Friday’s 3 NCAAB Best Bets

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It's a rather light slate of college basketball games on Friday (as usual), but this is the final Friday before the start of the conference tournaments on Monday.

And there's still betting value on the board. So, here's college basketball best bets and Three Man Weave's three top picks and predictions for Friday, March 1.


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.
7 p.m.
8:15 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.

Arkansas State vs. Appalachian State

Friday, March 1
6:30 p.m. ET
ESPN+
Under 148

By Matt Cox

A bizarre Sun Belt scheduling angle is applicable in tonight’s regular-season finale, which marks the first meeting between Arkansas State and App State this season.

Arkansas State locked up a top-four spot in the Sun Belt Tournament next week on Wednesday, but a game against the top dog in the league is far from a throwaway spot — especially when said opponent can lock up an outright league title with a victory tonight.

In short, there’s still plenty on the line in this matchup, which lessens the risk of a “who cares” scenario that could balloon into an up-and-down track meet.

The Red Wolves badly want to run, but in a high-leverage game against App State’s stingy defense, those transition aspirations may be eradicated.

Schematically, App State and Arkansas State both excel at running shooters off the 3-point line. That’s by design, with both coaches aiming to seduce opponents toward the rim and into the no-man’s land mid-range area.

App State’s defensive reputation speaks for itself — top-40 nationally and best in the Sun Belt, per KenPom — but Arkansas State’s is far sturdier than its current SBC metrics indicate. The Wolves grade out as the third-best 2-point field-goal percentage defense in the league, buoyed by the recent return of Freddy Hicks up front.

This is effectively a two-pronged edge: 1) overdue shotmaking regression in Arkansas State’s favor, and 2) App State’s disciplined defense thwarting the Wolves’ preferred scoring outlets.

Pick: Under 148 (Play to 146)


Old Dominion vs. Georgia Southern

Friday, March 1
7 p.m. ET
ESPN+
Georgia Southern -4.5

By Matt Cox

There’s a reason we’re doubling down on Sun Belt home teams in today’s best bet trifecta. The Sun Belt wraps up its regular season slate tonight with all 14 teams in action. It’s a tighter-than-normal turnaround, as most teams will be playing on one day of rest from Wednesday to Friday.

The disjointed schedule setup this week allots a major edge to the team sitting at its home base waiting for a team traveling with minimal time to prep.

Such is the case for Georgia Southern, which has been night and day better at home this season, particularly in conference play.

The Eagles, led by former Alabama lieutenant Charlie Henry, are 7-3 against the number at home this season and 11-5 in conference play. They need a victory to secure a spot in the top eight of the final standings.

On the flip side, ODU is in the midst of a soapbox season, which just announced the hiring of Jeff Jones’ replacement, Mike Jones.

It’s an odd situation with ODU interim coach Kieran Donohue still patrolling the sidelines and coaching players who undoubtedly will be elsewhere next season — unless the new Jones convinces them to stay for the new regime.

In summary, this is an obvious lame-duck situational fade with the subtly surging Eagles.

Pick: Georgia Southern -4.5 (Play to -5)

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Troy vs. Texas State

Friday, March 1
8:15 p.m. ET
ESPN+
Texas State +3

By Matt Cox

Texas State enjoys a critical extra day off with zero travel burden after an impressive 18-point win over UL Monroe on Tuesday.

Troy, meanwhile, has a 400-mile bus ride from Lafayette, where it dominated the Ragin’ Cajuns in their building on Wednesday.

The Trojans have already secured a spot in the top four of the standings, securing a double-bye in the Sun Belt Championship.

Texas State needs this game like blood, as the Bobcats are vying to avoid the dreaded bottom four of the Sun Belt bracket, a near death sentence for any potential March Madness run.

The spot and motivational edge both swing in Texas State’s favor, as should a renewed bill of health. The Bobcats got Dylan Dawson back in action this week, a critical cog for a team with sparse depth to begin with.

Troy’s been a wagon all year, but this profiles as a dead spot, sandwiched between a monster road win over the reigning champs in UL Lafayette and the looming Sun Belt Tournament.

Pick: Texas State +3

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Nick Sterling
May 21, 2024 UTC