NCAAB Odds, Picks: 7 Best Bets Featuring Maryland vs. Michigan State & More
Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images. Pictured: Tyson Walker (Michigan State)
Beyond Saturday, Tuesday features the best slate of the week in college basketball.
Four ranked games will take place, including an all-Big East affair between Marquette and UConn.
If you’re looking for betting value, our staff has seven best bets for Tuesday’s slate, so dive in below to get the top college basketball odds and picks.
Tuesday’s 7 College Basketball Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our college basketball staff is targeting from Tuesday’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.|
Marquette vs. UConn
There’s a three-pronged reasoning to this pick.
First, I’ve become an evangelist for Shaka Smart as an underdog, which was first brought to my attention by our Tanner McGrath.
Since 2010, Smart’s teams are 90-58-3 against the spread when receiving points, including 49-25-2 on the road (all numbers per Bet Labs). Those are profitable enough trends to jump on the Golden Eagles blindly.
Dig deeper, and there’s more reasons to like Marquette. Since New Year’s Eve, Marquette is 9-1 and playing as the-15th best team in the nation, per T-Rank. Over that same period, UConn is 4-6 and 35th in T-Rank.
Marquette is the better team right now. Even though the Golden Eagles are playing in Hartford, Smart and Co. have every right to win this game outright.
That’s especially true when looking at the rosters and styles of play. Connecticut keeps the pace at a certain tempo to facilitate through its two seven-footers. Marquette will be quick to speed up the game and make those big men run in space.
Marquette’s frontcourt has the size to at least challenge UConn’s centers, but it really has the athleticism and play-making chops to attack open space when the Golden Eagles have the ball.
I’ll trust Smart, with the better team and a strategic leg up, even on the road.
Pick: Marquette +4.5
What is QuickSlip?
QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Ole Miss vs. Georgia
I think this is a good spot to buy at the bottom of the market on Ole Miss in a revenge situation against a Georgia team that has started to fade with Kentucky on deck.
The Rebels got Matthew Murrell back last game, and he’s uber-important.
They’re also due for some shooting regression on both ends of the floor in conference play.
Meanwhile, the opposite is true for the Bulldogs, who may once again be without Terry Roberts (concussion). The offense just isn’t the same without Roberts, who leads the team in points, assists and steals.
In the first meeting, Ole Miss led for most of the second half in a tightly-contested affair before folding down the stretch. The Rebels scored just two points over the final four minutes in a loss by four points — their largest deficit of the game.
For what it’s worth, Roberts finished with 14, 7 and 5, while Ole Miss shot just 3-of-19 from 3 (15.8%). The Rebels aren’t a great shooting team, but they’re not that inept.
From a matchup perspective, Ole Miss does a good job of limiting transition opportunities (which is where Georgia excels) and is also solid in pick-and-roll defense in the half-court (which is critical in this particular matchup).
Pick: Ole Miss +2 (Play to +1)
Eastern Michigan vs. Buffalo
Sharp money has pushed Buffalo up to a 10-point favorite from the opener of 8.5, which scares me. However, this looks like the top of the market, given ShotQuality makes the spread nine and our Action PRO model makes it 8.5.
And either way, this is a game where you throw out the numbers.
Every important statistic and metric will drag Eastern Michigan because the Eagles have been horrific. So, this is a bad matchup for EMU on paper.
But Emoni Bates has finally awoken. Bates has dropped 43, 17, 19 and 35 points over the last four games, leading to four consecutive EMU covers and two outright wins.
The Eagles have averaged over 1.00 PPP during the four-game stretch, putting together their best offensive performance of the season in a win over Ohio.
Bates’ shot-making ability is insane, and he’s dragging Eastern Michigan to MAC respectability. A rising tide lifts all boats, they say.
Emoni Bates dropped 35 points in a losing effort on Friday night.
We are going to assume there are not many 6-foot-10 humans who can do these types of things.@BatesEmoni pic.twitter.com/MweUTwUSQp
— CBS Sports College Basketball 🏀 (@CBSSportsCBB) February 4, 2023
Meanwhile, the Eagles have slightly turned it up defensively. They’ve dragged themselves out of the MAC defensive efficiency basement (that title now belongs to Western Michigan) after holding Ohio and Miami (OH) under .9 PPP.
Eastern Michigan is trending way up and starting to meet preseason expectations.
And I mostly like the situational spot.
Eastern Michigan is looking to bounce back following a one-point overtime loss, while Buffalo could post a letdown game after cruising by Western Michigan. The Bulls also could be looking ahead to Kent State on Friday.
Buffalo is nothing special — an average MAC team. This version of the Eagles can keep up with an average MAC team.
Making Buffalo a double-digit favorite is wildly disrespectful to the strides Bates and Co. are making, but I still wouldn’t play EMU lower than +9.5 (-110).
