College Basketball Odds, Picks: 4 Best Bets for Wednesday’s Slate
Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Marcus Shaver Jr. (Boise State)
Zero ranked teams are in action on Wednesday night in college hoops, but that doesn't mean we can't make some cash before a loaded Friday slate.
Dive in below and formulate your college basketball betting card.
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 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.|
Davidson vs. Wright State
Wright State could have returned one of the best mid-major rosters in the country, with two 18+-point per game scorers eligible for another season.
But the transfer portal enticed Tanner Holden to head to Ohio State and Grant Basile to Virginia Tech, leaving Wright State looking for someone to pick up the slack in the scoring column.
That hole should be filled by senior Trey Calvin, who posted 15 points per game last season, including the game-winning bucket to seal the Horizon League title game.
In February and March last year, Calvin had only one game in which he failed to hit double figures in scoring. He’s poised for a step up to stardom.
Calvin is joined by defensive stopper Tim Finke and Mizzou transfer Amari Davis, who dropped 17 points per game in the Horizon League before trying his hand at power-conference competition.
The Raiders are once again set up to be a top-three team in the Horizon League, making for a formidable foe against a Davidson team re-tooling under first-year head coach Matt McKillop.
IUPUI vs. Drake
Editor's Note: Per Jeff Goodman of Stadium, Garrett Sturtz, D.J. Wilkins and Tucker DeVries will all play tonight with “various limitations.” Roman Penn will not play and is still day-to-day.
I’m looking to buy Drake in general. It's a top-tier Valley team that returns four starters and five of its top seven players, and its chief rival left for another conference.
Things are looking up in Des Moines.
Roman Penn, D.J. Wilkins and Garrett Sturtz all return for their fifth season with the Bulldogs, and they’ve been coached by three-time Valley Coach of the Year Darian DeVries their whole careers. This team is experienced and ready to earn DeVries’ first MVC title (regular season or championship).
Plus, none of those three is Drake’s best player. The coach’s son, Tucker DeVries, is the preseason MVC Player of the Year after dropping 14 points per game last season. He’s a 6-foot-7 positionless bucket that fills it up from all three levels.
This team is going to score in bunches. KenPom has it projected as a top-50 offense this season behind four double-digit scorers. I don’t see it having any issues covering a big spread.
Meanwhile, IUPUI returns just three players and should continue floundering at the Horizon League's bottom. Coach Matt Crenshaw is planning on playing 10 guys without any Division I experience, including a host of JUCO transfers.
The Jags showed how much work needs to be done on Monday, losing in a 49-point rout to Iowa State while turning the ball over 30 times.
It worries me that IUPUI pulled some sharp money to drive this line below 26.
However, we’re buying Drake at the bottom of the barrel, and I believe there’s now some buy-back value on the Bulldogs. KenPom still projects a 30-point win, while EvanMiya projects a 31-point win.
Additionally, I don’t expect Drake to sleepwalk its way through this game. This is the Bulldogs’ home-court opener for a season in which expectations are the highest they’ve been in years. The Knapp Center should be up and ready for this one.
So, I expect DeVries and the Bulldogs to deliver a 40-point blowout victory.
Monmouth vs. Seton Hall
By D.J. James
The Hawks went 21-13 in 2021-2022, but now they move to the CAA in a classic series of conference realignment.
King Rice has gone on a run with the Hawks in his time as coach, competing for an NCAA bid in four of the last six seasons.
This season, this team will be much younger, with George Papas moving on, along with much of the production from last year. Myles Foster will lead this team, along with a series of underclassmen.
The Hawks have historically had a top-160 Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, per KenPom, so Rice will enforce the same things on his youthful squad.
Seton Hall, on the other hand, looks like a brand-new program. Holloway takes over the head-coaching duties. Funny enough, he led the Saint Peter’s Cinderella team that beat the Hawks in the MAAC finals last season. He should have a proper defensive strategy in this one.
The Pirates won’t have their three leading scorers from last season, but they add Al-Amir Dawes from Clemson, Femi Odukale from Pitt and KC Ndefo from Saint Peter’s.
Given the forward talent, it is going to be nearly impossible for the Hawks to find inside opportunities in their first game of the year with such a raw group of players.
Pair this with a Pirates program that will slow down the pace and play through their big men, and it will be hard to see this game going over. Monmouth will be unable to get inside buckets, and Seton Hall will play at its own tempo.
Take this under between a brand-new Monmouth roster and the brand-new Seton Hall Pirates. Play it from 135.5 to 133.5.
Pick: Under 135.5 (Play to 133.5)
South Dakota State vs. Boise State
The Jackrabbits’ roster was reliant on an offense that averaged 86 points per game last season. But the main flaw for the program was its lack of defense.
The group ranked 244th nationally in efficiency last season and struggled defending both the interior and perimeter.
That lack of defense was on full display in its first game against Akron. The Zips shot 36% from beyond the arc and overcame a six-point halftime deficit to find a victory.
Last season, South Dakota State was the best 3-point shooting team, hitting 44% from behind the arc. But that wasn’t the case against Akron, as the group hit just 4-of-15 (27%) from deep.
Now the Jackrabbits match up against a Boise State defense that ranked 20th in the nation in efficiency rating in 2021-22. The Broncos held opponents to just 60 points per game. That defense will be on full display in this matchup.
Boise State’s offense returns Marcus Shaver Jr., who initially entered his name into the NBA draft, but ended up coming back. He and the Broncos’ offense will be able to expose the South Dakota State lackluster defense in a comfortable win to open the season.