College Basketball Best Bets: Three Man Weave’s 2 Picks for New Year’s Eve

College Basketball Best Bets: Three Man Weave’s 2 Picks for New Year’s Eve article feature image

Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Greg Herenda (FDU)

The final day of 2021 doesn't bring us much action from a college basketball perspective, but there's always value to be had in the eyes of a bettor.

While there is only 16 games being played on New Year's Eve — and just one ranked team in action — Matt Cox of Three Man Weave has his eyes on two mid-major affairs.

Below, you will find Matt's best bets, so celebrate the new year by heading to the pay window.

Friday's College Basketball Best Bets

The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our college basketball staff is targeting from today's slate of games. Click the team logos for one the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.

2 p.m. ET
Under 129
4 p.m. ET
Fairleigh Dickinson +10
Specific bet recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NCAAB Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.

Northeastern vs. William & Mary

Friday, Dec. 31
2 p.m. ET
Flo Hoops
Under 129

The script has been flipped for William & Mary and Northeastern. The former was a team in a tailspin before it just stunned Hofstra in the conference opener. The latter, a CAA title contender, became the victim of such wrath at the hands of Elon on Wednesday.

How did this happen?

For the triumphant Tribe, the subtle reinsertion of Mehkel Harvey made a seismic impact. After an early suspension, Harvey is slowly being reintegrated into Dane Fischer’s lineup.

He only clocked 10 minutes against Hofstra, but he completely shifts the paradigm for William & Mary’s defense when on the floor. Last season, Harvey led the entire CAA in blocks per possession, while boasting the fifth-highest defensive rebounding rate in the conference.

His lack of offensive skill and polish acts as a two-pronged value boost for the under, given his replacement is, usually, a more offensive-centric shooter on the wing.

For the Huskies, they were mysteriously without Shaquille Walters, a 6-foot-6 swiss army knife weapon. He’s a stout defender but a vital offensive engine, due to his matrix-esque abilities.

In concert, those two dynamics play well for the under in what figures to be a meticulous half-court affair.

Finally, historical precedents are often times a slippery slope to rely on, but sometimes they hold the keys to how two coaches will attack a known counterpart’s style.

These two teams did not play last year but clocked two snail-paced games back in 2020.

Look for a rewind of those movies in a sleepy early-afternoon spot.

Pick: Under 129 (Play to 127)

Fairleigh Dickinson vs. St. Francis (PA)

Friday, Dec. 31
4 p.m. ET
NEC Front Row
Fairleigh Dickinson +10

The winless Knights head west for Loretto, Pennsylvania — a notoriously tricky travel spot — to kick off their NEC action on New Year’s Eve.

On the surface, backing an 0-10 team seems foolish — especially in a mid-afternoon matinee tip time — but Fairleigh Dickinson’s primed for a mid-season course correction.

Head coach Greg Herenda is notorious for treating the non-conference slate like a test run. He routinely toggles through lineups and rotations in trial-and-error fashion in hopes of pinpointing the right concoction to unleash on the NEC.

Just prior to the Knights’ recent COVID pause, FDU was the healthiest they’ve been all year. Yes, they were throttled by Virginia, but the key cogs appeared to be at, or near, full strength.

The notable names clocking significant minutes included Devon Dunn, Brandon Rush, John “Mikey” Square Jr. and Pier-Olivier Racine. This foursome was identified as the nucleus of the future during last year’s NEC turnaround. They have seen their minutes oscillate like a seesaw on speed over the first month of the year.

In short, the Knights’ lopsided results to date are a reflection not of their individual ability, but of the disjointed lineup continuity from game-to-game.

The pre-conference tune up at Virginia marks at least one live action rep with their full array of weapons intact.

Additionally, FDU’s most recent conference game at Mount St. Mary’s was canceled due to COVID issues within Mount’s program. That gave the Knights an extra two days of prep and recovery time heading into their NEC debut against the Red Flash.

Make no mistake about it: this year’s version of FDU doesn’t stack up to last season. However, Herenda knows how to navigate this league as well as any coach in the NEC.

The Knights took down the Flash in overtime in the first leg of last year’s back-to-back series in Loretto, and are far better than the 10-point opening spread indicates.

FDU’s best basketball is within arm’s reach and about to come to life in its NEC opener.

Pick: Fairleigh Dickinson +10 (Play to +9)

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