Our 5 Favorite Under-the-Radar College Basketball Bets for Tuesday
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Iona guard Rickey McGill
- While not covered as much nationally, smaller conference games can arguably provide more value for college basketball bettors.
- For those bettors interested in some of the non-marquee games, check out our five favorite under-the-radar sides for Tuesday.
With Duke-UNC heading the college basketball betting card on Wednesday night, we wanted to dive into a few matchups that might not be on the radar of the casual fan on Tuesday night.
But bettors have a different lens about these games that pay out the same as your major conference showdowns — and can actually provide even more value.
So get ready to pull up your ESPN+ and check out our six favorite bets for Wednesday night, starting off with some MACtion and MAACtion.
>> All odds as of 10 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and win probabilities on your bets.
Mike Randle: Bowling Green -4.5 (vs. Akron)
7 p.m. ET on ESPN+
The Falcons have been a great against the spread all season. Bowling Green owns a 15-5-1 overall record against the spread, including 9-1-1 at home. The Falcons have also gone 5-1 at home in Mid-American Conference play, including an impressive 92-88 outright win over Buffalo.
While Akron has the top-ranked defense in conference play, Bowling Green boasts the top-ranked offense. The Falcons also rank third in the MAC in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, while the Zips rank dead last in effective field goal percentage. Akron also ranks 234th in the country in offensive rebounding, while Bowling Green is 22nd best nationally in defensive rebounding.
Sophomore guard Justin Turner (18.8 ppg) is coming off a 34-point performance in the Falcons win at Northern Illinois and senior forward Demajeo Wiggins (13.1 ppg, 11.2 rpg) is a double-double machine. Bowling Green is tied with Buffalo for first place in the MAC East Standings, and can’t trip up at home to a poor offensive Akron team that has lost three of its last four games.
Stuckey: Iona -1 (at Quinnipiac)
7 p.m. ET on ESPN+
It’s getting late in the season, which means head coach Tim Cluess has the Gaels making their annual run ahead of the MAAC Tournament where Iona usually excels.
This is also just a bad spot Quinny, which just played a game in Siena on Sunday — a game that went to triple overtime. As a result, the Bobcats will play their third game in five nights and fourth in eight nights — two of which went to overtime. When you account for all four overtime periods, this will essentially be four and a half games in eight nights. That’s not ideal against an Iona team that plays with tempo and hasn’t played since Friday night.
Quinnipiac does sit atop the MAAC standings, but it has enjoyed quite a bit of fortune. The Bobcats have won conference games in overtime, double overtime and triple overtime.
Iona also has revenge from a 1-point home loss to Quinnipiac earlier this season. And same season conference revenge always intrigues me with Cluess, who has only been swept by an opponent in the regular season two times in his nine years at Iona. The Gaels got their revenge over Siena and Niagara during their current three-game winning streak. And now I think they add Quinnipiac to that list to move into a five-way first place tie in the win column in the MAAC standings (six if both Iona and Siena win tonight).
In a game of two pretty evenly matched teams on paper, side with Cluess and a Gaels squad in a fantastic situational spot. I also wouldn’t sweat the home-court advantage too much for Quinnipiac, which is 4-3 at home in conference this year with two overtime wins and a 2-point win over Fairfield.
Ken Barkley: Wake Forest +11 (at Notre Dame)
7 p.m. ET on ESPNU
This is kind of an incredible number when you think about it. Notre Dame is 3-9 in ACC play and a double-digit favorite; I have to believe that kind of combination doesn’t come along very often.
The Irish haven’t won any of their three conference games by double digits. But really, here’s the thing: you’re catching these two teams when market opinion is stretched the furthest.
Wake Forest just suffered the most embarrassing defeat possible Saturday against UNC, losing by 38 at home and never even being in the same stratosphere of the Tar Heels. Meanwhile, Notre Dame almost won at Virginia. If anything, there has to be a tiny bit of line value because of recency bias.
From a game standpoint, UNC was a horrible matchup for Wake (which I mentioned in Saturday’s best bets guide) because of its ability to rebound; the Tar Heels essentially mitigated Wake’s one true strength by being a little better at it.
Notre Dame, meanwhile, is one of the worst in the country at preventing offensive rebounds, meaning the flow/look of this game should be completely different and Wake should excel on the glass.
In a game I think will be fairly competitive, this line is simply too high.
Steve Petrella: Bucknell +3 (at Colgate)
7 p.m. ET
Both Colgate and Bucknell have been trending in the right direction, it seems. Colgate has won its last four, but the last three have come by only nine points total. Bucknell has won five of six and 10 of 12.
These are two evenly-matched teams no matter what set of metrics you look at, but Bucknell’s defense has improved over the last two weeks while Colgate’s has slipped. The Bison can defend the perimeter well (49th nationally in 3P defense), which Is a big part of Colgate’s game.
I’d also look at the Bucknell moneyline in a game I feel is a true coin toss.
John Ewing: Ohio +18 (at Buffalo)
7 p.m. ET on ESPN+
Ohio has lost and failed to cover in five consecutive games. Given its recent struggles and a matchup against No. 25 Buffalo, it’s no surprise that a majority of spread tickets are on the Bulls.
However, history suggests the Bobcats are undervalued. Since 2005, teams that have lost and failed to cover five straight games have gone 631-557-17 (53%) ATS in their next game. And if they face a conference opponent on the road, the ATS record improves to 262-182-7 (59%) ATS.
Editor’s note: The opinions on these games are from the individual writer and are based on his research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.