College Basketball Best Bets: Three Man Weave’s 3 Top Selections for Wednesday, Including Marquette vs. Kansas State
Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images.
If you’ve followed our best bets throughout the college basketball season thus far, you know we seek value and don’t necessarily spotlight the biggest of games.
While UConn vs. West Virginia is the marquee matchup on Wednesday evening, Ky McKeon of Three Man Weave has three spots for bettors to eye beyond that showdown.
His picks begin below with a separate Big East vs. Big 12 battle.
Wednesday’s College Basketball Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our college basketball staff is targeting from today’s slate of games. Click the team logos for one the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
|Specific bet 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.|
Marquette vs. Kansas State
Marquette heads to the Little Apple for a Big East/Big 12 showdown on Wednesday. These two schools last squared off in 2019, as Marquette took down the Wildcats by eight at this very venue.
The first angle in this game is how these two fare in situations where they’re dogs or favorites. Both teams seem to play better when they are an underdog, and the ATS data supports that.
Marquette is 3-2 this season as an underdog, but more importantly, it’s won three games outright as an underdog. The Golden Eagles are a scrappy bunch that tends to play to the level of its competition.
K-State is just 2-2 as a favorite, but it’s important to mention who it’s played. Florida A&M, Omaha, North Dakota and Albany are four of the worst teams in college basketball, and the Cats covered against two of them.
Offensively, Marquette will waltz to the free-throw line all night long (assuming we don’t have a case of hometown ref syndrome). The Eagles are 15th nationally in free throw rate and K State is 227th in free throw rate allowed.
Marquette will draw fouls and live at the line.
While the Eagles aren’t a fantastic outside shooting team, K-State’s ridiculous defensive numbers have to fall back down to earth at some point. Opposing teams have shot just 23.5% from deep against the Wildcats, the fifth-lowest mark in the nation. That’s due for some major correction.
On the other end of the floor, look for Marquette’s size and length, particularly on the wing, to bother Kansas State’s smaller guards.
Shaka Smart’s 1-2-2 pressing zone is intimidating when a guy like David Joplin (6-foot-7) or Darryl Morsell (the reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year) is heading the point of the zone and making the court impossible to see.
K-State is wearing lavender, and those unis are dope, but it won’t be enough to cover as a small favorite. Marquette wins outright on the road.
Pick: Marquette +1.5 (Play to +1)
Utah Valley vs. Southern Utah
Utah Valley has a horseshoe up its ass.
The Wolverines have won four games in overtime this season — that’s 67% of their wins against Division I competition. One of those OT wins was impressive, as UVU took down BYU, though one of the Cougars’ starting big men went down with injury early and another starter missed the game entirely.
The other three overtime contests were against Pepperdine, Long Beach State and Denver — not exactly a murderer’s row of competition.
UVU has played just one other team besides BYU that resides in KenPom’s top 200. That team is Boise State, and the Wolverines lost by 20. Southern Utah ranks 132nd in KenPom.
SUU squared off with UVU last season and beat the Wolverines by 10. Utah Valley couldn’t stop a potent Thunderbird offense, allowing 1.10 points per possession.
The T-Birds lived at the free-throw line, attempting a whopping 33 free throws. They could find success through the same avenue tonight.
Utah Valley hasn’t played a team that can attack the basket like SUU. The T-Bird guards are light years better than the Wolverine guards.
John Knight III and Tevian Jones are Big Sky POY candidates and point guard Dre Marin is solid in his own right. They can all attack the rim or shoot the trey-ball.
Transition should be a source of scoring for SUU. Per Hoop-Math, SUU ranks 38th in the country in FGA percentage in transition, while UVU allows transition opportunities at the 201st-lowest rate in the country.
The concern, as always against UVU, is Fardaws Aimaq, the best rebounder in the nation. Aimaq will put up his normal counting stats, but he’s not enough to make up for his team’s shoddy guard play. The T-Birds are a top-40 defensive rebounding team, so they can hold him off long enough.
Plus, if UVU is too aggressive on the offensive boards, SUU will burn it the other way.
Take the Thunderbirds in a Beehive State rivalry game.
Pick: Southern Utah -6 (Play to -7)
Wyoming vs. Arizona
There will be tons of points to cap off a night of great college basketball — a fitting end to a strong slate of games.
Arizona is playing at a breakneck pace under new head coach Tommy Lloyd. The Wildcats are the third-fastest team in the country on offense and rank 14th in tempo overall. In its seven games this season, Arizona is 5-2 to the over.
Wyoming isn’t playing as fast as it did last season. The Pokes are just 290th in overall tempo, down from 129th last year. As a result, Wyoming games have gone over just three times in seven tries.
But this seems to be more a function of competition than deliberate choice by head coach Jeff Linder.
The Cowboys have played three teams this season that rank in the top 100 in tempo. The Washington game went to overtime, so of course it went over, but the pace was high enough to send it over anyway.
Wyoming destroyed McNeese State and Arkansas-Pine Bluff, which usually tanks an over bid. The Pokes comfortably controlled the tempo against those two low-major squads.
All other competition Wyoming has faced plays slow. Detroit, Grand Canyon, Fullerton and Denver are among the slowest teams in the country. We can’t jump to conclusions on Wyoming’s over/under ability by looking at this small sample size.
Arizona should dictate tempo in this game — the better team usually does, especially at home. Wyoming doesn’t mind playing uptempo, as shown last season, but Linder is smart enough to at least try to keep this game away from being a track meet against a potential top-five opponent.
Efficiency is the other key component of betting totals. Wyoming’s offense is very good this season, and Linder, with his data first approach, always coaches teams that take high percentage shots. Even against a great defense like Arizona, Wyoming should find a way to put points on the board.
Arizona will not be stopped. Inside, outside, you name it — the Cats will not be stopped.
No team in the country has held Arizona to under 80 points this season, and it’s scored over 90 points in over half of its contests. The Wildcats have also yet to play a game under 70 possessions all season, and they won’t plan to start tonight.
Pick: Over 151 (Play to 153)
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