Pick: Eastern Michigan +10 (Play to +9.5)
Cincinnati vs. Tulane
By Brett Pund
In a rematch from the conference opener for both schools, I’m expecting Tulane to exact revenge over Cincinnati at home Tuesday night.
For starters, the Green Wave had one of their worst shooting nights in the first meeting, finishing with just four 3-pointers on 20% shooting.
Also, Tulane has proven to be much better in New Orleans this season. At home, coach Ron Hunter’s squad is allowing 73.4 points per game in regulation, which is much better than the 79.6 points per game average on the road.
This has also shown at the betting window, where the Green Wave are 4-1 against the spread at home in AAC play. The only ATS loss came against No. 2 Houston.
For these shorter spreads, I prefer to lay the bigger price to play the moneyline, but I also don’t hate Tulane on a spread of -2 or better.
Pick: Tulane ML -118 (Play to -130)
St. John’s vs. Butler
Truthfully, you could argue this is a desperate spot for both teams. I’d argue this begins a stretch that is the last stand for the Red Storm and potentially even Mike Anderson.
Thad Matta’s first year at Butler has certainly been disappointing. His leash, however, will extend much longer than this season given his ties to the school.
In contrast, St. John’s helter-skelter season has been a trademark of Anderson’s tenure and career as a whole. Another season resulting in a failure to reach the field of 68 may be the final straw for Anderson.
I am inclined to trust St. John’s tonight. Hope for the season is dwindling, yet not completely lost, as is the case with Butler.
The Red Storm have not covered since they took down UConn on the road on Jan. 15, but their recent efforts are not quite as terrible as that may sound.
A 12-point loss to Seton Hall last was much closer than that score would indicate. An argument could be made that St. John’s may have won that game had Andre Curbelo not been ejected in a one-possession game with about 10 minutes remaining.
Butler has been mostly non-competitive in the last month, claiming only one win in eight opportunities during that time period.
Typically, I would be hesitant to trust a road team to cover in Hinkle Fieldhouse. On this occasion, I will trust St. John’s to play with the effort and intensity indicative of a team needing to make a February push to earn at-large consideration.
And given Butler’s underwhelming season, I am banking on the Bulldog faithful to fall short in bringing the same vigor that makes Hinkle such a tough place for opponents to win.
Pick: St. John’s +1.5 (Play to PK)
Maryland vs. Michigan State
I really like the spot here for the Spartans in what feels like a must-win game for Tom Izzo’s ball club.
Michigan State has lost three of its last four and has fallen to .500 in conference play with eight Big Ten games remaining.
Meanwhile, Maryland enters this one winners of its last four after a stretch of facing a few of the lesser teams in the league.
Jahmir Young and Donta Scott have been phenomenal for the Terps, but the Spartans’ defense should have the pieces to hold both in check.
A.J. Hoggard and Tyson Walker are both sound on-ball defenders, and each have shot the ball better within the friendly confines of the Breslin Center.
Expect Izzo to throw Malik Hall on Scott for a majority of the night. Hall’s return to the lineup after a stretch of injuries is monumental for MSU, given his value on both sides of the floor.
The Spartans have struggled on the offensive end in recent games, but Purdue and Rutgers are both very good defensively.
I think you’ll see some positive shooting regression in this one for MSU, as well as a max-effort performance from the Green and White with Izzo understanding the importance of this game.
Give me Sparty to cover as a short favorite.
Pick: Michigan State -3 (Play to -4)
Michigan State will host Maryland this evening as both programs look to put the finishing touches on their respective resumes for the selection committee.
The Spartans conclude a tough slog, playing their first home game in the last 12 days after dropping three of the last four.
The time away from the Breslin Center clearly hasn’t been without its tribulations, as Michigan State comes into this evening’s Big Ten matchup with the second-toughest schedule in the nation, per KenPom.
As a result of the brutal schedule, Michigan State is 11-12 (47.8%) against the spread.
However, the story improves when Sparty makes a home stand. In East Lansing, they improve to 6-11 (54.5%) against the spread and have covered six of their last eight.
Michigan State and Maryland match up evenly, with the programs ranking 40th and 36th, per Bart Torvik, respectively. But Michigan State has a large statistical advantage in two components of my model.
Maryland has struggled from beyond the arc, shooting 30.9%, which ranks 313th in the nation. The Terrapins face one of the better 3-point defenses in the nation in this spot.
Additionally, Maryland has struggled on the defensive glass, grabbing just 69.1% of available boards, which ranks 208th in the nation.
On offense, Michigan State will continue to rely on veterans Walker and Joey Hauser, who rank first and second on the team in scoring, averaging 13.8 and 13.0 points per game, respectively.
I am projecting Michigan State as five-point favorites in this game.
I like Michigan State in this bounce-back spot after a brutal Big Ten road stretch. It has been a force at home all season, losing outright just twice. Lay the chalk on the short home favorites tonight.
Pick: Michigan State -3 (Play to -4.5)
How would you rate this article?
This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.