College Basketball Best Bets for Wednesday

College Basketball Best Bets for Wednesday article feature image
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Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images. Pictured: Porter Moser (Oklahoma)

If you take a quick glance at the college basketball slate for Wednesday, you can immediately tell it's a big day for the sport. Not only does Duke duel with Baylor, but North Carolina faces off against Oklahoma and Creighton battles Villanova.

So, read below for college basketball best bets and three picks for Wednesday, December 20 from Three Man Weave. Ky McKeon is sticking in the ACC for these picks.


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.
7 p.m.
9 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.

Baylor vs. Duke

Wednesday, Dec. 20
7 p.m. ET
ESPN
Baylor +3.5

By Ky McKeon

In one of the many marquee matchups of the night, Baylor and Duke head to Madison Square Garden for a top-25 showdown.

This is the game Duke will miss the services of its star sophomore guard Tyrese Proctor, who's likely out for a third consecutive matchup (and even if he plays, he won’t be 100%). The Blue Devils handled Charlotte and Hofstra at home without Proctor, shooting over 50% from 3 across the two contests.

Proctor is not only one of Duke’s best offensive weapons, he’s arguably its best defender. Per on/off numbers at CBB Analytics, Duke’s defensive rating is at its best when Proctor is on the floor. And given the number of perimeter options at Baylor’s disposal, Duke could use all the help it can get defensively.

Baylor’s offense is incendiary. The Bears have four shooters on the floor at all times, and incredibly, no player is shooting below 40% from deep this season. While some type of regression is certainly coming, nobody is shooting dramatically over their head. Scott Drew simply recruited a very good shooting roster.

When Duke isn’t able to overwhelm its opponent with talent, it can struggle. In fact, it's lost three of its four contests against power competition.

Baylor won’t be intimidated by the name on the front of its opponent’s jersey, and the Bears have just as much talent as the mighty Blue Devils.

Pick: Baylor +3.5 (Play to +2)


Did you know legal betting is coming to North Carolina? North Carolina sports betting is coming online in 2024, so you’ll be able to bet wager legally at major sportsbooks in NC.


Purdue Fort Wayne vs. Pitt

Wednesday, Dec. 20
7 p.m. ET
ACC Network Extra
Over 155.5

By Ky McKeon

Pitt hosts Purdue Fort Wayne tonight in what should be an up-and-down track meet.

The Panthers will be eager to run after starting the season against foes who mostly play at a slower tempo. Four of Pitt’s last six opponents rank 240th or lower in Adjusted Tempo, per KenPom, and eight of its 11 opponents this season rank outside the top 100.

PFW loves to run, as its 45th-ranked Adjusted Tempo suggests. The Mastodons have played one sub-70 possession game all season, which was against the crawling Green Bay Phoenix.

Head coach Jon Coffman puts heavy emphasis on attacking in transition, and his squad ranks 16th nationally this season in possessions finished in transition (Synergy).

Both Pitt and PFW can score offensively, which is of course very important to an over play. The Mastodons rank 16th nationally in 3P%, while the Panthers check in 71st.

Pitt can all but name its number against a porous Mastodon defense that ranks 206th overall, per KenPom, and has been gashed inside all season. The Panthers should be willing to run it up with a 10-day break looming.

Unlike some of Pitt’s lesser opponents, PFW should be able to put enough points on the board for the total to soar over the spread. Only thrice have the Mastodons scored under 80 points this season, and they’ve eclipsed 90 four times.

For Pitt’s side, it’s scored less than 80 points just once in games it’s won, and it’s averaged over 89 points against foes rated worse than 150th overall in KenPom. The Mastodons check in at number 153.

Pick: Over 155.5 (Play to 157)

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North Carolina vs. Oklahoma

Wednesday, Dec. 20
9 p.m. ET
ESPN
Oklahoma +3

By Ky McKeon

Oklahoma travels to the state of North Carolina for a battle with the Tar Heels in Charlotte. After the Sooners' 10-0 start to the season, the media narrative of this game has turned into, “is OU for real?"

That’s an interesting question given OU’s track record this season. The Sooners have beaten Iowa, Providence, Arkansas and USC – one more power-conference squad than UNC. OU is a sparkling 8-2 against the number with a +7.2 cover margin.

So, yes, the Sooners are for real.

While UNC has more talent on paper, Oklahoma is far better coached. Porter Moser is known for scheming game plans to exploit his opponents’ weak spots, and with equal prep time against Hubert Davis, I’ll take Moser any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Moser’s teams always sport one of the best transition defenses in the country, which is key against the runnin’ Tar Heels. Per Synergy, the Sooners have allowed just 0.799 points per possession in the open floor this season, a top-15 mark nationally.

While the Tar Heels can score efficiently in the half court, cutting off their easy bucket access and making them more one-dimensional could lead to them struggling to put points on the board.

On the other end, Oklahoma has been excellent at finishing around the rim and inside the arc this season, ranking seventh nationally in 2-point FG%. UNC has struggled at times defending the rim this season. The Sooners should be able to find success on the offensive glass, in the post and via the pick-and-roll when their guards attack the tin.

Coaching is the primary factor in tonight’s handicap, but OU has the player personnel to compete with UNC on both ends of the floor and steal a victory in Charlotte.

Pick: Oklahoma +3 (Play to +2)


Be sure to check out information about the sportsbooks expected to launch in North Carolina, including: FanDuel, Caesars Sportsbook, bet365, BetMGM, and Fanatics Sportsbook!


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