Wednesday NCAAB Best Bets & Odds: Three Man Weave’s Picks, Including Georgia vs. Auburn, Pitt vs. UNC
Photo by Johnnie Izquierdo/Getty Images. Pictured: Jamarius Burton (Pitt)
On Wednesday night in college hoops, the top two teams in the country (No. 1 Purdue and No. 2 Tennessee) are back in action.
But we’re not specifically looking at those games.
Ky McKeon of Three Man Weave is targeting three other major-conference affairs that have high-quality betting value.
So, dive in below and get the top college basketball odds and best bets for Wednesday night in college basketball.
Wednesday’s Three Man Weave College Basketball Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that Ky is targeting from Wednesday’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.|
Georgia vs. Auburn
By Ky McKeon
On Jan. 4, the Auburn Tigers traveled to Stegeman Coliseum to take on the Georgia Bulldogs and left two hours later with their tails between their legs. UGA wasn’t intimidated by its ranked foe and controlled the game from start to finish.
Tonight, Georgia will look to sweep its conference rival.
There are some who subscribe to the “revenge” theory in sports, but that’s a fallacy. More likely, it’s possible the team that wins game one has the blueprint and requisite tools to win — or at least cover — in game two.
And the large spread tonight gives plenty of leeway to a Bulldogs team that has dropped severely in analytical rankings due primarily to a single poor effort against the best team in the SEC.
Auburn has a tough home court. There’s no doubt about it. But the Tigers haven’t been as dominant at home this season, sporting just a 4-7 record against the spread.
Many believed Auburn was playing above its head and was overvalued during its hot start at the beginning of the year. That theory has begun to gain traction, as the Tigers have slipped down analytical rankings and struggled to decisively put away conference foes.
In game one, Georgia lived at the foul line, attempting 32 free throws to Auburn’s 16. While one could argue there was a little home-cooking, that split follows the distinct characteristics of both teams.
Georgia leads the SEC in free-throw attempt rate in league play. Guards Terry Roberts, Kario Oquendo and Justin Hill are excellent at attacking the basket and drawing fouls.
Auburn allows the second-highest free throw rate in the SEC, and Bruce Pearl’s teams always tend to be foul prone given their aggressiveness on the defensive end.
UGA has a significant edge here.
Auburn’s offense has been league-average in just about every area. In game one against UGA, the Tigers put up just 0.96 points per possession despite grabbing 43% of their misses.
While that rebounding edge still holds for Auburn, the Dawgs shouldn’t fear the Tigers putting on a clinic offensively.
Auburn has been among the worst outside shooting teams in the SEC this season, it doesn’t have a truly dominant low-block scorer and its guards are wildly erratic. Scoring won’t come easy.
Double-digit spreads are hard to cover in conference play, especially against a team that isn’t incompetent like Georgia — a team that has already shown it can beat Auburn decisively.
Pick: Georgia +12 (Play to +11)
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Georgia Tech vs. Louisville
By Ky McKeon
We haven’t seen Louisville involved in many short-spread games this season, especially since conference play began.
Tonight’s two-point spread is the shortest line Louisville has been a part of since a December matchup against Lipscomb.
In games where Louisville is a favorite or a dog shorter than two points this season, the Cardinals are 0-4 against the number.
Of course, Georgia Tech hasn’t exactly been a shining example of a good college basketball team. The Yellow Jackets enter tonight’s game on a five-game losing streak against the spread and a seven-game losing streak straight up.
Injuries have played a role, but it’s fair to say this version of GT just doesn’t have the level of talent required to compete in the ACC.
Georgia Tech is, however, much better than Louisville — and likely much better than its No. 198 KenPom rank suggests.
After a 43-point loss to Duke, Georgia Tech dropped 33 spots in KenPom’s standings, an enormous fall. That game can be treated as an outlier — we have 20 other games in our sample that shows Tech is better than that performance.
While the overall talent gap isn’t vast between these two teams, the distribution of that talent is key.
As stated in multiple places this season, Louisville has one competent guard on its roster. That has killed the Cardinals all season on both ends of the floor.
Stopping Georgia Tech’s dribble-handoff and ball-screen action is going to be a major challenge for Louisville tonight.
On the other end, Georgia Tech plays a lot of zone, which isn’t good for a Louisville team that lacks shooters and creators who can play out of the high post.
Additionally, Louisville center Brandon Huntley-Hatfield is likely out again, which takes away one of Louisville’s best rebounders, dump-off options and rim protectors on the other end.
Both teams are desperate for a win here tonight, and both believe they can get it done. I’m siding with the more talented team with better guards and a better coach.
Pick: Georgia Tech -1.5 (Play to -2)
Pitt vs. North Carolina
By Ky McKeon
Pitt currently sits at 8-3 in the ACC, 1.5 games out of first place and a half-game ahead of North Carolina.
Nobody in their wildest dreams expected the Panthers to be in this position on Feb. 1, but Pitt has ridden stellar play from transfers Blake Hinson and Nelly Cummings, in addition to senior Jamarius Burton.
It has proven to be a legitimate threat to win the conference and push for an at-large bid
Pitt’s wins haven’t been solely against the dregs of the ACC, either. The Panthers have beaten NC State, Virginia, Wake, Miami and UNC this season while sporting an 8-3 ATS record in conference, the second-best in league play.
That win against UNC on Dec. 30 came in shocking fashion. The Tar Heels kept Pitt at arm’s length the entire game, leading by as many as nine in the second half until a late run by the Panthers put the Heels away.
Pitt scored inside the arc at will, shooting 63.2% behind Burton’s 31-point effort. UNC could not stop it, and its guards did their typical late-game hero attempt by jacking up ill-advised 3s in a futile comeback effort.
When it comes to talent, UNC has an unquestionable advantage tonight. When it comes to decision-making and playing smart basketball, advantage Pitt.
UNC big man Armando Bacot will be a challenge for Pitt tonight, just as he was in game one when he dropped 22 points and grabbed 13 boards. The Panthers lack true paint size, so if UNC sticks to a game plan that involves getting Bacot a touch every time down the floor, Pitt is in trouble.
Fortunately for Pitt, UNC’s guards — Caleb Love and R.J. Davis — have egos. At some point during this game, the duo will try to “get theirs” and force ill-advised shots — especially if this game stays close.
If Pitt doubles on post entries and focuses on taking away Bacot, the UNC guards can be baited into taking bad shots.
On the other end, Pitt has already proven it can score against UNC. The Tar Heels’ interior defense has not been strong in conference play, and the Panthers have a bevy of talented playmakers and shotmakers at their disposal.
Drive-and-kick opportunities should be available, and Pitt will look to force Bacot to defend in pick-and-roll actions, something he hasn’t been great at this season.
Pick: Pitt +8.5 (Play to +8)
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