College Basketball Best Bets: Three Man Weave’s 3 Picks for Wednesday, Including Florida vs. Oklahoma
James Gilbert/Getty Images. Pictured: Anthony Duruji (4) of the Florida Gators
- Florida travels to Oklahoma to face off against the Sooners.
- Meanwhile, UT Martin and Middle Tennessee face off while Southern Illinois duels with Evansville.
- Three Man Weave's Ky McKeon has it all covered with his three best bets for Wednesday night.
While the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and Big East-Big 12 battle are the biggest events of the night (and the week), there is still value to be had from a betting perspective outside of those events.
Three Man Weave’s Ky McKeon provides his three best bets for Wednesday evening in college basketball below. Two mid-major games spotlight the selections, but also two Power 5 teams are clashing in Norman, Oklahoma.
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.|
Southern Illinois vs. Evansville
Today kicks off conference play in the Missouri Valley, the earliest start date for one of the best mid-major leagues in the country.
Both Southern Illinois and Evansville have had some ups and downs this season.
SIU was shorthanded in its ugly loss to Little Rock to start the season, but then took down Colorado and hung with Creighton. Evansville has only two D-I wins this season — both against teams around the bottom-15 squads in the nation — but it battled inside the number against better foes.
This will be an ugly, low-scoring affair. The total is only 121.5 and KenPom projects 61 possessions.
Since Bryan Mullins took over SIU in 2018, the Salukis are 3-1 against the Purple Aces. He has consistently exceeded expectations given his roster construction, and his teams are always tough defensively.
That will be the key against Evansville, which boasts the slowest offensive tempo in the land. The Aces want as few possessions as possible to help make up for their lack of talent.
Evansville lives and dies by the 3 on offense. The Aces rank 20th in the country in 3PA rate, per KenPom, and just 332nd in FGA rate near the rim, per Hoop-Math.
Mullins preaches taking away the 3-ball. His Salukis rank 20th nationally in defensive 3PA rate. SIU will run shooters off the line and force Evansville’s lack of creators to put the ball on the floor.
Only Shamar Givance and Jawaun Newton can score off the bounce, and both are inconsistent at best.
The other reason to like SIU is due to personnel. Evan Kuhlman, one of Evansville’s starters and better players, has missed two of the last three games due to a shoulder injury. Kuhlman is vital to Evansville’s offensive attack.
Without him on the floor, the Aces are scoring just 0.83 points per possession. Even if he’s able to play, he’s sure to still be feeling the effects of the injury and will be less than 100%.
Expect a slog of a game and for the Salukis to win by one or two possessions.
Pick: Southern Illinois -1.5 (Play to -2.5)
UT Martin vs. Middle Tennessee
UT Martin and Middle Tennessee both enter this contest at 4-1 against the spread. Both teams were clearly undervalued in the preseason and are making their prognosticators look silly.
UT Martin’s performance is for real.
While the Skyhawks haven’t moved much in KenPom, this is a much better team than where it is currently sitting in the majority of analytic sites (near the bottom of the country). New head coach Ryan Ridder was a terrific hire and he has a track record of outperforming expectations.
He added a bevy of transfer talent that’s going unnoticed. KJ Simon (Troy), KK Curry (South Alabama) and David Didenko (Georgia Tech) are all competing below their weight class.
Peeling back the layers of Middle Tennessee’s hot start, we see some cracks in the foundation. Here are the Blue Raiders’ D-I wins:
- Bethune Cookman: who cares, it’s BCU and the Wildcats were 3-of-11 from downtown
- Winthrop: OK, actually impressive
- Rider: won by just six and were down nine in the second half … big yikes
- Mercer by 24: perfect storm result; Mercer couldn’t buy a bucket while MTSU was 67% inside the arc
That Mercer blowout is inflating MTSU’s analytical rankings. The Blue Raiders raised 30 spots in KenPom after that victory, when in reality they should be closer to their pre-Bear affair.
This boils down to UT Martin being undervalued and MTSU being overvalued.
Take the undervalued team with the double-digit point spread.
UTM needs to handle the ball and needs to hit shots, but if it does both to a relatively acceptable degree, it should have no issue staying within 10 points of MTSU.
Pick: UT Martin +11 (Play to +10)
Florida vs. Oklahoma
Florida has been unbelievable this season.
The Gators are 5-1 against the number, covering by over nine points per game. A convincing win over in-state rival Florida State put them on the map, and now that narrow win over Ohio State on a neutral floor looks especially good following the Buckeyes’ win over Duke.
This is the best Florida team we’ve seen under Mike White, particularly due to the defensive end. KenPom ranks the Gators as the nation’s 12th-best team, while Bart Torvik ranks them sixth.
There is a ridiculous amount of length and athleticism on the perimeter, led by sticky on-ball guards Brandon McKissic and Myreon Jones and amorphous wings Phlandrous Fleming Jr. and Anthony Duruji. They will swallow the Sooners whole.
Oh, Florida also has one of the best shot-blockers in the country in Colin Castleton, who is swatting a ridiculous 11% of the shots he faces.
Oklahoma’s strength of schedule has been light. The Sooners have played just two top-150 teams, losing to Utah State by three and beating UCF by three.
Florida will be by far their toughest test yet.
OU’s offense has been struggling this season, grading out at just the 78th-best unit in the country, per KenPom.
The Sooners don’t have a ton of shooting, nor do they have a ton of off-the-bounce creation. OU relies heavily on pick-n-roll and pick-n-pop to score. Florida’s extremely switchable defense will make these actions hard to execute.
Expect Florida to turn over the Sooners, as well. The Gators rank 27th nationally in defensive TO rate, while Oklahoma is just 173rd in offensive TO rate.
On the other end, there is no answer for Castleton on the block. OU hasn’t faced a true scoring big yet, and Tanner Groves, while a good player in his own right, cannot handle Castleton’s size or footwork in the post.
OU can compete with the Gators in other areas on this end — the Sooners are very good defensively — but the post will be a major advantage for Florida.
This will be a battle between two elite defenses. But one team has an elite offense, as well, and the other doesn’t.