College Basketball Best Bets: 6 Top Selections for November 30, Including Big Ten/ACC Challenge Games
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- The Big Ten/ACC Challenge continues on Tuesday evening with massive games, including Duke vs. Ohio State and Florida State vs. Purdue.
- Beyond the two power conferences, Saint Louis takes on Boise State in a battle that has value.
- Our staff offers six best bets from six different games for November 30 in college basketball.
With league play across the nation approaching very quickly, the opportunity for quality, resume-boosting out-of-conference victories are drifting away.
One such chance for teams in the Big Ten and ACC comes this week with the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
While there is one other game we’re eyeing — Saint Louis vs. Boise State — this marquee event between two heavyweight conferences takes center stage on Tuesday evening.
Our staff has six best bets below for Tuesday night that could help pad your wallets and set you up for a big week of betting.
Tuesday’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 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.|
Indiana vs. Syracuse
Indiana may have found something in Mike Woodson. The Hoosiers are 6-0 with a gritty win over St. John’s. They’ve covered in four of their last five games, and I like them to beat the shaky Orange tonight.
That’s for one main reason: the Hoosiers can beat zone. Last season, Indiana posted 1.055 points per possession facing zone defense, which was top-40 nationally.
Jim Boeheim’s scheme will work to force outside shots, which is why Syracuse forces the fourth-highest 3PA/FGA (51.8%) in the country.
But while so much of the Indiana offense runs through Trayce Jackson-Davis, the 2021-22 Hoosiers can shoot. Indiana is making almost 37% of its 3-point attempts, with Miller Kopp and Xavier Johnson stepping up in that regard.
Plus, the Boeheim 2-3 has been garbage this season. Syracuse isn’t stopping shots (276th in defensive eFG%, 53.1%) and it’s not forcing turnovers (281st in defensive turnover rate, 16.5%). It’s clear why the Orange have lost three of their last four.
Tonight, Indiana keeps its momentum rolling while Syracuse sinks closer to becoming a bubble team. The smart money is all over Indiana (50% of the bets, 84% of the handle), pushing Indiana from 1.5-point underdogs to 2.5-point favorites.
I’m not much of a steam-chaser, but I want to tail the sharp money and love the Hoosiers to pull out a convincing road win.
Pick: Indiana -2.5 (Play to -3)
Minnesota vs. Pitt
Minnesota (5-0) heads to Pittsburgh (2-4) to compete in the 23rd Big Ten/ACC Challenge this evening. This is the beginning of a difficult stretch for the Gophers featuring three Power-5 teams on the road in 11 games.
The two programs have only met four times in the past. Surprisingly, the last meeting between the two programs came in 1950.
The undefeated Golden Gophers are 4-1 against the spread this season, whereas Pitt has gone only 2-4 ATS.
Pitt has struggled so far this season, dropping its last two games to Vanderbilt and UMBC.
Minnesota is a defensive-centric team with an adjusted defensive efficiency (ADJDE) ranking of 40th in the nation, allowing only 93.2 points per 100 possessions. It matches up very well against a Pitt team that has an adjusted offensive efficiency (ADJOE) ranking of 294th and scores only 95.7 points per 100 possessions.
The Gophers have owned the defensive glass this season, ranking 10th nationally in defensive rebounds. Four Gophers have snagged over 20 rebounds this season to date.
When the Gophers have the ball, the discrepancy between the two teams becomes less analogous. Minnesota has an ADJOE of 99.6, which ranks 210th in the nation, whereas Pitt’s ADJDE of 101.2 is 169th in the nation.
Gophers sophomore forward Jamison Battle, who is fifth in the Big Ten in scoring, will be relied upon heavily.
It’ll be important for the Gophers to notch a win at the Pete as they ready themselves for stiff competition in the coming days. Minnesota’s defense should be too much for a languishing Pitt team to overcome.
My model projects Minnesota as 8.5-point favorites in this game. I see strong value on Minnesota heading to Pittsburgh this evening. Lay the points on the road.
Pick: Minnesota -2.5 (Play to -3.5)
Florida State vs. Purdue
Purdue has definitely become a public darling over the opening month of the season. But that doesn’t mean you should shy away from it against Florida State on Tuesday night.
The Boilermakers rank inside the top five in adjusted offensive efficiency and both 3-point and 2-point percentage, per KenPom. They have four players averaging at least 13 points per game and another two just shy of double digits.
The dynamic duo of 7-foot-4 Zach Edey and 6-foot-10 Trevion Williams in the paint has caused significant problems for the opposition. Tack on Jaden Ivey’s breakout sophomore season and role players like Sasha Stefanovic and Brandon Newman providing bursts of offense, and this Boilermakers team is deep and as dangerous as they come.
