Tuesday College Basketball Betting: How to Approach Wake Forest-Virginia, San Diego State-Fresno State
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kyle Guy (5), De’Andre Hunter (12)
With a little less than a fortnight until Super Bowl Sunday, it’s time for college basketball to satisfy the sports fans’ thirst for action.
There are a pair of attractive options on Tuesday’s limited 33-game college hoops slate.
Let’s take a closer look at two home favorites: Virginia vs. Wake Forest and Fresno State vs. San Diego State.
>> All odds as of Monday night. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NCAAB odds and track your bets.
Betting Odds: Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Virginia Cavaliers
- Spread: Virginia -24
- Over/Under: 132
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- TV: ACCN
Wake Forest (8-9) has been the quintessential “Jekyll and Hyde” team. The Demon Deacons are 6-3 averaging 79.2 points per game at home, but they’re 0-5 and averaging 70.6 points per game on the road.
Meanwhile, Virginia (16-1) has been one of the best home teams in the nation. The Cavaliers are a perfect 9-0 with an average margin of victory of 28.4 points at home, and are 12-3 overall against the spread, including 7-2 at home.
The metrics aren’t kind to the Demon Deacons on either side of the ball.
Wake Forest is 279th in offensive effective field goal percentage and 248th in defensive effective field goal percentage. The Demon Deacons don’t generate extra possessions on defense, ranking a miserable 319th in turnovers forced per game.
Wake Forest has been even worse in conference, ranking last in the ACC in defensive 2-point field goal percentage, overall defensive efficiency, defensive blocks per game, offensive effective field goal percentage and offensive 2-point field goal percentage.
Virginia is coming off its first loss of the season after falling 72-70 at Duke this past Saturday. The Cavaliers are still the most efficient overall team in the country, ranking third in adjusted offensive efficiency and second in adjusted defensive efficiency. They’re also best in the ACC in 3-point shooting (41.4%) and defending shots from behind the arc (24.5%).
This is a bounce-back game for the Cavaliers, who will be focused after their first loss of the season. Despite their 3-point prowess, they produce 66% of their points off 2-pointers or free throws.
Wake Forest has failed to perform at a level that would indicate anything other than a blowout.
THE PICK: Virginia -24
Betting Odds: San Diego State Aztecs at Fresno State Bulldogs
- Spread: Fresno State -7.5
- Over/Under: 141
- Time: 11 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPNU
San Diego State (10-7) has alternated wins and losses over its past six games. The Aztecs are 5-8 ATS, including just 1-4 on the road.
Meanwhile, Fresno State (13-4) is enjoying its best season since 2006-07. The Bulldogs have gone 11-2 over their past 13 games, including winning four of their past five. They’re 8-2 at home and 11-4 overall ATS.
San Diego State has been significantly worse defensively than recent years. The Aztecs’ overall adjusted defensive efficiency rank the past few seasons has been seventh, first, eighth and 59th. This season, the Aztecs rank 151st while also being generous (166th) against the 3-pointer.
Sophomore forward Jalen McDaniels (15.9 points per game; 8.1 rebounds per game) has played well, but he’s also been significantly better in San Diego, averaging five more points and 3.5 more rebounds in his conference home games.
Fresno State has dominated its conference games statistically. The Bulldogs rank first in the Mountain West in offensive effective field goal percentage and second in defensive effective field goal percentage.
The Bulldogs are shooting a strong 39% from 3-point range in conference games, led by senior guard Braxton Huggins (41%). Over his past three games, Huggins is a spectacular 50% (15-of-30) from deep.
Defensively, Fresno State is holding its opponents to a conference-best 25.9% from beyond the arc. The Bulldogs are also active inside with 4.2 blocks per game.
The Bulldogs are just a half-game behind Nevada in the Mountain West race, and almost upset the Wolf Pack at home only 10 days ago. The Aztecs’ poor defense combined with their Mountain West road struggles will allow Fresno State to score at will.
Despite having inferior teams, the Bulldogs have won three of the past four at home against the Aztecs. And this year, Fresno State has the much better team.
THE PICK: Fresno State -7.5