire Classic. I have a strong lean toward the Longhorns if they're favored between four and five points in this spot. Their guards will simply cause too many matchup problems for Georgetown's porous defense.
LSU vs. Utah State
This is an interesting matchup between two top-25 teams in the Jamaica Classic. LSU, which will face UMBC on Tuesday before heading to Jamaica, rebounded from a tough 84-82 loss at VCU by defeating Nicholls State.
LSU lost some key contributors from last season's Sweet 16 squad but still has a very talented roster led by G Skylar Mays, who's averaging 19.7 points and eight rebounds per game entering Tuesday. Overall, LSU ranks 16th in offensive efficiency with all five starters averaging at least 12 points.
Utah State is 4-0 heading into a matchup with Texas-San Antonio on Monday. The Aggies' offense has been red-hot to start the season, averaging 87 points per game. Like LSU, Utah State spreads the ball around with four players averaging more than thirteen points, led by guard Sam Merrill (16.3). Sophomore forward Justin Bean has been a force in the paint, averaging 14.3 points and 11 rebounds while shooting 51% from the field.
This will be a fun game between two explosive offenses. These are also two of the best rebounding teams in the nation through the first month of the season. Utah State had issues with Washington's athleticism in the NCAA Tournament last year, and LSU will present a similar problem. The line should be close to a pick, and while I may opt to take the over, I lean toward the more athletic Tigers.
Thomas Casale is theScore's supervising editor of sports betting. He's been following the sports betting industry for almost 30 years. A devoted fan of the wishbone offense, Thomas bets on all sports but specializes in college football, NFL, and college basketball. Find him on Twitter @TheTomCasale.