I'm not going to lie, it's been a rough start to the college basketball season for me. A bunch of one-possession losses early, but it's good to get the rough stretch out of the way in November. 

 

This week is awesome for CBB fans because there are games on at all hours of the day. It gives us a chance to play some teams cheaper than we would in a straight-up road game. Let's see if we can find a winner on Monday. 

All odds are per DraftKings Sportsbook.

Purdue vs. Gonzaga

5 p.m. ET
PUR -5

Virginia vs. Wisconsin

6 p.m. ET
UVA -3.5

I'm going to try a moneyline parlay here with two favorites. I'm extremely high on Virginia this season and think they have a Final Four roster. Since 2014, the Cavaliers are 22-2 in regular season neutral court games under Tony Bennett. The defense has been spectacular so far, which at times hasn't been the case early in the year while learning the pack-line defense. There's plenty of offense here, and I think they overpower Wisconsin whose defense has let them down early on. 

Meanwhile, I think it's a bit early for Gonzaga to match up with Purdue. As a Zags fan, I'd love to see them win this game, and I think their offense will show up. But the defense is going to struggle a bit with Zach Edey. It's a lot to ask for freshman Braden Huff and junior Ben Gregg to slow him down. We could also see Graham Ike and Anton Watson get turns with the center, but I think it'll be an issue all game long. Purdue beat the Zags last year 84-66, but that was with Drew Timme in the lineup. His absence will be felt here. 

The Pick

Purdue + Virginia ML Parlay (+130)

Mike Cutri's Best Bets

Purdue vs. Gonzaga

5 p.m. ET
PUR -5

Heavyweight battle to start off the Maui Invitational, as powerhouses Purdue and Gonzaga square off. These two met a season ago in Portland where Purdue stomped the Zags by 18 thanks to a breakout performance from Wooden Award winner Zach Edey. It’s hard to imagine things going any differently here in Maui, as Gonzaga’s frontcourt will again have a ton of trouble with Edey’s interior presence. As we saw a season ago, Purdue can really struggle with extended defensive pressure, which speeds the backcourt up and makes entry passes to Edey very difficult. That is not Gonzaga’s game at all. Mark Few typically plays a much more conservative packed-in defensive scheme built around switching. The Zags’ backcourt is also extremely thin, especially after the injury to Steele Venters, which forces both Ryan Nembhard and Nolan Hickman to play close to 40 minutes every game with no room to deal with foul trouble. Purdue should be able to control the pace, running Matt Painter’s patented halfcourt sets and be able to get Edey into his spots to be successful. Without any threat to pressure the Boilermaker backcourt, and a frontcourt (although strong offensively) of Anton Watson, Braden Huff and Graham Ike who aren’t known for their elite rim protection, this is Purdue’s game to lose. I think we see a similar result to Portland.

The Pick: Purdue -4.5

UCLA vs. Marquette

11:30 p.m. ET
MARQ -5

Ending the night in Maui is a fun matchup between UCLA and Marquette when most of the east coast will be in bed sleeping by tipoff. Mick Cronin’s Bruins have dealt with serious roster turnover, losing four starters, including their heart and soul duo of Tyger Campbell and Jaime Jaquez. Cronin has done a pretty good job bringing in various levels of talent from the transfer portal, his freshman class and also overseas. Yet, this young and inexperienced UCLA team still has some things to figure out. Overseas men Aday Mara and Berke Buyuktuncel both just received eligibility from the NCAA. Also, sophomore point guard Dylan Andrews was recently benched by Cronin in their last outing for personal reasons. It’s a very tall task to ask this Bruins squad with a ton of question marks to hang with one of the best teams in the country in Marquette. We just saw the Golden Eagles go into a hostile environment in Champaign and pull out a convincing win against Illinois. Behind sensational point guard Tyler Kolek, sharpshooter Kam Jones and swiss-army knife Oso Ighodaro, UCLA will certainly have its hands full trying to contain the eighth-best offense in the nation that knows how to win at a high level. I expect Marquette to take advantage of and capitalize on a lot of mistakes UCLA makes in this one and run away late.

The Pick: Marquette -5