Wednesday College Basketball Odds & Picks: How to Bet UCLA vs. San Diego, Xavier vs. Oklahoma, More (December 9)

Wednesday College Basketball Odds & Picks: How to Bet UCLA vs. San Diego, Xavier vs. Oklahoma, More (December 9) article feature image

John McCoy/Getty Images. Pictured: UCLA Bruins guard-forward Chris Smith (5).

  • Wednesday's college basketball slate took a hit with cancelations to NC State vs. Michigan and Michigan State vs. Virginia.
  • However, not to worry: Our NCAAB staff has you covered with their top three picks from Wednesday's slate of college basketball action.
  • Below, find each of our analysts' best bets, including updated odds and full matchup breakdowns for each of their favorite games today.

The 2020 ACC vs. Big Ten Challenge is over.

… at least, it might as well be. The Big Ten Conference nearly swept the board in Tuesday’s action, notching a 6-1 overall record and outscoring ACC opponents by a combined 64 points.

No. 3 Iowa dispatched No. 16 North Carolina by 13 despite a furious second-half rally by the Tar Heels. No. 6 Illinois thoroughly impressed in a defiant 83-68 win over No. 10 Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Unranked Penn State defeated No. 15 Virginia Tech by 20 points!

It was an overwhelmingly strong showing for the Big Ten Conference. Well … unless you’re a Boilermakers fan (54-58 loss to Miami). But, solidarity, right?

The action rolls on Wednesday with four more games left in the inter-conference challenge. Due to cancelations to NC State vs. Michigan and No. 4 Michigan State vs. No. 18 Virginia (R.I.P. to all of our Wednesday night social plans), the Big Ten has mathematically ensured its victory in the interconference challenge for the second straight season.

However, there is still much to play for — and plenty of games left on the board worth sweating on Wednesday. Most notably, Indiana and No. 20 Florida State face off at 7:15 p.m. ET, and BJ Cunningham has you covered with a comprehensive betting guide for the Hoosiers vs. Seminoles.

Moreover, our college basketball staff has turned its collective gaze to the rest of Wednesday’s betting card. Below, our betting analysts highlight their top three matchups to bet on Wednesday, beginning with Chattanooga vs. Bellarmine at 7 p.m. ET.

Oh, come on: Do you really need any additional reasons to back the Mocs of Chattanooga? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Fight, Chattanooga,
‘Til the victory is won.
Mighty Mocs you know,
We’re counting on you;
Go UTC Gold and Blue
Fight! Fight! Fight!

— University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Fight Song

How to Bet Wednesday’s College Basketball Slate

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

Tip Time
7 p.m. ET
Chattanooga vs. Bellarmine
8 p.m. ET
Oklahoma vs. Xavier
9 p.m. ET
San Diego vs. UCLA

All listed odds have been updated as of Wednesday morning 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.

Tip Time
7 p.m. ET
Chattanooga vs. Bellarmine
8 p.m. ET
Oklahoma vs. Xavier
9 p.m. ET
San Diego vs. UCLA

Chattanooga vs. Bellarmine

by Mike Randle

Chattanooga Odds -1.5 [BET NOW]
Bellarmine Odds +1.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -130 / +107 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 140 [BET NOW]
Time 7 p.m. ET
(Photo Credit: Frank Mattia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).

Bellarmine University is enjoying its first season as a Division-I program. The Knights have opened the year 1-1, playing well in a 76-54 loss at Duke and then defeating Howard 84 to 63.

Bellarmine is shooting very well from beyond the arc (43.3%), but that only accounts for 28% of its offense. The junior backcourt of Dylan Penn (14.0 ppg) and Pedro Bradshaw (11.5 ppg) lead their scoring attack, along with 6-foot-7 senior Ethan Claycomb.

The victory over Howard was impressive, but the Bison are among the worst teams in Division-I, ranking 322nd out of 357 schools according to KenPom.

Chattanooga (4-0) brings an undefeated record and features the two best players on the court for either team. Senior David Jean-Baptiste (19.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.3 spg) was voted to the preseason All-Southern Conference Team, while sophomore Malachi Smith (14.3 ppg, 11.3 rpg) has been a huge addition as a Wright State transfer. Senior 6-foot-9 forward Stefan Kenic (14.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg) can also spread the floor from deep (38.5%).

The Mocs’ pressure defense should take advantage of Bellarmine’s 246th-ranked offensive turnover percentage. In a close game, I would much rather side with Chattanooga’s 78.5% free throw percentage than Bellarmine’s 60%.

Chattanooga has been one of the best programs against the spread (ATS) during the past two seasons. The Mocs were 19-9-3 ATS last year and have already jumped out to a 3-0 ATS record this season.

Bellarmine is a great story, but the Knights are not ready to beat a veteran Chattanooga team straight-up. The Mocs recently earned a nice 80-70 road win at Middle Tennessee State on Monday, and I will gladly take the Mocs to win straight-up against a first-time Division-I program.

