College Basketball Betting Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Plays for Wednesday (December 2)

College Basketball Betting Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Plays for Wednesday (December 2) article feature image
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Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jawaun Newton

  • Looking for some last-minute college basketball picks for Wednesday? You're in the right place.
  • Our staff has surveyed the full college basketball card and honed-in on their top-3 best bets of the day, beginning with VCU vs. Penn State at 5 p.m. ET.
  • Read on for our other top picks of the slate, including updated odds and full betting analysis for each of our top-3 betting picks.

College basketball is back and in full effect.

The action continues on Wednesday, and — despite numerous cancelations and postponements due to COVID-19 — we still have over 50 scheduled college basketball games to bet from 1:30 p.m. ET to 10 p.m. ET.

Our college basketball staff has poured through the odds for Wednesday’s slate and distilled all that action down to their top three betting spots today. Check out all of the analysis and betting picks for their favorite games below.


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How to Bet Wednesday’s College Basketball Slate

Here’s a rundown of our three favorite betting spots on Wednesday’s slate of games:

Tip Time
Matchup
5 p.m. ET
VCU (+4.5) vs. Penn State
6 p.m. ET
Duquesne (+2) vs. UNC Greensboro
8 p.m. ET
Evansville vs. Tennessee-Martin Under 141.5

All listed odds have been updated as of late Tuesday night and via DraftKings. Specific bet recommendations at the end of each matchup breakdown 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.


CLICK THE DROPDOWN ARROW TO EASILY NAVIGATE TO ANY GAME
Tip Time
Matchup
5 p.m. ET
VCU vs. Penn State
6 p.m. ET
Duquesne vs. UNC Greensboro
8 p.m. ET
Evansville vs. Tennessee-Martin

VCU (+4.5) vs. Penn State

By Mike Randle


VCU Odds +4.5 [BET NOW]
Penn State Odds -4.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline +165 / -205 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 143 [BET NOW]
Time 5 p.m. ET
TV FS1
(Photo Credit: Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images).

Penn State has a completely different team from the 2019-2020 season. The Nittany Lions must replace 40.6 points, 16.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 3.2 steals, 3.6 blocks, and 2.6 made 3-pointers per game.

Ouch.

Making that transition even more difficult, the Nittany Lions former head coach Pat Chambers resigned in late October after an investigation into inappropriate conduct to players. Questions about his resignation have continued to linger with the team.

Penn State returns a strong three-guard backcourt of Myreon Jones (13.3 ppg), Myles Dread (8.6 ppg), and Jamari Wheeler (3.8 ppg). Junior Izaiah Brockington (8.1 ppg) earned the start in Penn State’s opening win and tallied 15 points, eight rebounds, three steals, and two blocks.

Wheeler led the team with 18 points, including four 3-pointers, in the Nittany Lions’ 86-65 win over VMI. That win constitutes the team’s entire game experience this young season, and Penn State wasn’t even impressive in the opener. The Cadets only trailed by two points at the half — and actually trailed 45-44 at the under 16-minute timeout.

VCU represents a huge leap in talent. The Rams have already played three games, including No. 11 West Virginia and Memphis. Head coach Mike Rhoades has his usual HAVOC defense in full swing, forcing an average of 19.3 turnovers per game.

The Rams’ win over Memphis was particularly impressive, because the Tigers feature strong guards in Landers Nolley II, Lester Quinones, and Boogie Ellis. VCU’s depth enables it to wear down even the most experienced guard units due to the Rams’ relentless pressure. The Rams feature nine players that play at least 10 minutes per game. Penn State likely won’t be prepared for this type of defensive pressure.

This line is based on Penn State’s historic success at home against the spread (ATS), especially against non-conference opponents. Under Pat Chambers, the Nittany Lions were 9-4 (69.2%) ATS at home during early-season games.

However, the circumstances this season are drastically different. The Nittany Lions’ season has already been interrupted by COVID-19, which forced them to postpone their opening game against Drexel. Meanwhile, VCU has played three games — two of which have come against top-tier opponents. On top of that, Penn State has had to navigate a recent coaching change, and the absence of fans alters the home-court dynamic substantially.

I will gladly take the underdog Rams and the 4.5 points. I would bet this down to Rams +3.5

Pick: VCU +4.5 (Play down to +3.5)


[Bet VCU +4.5 now at BetMGM and get a $500 INSTANT deposit match]

CLICK THE DROPDOWN ARROW TO EASILY NAVIGATE TO ANY GAME
Tip Time
Matchup
5 p.m. ET
VCU vs. Penn State
6 p.m. ET
Duquesne vs. UNC Greensboro
8 p.m. ET
Evansville vs. Tennessee-Martin

Duquesne (+2) vs. UNC Greensboro

By Pat McMahon


Duquesne Odds +1.5 [BET NOW]
UNC Greensboro Odds -1.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline +102 / -125 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 141 [BET NOW]
Time 6 p.m. ET
TV ESPN3
(Photo Credit: Justin Casterline/Getty Images).

