NCAAB Best Bets | 3 Picks for Friday
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Ducas (Saint Mary’s)
Another Friday of hoops is here, and we're ready to give you college basketball best bets.
Our staff has three picks for Friday, November 17, including one of the games of the day, Saint Mary's vs. San Diego State.
College Basketball Best Bets — Friday, Nov. 17
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.
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. Colgate
By John Feltman
This should be a very entertaining game between Colgate and Yale. Both of these teams are known for their offensive explosiveness, and I think there’s no reason to believe we don’t get similar results in this matchup.
For starters, the Raiders don’t crash the glass too well despite their significant length and size. I wouldn’t expect extra possessions for them on offense, which actually bodes well for the Over.
This offense also typically goes fast, and due to limited data, there’s no certainty it will continue to ramp up the tempo. I love the upside from the backcourt tandem of Braeden Smith and Jalen Cox.
The Bulldogs may have one of the most explosive offenses in the country, but they’re buried in the Ivy League. They're shooting 44% from 3 in their first three contests, and while that number is bound to regress a bit, I think they have legit flamethrowers on this roster.
Yale is also shooting 86% from the charity stripe thus far, which is good for fifth-best in the nation. The Raiders haven’t been able to create many turnovers or block shots thus far, which leads me to believe the Bulldogs should have plenty of clean shot attempts.
KenPom makes this total 152, so we're getting a bit of value here. Expect both offenses to thrive and let’s cash this over.
Pick: Over 149.5 (Play to 151)
Sacramento State vs. Tulane
By Kevin Rogers
Tulane has jumped out to a 2-0 start to the season as the Green Wave welcome in Sacramento State Friday night.
The Green Wave have failed to cover in each of their two wins against Nicholls State and Northwestern State. Since the start of last season, Tulane owns a dreadful 2-11 ATS record as a favorite against non-conference opponents.
Sacramento State lost its first two games of the season at Nevada and Stanford, while failing to cover each time as a double-digit underdog.
Both these teams have struggled from 3-point range, but Tulane is hitting only 20% of its attempts from downtown, which is one of the worst marks in the country.
This is an interesting spot for Tulane, which is playing its third straight home game before heading out to California for a pair of games starting Monday against Bradley.
The Hornets won’t be facing another team ranked this high in non-conference play, so this will likely be the most points Sacramento State will be receiving the rest of the season.
Let’s back Sacramento State in this spot and take it all the way down to +9.
Pick: Sacramento State +11 (Play to +9)
Saint Mary's vs. San Diego State
By D.J. James
Saint Mary’s and San Diego State come together for a night showdown on Friday. These are two excellent defensive teams who excel with slow paces.
As of Thursday, the San Diego State Aztecs rank 112th in Adjusted Tempo, but this will likely tamper down as the season moves forward. Last season, they ranked 262nd in Adjusted Tempo. They also averaged 18.5 seconds per possession.
Sure, the roster looks a bit different, but Brian Dutcher is a defensive-focused coach. Last year, the Aztecs ranked fourth in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency. This led them to a national title game appearance against UConn.
Saint Mary’s is similar. It lost to Weber State but defeated New Mexico, so at the moment, it's a tad unpredictable. That said, the Gaels still rank 27th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency. They also rank 348th in Adjusted Tempo, averaging 19.2 seconds per possession on offense and 17.7 seconds per possession defensively.
The kicker is SDSU couldn't shoot very efficiently last season, especially from deep. It only has one rostered player (Micah Parrish) who shot over 35% from downtown.
Meanwhile, Saint Mary’s has Aidan Mahaney and Alex Ducas as sharp-shooters (over 40% from 3-point land), but SDSU should neutralize them. Last year, opponents only shot 28.3% from 3 on the Aztecs.
Turnovers could be an issue for both teams, but Saint Mary’s has some skewed stats from an awful game against Weber State. The Gaels are usually pretty clean. SDSU might be sloppy at times, but Saint Mary’s doesn't turn over opponents at an alarming rate.
This game should go under the total. Take it to 129.
Pick: Under 132 (Play to 129)
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