Friday College Basketball Betting: South Carolina-Cleveland State; Auburn-CSU Northridge
Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Frank Martin
Tonight’s theme is trends, but not traditional betting trends.
Teams with roster and coaching consistency produce trends that savvy early-season bettors can take advantage of.
Let’s take a look at two such games on the Friday slate: South Carolina vs. Cleveland State and Auburn vs. Cal St. Northridge.
Friday College Basketball Betting
Odds as of Friday at 7 a.m. ET and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150). No strings attached. No rollover required.
Cleveland State at South Carolina
- Spread: South Carolina -25
- Over/Under: 137.5
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: SECN
Frank Martin’s Gamecocks play defense, and they play it well.
Non-conference teams that travel to Columbia early in the season are at an even bigger disadvantage. South Carolina is coming off a home win over Wyoming where they held the Cowboys to just 32 total points. The Gamecocks are 2-0 on the season with both home wins hitting the under by substantial margins.
This season, South Carolina’s defense is actually playing at a historic level. For the first time in Martin’s eight seasons, the Gamecocks have already held two different opponents under 25% from the field. Currently, South Carolina ranks first among all teams in effective field goal percentage allowed.
On offense, South Carolina is playing short-handed. Athletic sophomore Keyshawn Bryant is still out with a knee injury, leaving the Gamecocks with an offense ranking only 128th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 205th in 3-point shooting.
Cleveland State hired Dennis Felton as its new head coach on July 26. The late hiring caused a mass exodus of players that left the Vikings in full rebuild mode.
The Vikings do not have a player averaging 10 ppg or more on their roster. Senior guard Jaalam Hill (11.2 ppg) is their leading returning scorer but has not played in the first three games due to a knee injury.
Cleveland State has lost its first two road games by an average of 27.5 points. Its last road loss, 73-53 at Missouri State, was against an inferior opponent to South Carolina.
It is hard to see Cleveland State breaking 50 points in this game, making the under 137.5 line a very attractive angle.
The Pick: Under 137.5 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
Cal St. Northridge at Auburn
- Spread: Auburn -23
- Over/Under: 154.5
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: SECN
Auburn returns home after a neutral court win over Davidson followed by a true road win at South Alabama. The Tigers face a Cal State Northridge team that has been in a giving mood all season.
The Matadors rank 311th in adjusted defensive efficiency and are allowing a mind-blowing 92.7 ppg. They just allowed 94 points at home to Pepperdine. Cal St. Northridge also ranks 313th in 3-point percentage allowed and 331st in effective field goal percentage allowed.
Auburn (3-0) remains undefeated largely on the backs of their 45th-best adjusted defensive efficiency. Head coach Bruce Pearl has team’s pressure defense playing well again, ranking 30th in non-steal turnover percentage as per KenPom.
The Tigers struggled from 3P range in their first two games, shooting just 34% (17 of 40) from beyond the arc. However, on the road against a South Alabama team that is the preseason Sun Belt favorite, Auburn shot 41.7% (10 of 24).
Cal State Northridge will have to win this game without the reigning Big West Player of the Year, Lamine Diane. The 6-foot-7 sophomore averaged 24.8 ppg and 11.2 rpg last season but was ruled ineligible for the first semester.
Auburn always has a strong home-court advantage and is 6-0 against the spread in its last six home games dating back to last year.
Take the Tigers to secure a big Friday night win over the defense-averse Matadors playing without Diane.
The Pick: Auburn -23 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]