Two of the better mid-major teams in the country meet on a neutral court in Louisville on Wednesday night. Duquesne comes in at 0-1 after dropping its opener to Arkansas-Little Rock on Monday. UNC-Greensboro enters at 1-1 and will be playing its second game in as many days.

Duquesne had a really strong 2019-20 season, finishing with a 21-9 record and tied for 5th in the final Atlantic-10 standings. Dukes head coach Keith Dambrot has done a great job of building this roster over the last few years, and this 2020-2021 group is his best team yet at Duquesne.

The Dukes bring back four starters and return 83.5% of their available minutes from 2019. They should compete for a coveted top-4 finish and double-bye in the A-10 conference tournament in March.

UNC-Greensboro also had a strong 2019-20 season and started off the 2020 regular season on a positive note by beating Arkansas-Little Rock on Friday in the Spartans’ first game in the Louisville multi-team event. However, the Spartans enter this game fresh off a loss to Winthrop — and facing the Dukes less than 24 hours later is a tall task.

The Spartans’ lethal backcourt of Isaiah Miller and Kaleb Hunter both return to keep expectations high for the 2020 season. Miller and Hunter are the team’s only two returning starters, and the Spartans have had to turn to previous role players and a grad-transfer to fill out their rotation.

Simply comparing scores against common opponents is an easy way to make your pick on a game — but, it can often be a trap. The Spartans beat Little Rock by 7, and the Dukes lost to them by 10; but, a closer look at the box score reveals that Duquesne was off of its game in the opener. The Dukes shot an abysmal 37.9% from the floor, including only 24.1% from 3-point range.

From a matchup standpoint, I like how the Dukes stack up against the Spartans. The Dukes are a more athletic team overall and should be able to defend well against the Spartans.

Isaiah Miller is regarded as one of the best point guards in the sport, but Duquesne point guard Sincere Carry is underrated and has the ability to go toe-to-toe with Miller. Carry is a strong, physical guard who gets after it on both ends of the floor. He will attack the Spartans defense and put a lot of pressure on Miller all night.

Dambrot likes to bring guard Tavian Dunn-Martin off the bench to provide instant offense; and if he’s hitting shots early, that typically yields a positive result for the Dukes.

Duquesne will no doubt hope to lasso some positive variance with its outside shooting, but expect the Dukes to enter the matchup with a game plan that gets their forwards involved early. Marcus Weathers and Michael Hughes are a bit undersized but know how to score and rebound the ball. Both players averaged double-figures last year and should have an advantage over the less-experienced UNC-Greensboro bigs.

I like this spot for the more talented and more experienced Dukes to rebound with an outright win over UNC Greensboro.

Pick: Duquesne +2 or +102 on the moneyline


[Bet the Duquesne spread or ML now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 bonus, including a $500 risk-free bet]

CLICK THE DROPDOWN ARROW TO EASILY NAVIGATE TO ANY GAME
Tip Time
Matchup
5 p.m. ET
VCU vs. Penn State
6 p.m. ET
Duquesne vs. UNC Greensboro
8 p.m. ET
Evansville vs. Tennessee-Martin

Evansville vs. Tennessee-Martin Under 141.5

By BJ Cunningham


Evansville Odds -2 [BET NOW]
TN-Martin Odds +2 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -136 / +110 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 140.5 [BET NOW]
Time 8 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
(Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images).

What we have here is a battle between two terrible offenses. Evansville barely scored over 100 combined points in its first two games and ranks 328th in offensive efficiency per KenPom. In fact, last season the Purple Aces ranked in the bottom half of college basketball in both effective field goal percentage (eFG%) and 3-point percentage.

Yes, Evansville did beat Kentucky last year. But did you know the Purple Aces also ended the 2019-20 season on a 19-game losing streak and only broke the 70-point mark twice in those 19 games? Given Evansville’s losses to key personnel this offseason, its offense is unlikely to improve any time soon.

On the other end of the floor, this will be Tennessee-Martin’s first game of the 2020-21 season. The SkyHawks have endured a challenging offseason, as head coach Anthony Stewart tragically passed away at the age of 50 just two weeks ago.

The SkyHawks are projected to take a major step back in terms of offensive efficiency: KenPom projects Tennessee-Martin’s ranking to fall from 128th in 2019 to 263rd this year. The SkyHawks also lost three of their four top contributors on offense via graduation. So, it’s reasonable to expect them to struggle to score early-on with almost a completely new starting-five and a new head coach.

I have the total projected at 135.84 for this game, so I think there is value on the over/under at 141.5 points.

Pick: Under 141.5


[Bet the Evansville vs. TN-Martin under now at FanDuel completely risk-free up to $1,000]

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