College Basketball Odds, Picks: Three Man Weave’s 3 Best Bets for Wednesday (Dec. 21)
Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Mike Miles (TCU)
Wednesday evening offers the last truly deep college basketball slate before we head into the holiday “break.”
Ky McKeon of Three Man Weave is targeting three plays, including a key Big East clash and two games out West.
Dive in below for his three best bets, as the top college basketball odds and picks for Wednesday are coming your way.
Wednesday’s Three Man Weave College Basketball Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that Ky is targeting from Wednesday’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.|
St. John’s vs. Villanova
By Ky McKeon
Villanova opens Big East play looking to turn around its season after a disappointing non-conference slate.
Though the Wildcats had lofty expectations entering the year, even the best programs tend to struggle when faced with a massive coaching change and injury trouble.
Star guard Justin Moore is still on the sidelines — and likely will be for some time — but freshman phenom Cam Whitmore is fully back in the fold, and he’s making his presence known.
Nova started the season just 2-5 without Whitmore, arguably the best freshman prospect in his class. The Wildcats’ depth and overall talent took a major hit without him on the floor. Since he’s returned, the Cats are a perfect 4-0.
Nova should come into this matchup looking to prove its preseason rankings were justified and that it still should be considered a conference contender in the age after Jay Wright.
To beat the Johnnies, Villanova must handle the ball. St. John’s ramps up pressure and looks to turn teams over to fuel its offensive transition attack. The Cats rank fifth nationally in turnover rate behind the steady ball handling trio of Caleb Daniels, Mark Armstrong and Chris Arcidiacono.
Keeping the Red Storm out of the paint will be Nova’s biggest challenge on defense. Lightning quick guards Posh Alexander and Andre Curbelo can slice into the lane at will off ball screens, and DePaul transfer David Jones and big man Joel Soriano are among the best offensive rebounders in the country.
Size has hurt the Cats early this year, but with Whitmore back in the fold, head coach Kyle Neptune has a cadre of long wings to throw at opponents. He can go 6-foot-4 / 6-foot-5 / 6-foot-7 / 6-foot-8 / 6-foot-8, allowing for a switchable, hard-to-crack defense.
The handicap in this one is mostly feel. A healthier Nova is looking to start fresh and get back to its dominating ways. The Cats are at home and are hosting a St. John’s team that sits fat and happy at 1-0 in league play. The Johnnies are playing in just their second true road contest of the year.
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UT Arlington vs. Cal
By Ky McKeon
I don’t want to beat a dead horse here, but it bears repeating how bad the Cal Bears have been this season. With an 0-12 start to the year, Cal officially holds the record for the worst opening to a season by a power-conference school in history.
While injuries have played a small role, it’s clear the motivation and chemistry in Berkeley just isn’t up to snuff.
Cal has lost to UC San Diego, Southern, Texas State and Eastern Washington this year — all teams that rank outside KenPom’s top 200.
Arlington comes to town fresh off an impressive win at San Francisco. That’s important for two reasons:
- It shows UTA can compete and beat a superior opponent (USF ranks about 150 spots higher in KenPom than Cal).
- It means UTA is traveling about 14 miles to get to Berkeley instead of coming all the way from Texas. Cal’s home court was already in the dumpster, but it’s even less given the Mavs’ light travel.
On the court, UTA should be able to find success on the glass. The Mavs rank 35th nationally in offensive rebounding rate, which pairs well with Cal’s 219th ranked defensive rebounding rate.
Few teams in the country scrap and claw as hard as UTA, which is basically the opposite of what can be said of Cal.
Defensively, UTA is a tough bunch to score on. Every possession is a battle, and the Bears are sure to leave this game with fresh bruises.
Cal uses the pick-and-roll as much as any offense in the country. The Mavs rank in the 91st percentile nationally in points per possession allowed out of that action.
It’s a very stoppable force meeting an immovable object.
Cal is 0-5 against the spread as a favorite (all straight up losses) with a -8.4 average cover margin. While it might see its first win tonight, it’s unlikely to be a blowout.
Getting UT Arlington plus two possessions sounds like a good deal.
TCU vs. Utah
By Ky McKeon
The Horned Frogs are a team ready to explode. Thought by many to be a top-15 squad this season, TCU limped out of the starting gate with a loss to Northwestern State and several far-too-close-for-comfort contests against lesser competition.
After beginning the year ranked 16th in KenPom, TCU ballooned to as high as 55th before a win against Iowa set it back on the right path.
Part of the reason for the early struggles was the absence of starting guard Damion Baugh, one of TCU’s best ball handlers, perimeter defenders and playmakers.
Baugh missed the first six games, but has played the last four. In those four contests, TCU is a perfect 4-0 straight up and 3-1 against the spread. Clearly his presence matters.
TCU’s struggles have resulted in being undervalued by the market. Now is the time to buy the Frogs before they start their inevitable run back up the national rankings.
On the flip side, now is a perfect chance to sell Utah, a team that has far exceeded preseason expectations and landed on everyone’s radar with a massive home win against Arizona.
Utah has shown cracks this year with a home loss to Sam Houston and a recent loss at BYU in the “Holy War.” The Utes, while extremely well-coached, are beatable, especially by a team as talented as TCU.
Some of the Utes’ success this season can be attributed to fortunate shooting splits. Opponents are shooting just 25.7% from deep against Utah this year (fifth-worst nationally) and 65.7% from the free-throw line (36th worst). Both numbers are due for regression.
On the offensive end, a team made up of largely the same pieces as last year is shooting 37.4% from deep (49th nationally) compared to 33.5% (186th) in 2021-22. Winter is coming for the Utes.
Tonight’s game is in Salt Lake, so there will be a slight geographical advantage for Utah. However, TCU is more than capable of overcoming that small edge, and the Frogs dwarf the Utes in raw talent.
Jamie Dixon is a terrific coach, and he knows his squad needs to lock down another quality win before the Big 12 gauntlet gets underway.
Tonight we’re buying low and selling high on two teams near their respective valleys and peaks.