College Basketball Best Bets: Three Man Weave’s 3 Top Selections for Wednesday
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: El Ellis (Louisville)
After a Tuesday evening that consisted of Arkansas knocking off No. 1 Auburn and Wisconsin getting revenge on Michigan State on the road, we transition to Wednesday in college hoops.
While the slate isn’t nearly as strong, there are three games that Ky McKeon of Three Man Weave has highlighted from a betting value perspective.
Below, Ky offers up three best bets before we dive into another day of college basketball action.
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.|
Louisville vs. Notre Dame
Are you a masochist? Do you derive pleasure from pain? Then, boy, do I have a bet for you!
Louisville has been objectively terrible this season and lost to Notre Dame by 12 points at the KFC Yum! Center, but let’s take a closer look at the team since Mike Pegues took over for the fired Chris Mack.
Louisville hung with Duke for a full 40 minutes and had the game tied with under eight minutes to play. The Cardinals took North Carolina to overtime despite missing their leading scorer and rebounder, Malik Williams.
And then Louisville lost to Syracuse by 21 on the road. OK, ignore that one.
The Syracuse loss was ugly, but Louisville was again without Williams, who Pegues suspended for two games. The other two efforts were downright impressive, and now, Williams is back in the lineup after being reinstated this week.
Notre Dame has been good this season, and its 9-2 against-the-spread record over the past 11 games is a scary thing to fade. But this is the peak of Notre Dame’s value against the absolute bottom of Louisville’s. It’s a simple buy-low, sell-high transaction tonight by betting on the dog.
Matchup-wise, Louisville has to take away clean outside looks from the Irish. Notre Dame went 15-of-23 from deep in Game 1, which is both absurd and hopefully unrepeatable. But the Irish also scored at will in the paint, and it mattered very little that the Cardinals allowed just one offensive rebound.
I’ll give Louisville a slight pass in the first game, as that was during the peak of Mack losing the confidence of the roster, as rumors of his firing swirled.
Tonight, I expect a more cohesive Louisville team led by its captain, Williams, who hopefully brings a positive impact after getting out of the doghouse.
The talent is there for Louisville to stay close and/or win outright. The Cardinals just need to put it all together.
Pick: Louisville +7
Tulane vs. Memphis
Whether you like Penny Hardaway’s recent press conferences or not, you have to agree with him on one thing: he hasn’t had his full roster for much of this season.
Following a four-game losing streak in which the Tigers lost to Iowa State, Georgia, Ole Miss and Murray State, a switch seemed to flip. Memphis took down a tough Alabama squad by 14, announcing its re-emergence as an NCAA Tournament contender.
Since that game, though, Memphis has been missing at least one starter in each contest. DeAndre Williams has missed seven games in that span, Jalen Duren has missed four and Landers Nolley II has missed three. Emoni Bates has missed several games as well, but he doesn’t matter quite as much.
On Saturday Memphis finally had its roster back at full strength (minus Bates), and it crushed UCF by 26 points. Memphis, when healthy, is an incredibly talented and dangerous team.
Memphis will be fully healthy again tonight for a rematch with Tulane. The Tigers were missing Williams and Duren when they fell to the Green Wave back on Dec. 29. Tulane went 10-of-22 from deep and shot 60.5% inside the arc, winning the game by one point at home.
Expect a hyper-motivated Memphis squad tonight at home. The Tigers have massive advantages in both the size and athleticism departments, which should overwhelm Tulane at every position.
The concern for Memphis is Tulane’s trapping zone. Can the Tigers handle the ball and shoot well enough to overcome a double-digit point spread?
Shooting hasn’t been a problem this season for Memphis, as it ranks second in the AAC in 3P% in conference play. Turnovers have improved slightly, but Memphis is still bound to make plenty of mistakes tonight.
Hopefully the athleticism advantage can offset those miscues.
Pick: Memphis -9.5 (Play to -10)
Loyola Chicago vs. Bradley
Tonight, we are undertakers in a pivotal Missouri Valley contest.
The Valley is the slowest conference in the country. Per KenPom, its overall tempo ranks dead last among every other league, but of course, oddsmakers factor that into the line. Some might see the first meeting between these two squads and think, “149 points … why should I take the under?”
That first game went to overtime and sailed under the 138-point total in regulation. Coincidentally (or not), Game 1’s regulation total of 132 is right around where the line is set tonight.
I was on the under in the first game, and I like it again tonight. Both teams are content to play a slow game — heck, Bradley is one of the faster teams in the league and just played a 61-possession contest with Evansville on Saturday.
Loyola has played four of its last seven games under 61 possessions.
In two meetings last year, the possession counts were 67 and 66, respectively, and point totals reached 125 and 123. Going back two years, possession counts for two games were 60 and 63 and point totals were 113 and 133, respectively.
The point is, when these two teams play against each other, games are usually slow and not very efficient.
Bradley and Loyola are the top two defensive teams in the Missouri Valley.
Loyola is going to make ball handling a living hell for the Braves and put Defensive Player of the Year Lucas Williamson on their best player. On the other end, Bradley is going to play physical and dominate the defensive glass.
Both teams struggled to score in Game 1 and combined to shoot 12-of-49 from deep.
Don’t be deterred by the point total coming down significantly from Game 1. That is partially due to tempo in general slowing as the season progresses.
Predictive sites such as KenPom and oddsmakers alike adjust totals based on historical tempo trends. One of those trends is a general slowing of pace as we get deeper into the conference season.