College Basketball Odds & Best Bets: Top 4 Wednesday Picks, Featuring UConn vs. DePaul, Ohio State vs. Maryland & More
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images. Pictured: Ohio State’s Justice Sueing.
- Wednesday's college basketball action once again features both conference tournament and regular-season games.
- Our staff came through with four regular-season best bets for Wednesday, including picks for UConn vs. DePaul and Ohio State vs. Maryland.
- Check out all four of our best bets for Wednesday's regular-season college basketball games below.
Welcome to March!
Wednesday’s college basketball slate once again features both conference tournament and regular-season action — and our staff has best bets for both.
Along with our three best bets for Wednesday’s conference tournaments, we have four best bets for the regular season, including picks for Maryland vs. Ohio State and DePaul vs. UConn.
So, read on for all four regular-season best bets for Wednesday — and check back tomorrow for even more college basketball betting coverage.
Wednesday’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 Wednesday’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.|
Maryland vs. Ohio State
By D.J. James
Maryland is the hottest team in the Big Ten right now, and it will travel to Columbus, Ohio, for Wednesday’s game against Ohio State.
The Buckeyes have had an underwhelming season, losing 14 of their last 15 before notching a win at home over Illinois on Sunday.
OSU is a 2-point team. Yes, it shoots 35.4% from deep, but it ranks 321st in 3-point attempt rate. Maryland also allows a 3-point attempt rate on defense of 31.7%, so the Buckeyes will likely be looking to get the ball inside. That said, they will be able to knock down the deep ball when provided the opportunity.
On the season, OSU ranks 41st in finishing at the rim in points per possession (1.24 PPP), per ShotQuality. It also can shoot the 3 off the catch, scoring 1.07 PPP. Maryland ranks 58th in PPP on defense at the rim and 156th on catch-and-shoot 3s. This may not bode well for the Terrapins on the road.
In addition, OSU ranks 57th in rebounding, per ShotQuality, while the Terps rank 106th. This will likely be a distinct edge for the Bucks on their home court.
Maryland ranks 86th in free-throw rate at 34.5%, while the Buckeyes rank 69th in this metric on defense at 27.1%. Since Ohio State is at home, it will probably get a bit of an advantage on foul calls as well.
Finally, OSU has held opponents to 31.8% from 3-point range, so it should be able to restrict the Terps’ offense from beyond the arc.
Pick: Ohio State +2.5 (Play to PK)
Pitt vs. Notre Dame
This one hits close to home as a kid who grew up following college hoops and Notre Dame right as Mike Brey took over in South Bend.
As disappointing as this season has been for Brey and the Irish, I believe he’s got one final win in the Joyce Center in him.
Notre Dame has largely been competitive throughout conference play, it has just not been able to pull out any close games.
In the last two weeks alone, the Irish have fallen to Virginia and Duke on the road by six total points, followed by a loss to North Carolina by four in which they led for most of the game.
The Irish lack depth and interior size, but they do have five graduate seniors who can all make shots from the outside. Brey noted on Tuesday that all five will start and will be honored for Senior night.
On the flip side, pretty much everything has gone right for Pittsburgh in ACC play. This is a team that still ranks outside the top 70 in ShotQuality’s rankings.
The Panthers now find themselves in sole possession of first place in the conference, controlling their destiny to hang an ACC regular-season title banner. For a team that has played with nothing to lose since early January, some newly added pressure could change things a bit for Pitt.
Ultimately, this is too pure of a spot for me to pass up, as I’m a karma believer and think Notre Dame has some opportunity to generate a lot of clean open looks when it has the ball.
Pitt will certainly score plenty against a weak Notre Dame defense, but I just don’t see it being able to keep pace with an Irish team that will shoot it well with everything going on in the building tonight.
Call this a homer play if you want, but I have faded Notre Dame on plenty of occasions this season.
Tonight, the Irish get one last win for Brey in South Bend.
