College Basketball Odds & Picks: Three Man Weave’s Friday Best Bets, Featuring Illinois vs. Michigan State, Purdue vs. Nebraska
Dustin Satloff/Getty Images. Pictured: Illinois’ Terrence Shannon Jr.
- Friday's college basketball slate features 13 games, including a couple of key Big Ten matchups.
- Matt Cox of Three Man Weave sees betting value on Quinnipiac vs. St. Peter's, Illinois vs. Michigan State and Purdue vs. Nebraska.
- Check out all three of Three Man Weave's best bets for Friday's college basketball games below.
Friday’s college basketball slate isn’t a big one with only 13 games on the docket, but there are plenty of intriguing matchups across the board.
Cox came through with three best bets for Friday’s college hoops slate, including a rematch in the MAAC and two Big Ten showdowns featuring teams that have started to hit their stride of late.
So, read on for all three of Cox’s best bets — and be sure to check back tomorrow for even more of Action Network’s college basketball betting coverage.
Three Man Weave’s Friday College Basketball Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that Three Man Weave’s Matt Cox is targeting from Friday’s slate of games. Click the team logos for one of 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.|
St. Peter’s vs. Quinnipiac
It feels foolish to fade a team that’s red-hot with a team that hasn’t covered a game since Dec. 30. This is a technical, “think simple” handicap.
Quinnipiac and St. Peter’s already played once this season. This marks the rematch in the conference home and home meetings. Shockingly, the Peacocks prevailed in Jersey City, 63-56. Now, they return the road trip to Hamden, Connecticut, a breezy trip from downtown New York City.
The first game closed SPU +4.5, which the Peacocks covered with ease.
It’s not always wise to fade the team with in-league revenge on its mind, but the key lies in that closing number. Today’s spread of +10 is a 5.5-point swing from the first game, which largely reflects a basic switch in home court (if you assume court is worth roughly 2.5-3 points each way). Thus, the market sees minimal relative change in these two teams from that Dec. 18 meeting and now.
However, the Peacocks are a categorically better team now than when these teams met nearly a month ago. Two prongs of SPU’s dynamic backcourt, Jaylen Murray and Jayden Saddler, were sidelined for that first matchup. Still, the Peacocks prevailed at home by seven.
Yes, Quinnipiac’s value is sky high coming off a stunning domination of Iona, but that’s all the more reason to fade them in a predictable letdown spot, even at home.
Nebraska vs. Purdue
The Boilermakers fondly remember that terrifying visit to Lincoln on Dec,. 10. A resurging Nebraska team, healthy for the first time all season, gave the Boilers a run for their money and pushed them to the brink in overtime.
Purdue managed to squeak by with a win, but the Huskers unveiled a potential defensive scheme to slow down the monstrous Zach Edey up front. However, as astutely pointed out by Jordan Majewski, the key to that blueprint was Juwan Gary, who will be out of commission this evening.
Gary’s absence strips a key mooring from Nebraska’s defensive foundation, which is the impetus to Nebraska’s recent rise. Derrick Walker is still a formidable force, but it takes multiple bodies to stop Edey inside.
This is also Nebraska’s third game this week, while Purdue has been off since Sunday. The Big Ten’s taxing toll may wear on the Huskers in the second half this evening.
Purdue will not take Nebraska lightly after flirting with fire on the road. A locked-in Purdue team with a clear matchup advantage on both ends — aided by Gary’s loss — could put this one out of reach in a hurry.
Laying big numbers in conference games is not always advised, but this situational spot should negate the usual risk of a “dud” effort from a sleepy large favorite.
Michigan State vs. Illinois
Don’t look now, but are the Illini back?
Riding a two-game win streak, Illinois seems to be back in business. After lauded rookie Skyy Clark’s shocking midseason defection, the Illini look re-engaged on both ends of the floor, particularly on the offensive end.
Illinois assisted on over 50% of its baskets over the last two games. The Illini now rank top-25 nationally in team assist rate, per KenPom, a clear indicator of a team sharing the ball relentlessly on offense — and partial proof that those weird locker room issues are potentially behind them.
Michigan State’s starting to emerge as well, and with AJ Hoggard rounding into peak form at the point guard position, the Spartans are a real dark horse in the Big Ten.
Thus, this is not a fade of Michigan State. Rather, it’s a fade on the spot — specifically the first half — and a bet on the Illini, a team that’s been slingshotted to a new level lately.
The first half angle is largely a price play. Smart money already pounced on the softer opening line of -5, but taking a -3.5 slice in the first 20 minutes seems smarter.
Michigan State’s improved execution could be a chore to put away by a touchdown for a full 40 minutes. Illinois also set the tone early last time out against the Huskers, a recipe Brad Underwood will aim to reuse tonight.