Friday NCAAB Odds, Best Bets: Three Man Weave’s 3 Picks, Including Northern Kentucky vs Wright State, More
Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Trey Calvin (Wright State)
As usual, the Friday slate is thin on power-conference teams — beyond No. 13 Xavier taking on Butler.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t betting value on the board.
In fact, Matt Cox of Three Man Weave is targeting three mid-major affairs for his best bets.
Dive in below and get the top college basketball odds, best bets and picks for Friday evening.
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.|
Marist vs. Saint Peter’s
By Matt Cox
There’s no need to tune in for this battle of middling MAAC squads. Two ugly ducklings will face off tonight in what’s sure to be an anemic display of offense.
Marist (8th) and Saint Peter’s (10th) rank in the basement of the MAAC’s Adjusted Offensive Efficiency rankings in league play, per KenPom — a damning stat considering the MAAC ranks 30th out of 32 conferences in overall scoring efficiency.
Led by head coach John Dunne, who coached at Saint Peter’s for over a decade, Marist is a defensive grinder, built on the backs of two sturdy enforcers in Patrick Gardner and Stephanie Ingo.
The former is the heralded big, but the latter is a sneaky defensive ace who did not play in a 61-57 Peacocks victory between these two three weeks ago.
Ingo doesn’t play major minutes, but he’s a game changer when he’s in. His absence was felt in that loss. SPU relies heavily on second- and third-chance opportunities to manufacture points, which they executed without Ingo in the first meeting.
With Ingo back, the Red Foxes will have all hands on deck and will be able to fend off the Peacock glass crashers.
A strong macro tailwind also works in Marist’s favor tonight: the MAAC’s minimal home-court advantage.
Per KenPom, the MAAC boasts the third-lowest home team win percentage in conference play of all 32 leagues, with home teams winning only 52.2% of the time.
Per Action Network’s BetLabs tool, road teams are 42-27 against the number so far this year. The Red Foxes themselves are 5-3 outside of Poughkeepsie.
With revenge on Dunne’s mind and a healthier roster than the first meeting, bet on Marist to squeak out an ugly cover in Jersey City.
Pick: Marist +3.5 (Play to +3)
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Robert Morris vs. Cleveland State
By Matt Cox
The Colonials and Vikings are two of the Horizon’s pleasant surprises to date. Both were penciled in at the bottom of the Horizon projections this offseason, but are quietly creeping up the standings.
Bobby Mo has dropped two in a row, but the analytic rankings prove this team is leaps and bounds better than last year.
Robert Morris has lost four in a row to the Vikings, who swept the Colonials last year and took the first matchup between these two on New Year’s Eve. That game was a slugfest, but tonight’s rematch sets up for a higher-scoring affair.
Cleveland State’s offense is starting to find its mojo, buoyed by the rise of two transfers, Tristan Enaruna and Drew Lowder.
These two bookends are pacing CSU’s balanced offensive attack, which is subtly seeking to run in transition when the opportunity arises. Lowder is the catalyst in this regard, as his open-court speed adds a new dimension to this Viking scoring attack.
On the other side, RMU is currently playing like an “under” team, but that may be skewed by its recent schedule sequencing.
Two of the Colonials’ last three games came against Northern Kentucky and Oakland, two exclusively zone teams that tend to suffocate the pace out of opposing offenses.
Bobby Mo should benefit from playing against a standard base defensive structure tonight, which could pop the lid off its struggling offense.
Don’t expect a 3-point barrage on either side tonight, but the pace should trend closer to the high 60s, a few ticks higher than KenPom’s current 64-possession projection.
For reference, the first meeting saw 66 possessions.
Pick: Over 134.5 (Play to 135.5)
Northern Kentucky vs. Wright State
By Matt Cox
There’s no love lost between the Norse and the Raiders.
Last year, Trey Calvin’s late-game heroics capped off an improbable Wright State comeback, which promptly ended the Norse’s magical run dead in its tracks.
NKU got its revenge earlier this season in a 14-point victory at home.
Now, it’s time for the Raiders to punch back.
Wright State is a solid 14-10 against the spread this season, an extension of Scott Nagy’s continued under-appreciated market value. He’s one of the most cerebral coaches in the mid-major world, and the market is largely oblivious to his wits.
Nagy is 212-182 lifetime against the spread, per BetLabs, covering by an average of 1.3 points a game.
In essence, that’s a free point of value every time the Raiders take the floor — but this edge won’t last forever.
Despite serious defensive issues, Wright State is still spearheaded by one of the best backcourts in the league, a lethal combination paired with Nagy’s mind.
Even though he’s 3-5 ATS against Darrin Horn since Horn took over at NKU, he knows what it takes to slice through the Norse’s patented zone.
He also made a smart lineup change three weeks ago by reverting AJ Braun to a sixth-man role. Braun flourished coming off the pine, headlined by a 22-point outburst last game against IUPUI.
The only concern is the quirky scheduling spot. Wright State played Wednesday, making this its second game in three days. Meanwhile, NKU has been off since last weekend.
However, the Raiders promptly dispatched IUPUI in blowout fashion, allowing Nagy to rest his top dogs late in the game.
Given the line dropped to -2.5 from the -3 opener, some bettors may be targeting this angle.
Pick: Wright State -2.5 (Play to -3)
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