Wednesday NCAAB Odds, Best Bets: Three Man Weave’s 3 Picks, Including Virginia vs. Louisville, Drake vs. Northern Iowa
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Ben Jacobson (Northern Iowa)
Three top-25 matchups take center stage on Wednesday in college basketball, including a top-10 SEC battle between No. 1 Alabama and No. 10 Tennessee.
Ky McKeon of Three Man Weave is not concerned about the status of a particular game, though. He forms his three best bets for Wednesday’s slate below, featuring two mid-major tilts and a matchup that includes the worst power-conference team in America.
But value is value, so dive in now to get the top college basketball odds and best bets for Wednesday.
Three Man Weave’s Wednesday 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.|
Virginia vs. Louisville
By Ky McKeon
Louisville needs no introduction. The Cards are currently enjoying one of the worst seasons ever for a power conference team, sitting at 3-22 overall and ranking 295th on KenPom.
Tonight, they get a nightmarish matchup against Virginia, the class of the ACC.
Louisville is in major trouble against a UVA team that packs the paint with its pack-line defense and forces turnovers at the highest rate in the ACC.
It turns out recruiting zero guards to pair with your lone backcourt stud is bad for offense. Without any semblance of a guard rotation, the Cards have coughed it up on a league-high 22.9% of possessions.
Offense for them boils down to standing around, passing the ball around the horn and hoisting low-percentage outside shots. Scoring against Virginia tonight will be extremely difficult.
On the other end, Louisville grades out as the ACC’s worst defense, surrendering a conference-high 55% effective field goal percentage. The Cards have struggled guarding ball screens (there’s that backcourt again), cutters and opponents off screens this season.
Virginia’s mover-blocker offense should slice and dice its way to an efficient performance.
In its last three contests, Louisville has surrendered 1.39, 1.42 and 1.17 points per possession. Its ACC-worst allowance of 115.2 points per 100 possessions would rank 350th nationally had it carried on the entire season.
As is typical for Virginia games, you can expect the Hoos to “Crockpot” the Cardinals for a full 40 minutes. This means the lead will grow slowly over the length of the game, but rest assured, it will grow big enough to cover the lofty spread.
Pick: Virginia -16
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George Mason vs. George Washington
By Ky McKeon
The Battle of the Georges, Part Deux!
George Washington and George Mason have taken opposite flight plans this season. While the Colonials of GW have improved as the year has progressed and have exceeded preseason expectations, the Patriots of GMU have gone downhill.
These two schools — separated by about 20 miles — met in mid-January. GW took a 14-point lead in the first half and never looked back, dominating the Patriots in Fairfax for a full 40 minutes.
In that game George Mason was missing one of its better players in Davonte “Ticket” Gaines. Tonight, Gaines will be back, but GMU is likely to be without another one of its studs, 6-foot-4 wing Victor Bailey Jr.
Bailey went down with a hand injury seven minutes into a contest against Loyola on Feb. 4. GMU dropped that game to the worst team in the A-10 and followed that effort up by getting smashed by Duquesne.
A not-so-easy victory at home over Rhode Island followed, but it’s clear the Patriots have missed Bailey. Per Hoop-Explorer, GMU scores 1.04 points per possession with Bailey on the floor. When he sits, that number descends to .969 points per possession — a colossal drop-off.
GW has plenty of talent, including arguably one of the best backcourt duos in the A-10 in James Bishop IV and Brendan Adams. Their shot-making and creation give the Colonials a chance to win every single night.
GW also has plenty of size to combat GMU big man Josh Oduro, the focal point of the Patriots’ offense.
GMU’s offense has been horrific in A-10 play, which is important for a GW team that hasn’t guarded well this season. The Patriots’ perimeter won’t be able to take advantage of GW’s soft shell, especially if Bailey — GMU’s best shooter — is still sidelined.
On the other end, GW has the league’s second-best offense behind Bishop and Adams. The Colonials scored 1.07 points per possession in game one against GMU, and no signs point to that changing tonight.
Expect GW to take care of business and complete the sweep over its fellow George.
Pick: George Washington PK (Play to -1)
Drake vs. Northern Iowa
By Ky McKeon
Northern Iowa is in a rut.
After a scorching start to Missouri Valley play, the Panthers have dropped five games in a row. A tougher stretch of their schedule is partly to blame, but then again, UNI did lose to bottom-feeder Evansville last Wednesday.
Tonight is a perfect chance for the Panthers to get back on track. They host Drake, the best team in the league and winner of seven straight contests.
While the task of beating (or keeping close with) Drake seems daunting, UNI nearly upended the Bulldogs in Des Moines on Feb. 1. The Panthers led by 11 points in the second half and took Drake to double overtime before ultimately succumbing to defeat.
Finding clean looks on the perimeter was key, as the Panthers hit 12-of-31 from deep. That should be repeatable against a defense that tends to pack the lane more than it extends past the arc.
High ball-screen action for star point guard Bowen Born will be UNI’s primary catalyst to offense. The Panthers are among the best pick-and-roll teams in the country, per Synergy, and forcing Drake big man Darnell Brodie to guard in space is a recipe for success.
From a more qualitative lens, UNI has been much better at home this season and has one of the better home-court advantages in the Valley.
The Panthers took down Southern Illinois at home earlier this year, as well as St. Bonaventure and Murray State.
Secondly, this is a rivalry game between two in-state opponents who often play one another close. In Drake coach Darian DeVries’ five seasons, the series is tied, 5-5.
No doubt we will see max effort from UNI tonight in front of a raucous McLeod Center crowd.
Pick: Northern Iowa +6.5 (Play to +6)
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