College Basketball Mid-Major Predictions, Odds: Keg’s Bottom of the Barrel Bets for Saturday (Dec. 10)
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Bottom of the Barrel Picks for Saturday, December 10
We have a jam-packed day of college basketball on Saturday with over 100 games on the slate. Our first game tips at 11:30 a.m. ET, with our last getting started at 10 p.m. ET.
That’s a long day of college basketball, and a lot of it.
We’ve all been there — a game you missed, a bet you forgot to place before it started and now the six-point underdog you loved is up 17 10 minutes in. It can happen to the best of us.
Here are three games on Saturday that I’ll be locking in early to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Bottom of the Barrel College Basketball Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that Keg is targeting from Saturday’s slate of games. Click the team logos for one the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
|Specific bet recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NCAAB Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.|
Jacksonville vs. UNC Wilmington
Our first game on Saturday will see two teams with similar styles of play square off. That style of play is defense, and defense only.
The Jacksonville Dolphins, fresh off of an 11-point outright win over VCU as 8.5-point underdogs, will head to Wilmington, North Carolina on Saturday. They’ll try to avoid being the next in a long line of high-level mid-majors to fall at the hands of the Seahawks.
UNCW is riding a six-game win streak, which includes victories over Missouri State, Vermont and North Texas. The Seahawks’ three losses on the season have all come against power-conference teams (North Carolina, Oklahoma and UConn).
Both of these teams rank outside the top 300 in Adjusted Tempo. They also both rank in the top 150 in Adjusted Defense Efficiency.
UNCW has posted a bottom-20 effective field goal percentage on offense. Meanwhile, the Dolphins are 336th when it comes to field goals made and turn the ball over on 21.2% of all plays, which ranks in the bottom-20 of Division I.
Jacksonville and UNCW both average exactly 60.5 points per game and aren’t much further apart when it comes to points allowed, with the Seahawks giving up 64.9 per game and Jacksonville giving up 64.
This is going to be a slow rock fight the whole way, with both defenses doing all they can to limit the other. The first team to break 60 likely wins this game — if either can even score that much.
Against North Texas — another strong defensive team — UNCW combined with its opponent for just 106 total points.
I think we see a similar score in this one.
Pick: Under 118 or Better
Butler vs. Cal
“That’s Big East vs. Pac-12. Those aren’t mid-to-low major teams.”
- I make the rules. They’re all made up on the spot, and they only matter when I feel like it.
- Cal should be forced to play the worst team in each conference beginning with the Summit, all the way down to Division III. The first team it beats is the conference it plays in now.
At 0-10 to start the season, Cal is really establishing a solid lead over Louisville and Central Connecticut State. As I type this, the Blue Devils are looking to retire from the perfect-season race against Dartmouth.
The Golden Bears’ defense is actually decent (152nd). They have held teams to just 43.1% from the floor, while also limiting them to 65.8 points per game.
Unfortunately for the Berkeley faithful, that doesn’t mean much, as they can’t seem to score from much of anywhere other than the free-throw line.
Butler, on the other hand, is the 14th-best team in the nation in effective field goal percentage, 11th-best team in overall shooting percentage, is averaging 74.3 points per game and is holding opponents to just 63.8 per contest.
Cal was without its leading scorer in its last loss to EWU due to the health and safety protocols, but he’s still questionable for Saturday’s game. He joins a long list of Cal players who have missed time this season — 7 of its 13 scholarship players have missed a combined 35 games so far.
Butler has had some injury issues of its own, but a majority of its players are apparently healthy and just not playing as a precaution against inferior opponents.
With or without everyone available, I think Butler handles the Golden Bears with ease. I expected the Bulldogs to be a 12-to-15 point favorite over Cal, and was able to lock them in at -9.
Wright State vs. Western Kentucky
The Raiders head to Bowling Green to take on the highest-ranked team (per KenPom) that they’ve faced this season in the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. Wright State is also looking to avoid giving up 80 or more points in a loss for the third game in a row.
Unfortunately for Wright State, I don’t think it’ll be able to avoid that in Diddle Arena on Saturday night. Western Kentucky is averaging 72.2 points per game and ranks 33rd in the nation when it comes to effective field goal percentage.
Wright State has actually been better than the Hilltoppers when it comes to scoring, averaging 76.9 per contest. However, WKU is the third-best 3-point shooting team in all of college basketball, hitting 43% as a team from beyond the arc.
The Raiders, meanwhile, are the 252nd-worst team when it comes to defending the perimeter, allowing teams to hit 36.4% from deep.
Wright State moves at the 31st-fastest tempo in college basketball.
The more possessions Western Kentucky has, the more 3s it’s going to take. Against a SCST team that ranked 27th in Adjusted Tempo WKU racked up 90 points while hitting 13-of-33 from deep.
I expect a similar performance against Wright State.
Bet this game to go over the total at 148 or better.
Keg’s Beverage of the Weekend
Some people hate on blended bourbons for a variety of reasons, and I’ve never understood that. Sure, some of my favorite bourbons and the best I’ve had are single barrel, but it’s not like you have to choose one or the other.
This week’s selection is one of the best blended bourbons I’ve ever had in my opinion.
Bardstown Bourbon Company Discovery #4
With the Discovery Series, Bardstown took various-aged distillate from different Kentucky distillers and blended it together, using none of their own bourbon.
All of the bourbons used are aged 10-15 years, and when put together, they are great from start to finish. A sweet fruit flavor in the beginning followed by a bit of oak and char at the end truly makes this one of the best bourbons I’ve ever had.
Cheers, and good luck.