College Basketball Betting Picks: Our Staff’s 5 Favorite Wednesday Bets
David Stacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: David Collins
Kansas vs. West Virginia highlights Wednesday’s college basketball slate, but key games in the Big East, AAC and SEC have our staff’s attention.
There are 52 Division I games on the card, giving bettors plenty to choose from. There’s even a midnight ET tip in Hawaii.
Here’s what we’re betting on Wednesday night.
College Basketball Betting Picks
College basketball odds as of Wednesday morning 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.
- Odds: UNH at Vermont -16
- Over/Under: 130
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN3
Head coach John Becker always has his Catamounts peaking in February. Vermont (19-6) has reeled off nine consecutive America East wins after a 81-77 opening loss to Stony Brook. Since that game, they have won three consecutive home games by an average of 24 points per game.
Senior forward Anthony Lamb (16.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg) has scored 19 or more points in four of his past five games, while junior guard Stef Smith (14.3 ppg) is shooting a blistering 68% (17 for 25) from 3P range over the last five games.
New Hampshire (11-11) will travel to Burlington as the worst offensive team in the America East. The Wildcats rank last in almost every major offensive category in conference, while shooting a second-worst 66.7% from the free throw line in conference play.
Vermont is by far the best offensive team in the conference, so UNH will have a tough time keeping pace. UVM ranks first among all America East teams in:
- Adjusted offensive efficiency
- Effective field goal percentage
- Offensive rebounding percentage
- Free-Throw Shooting
Vermont will rely on its strong 2P% defense, forcing New Hampshire to improve on its conference-worst 29.5% from beyond the arc.
The Catamounts have regained control of the America East with a two-game lead over Stony Brook. They aren’t going to stumble at home against the worst statistical team in the conference. I’m going with Vermont to continue their dominant home ways.
Pick: Vermont -16
- Odds: Alabama at Auburn -7
- Over/Under: 159.5
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN2
Could we see another overtime game?
Alabama is off an overtime victory against Georgia where each team clipped 100 points. Auburn has played overtime in three of its past four games, victorious in each. This game will feature two squads who may be fatigued but love to push the tempo.
Alabama ranks third in the nation in pace of play, but its the long-distance shooting that makes the difference in this contest. The Crimson Tide are shooting 32% from beyond the arc in conference play, good enough to rank No. 4 in the SEC.
Defending the perimeter has been the Achilles Heel for Auburn. The Tigers are 13th in league play, allowing opponents to shoot over 35%. Alabama is the highest-ranking team in the SEC in points distribution from three-point territory, all but guaranteeing the rapid tempo with pull up jumpers at the line.
Auburn has had issues shooting the rock itself this year, ranking outside the top 250 nationally in three-point and free throw percentage. And while Alabama is not considered a titan in the defensive department, but the Crimson Tide rank 25th nationally in defending the perimeter.
Auburn should dominate the glass, but with Alabama taking a plethora of 3-pointers, there is a chance the Tigers rebounding could be neutralized.
Look for a hungry Alabama team, which can still play its way into the NCAA Tournament with a strong finish, to run fast and shoot deep against an Auburn roster playing with fire given how many overtimes it’s needed.
Pick: Alabama +7
- Odds: Marquette at Villanova -5
- Over/Under: 145
- Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
- TV: Fox Sports 1
The spot of the night for my money is in Philly with Villanova coming off three straight losses. The Wildcats will have a chance to avenge a blowout loss earlier this season on the road against a Marquette team that’s now coming off an important home win against Butler.
It was actually Marquette that sat in a great situational spot ahead of that first meeting — fresh of a conference loss against Creighton and welcoming in a Nova team on a roll after consecutive wins over Kansas and Xavier.
Nova was also in foul trouble early on in that game — I don’t expect Marquette to hold a 30-5 free throw advantage as it did in that first go around.
Nova has seen some shooting regression on both ends as you’d expect after a fortunate start to conference play, but I think it’s now time to get on the Wildcats here at home.
Jay Wright should have them ultra-focused from the opening tip and they should be able to run their offensive sets all night against a Marquette team that just doesn’t turn teams over.
Pick: Split between Villanova -5, Nova 1H -2.5
- Odds: Iowa State @ Oklahoma
- Over/Under: 144.5
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN2
Iowa State has been a massive disappointment this season under Steve Prohm. ISU will finish the year with a losing record for the second time in three years, placing Prohm firmly on the hot seat.
Beyond their overall win-loss record, their play has been spectacularly poor on the road. The Cyclones are 0-7 straight-up away from Ames, and 2-5 ATS.
These losses all came with their best player on the floor. Tyrese Haliburton’s season is now over, which means the bottom may drop out for Iowa State. Haliburton was ranked in the top-25 nationally in a handful of player efficiency rankings including Game Score, Win Score and NBA Efficiency. Without the future pro leading the offense, Iowa State is rudderless as it enters the stretch run of Big 12 play.
Oklahoma enters in good form, having won three straight SU at home, including their marquee win of the season, a 10-point triumph over West Virginia.
The Sooners, currently a No. 9 or No. 10 seed in most brackets, refuse to shoot themselves in the foot. They play sound defense, rarely foul (13.2 fpg, second) and avoid turnovers better than any team in the Big 12. That’s a formula to take care of business as a home favorite.
The Sooners are 10-1 at the Lloyd Noble Center, but a discouraging 4-7 ATS. As a favorite, OU has struggled to cover numbers as season, posting a 5-8 ATS record. This is leading to a rare moneyline play on my part.
I’ll be tacking Oklahoma’s moneyline onto all my plays tonight. When parlayed with a standard -110 bet, it flips the juice from -110 to +125.
In a revenge spot against a floundering Cyclone team without its best player, I have immense confidence in a straight-up victory for the Sooners.
Pick: Oklahoma ML -550 as a parlay piece
- Odds: Houston -6 @ South Florida
- Over/Under: 126
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPNU
In Houston and South Florida’s first meeting on Jan. 26, the Cougars held the Bulls to a mere 0.79 points per possession while producing 1.10 PPP themselves.
The 19-point outright defeat was the final loss within USF’s five-game skid, and it’s reeled off a three-game winning streak ever since, including its win at Memphis on Saturday. Look for Brian Gregory’s team to have revenge on its mind while aiming to expose Houston’s defense in the halfcourt.
The Cougars are letting up the third-highest free-throw scoring rate in AAC play, and USF’s generated the conference’s highest rate in that department. If the Bulls can win the rebounding battle in their rematch (37-32 edge in the first meeting), expect USF to control the pace via its ultra-slow tempo and attack the rim — rather than forcing up shots from the perimeter like it did at the Fertitta Center.
The line also appears slightly inflated after Houston crushed Wichita State by 33 points on Sunday after closing as a 5-point favorite. The market isn’t accounting for the Bulls’ improved play leading up to the rematch.
Pick: USF +6