[Bet the Chattanooga ML now at BetMGM and get a $500 INSTANT deposit match]

Tip Time
7 p.m. ET
Chattanooga vs. Bellarmine
8 p.m. ET
Oklahoma vs. Xavier
9 p.m. ET
San Diego vs. UCLA

Oklahoma vs. Xavier

by Pat McMahon

Oklahoma Odds +1 [BET NOW]
Xavier Odds -1 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -105 / -117 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 147 [BET NOW]
Time 8 p.m. ET
(Photo Credit: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images).

College basketball fans are being treated to a great slate of hoops this week thanks to a couple of major conference challenges. The Big 12 vs. Big East Battle is in full force on Wednesday night, and Oklahoma vs. Xavier is one of the most intriguing matchups on the slate.

Both teams are coming off huge wins on Sunday: Oklahoma knocked off TCU on the road in its conference opener, and Xavier dominated down the stretch to defeat arch rival Cincinnati.

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The Sooners are a veteran team and look like an offensive juggernaut early-on this season. Oklahoma put up 102 points against UTSA in the opener and scored 82 points against an adept TCU defense on the road.

The three-headed monster of Brady Manek, Austin Reaves, and De’Vion Harmon has combined to average 59 points per game. All three players are great shooters, and furthermore the entire team is off to a great start from distance, averaging 44% from 3-point range.

Xavier has already played six games this season and enters its matchup against Oklahoma brandishing an unblemished record after surviving its biggest test to date against the Bearcats.

Paul Scruggs is Xavier’s best player and is one of the best two-way guards in the country. Gardner-Webb graduate-transfer Nate Johnson has been a great addition to the Musketeers backcourt and has played aggressively on both ends of the floor. Sophomore Dekeyvan Tandy and freshman Dwon Odom have split the ball-handling duties and are both strong defenders as well.

The Musketeers also recently added Belmont-transfer Adam Kunkel, whose transfer waiver was approved shortly before the game against Cincinnati. The addition of Kunkel grants Travis Steele some much-needed outside shooting and a ridiculous amount of back-court depth.

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While Xavier looked impressive on Sunday, things haven’t always looked pretty this season. In a three game home stretch in late November, Xavier only beat Ball State, Toledo, and Eastern Kentucky by a combined seven points — including a trip to overtime against EKU.

The Musketeers haven’t faced a team with anywhere near the offensive firepower that Oklahoma possesses, and I’m not sure if the defense is up to the challenge. Manek is a very tough matchup in particular, as there may not be a better stretch-four in Division-I basketball. Xavier forwards Zach Freemantle and Jason Carter are off to strong starts offensively, but guarding Manek is a tall task for either player.

The Sooners backcourt has several options and has been terrific early this season, so opponents cannot afford to dedicate too much defensive attention to Manek in isolation. Oklahoma has a pick-your-poison type offense, and that versatility will serve the Sooners well in their bid to knock off the Musketeers on the road.

[Bet Oklahoma +2 now at PointsBet risk-free up to $250]

Tip Time
7 p.m. ET
Chattanooga vs. Bellarmine
8 p.m. ET
Oklahoma vs. Xavier
9 p.m. ET
San Diego vs. UCLA

San Diego vs. UCLA

by BJ Cunningham

San Diego Odds +17.5 [BET NOW]
UCLA Odds -17.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline +1500 / -5000 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 137 [BET NOW]
Time 9 p.m. ET
TV Pac-12 Network
(Photo Credit: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).

San Diego struggled last year due to the offseason departure of four seniors from its starting lineup. The Toreros went through some growing pains with a young roster on their way to a 9-23 season. However, third-year head coach Sam Scholl has nearly the entire roster back and added talent via the transfer portal.

Duquesne-transfer Mark Hughes (originally started at Missouri) and Rice-transfer Josh Parrish (originally started at TCU) are two important additions for a mid-major like San Diego. Hughes and Parrish will play an immediate role and provide a ton of depth for the Toreros.

The main issue for the Toreros last season was on offense: They ranked 315th in offensive efficiency and were in the bottom 100 of Division-I programs in just about every offensive metric. However, with an improved roster returning, KenPom is projecting San Diego to make a big jump — all the way up to 194th in offensive efficiency. The Toreros will need their improved offense to show up in Los Angeles tonight if they are going to cover the 17.5-point spread.

UCLA had its own share of growing pains in head coach Mick Cronin’s first season, but the Bruins rattled off nine straight wins in February to silence the critics. However, that late-season run notwithstanding, Cronin allowed major talent to slip through the cracks as top-20 recruit Daishen Nix opted to turn pro.

Cronin still has plenty of talent on the roster, but this UCLA team isn’t a Pac-12 front-runner by any means. The Bruins started off their season with a blowout loss to San Diego State and then needed three overtimes to beat Pepperdine.

The team ranked below the NCAA average in almost every shooting category last season. Cronin did add some help through the transfer portal, but it remains to be seen if the Bruins will be able to take the next step in Year 2.

I only have UCLA projected as a -14.65 favorite, so I think there is some value on the Toreros at +17.5.

[Bet San Diego +18.5 now at PointsBet risk-free up to $250]
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