College Basketball Odds, Picks: Three Man Weave’s 2 Best Bets for Friday (Dec. 23)

College Basketball Odds, Picks: Three Man Weave’s 2 Best Bets for Friday (Dec. 23) article feature image

Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images. Pictured: Kamaka Hepa (Hawaii)

College basketball teams are getting ready for Christmas — except those competing in the Diamond Head Classic — so the slate on Friday is rather thin. In fact, there are only five games at 5 p.m. ET or later, including three in Honolulu, HI.

That actually benefits us, as there aren't a lot of games to sift through. Plus, value can be found on Friday.

Matt Cox of Three Man Weave is keeping it short and sweet by providing two best bets, so dive in below for the top college basketball odds and picks for today.

Friday's Three Man Weave College Basketball Best Bets

The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that Matt is targeting from Friday's slate of games. Click the team logos for one the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.

5 p.m. ET
Rutgers -18.5
11:59 p.m. ET
Hawaii +3.5
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.

Bucknell vs. Rutgers

Friday, Dec. 23
5 p.m. ET
Big Ten Network
Rutgers -18.5

By Matt Cox

We’ve seen some early money come in on the dog in this late afternoon matinee between Rutgers and Bucknell.

Anecdotally, taking the points makes sense, based on recent precedents from the last week. There’s no better example than Iowa, losing outright by double digits as a 30-point favorite to Eastern Illinois.

Will Rutgers sleepwalk in a similar fashion today?

Head coach Steve Pikiell is a fiery motivator, and it’s a safe bet he’ll warn his players about the perils of a similar lackadaisical effort today.

The rowdy RAC, one of the best home-court atmospheres in college basketball, won’t carry the same juice as usual, but the Scarlet Knights should remain hyper focused on the task at hand.

From Bucknell’s side of the coin, this is both a matchup and spot nightmare. The Bison played less than 48 hours ago in Richmond, Virginia — two days after playing on Sunday. That’s a tight turnaround for today, especially in brutal travel conditions.

Matchup-wise, Bucknell revolves its offense and defense around interior baron Andre Screen (7-foot-1) and his towering counterpart Alex Timmerman (6-foot-11).

Bucknell stands much taller than a typical mid-major — per KenPom, it’s the 35th-tallest team in America, as defined by KP’s average height metric.

This edge, unfortunately, is wiped out entirely by Rutgers’ Clifford Omoruyi. Put simply, the Bison haven’t seen a big of Omoruyi’s caliber all year.

The burden will fall on the Bison backcourt, which houses multiple long-range snipers but lacks the necessary ball security. Rutgers’ stingy perimeter defense could generate a plethora of steals and run outs for easy transition buckets.

When betting large favorites, identifying easy paths to points is critical. Rutgers excels at finding easy, high-percentage looks, which is why it’s been a terrific favorite this year.

Bank on that trend continuing against Bucknell.

Pick: Rutgers -19.5 (Play to -20)

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Washington State vs. Hawaii

Friday, Dec. 23
11:59 p.m. ET
Hawaii +3.5

By Matt Cox

Hawaii is on a mission. The annual hosts of the Diamond Head Classic, the ‘Bows secured an impressive opening-round victory over the uber-talented Pepperdine Waves. It was a statement win for a program that hadn’t won an opening-round game in this tournament since 2019.

There was a noticeable bump in energy and focus for the Rainbow Warriors, who’ve struggled against lesser competition so far this season.

Hawaii’s Achilles’ heel is its depth, as head coach Eran Ganot leans heavily on his starting five.

Fortunately, that won’t be a factor against Washington State’s thin bench. The Cougars did welcome back Andrej Jakimovski to the lineup last night, which effectively lengthened the depth chart to seven.

However, keep an eye on the health and effectiveness of star center Mouhamed Gueye.

Gueye dominated the paint last night against George Washington, but was injured early in the second half. He hobbled off the floor in pain, received quick treatment, then returned to action shortly after and looked every bit as dominant as before the injury.

However, with a quick 24-hour turnaround, swelling and mobility could be an issue today for the Cougars’ interior meal ticket. Even a 75% Gueye is worth a point or two in this matchup.

This game shapes up to be an ugly, physical, grind-it-out affair. Both coaches stem from branches of the Randy Bennett coaching tree — thus, methodically-paced execution is the hallmark of both offenses.

Consequently, Ganot will be well versed in Washington State’s playbook and have his ‘Bows ready to fight in this semifinal tilt on their home floor.

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