College Basketball Mid-Major Odds, Picks: Keg’s Bottom of the Barrel Bets (Saturday, December 18)
Photo by David Lefranc/Kipa/Sygma via Getty Images
- Another college basketball Saturday is upon us, which means Keg has some mid-major bets to make.
- Keg broke down three mid-major bets for Saturday's slate, including San Diego vs. Northern Arizona.
- Check out all three of Keg's top picks below.
Bottom of the Barrel Picks for Dec. 18
The extra/added games page may look a little bigger this weekend, but don’t let those big names fool you — the mid/low-tier games we’ve come to love are still there.
As of writing, 10 games on the Saturday slate have been canceled, all due to COVID-19 issues involving one or both teams.
And despite the number of COVID-19 cancellations, most teams have been able to find a replacement matchup. So, let’s dive into the games.
Wofford vs. Presbyterian
The first game that caught my eye on the Saturday slate was Wofford heading to Presbyterian looking to put an end to its perfect record at home.
Wofford’s biggest struggle this year has been on defense, specifically defending the 3.
The Terriers allow opponents to average an effective field goal percentage of 55.5%, and opposing teams have also shot 42% from outside the arc against Wofford. Both stats rank outside the top-300 nationally.
However, great news for Wofford: Presbyterian is worse at shooting from deep than Wofford is at defending. The Blue Hose rank 337th in effective field goal percentage and 335th in 3-point percentage.
The Terriers’ offense has also been miles ahead of Presbyterian, ranking 56th in college basketball in 2-point shooting percentage. Wofford also rarely misses from the charity stripe, ranking 12th in the country at 80% from the line.
And finally, this line opened much lower than I expected. I grabbed Wofford at the opener of -6.5. I feel confident backing the Terriers as high as a 10-point favorite.
Pick: Wofford -6.5 (Play to -10)
San Francisco vs. Grand Canyon
The Dons will look to keep their perfect record intact as they face off against the Antelopes Saturday night.
The game will be the second-to-last in the Jerry Colangelo Classic. And while it may not technically be a home game for the Lopes, the Footprint Center is just eight miles from GCU Arena. I expect the always rowdy GCU crowd to travel well for this game.
The Antelopes had no issue making the trip across town just a few weeks ago to take on Arizona State.
In case anyone was wondering about the GCU crowd tonight… they’re LOUD pic.twitter.com/FnZHNAFkCR
— Clutch Sports: Sun Devils (@ClutchSportsASU) December 10, 2021
San Francisco has been top-40 in both defensive and offensive efficiency, per KenPom, but there are some clear holes in its incredible start to the season.
For starters, this will be the closest thing to an away game it’s had so far.
The Dons also rank 24th in the country with 41% of their points coming from outside the arc. Grand Canyon, meanwhile, has been the eighth-best team at defending the 3.
GCU has rebounded better than the Dons and also has more talent off of the bench.
And once again, this line is considerably off from where I expected it to be, with the Lopes catching 7.5 points essentially as a home dog. I would take Grand Canyon at any number as a dog, and I’ll also be placing a small wager on the GCU moneyline.
Picks: Grand Canyon +6.5 | GCU ML
San Diego vs. Northern Arizona
We won’t be going far for our last bet of the night, as San Diego and Northern Arizona will cap off the Jerry Colangelo Classic late Saturday night.
This is another game in which I think the spread is somewhat off.
San Diego and Northern Arizona are both bad, plain and simple. But the Toreros are a more experienced team that has played better opponents. They also own a top-150 defense in the country, per KenPom.
San Diego ranks 47th in the country in 3-point shooting, hitting at a rate of 37.1%.
The only real leading stat for Northern Arizona has been its ability to get to the line, as the Lumberjacks rank 41st in the country in free throw attempts per game and 55th in free throws made.
Unfortunately for them, San Diego sits seventh in the country in opponent free throw attempts, giving up an average of just 11.6 attempts per game.
As I mentioned, this line is considerably lower than I expected. San Diego can be found at most shops as a 3.5- or 4-point favorite. I would feel comfortable backing the Toreros as high as 7.5.
Pick: San Diego -3.5 (Play to -7.5)
Bottom-of-the-Barrel Beverage Recommendation
And finally, our drink recommendation for the weekend. The weather outside in most areas might not feel like the holidays, but I can assure you the seasonal drinks have arrived.
And while the go-to is, of course, eggnog, I can understand that some people do not enjoy the lovely beverage. For those of you who do and don’t have the time or care enough to make your own, Evan Williams premade eggnog is some of the best around.
For you eggnog non-believers, however, I found one of my favorite seasonal drinks just a few years ago: Jack Daniels Winter Jack — a blend of cider liqueur and Jack Daniels whiskey to form one of the smoothest whiskey blends I’ve ever had.