College Basketball Best Bets: Our Favorite Picks for Bowling Green vs. Akron, George Washington vs. St. Bonaventure, More (Friday, Feb. 26)
Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Turner.
- Friday is here, which means it's time to watch college basketball for 72 straight hours.
- Our staff broke down three games as their favorite bets of the day, starting with George Washington vs. St. Bonaventure at 6 p.m. ET.
- Check out all four individual picks complete with full betting analysis below.
The weekend is upon us, so it’s time to watch nonstop college basketball for 72 hours.
It all starts with George Washington vs. St. Bonaventure at 6 p.m. ET, which is followed by Bowling Green vs. Akron and Missouri State vs. Evansville at 7.
Check out full breakdowns and picks for each game below, and feel free to navigate to any game by using the table below.
College Basketball Odds & Picks
All listed odds have been updated as of Friday morning. Specific bet recommendations at the end of each matchup breakdown come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing on Friday morning.
Always shop for the best price using our NCAAB Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.
George Washington vs. St. Bonaventure
George Washington heads up to New York to face St. Bonaventure in what will be its final regular-season game of the season.
It’s been a rough season for the Colonials, who are 4-10 and faced a 35-day pause due to COVID-19 protocols. They’ve played two games since returning to play, an eight-point win over Rhode Island and a five-point loss to George Mason.
George Washington has a dynamic scoring duo in James Bishop and Jamison Battle, who combine to score 38.5 points per game.
Bishop is a transfer from LSU and has taken over the offense for the Colonials, scoring 20 points in all but four games this year.
The Colonials are a gritty team that gets to the free-throw line at a rate of 41.3%, more than any other A-10 team. As a two-touchdown underdog, we’ll take points anywhere we can get them.
St. Bonaventure is a strong team that has a real chance of winning the A-10 Tournament. But it’s coming off of two tough wins over Davidson and is looking toward Dayton in the final regular-season game.
The Bonnies are averaging just 68.3 points in their last 10 games and play with the 318th-slowest tempo in the country, according to KenPom.
St. Bonaventure may be overlooking this scrappy George Washington team in this spot.
The Colonials have been playing some inspired basketball late in this season, and I expect that to continue with this being their final regular-season game of the year.
I’m backing the Colonials at anything more than +14 today.
Pick: George Washington +14
George Washington vs. St. Bonaventure
By Mike Randle
Despite a 4-11 record, the Colonials have been playing much better of late against the top teams in the A-10.
GW has been bolstered by the return of Ricky Lindo Jr., who was sitting out after transferring from Maryland. Lindo has made a strong impact, with three double-doubles in his four games. He is also strong defensively, with 2.5 steals per game and five total blocks.
The Colonials have also been stronger against the spread, covering four of the past five games and six of their last eight.
Lindo (12.3 PPG, 11.1 RPG) joins with James Bishop (20.1 PPG), and Jamison Battle (18.4 PPG) to compose a formidable trio of scorers against a St. Bonaventure team that has limited depth. The Bonnies only go six players deep and are very susceptible for foul trouble.
St. Bonaventure has battled through Saint Louis, VCU, and Davidson twice over the past two weeks. Laying 14 points is a big number for a team that plays at one of the slowest paces in the nation (318th in adjusted tempo).
I’m backing the improved Colonials offense, even on the road against the top team in the A-10.
Pick: George Washington +14
Bowling Green vs. Akron
Back in the fall, the Falcons were the talk of the town, at least in MAC circles.
The media selected BGSU to win the conference and named Justin Turner and Daeqwon Plowden to the preseason first and second-team All-MAC squads, respectively.
A 10-3 (6-1) start to its season seemed to validate the faith the media had placed in Bowling Green. But then four games were canceled around a six-game losing streak, and it appeared that BGSU was left for dead sitting at 10-9 (6-7) on Feb. 9. But this veteran team rallied, and Turner and Plowden caught fire.
The Falcons have won three straight up and against the spread on the road, riding 16 and eight from Plowden and 21 and five from Turner during the hot streak.
Michael Huger’s run-n-gun offense has finally found its groove and now has the opportunity to add Akron to its list of big wins right alongside its seven-point road win over first-place Toledo.
Akron, meanwhile, is coming off its worst loss of the season (17-point L at Ohio) and has let middling programs like Miami (OH), Northern Illinois and Ball State hang around late in games this month.
The real cause for concern for the Zips is their defense. They’ve allowed over 80 points per game across their last four, and that bodes well for a BGSU offense that is peaking down the stretch.
The Action Network model loves the Falcons catching four in this one and grades their moneyline (+155) as a “B.” I’ll be playing them with the four points and to win outright.
Pick: Bowling Green +4
Missouri State vs. Evansville
Missouri State is on a fantastic run in the MVC, winning six straight games while locking teams down defensively. In fact, it hasn’t allowed over 70 points during its win streak.
The Bears, offensively, have been solid this season, averaging 1.04 points per possession during conference play. They have one distinct advantage over Evansville in this matchup, and it’s scoring inside the paint.
Missouri State is averaging 55.3% from 2-point range and is the No. 1 team in the country at scoring at the rim, averaging an insane 76.3%, per Hoop-Math.
Evansville is the worst defense in the MVC, allowing an inexcusable 1.11 points per possession. It’s the worst team defending inside the arc allowing over 58% from 2-point range and is the eighth-worst team defending around the basket, giving up 69.1% on shot attempts at the rim. So, Missouri State should be able to score at will inside against the Purple Aces.
Todd Lickliter’s squad truly lives and dies by the 3-point shot. The Purple Aces shoot 3s on 50.7% of their field goal attempts, which is the highest average in the MVC. They shoot over 37.5% from deep so they can justify it, but they’ll be going up against one of the best defenses in the conference tonight.
The Bears allow only 0.97 points per possession and have not allowed their opponents to average over 1.00 points per possession during their six-game win streak. The Bears allow under 32% from 3-point range, so they will be well equipped to handle Evansville’s 3-point barrage.
I have Missouri State projected as -7.97 favorites, so I think there’s plenty of value on the Bears at -5 and would play them up to -6.
Pick: Missouri State -5