Friday’s College Basketball Best Bets

Friday’s College Basketball Best Bets article feature image
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Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images. Pictured: Jaelen House (New Mexico)

As usual, we have a thin Friday college basketball slate tonight, but there's plenty of betting value on the board.

With that in mind, we have college basketball best bets and Three Man Weave's three top picks for Friday, February 16. Matt Cox, you're up!


College Basketball Best Bets

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

GameTime (ET)Pick
7 p.m.
9 p.m.
10 p.m.
Specific betting 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.

Yale vs. Penn

Friday, Feb. 16
7 p.m. ET
ESPN+
Penn +6

By Matt Cox

Yale is an Ivy freight train right now, sitting pretty at 7-0 on the league leaderboard with a one-game lead over Cornell.

At the bottom of the totem pole sits Penn, which has dug itself a serious hole (1-6) halfway through the schedule.

Time is running out for the Red and Blue to make their mark. Only the top four teams make the Ivy League Tournament, which demands an urgent charge from Penn to crack the cutline.

The beacon of hope lies in Clark Slajchert, Penn’s veteran floor general and ticker.

Slajchert returned to the hardwood last game after an injury sidelined him for seven straight contests and immediately made his mark. Penn took Princeton to the wire at Jadwin Gymnasium, proof that this Penn team remains a deeply dangerous dark horse at full strength.

Expect another game effort tonight for the Red and Blue back at home with the league’s top dog coming to the Palestra.

Penn was outmanned and outgunned in the first meeting against Yale two weeks ago, but the quick turnaround should favor the Quakers — especially with the emotional boost of Slajchert’s recent return.

Pick: Penn +6 (Play to +5)


Ohio vs. Toledo

Friday, Feb. 16
9 p.m. ET
ESPNU
Ohio +6

By Matt Cox

Two great coaches and sterling programs are pinned together in tonight’s nationally televised tilt between Ohio and Toledo.

Both squads have had ample time to scout and prepare for each other after getting the week off in the wake of the (meaningless) MAC/Sun Belt Challenge.

This may not qualify as a fierce rivalry by MAC standards — Bowling Green vs. Toledo and Akron vs. Ohio are the two major rivalries — but there’s no love lost between these two.

Toledo won the first meeting this season on Jan. 2, when the Rockets drove it down Ohio’s throats all night long en route to a nine-point victory in Athens.

Tonight, look for Jeff Boals to tweak his defense accordingly and turn Toledo into jump shooters.

As prolific as the Rockets' offense is, it’s predicated on transition opportunities and getting to the rim.

Why should you believe in Boals to push the right schematic buttons? Per BetLabs, Boals is 14-2 against the spread in conference revenge spots dating back to 2016.

The market seems hesitant to back the Bobcats, largely due to injury concerns — and they are notable. Stud guard Shereef Mitchell is “day-to-day," as Boals vaguely indicated on his weekly radio show, which strips the already thin rotation of a key guard.

However, Toledo also lacks depth, and most of its bench pieces are underclassmen.

Pick: Ohio +6 (Play to +5)

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New Mexico vs. San Diego State

Friday, Feb. 16
10 p.m. ET
FS1
New Mexico +6.5

By Matt Cox

Everything about this spot screams San Diego State. The market seems to agree, too, as the opening line of 5.5 was quickly bet into this morning.

It’s an odd turnaround time, as both teams already played Tuesday this week. The Lobos won in dramatic fashion at Nevada and now must travel to Viejas to take on a dangerous Aztec team that's been dominant on its home floor this year.

The key factor to watch is the status of Donovan Dent, the Lobos’ dynamic point guard who sprained his ankle on the last possession of the game Tuesday. X-rays came back negative, so there’s a chance he could go tonight. However, don’t be scared to back the Lobos even if he doesn’t.

Dent’s a special weapon, no doubt, but the elder two-pronged attack of Jamal Mashburn Jr. and Jaelen House won’t be rattled without him. This duo led the Lobos to a nine-point victory in Viejas last season when Dent was a lesser-used super-sub off the bench.

If anything, Mashburn and House may see this as a chance to prove their worth without Dent, who’s gotten all the ink and attention this season as the league’s darling breakout player.

Brian Dutcher is a master planner and is typically terrific in revenge opportunities with his game-to-game adjustments. However, the quick turnaround could actually work in UNM’s favor, leaving Dutcher and his staff one less day to prep than typically scheduled.

Pick: New Mexico +6.5 (Play to +6)

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