College Basketball Odds & Picks: Three Man Weave’s 3 Best Bets for Wednesday, Including Virginia Tech vs. Duke
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This Wednesday’s slate in college basketball could easily be mistaken for a Saturday, as the amount of teams in action is overwhelming from a bettor’s perspective.
That’s where we come into play here at the Action Network. Matthew Cox from Three Man Weave gives you three targets to eye for your betting card, including one spot in the ACC.
Below he offers his best bets and explains why the value lies in these particular matchups.
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.|
Hofstra vs. Monmouth
Few people had Hofstra and Monmouth penciled in as a “must watch” mid-major clash in the offseason. That was before the masses witnessed the mini juggernauts King Rice and Speedy Claxton had built behind the scenes.
Hofstra has coasted to a 7-3 record against the spread and is fresh off of a jaw-dropping win over Arkansas in Fayetteville. That head-turning victory was even more impressive considering star guard Zach Cooks didn’t even play.
Monmouth, which boasts a flawless 12-0 record against the number, is less impressed. They’ve also knocked off a heavyweight, Cincinnati, on the road, while blasting a myriad of other meddling opponents thus far.
In a matchup that pins two equals together, the handicap is simple: take the points.
One could argue this sets up for a letdown spot for the Pride, as they bask in the glory from their monumental win over Arkansas. However, the Hawks’ home crowd figures to be a fraction of its usual attendance, as tonight’s game sits in the heart of the holiday break.
Furthermore, it’s a 90-minute commute from Hofstra to Monmouth, a breeze of a travel for these road warriors.
It may seem foolish to shrug off Cooks in this handicap, but there’s another darkhorse X-factor that’s not properly priced in: Abayomi Iyiola.
The former Arkansas transfer has been dominant the last two games, averaging 15 points and 14 rebounds in his third game back from injury. Iyiola is the ultimate neutralizer to Monmouth’s Walker Miller, who’s sprouted as one of the top mid-major big men in America after transferring in from North Carolina.
The key to betting this game properly is timing. With Cooks’ status up in the air, the line could be on the move if, and when, he’s confirmed to be in or out of the lineup closer to tip off (7 p.m. ET).
I’m operating under the conservative assumption that Cooks will be out and that the current price reflects his absence. If he is reported to play, the line will likely drop, thus, incentivizing an earlier wager in the +4 to +5 range.
If he’s reported out, it seems unlikely the line will climb much higher, given it already rose a point from -4.5 to -5.5 early this morning.
Pick: Hofstra +5 (Play to +4)
Lipscomb vs. LSU
Ahsan Asadullah is the sun of Lipscomb’s universe. Checking in at 6-foot-9, 275 pounds, the Bison’s interior meal ticket is a load to handle in the paint, even for power conference competitors.
The Bison use Asadullah as the epicenter of what looks like a “hub and spoke” offense. Head coach Lennie Acuff has effectively built his entire roster around Asadullah, with shooters dotted around the arc at all times.
In essence, Acuff lets the opponent pick their poison: refuse to double the post and let Asadullah have a picnic one-on-one, or choose to double the post and Asadullah will find an unmarked sniper lurking on the perimeter.
Unfortunately, Asadullah has been on the mend for the past seven games. His absence has severed the power cord of Lipscomb’s entire offense, and removed a rim-protecting barrier on the defensive end of the floor, too.
The personnel at Acuff’s disposal is limited to one-dimensional, non-dynamic role players, save Asadullah of course. Without his gravitational pull, the Bison are completely neutered and the recent results show it.
Lipscomb has not won or covered in each of the last five games with Asadullah out of the lineup, including 29 and 37-point losses at the hands of Belmont and Florida State, respectively.
Imagine what LSU, who’s 4-1 against the number this year as a double-digit favorite, will do to the Asadullah-less Bison at home tonight. When Will Wade unleashes the full fury of his full-court pressure, this one could get ugly in a hurry.
Pick: LSU -28 (Play to -30)
Virginia Tech vs. Duke
The big bad Blue Devils are not a cheap buy in the betting markets right now. Despite the road collapse at Ohio State, people seem to believe Duke, much to its chagrin, is a bonafide national title contender.
For reference, KenPom pegs Duke to win by seven points tonight but the oddsmakers opened it at -9. Sharp money is nudging the line higher and it could reach as high as 10 by early afternoon.
All that said, it’s not too late, or too expensive, to back the Blue Devils, especially in a favorable matchup against Virginia Tech.
As all great coaches do, Mike Young has extrapolated every last ounce of talent and potential from this Hokies roster.
The Hokies’ recent shortcomings, however, are more of a reflection of these personnel limitations, exposed by formidable opposing frontlines and sublime athletes, the latter of which Young is lacking this season. Specifically, losses to Memphis, Wake Forest and Dayton brought this to light.
VT must now go up another notch in class in terms of size, athleticism and sheer talent when it travels to Cameron Indoor tonight.
Memphis’ pressure bothered the Hokies when the two squared off in late November and that game could serve as a reasonable proxy for what will transpire in this conference showdown.
Newly-minted point guard Storm Murphy is coming off of an outstanding showing against St. Bonaventure, but he’s struggled against top-flight athletes this season. That, in turn, has severely cramped the Hokies’ offensive balance.
Without a dynamic playmaker at the point of attack, Young’s offense leans heavily on creative screening sets to free up shooters, along with the playmaking brilliance of his frontline tandem of Justyn Mutts and Keve Aluma.
Against Paolo Banchero, AJ Griffin and Mark Williams, Mutts and Aluma could be in for a rude awakening. Like Murphy, Aluma and Mutts simply don’t have the horsepower to hang with the cream of the crop when it comes to pro-level talent.
Their wits can negate this on occasion, but it hasn’t been the case this season and certainly won’t be the case against what may be the most talented frontline in college basketball.