College Basketball Best Bets: Three Man Weave’s 3 Top Picks for Wednesday, Including Nevada vs. Washington
Jamie Sabau/NCAA Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua #23 of the Baylor Bears.
- Nevada faces Washington, while Baylor takes on Arizona State in the Bahamas.
- Sam Houston State also duels against a struggling SMU team.
- Ky McKeon of Three Man Weave breaks down the matchup and offers up his three best bets.
Welcome to this week’s Friday.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is always a special day, and it’s even more special when paired with a side of college basketball all throughout the night.
It all starts with Nevada taking on a lowly Washington squad at 7 p.m. ET. Then, a powerful Baylor squad faces an Arizona State team down its best player. To wrap it up, Sam Houston looks to take advantage of SMU’s second-half woes at 8 p.m. ET.
Check out all three of Ky’s picks, complete with a full betting breakdown for each game below.
Three Man Weave’s College Basketball Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our college basketball staff is targeting from today’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.|
Nevada vs. Washington
Let’s get the compliments out of the way. Washington has won two straight games as an underdog and has looked far more competent than it did in the early, early season.
The Huskies have risen from their KenPom low of No. 139 to their current No. 120 in just two days.
I still don’t trust them. Washington isn’t well-coached, and despite all its talent, will continue to fall short of its potential.
Nevada wasn’t setting the world on fire, either, to start the season, limping to a 1-4 start overall and against the spread. But, like their dog brethren, the Wolf Pack notched an impressive win over George Mason yesterday, getting up by as many as 25 in the second half.
Nevada head coach Steve Alford kicked AJ Bramah, one of his better forwards, off the team prior to that contest. Perhaps that move has saved what seemed to be a contentious locker room situation.
The Pack have a significant size advantage tonight. Washington center Nate Roberts can block shots, but he’s averaging 6.3 fouls per 40 minutes. Nevada’s twin 7-footers, Warren Washington (not Worthington, that’s the Angel) and Will Baker, should be able to get Roberts in foul trouble and off the floor.
Defensive shooting regression is coming for Nevada. The Pack have allowed teams to shoot over 36% from 3, a combination of playing South Dakota State on a hot night and luck.
Washington is not a good shooting team, so expect that “weakness” to strengthen this game.
Nevada’s offense finally looked like it was fully engaged against GMU. The Pack scored 1.21 PPP against the Patriots and should be able to do the same against the Huskies.
Washington’s defense is prone to getting shredded against teams who move the ball. Nevada ranks 24th nationally in assist rate.
There will be a ton of possessions in this game, so don’t be alarmed if the score experiences major mood swings. Ultimately Nevada should come out on top and get one step closer to .500.
Pick: Nevada -3
Baylor vs. Arizona State
Baylor is holy sh*t good. Its average margin of victory through four games is 34.8 PPG, which includes a 38-point shellacking of Stanford.
Arizona State, meanwhile, has looked uncomfortable in all of its contests, even against the likes of Portland, UC Riverside, and North Florida.
The Sun Devils will be without their best player tonight in sophomore Marcus Bagley, who didn’t make the trip down to the Bahamas and has played just 2.5 games thus far this season. Bagley is vital on both ends of the floor, especially against a team as robust and talented as Baylor.
Is Bagley’s absence in the line? Yes, but I contend oddsmakers didn’t adjust enough. The significance of star player absences compound against stiffer competition.
ASU has no hope of stopping Baylor, the sixth-best offense in the land, per KenPom. Baylor will own the offensive glass (16th in offensive rebounding rate) and have a field day inside the lane as the Devils run its shooters off the 3-point arc.
Baylor ranks 27th nationally in percentage of points scored inside the arc; ASU ranks 333rd in percentage of points allowed inside the arc (aka it allows a ton).
Offense won’t be a picnic either for the Sun Devils. Turnovers are a real concern, as ASU ranks 154th in offensive turnover rate, while Baylor is second in the country in defensive turnover rate.
The Devils have no hope of winning the board battle, an area in which they’ve found success early on this season.
Expect a lopsided affair. ASU doesn’t have the horses to keep up with Baylor. This game could balloon to a 20-point victory in favor of the Bears.
Pick: Baylor -13
Sam Houston vs. SMU
Let me introduce you to the worst second-half team in college basketball. In games in which SMU has held a lead at half, the following has occurred:
- Northwestern State: SMU handled business, won the second half
- Southeastern Louisiana: SMU lost second half by six
- Missouri: SMU lost second half by 11, overtime by five
- LMU: SMU lost second half by 13
SMU is 1-5 against the spread this season, but it’s been on track to be 4-2 at halftime. Head coach Tim Jankovich was already on the hot seat heading into the season, and now his seat is burning brighter.
Sam Houston is no pushover and can absolutely hang with the Ponies tonight.
The Bearkats played Nebraska close in a high-possession game and have consistently been among the nation’s best mid-majors under head coach Jason Hooten.
But a few words of caution. SMU beat Sam Houston by 30 last season in the first game of the year. Nothing went right for the Kats, and they sent SMU to the line a whopping 28 times.
Sam Houston’s aggressive defensive style is prone to two things: 1) forcing turnovers (yay) and 2) fouling (boo). Our hope is the Bearkats do enough of the former to make up for the latter.
SMU will turn the ball over, but it will also live at the foul line.
Both teams can win the glass battle on the offensive end, so let’s call that a wash.
That leaves personnel. Do the Kats have enough firepower to hang with SMU in what could be a high-possession affair?
Outside of SMU’s Kendric Davis, Sam Houston will have the best player on the floor tonight. Texas A&M transfer Savion Flagg, a former four-star recruit and overqualified asset in the WAC, is the nation’s fifth highest-used player this season and is averaging 16.2 PPG. SMU will have no answer for the versatile Flagg, who is sure to put up points in droves.
Flagg’s fellow guards, Jaden Ray, Donte Powers, and Demarkus Lampley, are all upperclassmen with enough experience to not be intimidated by the mighty SMU backcourt.
SMU could be up big at half, but fear not! The Ponies shall relinquish some of that lead in the second stanza, which should hopefully be just enough for a Bearkat cover.