Wednesday’s 3 NCAAB Best Bets

Wednesday’s 3 NCAAB Best Bets article feature image

Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Cam Spencer (UConn)

A top-15 duel in the SEC (No. 11 South Carolina vs. No. 13 Auburn) will take center stage tonight in college basketball, but that certainly doesn't mean there isn't betting value elsewhere in the sport.

In fact, below, we have college basketball best bets and Three Man Weave's three top picks for Wednesday, February 14. Ky McKeon, take it away!

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.
8 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.

IUPUI vs. Detroit

Wednesday, Feb. 14
7 p.m. ET
IUPUI +5.5

By Ky McKeon

This play is pretty simple and boils down to: Why should Detroit Mercy be laying five points to any team in the country?

The Titans are 0-15 in Horizon play this season and 0-26 overall, one of just two teams nationally (shout out Mississippi Valley State) yet to win a game.

The last time Detroit was favored was against these very IUPUI Jaguars back on December 29. IUPUI controlled that contest from start to finish, never trailing once and leading by as many as 25 points.

IUPUI is no world beater, and it has a slightly worse ATS record at 6-17 compared to Detroit’s 7-19. But the fact remains that UDM hasn’t proven its ability to win this season, let alone win by more than one possession.

The Titans do have Jayden Stone back for this game, their leading scorer and an absentee in the first game against IUPUI. But the Jaguars were also missing their leading scorer — Jlynn Counter — and he too will be back in the fold tonight.

Both teams are poor and neither really has a huge matchup edge. Detroit’s defense is a sieve, and IUPUI should be able to get what it wants inside the arc and rack up trips to the foul line, as it more or less did in the first matchup.

The Jaguars should also have the slight edge on the boards, and in game one, they won the turnover battle by a near 2:1 ratio.

IUPUI has proven its ability to beat better teams on the road, holding two outright wins at Valpo and Purdue Fort Wayne. The Jaguars should be able to hang inside the number tonight and fight for another outright road win.

Pick: IUPUI +5.5 (Play to +5)

Saint Joe's vs. Loyola Chicago

Wednesday, Feb. 14
8 p.m. ET
Saint Joe's +4

By Ky McKeon

Once thought of as an at-large contender following an overtime bout at Kentucky and a win at Villanova, the Saint Joe’s Hawks have taken a step back in league play.

An 0-3 start in the A-10 all but crushed their at-large hopes, but Billy Lange’s crew is bouncing back, winning six of their last eight games. They have arguably the most talented crop of guards in the league and can compete with any team in the country on any given night.

And yet the Hawks are dogs tonight to the Ramblers of Loyola Chicago, who sit at 9-2 in the A-10 and seem poised to complete their 180 turnaround of last season’s 4-14 finish in the conference cellar.

Loyola’s defense has led the way — particularly its interior defense. The Ramblers lead the A-10 in 2-point FG% allowed and rank 13th nationally in field goal percentage allowed at the rim (Hoop-Math). A stout frontcourt rotation of Miles Rubin, Dame Adelekun and Philip Alston has led the way.

But Saint Joe’s doesn’t win games by pounding the ball inside. Rather, the Hawks rely on their terrific guard trio to put points on the board. SJU ranks 15th nationally in 3-point attempt rate and 28th in 3-point FG% – the Hawks are deadly from deep and let it fly early and often.

Offense is created via transition, with ball screens for any guard and by head hunting the defender of All-Conference talent Erik Reynolds II, freeing him up for catch-and-shoot opportunities.

Game one between these two teams was a tight-knit affair that Loyola ultimately won by three. The Ramblers out-shot the Hawks from deep — not an easy thing to do — and dominated the offensive glass.

Saint Joe’s deploys a lot of zone, which makes it vulnerable to perimeter looks and second-chance opportunities. To win in Gentile Arena tonight, the 3-point variance has to be in the Hawks’ favor.

Ultimately, this bet comes down to backing the more talented team and fading a team at its peak. Saint Joe’s has more raw talent than the Ramblers, and Loyola has hit its peak value in the market.

If you’re one to buy into the “conference standings motivation angle," a Saint Joe’s win puts it above the riff raff in the middle of the league and into fifth place. A Loyola loss keeps it in at least a tie for third.

Pick: Saint Joe's +4 (Play to +3)

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UConn vs. DePaul

Wednesday, Feb. 14
9 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
UConn -24

By Ky McKeon

It’s not considered polite to beat a dead horse, but tonight, we must insist on doing it at least once more.

DePaul has been the laughing stock of the power-conference schools this season, currently sitting one spot above 300th in KenPom with a 3-20 overall record and an 0-12 Big East mark. The Blue Demons fired their head coach a couple of weeks back and have dealt with injuries to key players all season.

25 points is a lot to lay against anyone, but in this case, it’s warranted. Consider that DePaul has already lost games in the Big East by 36, 29, 26, 25, 38, 23, 33, 25 and 27 this season. Yes, it’s true – the DePaul Blue Demons have lost 75% of their conference games by over 23 points this season.

UConn is one of the scariest teams in the country with the way it can utterly bury an opponent. Defensively, the Huskies are big, athletic and quick, and offensively, they have an arsenal of shooters, a playmaking fifth-year point guard and a 7-foot-2 future first-round NBA draft pick at their disposal.

UConn smashed DePaul in the first meeting between the two, scoring 1.27 points per possession to DePaul’s 0.84. And that was without that 7-foot-2 guy, Donovan Clingan.

Tonight really comes down to whether the Huskies take their paw off the gas late. They should be able to name their number at what should be a near-empty Wintrust Arena. UConn should dominate in every facet of the game and should push its lead past the 30-point mark sometime in the mid-to-late second half.

In 12 league games this season, DePaul has shown an inability to make a late surge in the waning minutes of the contest. Only thrice have the Blue Demons won the final 10 minutes of a game in conference play, and one of those was against fellow cellar-dweller Georgetown.

Expect a blowout tonight in favor of the Huskies, as they control this game from start to finish.

Pick: UConn -24 (Play to -25)

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