College Basketball Odds & Picks: 3 Friday Picks From Three Man Weave, Featuring Grand Canyon vs. Abilene Christian
Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Bryce Drew (Grand Canyon)
- Friday's college basketball slate isn't huge, but that doesn't mean there isn't betting value.
- Matt Cox of Three Man Weave came through with three best bets for Friday, including a late-night pick for Grand Canyon vs. Abilene Christian.
- Check out all three best bets for Friday's college basketball slate below.
With no power-conference teams in action, it’s officially mid-major night in college basketball.
Matt Cox of Three Man Weave gets you set for the Friday slate by providing three best bets, including an 11 p.m. ET WAC affair.
Dive in below and get the top college basketball odds and best bets for Friday.
Friday’s Three Man Weave College Basketball Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that Matt is targeting from Friday’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.|
Dartmouth vs. Cornell
By Matt Cox
The Color Wheel War! The Big Green square off against the Big Red in a fascinating Ancient Eight matchup on Friday.
This play starts with a situational angle we’ve targeted before here on the Friday edition of best bets: Ivy League road dogs.
Year to date, Ivy road underdogs in conference play are a solid 21-16 against the spread, a continuation of a previously identified multi-year historical trend.
The rationale supporting the data checks out, too. This league is littered with sophisticated coaches who deploy intricate styles. But because they’ve all been playing in the same sandbox for many years, everyone knows each other’s bag of tricks.
On top of the fact that talent is rarely a differentiator in the Ivy, parity usually prevails.
Dartmouth has been especially effective away from home this season. The Big Green won at Yale, won at Harvard and lost in OT to Princeton on the road — impressive performances which exude confidence heading into tonight’s rematch against the Big Red in Ithaca.
Of all the Ivy League teams, Cornell may be the most system dependent — that is, its success is rooted more in its execution than its talent level.
This is a massive advantage against unfamiliar opponents, but that edge erodes against familiar foes.
Cornell is 0-5 against the spread in its last five games, three of which were conference rematches. Think of this dynamic as similar to a pitcher’s third time through the order in baseball. Batters pick up on something after facing said pitcher once or twice.
Granted, Cornell did welcome back Nazir Williams last game, and he’s a critical creator for a team devoid of high-end talent or athleticism.
Still, the previously mentioned road and familiarity angles should negate Williams’ impact.
In short, this is simply too many points for a feisty Dartmouth team to be catching against Cornell.
Pick: Dartmouth +10 (Play to +9)
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Eastern Michigan vs. Kent State
By Matt Cox
The last two times Emoni Bates stepped into the national spotlight on CBS Sports Network, the Eagles delivered for betting backers. Against Toledo on Jan. 24, Bates poured in 43 points in a near mega upset of the Rockets.
Then, the following Friday, another MAC showcase special on CBSSN, Bates went off again — this time, against Ball State, another MAC contender.
It was another close-but-no-cigar 35-point performance, but it was a second straight rocking chair cover for EMU bettors.
We’re backing Mr. Bates again in a familiar spot, one in which he’s risen to the occasion.
In fact, since that Toledo explosion, Bates and his Eagles look like a completely different team. They’ve covered six of their last seven games, with the lone exception being Tuesday’s blowout loss to Akron.
Now, Bates is back on the big stage, a perfect setting for another dominant performance and opportunity to showcase his talents. It helps that his teammates are chipping in as well, particularly on the defensive end, where the Eagles have been disastrous all season long.
Finally, consider the value in tonight’s 17-point line in relation to the first meeting between these two a month ago. The line closed Kent State -14 in that game, which ended up being the exact final game margin.
However, Kent State needed a furious second-half run to gain separation from the talented Eagles, and it’s fair to assume this version of EMU is leaps and bounds better than that team a month ago.
In that context, a three-point swing is not nearly enough to compensate for the minimal home-court advantage and categorical improvement EMU has proven in recent weeks.
Once again, we’re riding with Bates and company on the road against another top-end MAC team on national television.
Pick: Eastern Michigan +17 (Play to +16)
Abilene Christian vs. Grand Canyon
By Matt Cox
Herein lies two teams that are a combined 16-4 to the over in their last 20 games combined. Oddly enough, the market seems to be ignoring the obvious here.
KenPom projects this as a 146 total, which the oddsmakers effectively copied on their opening line. Midway through the morning, after an initial round of sharp money action, the total sits within a point of KenPom’s model estimate.
Is it because of the shooting regression indicators pointing toward the under? Possibly. ShotQuality shows a value on the under in its model.
Could it also be attributable to the quirky scheduling spot? Also possible. GCU will be playing its second game in three days after a gut-wrenching home loss to UT Rio Grande Valley on Wednesday.
Perhaps tired legs could deflate the Lopes’ pace, which ranks among the slowest in the WAC.
But this angle is far more about efficiency than it is tempo.
The Lopes’ typically stout defense has slipped to 11th in the WAC, per KenPom, largely due to their inability to control the glass.
The return of Yvan Ouedraogo was supposed to shore up these issues, but the undersized Lopes are still struggling to hold opposing offenses to one-and-done possessions.
On the other end, GCU’s offense should do damage against ACU’s undersized, discombobulated defense, which pales in comparison to the units former head coach Joe Golding fielded a few years back.
Despite leading the league in turnovers per possession, opponents are torching ACU at the rim whenever they get past the first wave of pressure.
This “all-or-nothing” dice-rolling defense is the perfect placemat for an over, especially when you factor in the Wildcats’ foul rate.
Despite the subtle regression indicators toward the under, the stylistic matchup should trump those data angles and push this over the total.
Pick: Over 145 (Play to 147)
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