College Basketball Odds & Picks: Our 7 Best Bets for Wednesday, Including Virginia vs. Georgia Tech, Missouri vs. Ole Miss & More (Feb. 10)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: Jeremiah Tilmon.
- Wednesday's college basketball slate is loaded, and our staff of writers is ready for it.
- Our staff broke down seven different bets for six games throughout the night, including Virginia vs. Georgia Tech, Saint Louis vs. Rhode Island, and Missouri vs. Ole Miss.
- Check out each individual pick complete with a betting breakdown below.
Our college basketball staff got up for Wednesday’s slate of games.
Our writers’ top picks span four games that tip at 7 p.m. ET, including Virginia vs. Georgia Tech, Drake vs. Northern Iowa, The Citadel vs East Tennessee State, and Boston College vs. Wake Forest. Then, things keep rolling into the 9 p.m. window with Saint Louis vs. Rhode Island and Missouri vs. Ole Miss.
Check out our staff’s full breakdowns and picks for each of their top games below.
College Basketball Odds & Picks
Specific bet recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing on Wednesday morning.
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Virginia vs. Georgia Tech
This is an absolutely massive game for Georgia Tech’s tourney hopes.
Sometimes that can work against a team, but I trust this senior-laden Yellow Jackets squad similar to how I did in a recent home win in a similarly important home contest against Florida State.
Plus, Georgia Tech actually has the shooters to score on Virginia’s pack line. It’s just a decent matchup for the Jackets.
Yes, UVA doesn’t turn it over and Jay Huff poses problems, but Georgia Tech’s rebounding weakness won’t be exposed here as Virginia doesn’t really crash the offensive glass and nobody really secures offensive rebounds against Bennett’s pack line.
If you recall, the Wreck held a double-digit second-half lead in Charlottesville the last time these two teams met in late January. Virginia ended the game on a big run to pull out a two-point victory. I think this comes down to the end once again, as long as GT’s shots are falling.
I’m trusting in Josh Pastner’s bunch to once again come through at home, where it’s been dynamite in league play.
Virginia vs. Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech is riding an 11-game win streak at home against ACC opponents. It hopes to continue that streak Wednesday night as it welcomes Virginia.
During this streak, Georgia Tech has beaten some quality opponents such as North Carolina, Clemson, and Florida State.
The Yellow Jackets are allowing 1,200 fans in their home arena, with 900 of those tickets going to students. Virginia faced a similar home-court advantage when it played Clemson, which allowed 1,800 fans earlier in the year. The Cavaliers handled that situation relatively easily, winning that game, 85-60.
Virginia is sneakily one of the most efficient offenses in the country, scoring 116.3 points per every 100 possessions according to KenPom. The Cavaliers rank seventh in the country in 3-point percentage (39.8%), 13th in 2-point percentage (56.7%), and second in free-throw percentage (81.5%).
Sam Hauser paces the Cavaliers with 15.4 points per game while shooting 52.0% from the field. Hauser made 9-of-12 attempts from the field in the last matchup with the Yellow Jackets, good for 22 points.
Georgia Tech has struggled with 7-foot-1 center Jay Huff in the past, and he put up 18 points and five rebounds in the first matchup between these teams.
Georgia Tech is vulnerable to scoring droughts, and that occurred twice in the first meeting. Virginia squeaked out a two-point win at home on Jan. 23 in a game in which no one could make a shot for Virginia, except for Hauser and Huff.
Virginia won’t be fazed by the home-court advantage that Georgia Tech presents as the Cavaliers are a veteran team that has played on bigger stages.
Drake vs. Northern Iowa
Drake’s undefeated season finally came to a close over the weekend when it lost to Valparaiso on the road.
That still doesn’t take away from the fact that the Bulldogs have one of the most electric offenses in college basketball. Drake is averaging over 1.10 points per possession in MVC play and is shooting teams right out of the gym.
The Bulldogs are shooting over 37.5% from 3 and over 55% from 2-point range. Most of their shots come at the rim (almost 40%), where they are shooting a blistering 68.4%, per Hoop-Math. Not only that, but Drake also has the highest offensive rebound rate in the conference at well over 31%.
Northern Iowa’s defense has been below average ever since conference play began, as it allows over 1.06 points per possession in MVC play. It owns the lowest turnover rate in the conference as well, so it better hope that Drake shoots a low percentage tonight, or else it’s also going to get run out of the gym.
The Panthers have had all sorts of difficulty on offense ever since their best player, AJ Green, suffered a season-ending injury in December.
Northern Iowa is averaging only 0.99 points per possession in conference play has a hard time holding onto the ball, owning the highest turnover rate in the MVC.
The Panthers are also shooting a dreadful 31.7% from 3-point range, which is a problem since 37% of their field goal attempts come from deep.
Drake’s defense has been solid this season, allowing only 0.95 points per possession. It truly excels at defending both the perimeter and the paint, as it’s in the top three in the conference in both 2-point and 3-point percentage allowed. So, Northern Iowa is likely going to have some trouble developing some consistency on the offensive end of the floor.
I have Drake projected at -11.28, so I think there’s some value on the Bulldogs at -9.5. It also doesn’t hurt to mention that Drake is one of the best teams in college basketball against the spread at 14-3 for the year.
The Citadel vs. East Tennessee State
The Citadel was an over bettor’s dream earlier in the season.
