There are three significant betting trends in play on Monday night.
North Carolina has been an over machine inside the Smith Center.
Middle Tennessee is the best team in Division 1 against the spread.
Northern Arizona is the hottest underdog against the spread in the country.
That's the simple logic behind Monday's college basketball picks.
Monday CBB Picks
Georgia Tech at Syracuse (-8.5) (7 p.m. ET)
Syracuse won each of its last four home games by nine or more points.
The Orange have played decent basketball of late against some of the worst teams in the ACC.
Georgia Tech resides in the bottom quadrant of the ACC and it lost three of its last four contests by nine or more. The Yellow Jackets beat Pittsburgh on Saturday, but that is not really a major accomplishment.
I can't trust the Yellow Jackets, even if they won on Saturday, and Syracuse is playing pretty good basketball against the teams it was supposed to beat.
UTEP at Middle Tennessee (-5.5) (7 p.m. ET)
Middle Tennessee is 18-5-1 against the spread this season.
The Blue Raiders are on a five-game winning streak with all the victories being by six points or more.
MTSU is not only a spread covering machine, it is a pretty good mid-major team as well. The Blue Raiders lead their Conference USA division and will be in the mix for the conference's automatic bid.
I'm staying with the hot hand in MTSU, which averages six more points per game than UTEP.
Louisville at North Carolina (Over 144.5) (7 p.m. ET, ESPN)
The over has hit in each of the last five North Carolina home games.
Additionally, the Tar Heels put up 90 points in their first meeting with Louisville on February 1.
Louisville just ended a seven-game losing streak in which it allowed over 70 points to five of its opponents.
The Cardinals' defense is not great and it could once again be hurt by the Tar Heels offense.
Norfolk State (-5.5) at Morgan State (7:30 p.m. ET)
Norfolk State is the class of the MEAC this season.
The Spartans come into Monday averaging 10 fewer points allowed per game than Morgan State.
Norfolk State ranks in the top 30 in defensive effective field-goal percentage and two-point defense.
Morgan State plays at the fifth-fastest pace in Division 1, but its offense ranks below 300th in most major offensive categories.
Add in that Norfolk State beat Morgan State by 20 points in their first meeting and you have a strong reasoning for backing the Spartans.
Southern Utah at Northern Arizona (+6.5) (8 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
Keeping with theme of noticeable trends here.
Northern Arizona is 7-0 ATS in its last seven games, all of which were in the underdog role.
NAU started that streak by covering as a 13-point underdog against Southern Utah.
SUU lost three of its last four games and its defense is not great. The Thunderbirds are 292nd in two-point defense.
NAU should benefit from its familiarity with SUU and its home court to stick within seven points and keep the streak alive.