Pick: Notre Dame ML +155
DePaul vs. UConn
In order to avoid having to play in the opening round of the Big East tournament. Connecticut will need to handle its business on Wednesday night against a DePaul team which is in free-fall.
After Villanova outlasted Seton Hall on Tuesday night, the Wildcats sit just one game back of the Huskies for fifth place in the Big East standings. This is significant with a regular-season finale between Villanova and Connecticut slated for March 4.
The difference in the five- and six-seed line is critical given that the top five seeds in the Big East Tournament get an automatic bye to the quarterfinals.
Luckily for UConn, Wednesday night’s matchup with DePaul is the perfect opportunity to make a statement.
DePaul will travel to Storrs after losing 10-games in a row. Given this exceptional losing streak, it could be assumed this would be a great buy-low opportunity for the Blue Demons. However, Connecticut presents a matchup nightmare for them on both ends of the floor.
Offensively, Connecticut will snag a plethora of second-chance opportunities as it ranks No. 1 in all of college basketball in offensive rebounding percentage. DePaul sits outside the top 345 in the same category defensively.
On the other end, DePaul has relied almost exclusively on its ability to connect from beyond the arc to drive its offensive success. This will not be a successful strategy against a Connecticut defense that ranks second in the Big East in 3-point percentage and 3-point attempts allowed.
The one area in which this Connecticut defense has shown weakness is in its inability to defend without fouling. Unfortunately, DePaul ranks 283rd nationally in free-throw attempts per game, shooting just 28.3% of its field goals from the charity stripe.
Look for Connecticut to make a statement in a game it must win in order to continue to stave off Villanova in the Big East standings.
Pick: UConn -17.5 (Play to -18.5)
UMass vs. Duquesne
Look, I know how injured the Minutemen are. First, Noah Fernandes is still down (ankle), and now leading scorer Matt Cross is out indefinitely (MCL).
Frank Martin did some solid things with the Minutemen in the nonconference season, but he’s now stuck with a severely shorthanded roster. As a result, UMass has lost six of his last seven.
Still, catching double-digits against Duquesne is ludicrous, even with line movement that way.
UMass hosted Duquesne earlier this season without Cross or Fernandes and still came away with an eight-point victory. And the Minutemen didn’t get lucky either, as ShotQuality graded the game as a convincing analytical win.
The reasons are simple.
First, Massachusetts crashes the offensive glass hard, ranking second in the A-10 in offensive rebounding rate. Meanwhile, Duquesne is the second-worst defensive rebounding team in the A-10 and the 328th-worst nationally.
So, UMass snagged 16 offensive rebounds in the first matchup, converting seven into eight points on putbacks alone. The Minutemen did this all without their best offensive rebounder in Cross.
Secondly, Duquesne is one of the best offenses in the conference, but the Dukes are a severely overrated defense. ShotQuality projects the Dukes as the conference’s fourth-worst half-court defense and the worst transition defense by PPP allowed.
So, RJ Luis went thermonuclear in the first matchup, dropping 31 points on 7-for-11 shooting. The freshman simply bullied the Dukes’ underwhelming interior defense.
RJ Luis (@RjLuis21) followed up his best game of the year four days ago with a 31 point outing against Duquesne, topping his previous performance.
the 6'7" freshman is beginning to garner some national attention, he should be on every preseason 2024 draft board. pic.twitter.com/ZThMojiFEd
— Jake Kerr (@jakeeekerr) January 29, 2023
Luis also picked up 18 free-throw attempts and could live at the line again, given Duquesne ranks 262nd in free-throw rate allowed.
Between Luis and unlimited second-chance opportunities, UMass can keep this one close.
The ShotQualityBets model projects Massachusetts as only a 1.4-point underdog at Duquesne. While I’m unsure how much injury news is baked into that projection, I still don’t think Fernandes and Cross are worth over 11 points to the spread.
And I know 12 is too many points for the Minutemen.
Pick: UMass +12 (Play to +10)
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