The Bulldogs reeled off five straight overs at one point, eclipsing totals that peaked at 170. Eventually, books caught up to these SoCon shootouts and started setting incredibly high totals.
This overcorrection hit its apex when Mercer and The Citadel met on Jan. 20 with a total of 175.5 on the board. They didn’t come close to passing that absurdly high number (83-63 Mercer), and totals for the Bulldogs have been steadily dropping ever since.
I had targeted a number of 155 as my benchmark for playing another Citadel over, and we’ve finally dipped below that number in this one.
ETSU has done its part lately, with unders cashing in four straight games, but that’s immaterial in this one. The last time the Pirates and Bulldogs met, the teams scored 196 points. That’s not a typo. They blew past the closing total by 40.5 points… in regulation!
I have every confidence that ETSU can shred this defense again. The Citadel ranks in the bottom 10% of all D-I defenses in so many metrics I’ve lost count. Here’s a quick sampling:
- Opp. Points/Game (343rd)
- Opp. Shooting % (333rd)
- Opp. 2-Point % (333rd)
- Opp. FGM/Game (344th)
- Opp. Assists/TO (315th)
I will be shocked if the Pirates don’t hit 90 points in this game, which would require The Citadel to reach 64 points to reach the over, a number it has cleared in all but one game this season.
The Citadel checks in at 12th in tempo and sped up a slow-moving ETSU team last time. Given the result for ETSU, I don’t think it’ll object to playing fast in this one.
Boston College vs. Wake Forest
There’s really not much reason to pay attention to this game, which pits the two worst teams in the ACC against one another for the first and only time this season.
Jim Christian’s job status has sailed past the hot seat, and he seems more like a lame duck limping through the rest of the season. There’s very little reason to believe that BC, which boasts just one ACC win, will show any unexpected pop tonight.
Yet, you could just as easily say the same about Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons have not won a road game yet this season. Wake Forest has just one B Tier win, per KenPom, which adjusts based on location and approximates a top-100 win.
Stylistically, this game will be decided by jump shooting. These two teams score the highest percentage of their points from outside the 3-point arc in the ACC.
Wake might be the better shooting team between the two, though not by much and there’s a chance for regression from the Deacs. Wake Forest has managed 42% from outside the arc in its last four games. BC’s last two opponents have also been hot, making 41% from long range.
In this matchup of cellar-dwellers, the smart money is to bet that Boston College’s defense does enough in its home gym to force a tough shooting night from a sloppy Wake Forest offense.
Saint Louis vs. Rhode Island
By Mike Randle
The Billikens are back.
After almost a month-long layoff due to COVID-19, Saint Louis just earned an impressive 70-59 win over the top team in the A-10, St. Bonaventure.
The Billikens shot 41% (11-of-27) from beyond the arc against a Bonnies team that is among the best in the nation at 3-point defense.
They now face a Rhode Island team that is in free fall, having lost three games in a row, including a brutal 75-63 home game to a short-handed UMass team.
Everything the Rams do is centered around point guard Fatts Russell, who has been battling injuries all season. Russell played sparingly against UMass and didn’t play at all against VCU. Rhode Island struggles to score normally, and without Russell at 100%, this is a rough matchup.
The Rams have the highest amount of points generated from 2-point range in conference play, at a robust 57.2% of all points scored. However, the Billikens’ 2-point defense is among the best in the country, holding opponents to just 45.8% from inside the arc.
Saint Louis is vulnerable from beyond the arc, allowing opponents 40% from deep in its three A-10 games, but it only needs to contend with Rams’ sharpshooter Jeremy Sheppard (41% 3-point). If the Billikens can limit an offense as strong as St. Bonaventure, I don’t see the Rams presenting much of a problem.
Saint Louis has regained its early-season form and will dominate a Rhode Island team that is limited and trending downward.
Pick: Saint Louis -8.5
Missouri vs. Ole Miss
This was the projected hangover spot for the Tigers after an upset of Alabama at home over the weekend.
Missouri limited the Crimson Tide to just 32% from inside the arc and was helped with a terrible free-throw shooting performance.
The Tigers did excel in a number of categories against Alabama, including net rebounding, assists and blocks. Besides the late flurry from Alabama, head coach Cuonzo Martin called a perfect game against a top-10 team.
Now, the Tigers hit the road, where they own a 4-2 against-the-spread mark with two outright losses to Auburn and Mississippi State.
Ole Miss survived an overtime extravaganza at Auburn over the weekend.
The Rebels generally play in games that average 120 points, but the boat-race with the Tigers totaled 170 points and may have left Kermit Davis’ squad fatigued. Ole Miss is typically one of the slowest teams in the nation in terms of pace, with a rank of 304th in tempo.
The Rebels are the top team in the SEC in steals but rank 13th in perimeter defense. Points may be at a premium for two reasons.
First, Missouri sits second defensively in effective field goal percentage. Ole Miss’ point distribution ranks first in the conference from inside the arc, projecting a tough night for the Rebels offense.
Secondly, the Tigers foul plenty on the defensive side with a free-throw rate of 13th. That may not matter against a Rebels squad that is shooting 65% from the line in conference play. KenPom projects Missouri to win the game by a point with a total of 131.
Considering the defensive matchups and the subpar free-throw shooting from both squads, a Missouri victory under the total is in the forecast.
Pick: Missouri +2 & Under 133