College Basketball Best Bets | 3 Friday Picks

College Basketball Best Bets | 3 Friday Picks article feature image

Photo by Marc Sanchez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jaedon LeDee (San Diego State)

The highlight of today in college hoops (and arguably of the non-conference schedule as a whole) is the top-five battle between UConn and Kansas.

But that doesn't mean value can't be found elsewhere in the world of college basketball on Friday.

Here's college basketball best bets and Three Man Weave's three picks for Friday, including San Diego State vs. UC San Diego on December 1. Matt Cox has you covered!

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
6:30 p.m.
8 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.

Houston vs. Xavier

Friday, Dec. 1
6:30 p.m. ET
Xavier +8.5

By Matt Cox

Here's a quintessential bounce-back spot with Xavier, which welcomes big bad Houston to the Cintas Center. It’s been tough sledding for Xavier this year, as the absence of pivotal frontcourt pieces has left Sean Miller scrambling to retool his roster.

On the surface, that’s a matchup nightmare against Houston, but the spot is what trumps all here. Historically, Xavier is a house of horrors for non-conference foes (just ask crosstown-rival Cincinnati).

Per Paul Fritschner, only once has Xavier been a seven-point underdog or greater at home — that came in 2004 against Cincy, and the Musketeers prevailed by a deuce.

This season, the cross-conference clashes (like the Big East-Big 12 Battle) have favored the home teams. Per Action Network’s BetLabs tool, the power-conference home team is 19-11 ATS this season.

Xavier looked abysmal against Oakland last time out, but remember when it went into Mackey Arena and hung with the Boilermakers for 35 minutes in a hostile environment.

Consider this another ripe spot to back Miller, who's getting zero respect in a vintage "buy-low" spot.

Pick: Xavier +8.5 (Play to +8)

Bet Houston vs. Xavier with the latest BetMGM bonus code.

South Dakota State vs. Towson

Friday, Dec. 1
8 p.m. ET
Midco Sports 1
South Dakota State 1H -2.5

By Matt Cox

South Dakota State slept walked through its post-Thanksgiving return to the hardwood on Monday.

Head coach Eric Henderson told the radio after the game he was disgusted with the Jackrabbits’ effort against Mount Marty, which played the host to a stalemate for the first 20 minutes.

South Dakota State hit the gas pedal in the second stanza to win comfortably, but that sleepy start is part of the handicap this evening as the Jackrabbits return to the Pentagon — their “home away from home” — to “host” Towson.

The Baltimore-based Tigers are in full-rebuild mode this season, deploying a herd of freshmen to fill major shoes from last year.

South Dakota State is simply in a different class right now than the young Tigers, despite being relatively thin in the depth department. This will be the worst team South Dakota State has played to date, and there’s every reason to believe the Jackrabbits will come out focused and anxious to put last game’s sluggish start behind them.

The 1H angle is the one to target in this simple, straightforward handicap.

Pick: South Dakota State 1H -2.5 (Play to -3.5)

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San Diego State vs. UC San Diego

Friday, Dec. 1
10 p.m. ET
UC San Diego +14.5

By Matt Cox

For the first time ever, little brother will welcome big brother to its turf. UC San Diego, brand new to Division I, will host San Diego State in its gymnasium. It’s not often the big boys travel to the mid-major gyms, especially in a local rivalry tilt.

In short, there's no bigger game on the Tritons' schedule this season. UCSD is still in its (stupid, pointless) four-year NCAA postseason ban transitional period — next year, it'll be eligible to compete in the postseason.

For UCSD, there’s minimal motivation for most of the regular season as far as postseason placement goes. But, it’s easy to get up for a team that made the national title game last year, especially when they come into your house.

The talent gap may look like a "men-versus-boys" discrepancy, but the Tritons held their own against the Aztecs last season. They played SDSU to a 16-point margin at Viejas Arena, despite going ice cold from 3-point range (5/28).

This year, Eric Olen’s bunch is more talented, buoyed by the timely return of interior physical beast Emmanuel Tshimanga.

The former UC Irvine transfer could be just what the doctor ordered to combat Jaedon LeDee, who’s been borderline unstoppable so far. LeDee will still eat inside most likely, but Tshimanga at least gives the Tritons a puncher’s chance in the paint.

Pick: UC San Diego +14.5 (Play to +14)

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