While I wouldn’t back the full-game spread on Tuesday night, I think Purdue should cover the first-half number of six pretty easily.
The Seminoles will be without starting point guard RayQuan Evans as well as two centers — Tanor Ngom and Naheem McLeod. That leaves FSU with just one player above 6-foot-9 in John Butler.
Florida State is a strong defensive team, forcing turnovers at the ninth-highest rate in the country. But it has struggled to keep the opposition off the glass — ranking 286th in defending second-chance points — which is a problem against Edey and Williams. Both players rank inside the top 10 in offensive rebounding percentage among all Division I players.
The Seminoles are banged up and have to travel to Mackey Arena in what will surely be a raucous environment on Tuesday night as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. This is a team that barely beat Boston University in overtime without Evans, McLeod and Ngom (who left injured).
Back the Boilermakers to start out of the gate hot and use their size advantage in the paint to roll by FSU.
Pick: Purdue 1H -6 (Play to -7)
Saint Louis vs. Boise State
By Doug Ziefel
This matchup between the Broncos and Billikens will be a slugfest. Not only are these two solid defensive teams, but they are also two of the slower-paced teams in the country.
The Broncos have every box checked when it comes to looking for a program that consistently goes under totals.
Boise is 285th in tempo and 31st in adjusted defensive efficiency. It also hasn’t shot the ball well, ranking 288th in effective field goal percentage, and even worse from 3-point range at 313th. This has all added up to the under hitting in six of the Broncos’ seven games this season.
Though, if the Broncos want to make it seven out of eight, they’ll have to find a partner to slow dance with, and their opponent looks to be a good match.
Saint Louis is not far behind Boise on the defensive end, ranking 75th in adjusted defensive efficiency. The Billikens also do not play much faster than the Broncos, ranking 115th in tempo.
It’s not just the numbers that point to this game going under the total. Bart Torvik has this total projected at 131 and Jeff Sagrin has the number all the way down at 125.
Take this under and enjoy the battle between the Broncos and Billikens.
Pick: Under 136.5 (Play to 134.5)
Clemson vs. Rutgers
Rutgers’ offense has been horrid through the first six games, which has it sitting at 3-3 on the season.
The Scarlet Knights are averaging 66 points and converting on 44% of their field goal attempts, which ranks outside the top 300 in the nation. Outside shooting has been a major issue, as Rutgers has hit 27 of its 112 3-point attempts (24%), which ranks 10th-worse in the country.
All of those shooting woes have come against teams that rank outside the top 100, according to KenPom.
Life won’t get easier, as the Knights now match up against a stout Clemson defense that has held opponents to an average of 62 points this season. The Tigers have held opponents to 43.7% on field goal attempts and 29% from 3-point land.
Offensively, Clemson has been dominant from downtown, hitting 64-of-145 (44%) of its 3-point shots, which ranks third. It’s hitting 58.8% of its overall field goals, which also ranks inside the top 10.
The Tigers have lost both of their games to top-50 opponents in St. Bonaventure and West Virginia, but they led most of the second half in each contest before a scoring drought doomed them.
That won’t be an issue against a Rutgers offense that has struggled to score consistently itself. Geo Baker, who is the leader of the Scarlet Knights and averages 11.2 points and four assists per game, is doubtful to play with a hamstring injury.
The wrong team is favored in this contest, and I’m playing Clemson down to -2.
Pick: Clemson +1 (Play to -2)
Duke vs. Ohio State
By D.J. James
Following its win over Gonzaga, Duke is now the No. 1 team in the most recent AP Poll. The Blue Devils will now travel to Columbus to take on Ohio State, which lost its last contest in heartbreaking fashion to Florida on a buzzer-beater.
The market — and college hoops in general — has overreacted a bit on the Blue Devils, especially with them being favored on the road against a tenacious opponent.
OSU has a comparable offense to Duke, shockingly. E.J. Liddell is one of the most consistent players in all of college hoops, contributing 22.5 points per game with 6.2 boards and 3.2 blocks. They also own a similar effective field goal percentage and shoot better behind the arc — 37.3% to Duke’s 33.1%.
Duke’s Paolo Banchero is a force and Wendell Moore Jr. is great, too. Duke does not turn the ball over at all, so its offense is a well-oiled machine. Moore does have a tendency to get a bit reckless with the ball and Banchero turned it over five times against Campbell. This could play into the hands of an OSU defense that does not force too many turnovers in general.
Lastly, OSU can dictate the pace of the game. The Buckeyes average almost 16 assists per night and utilize much of their offensive clock when given the opportunity.
With home-court advantage, this game should be closer to a pick ‘em. Take the Buckeyes as underdogs.
Pick: Ohio State +2.5 (Play to PK)
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