Wednesday NCAAB Odds, Picks: Three Man Weave’s 3 Best Bets, Including New Mexico vs. Boise State
Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images. Pictured: Jamal Mashburn Jr. & Jaelen House (New Mexico)
Wednesday brings another intriguing college basketball schedule to the table, as Providence and UConn clash in a top-25 tilt and No. 2 Alabama goes on the road to face South Carolina while dealing with major off-the-court issues.
Beyond those two affairs, Three Man Weave’s Ky McKeon has three best bets for the Wednesday slate.
So, dive in below and get the top college basketball odds, best bets and picks — including New Mexico vs. Boise State — for tonight.
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.|
Kentucky vs. Florida
By Ky McKeon
For perhaps the first time all season, Kentucky can breathe easy.
The Wildcats rattled off back-to-back Quadrant 1 (Q1) wins over Mississippi State and Tennessee, which has lifted them out of Dayton and the First Four and safely into the meat of the Field of 68, per the bracketologists at Bracket Matrix.
Tonight is another shot at a Q1 win against a Florida team missing its best player.
All-SEC center Colin Castleton broke his wrist last week against Ole Miss and was announced as out for the remainder of the season.
He takes away Florida’s leading scorer, rebounder, shot-blocker and all-around fulcrum on both ends of the floor.
In the first game between UK and Florida, Castleton poured in 25 points and grabbed eight boards. His presence inside was key in holding Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe to just 2-for-14 shooting from the field.
With Castleton out, there’s nobody to stand in Tshiebwe’s way. The reigning National Player of the Year should eat on the glass tonight and name his number in the post.
Florida’s first game without Castleton didn’t go well. The Gators’ usually staunch defense allowed Arkansas to shoot 65.3% inside the arc and score 1.17 points per possession.
With Tshiebwe — plus a slew of athletic wings — all able to score by attacking the rim, expect the Cats to score at will.
Offensively, Florida is lost without Castleton; the Gators built their entire attack around their star big man.
While Florida has capable slashers like Riley Kugel and Will Richard, it doesn’t have the shooting to win games from the 3-point line. Florida is shooting just 29.7% from deep in SEC play.
It’ll be forced to be a jump-shooting team sans any post threat.
Oddsmakers have adjusted the line for Castleton’s absence, but in my opinion, they didn’t go far enough.
Castleton is arguably one of the five most important players to his team in the country. His loss has a far greater impact than the current line indicates.
Pick: Kentucky -2.5 (Play to -3)
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Vanderbilt vs. LSU
By Ky McKeon
This wager is straightforward: Ride the hot team and fade the cold one.
Vanderbilt has been among the hottest teams in the country in the month of February, starting a perfect 5-0 straight up and 4-1 against the spread. Per Bart Torvik, Vandy is the nation’s 33rd-best team since Feb. 1; LSU ranks 227th.
It’s been a disappointing season for the Tigers. The program has been stuck in the mud since conference play began.
LSU has dropped 14 straight contests — including 13 SEC games — and is just 3-11 ATS during that span.
The roster just isn’t quite “SEC-level” talented, and the pieces clearly aren’t gelling.
Vandy should have no trouble scoring tonight on LSU’s porous defense. The Tigers rank last in the conference in 3-point percentage allowed and 13th in 2-point percentage allowed.
Vandy center Liam Robbins has been on a tear of late, averaging 22.6 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.6 blocks in the month of February.
Robbins’ dual ability to score in the post and shoot the 3-ball makes him a matchup nightmare for opposing bigs and allows head coach Jerry Stackhouse to show defenses a lot of different looks.
On the other end, don’t expect LSU to take advantage of Vanderbilt’s defensive struggles. The Tigers are the SEC’s worst offensive team and rank last in effective field goal percentage and 2-point percentage in conference play.
LSU ranks 310th nationally in finishing at the rim, per Hoop-Math, a matter made more difficult by Robbins’ presence in the paint.
With nothing to play for to salvage its season, there’s no reason to expect to see a highly-motivated LSU squad tonight.
Vandy, meanwhile, still has a chance at the NCAA tournament and a bye in the SEC Tournament.
The Commodores should keep it rolling tonight.
Pick: Vanderbilt -2.5 (Play to -3)
New Mexico vs. Boise State
By Ky McKeon
Both Boise State and New Mexico are in fights for their tourney lives.
Boise is currently slated on the right side of the bubble, per Bracket Matrix, and the Broncos are also still in the running to win the Mountain West regular-season title.
New Mexico has tumbled down the seed lines as of late, with four straight losses prior to its “get-right” win over San Jose State.
The Lobos’ recent slide — particularly their two bad losses against Wyoming and Air Force — coincided with an injury to star point guard Jaelen House.
Without House in the lineup, New Mexico is a completely different team. UNM is five points per 100 possessions better offensively and 12 points better defensively when House is on the floor, per Pivot Analysis.
Case in point, House returned to the lineup against San Jose State, and New Mexico promptly wiped the floor with the Spartans to the tune of a 28-point blowout.
House is fully healthy again, meaning New Mexico will roll out the same squad it rolled out on Jan. 20 when it defeated Boise at “The Pit” in overtime.
With House and Jamal Mashburn Jr. leading the offense, New Mexico is one of the deadliest offensive teams in the country. Both guards can catch fire or create their own shot, and UNM is one of the best pick-and-roll teams in the nation, per Synergy.
Boise has been the best defensive team in the MWC this season, but the Broncos are vulnerable in the post. Boise has allowed 0.892 points per possession on post-ups this season, good for 257th nationally, per Synergy.
New Mexico forward Morris Udeze should find success on the block tonight. In the first game between the two teams, Udeze scored 15 points and grabbed five boards against the Broncos’ frontline.
UNM could also benefit tonight by winning the pace battle. The Lobos were successful in making the first game a track meet, and they’ll try to get Boise out of its comfort zone again by hunting for quick looks in the open floor and pushing off the glass.
New Mexico ranks 15th nationally in field goal attempt rate in transition following a defensive rebound, per Hoop-Math.
We’re backing a desperate Lobos squad tonight in what should be a close game throughout.
Pick: New Mexico +6 (Play to +5)
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