Opening Day of the college basketball season can be tough to navigate from a betting perspective, especially when there are over 100 games on the board.
My strategy for Monday's overwhelming slate is to keep it simple with teams I know the most. So I'm sticking with a few local teams with favorable matchups at home.
Penn State and Temple should improve on their records from last season. The Nittany Lions returned a handful of top scorers and added more guard depth in transfer portal. Temple put things together toward the back end of last season and its star player enters the season healthy.
A wider net will be cast once I see more teams in action, but for now, let's keep it local with two Monday night picks.
Winthrop at Penn State (-12) (7 p.m. ET)
Penn State returns three of its top five scorers from last season in Seth Lundy, Jalen Pickett and Myles Dread.
The Nittany Lions also picked up Cam Wynter from Drexel in the transfer portal. He averaged 15.8 points per game last season and he averaged over 15 points per game in each of his last three seasons.
Winthrop lost one of the better mid-major big men in D.J. Burns and it may struggle to deal with Penn State's scoring depth.
The Eagles return two forwards that averaged over eight points per game last season, but that production may not be enough to boost up a roster with some unproven parts.
Wagner at Temple (-16) (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
Temple has the potential to be one of the most surprising Group of Five teams.
The key for the Owls is the health of Khalif Battle, who averaged 21.4 points per game in seven appearances last season.
Damian Dunn and Zach Hicks shouldered some of the scoring load last season with Battle out and they will only be better this season. Dunn averaged 14.9 points per game and Hicks came on late with five double-digit performances in his final six games.
Wagner was picked fourth in the NEC and it features a mix of incoming transfers and returners under new head coach Donald Copeland.
Temple is the more complete team entering Opening Day and Battle's health will be massive to the Owls' success on Monday and beyond.