CBB Picks: Take Belmont in bounce back spot plus other mid-major plays

There are a few distinct themes to my Monday college basketball card.

The five teams I'm on either suffered bad losses over the weekend, played poorly and won on Saturday, or are in favorable spots on the schedule.

There is not a ton of power-conference action, so most of these games are at the mid-major level and not all of them can be viewed on ESPN+ (which sucks, but that's another topic for another day).

Below is a look at the teams I'm riding with during a heavy afternoon slate.

Monday CBB Picks

Overall Record: 94-126-1

Mount St. Mary's at Merrimack (-3) (3 p.m. ET)

I bet Merrimack on Saturday and I was on the wrong end of that bet.

That is my inspiration for going back to Merrimack on Monday.

The Warriors need a bounce-back performance after scoring just 46 points against Saint Francis (PA) in their last outing.

Mount St. Mary's has a single road win and all of its road defeats came by six points or more. I'm confident in fading the poor road team here.

Penn at Princeton (-3.5) (4 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Princeton has one of the more efficient offenses in the mid-major ranks.

Princeton ranks inside the Top 25 on KenPom in four offensive categories. It is 10th in effective field-goal percentage and 15th in offensive two-point percentage.

Penn concedes 75.1 points per game, which is five points more than Princeton concedes.

James Madison (-3.5) at Elon (4 p.m. ET)

James Madison carries a similar motivation as Merrimack.

The Dukes did not have a great Saturday, as they needed to come from behind to force overtime and win against William and Mary.

James Madison should be motivated to produce a much cleaner performance on Monday against an Elon squad that gives up 74.2 points per game and shoots 5.5 percent worse than the Dukes.

Norfolk State (-5) at UMES (4 p.m. ET)

Norfolk State would be favored over Maryland Eastern Shore in a regular setting, but the Spartans carry an extra edge on Monday.

UMES has not played a game since December 20 and the program has had two contests versus Division 1 teams since the start of December.

That should put Norfolk State at a significant advantage in on-court fitness. The Spartans played and won two January games and could keep rolling atop the MEAC with a win over UMES.

Belmont (-13.5) at SIU-Edwardsville (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

You guessed it.

Belmont is in a bounce-back spot as well.

The Bruins got run out of their own gym by Murray State in a clash of Ohio Valley Conference titans on Saturday. Belmont's offense averages 81 points per game and it only scored 60 in that defeat.

Belmont has the No. 3 two-point offense and it ranks eighth in effective field-goal percentage. I expect all of Belmont's frustration to be taken out on the 7-8 SIU-Edwardsville Cougars, who average 12.5 fewer points per game than the Bruins.

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