College Basketball Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Top-3 Best Bets for Thursday Night

College Basketball Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Top-3 Best Bets for Thursday Night article feature image
Credit:

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Isaiah Whaley.

After a Wednesday night that included games like No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 11 West Virginia and No. 2 Baylor vs. No. 5 Illinois, we’re blessed with more college basketball today.

Our college basketball staff poured through the oddsboard in order to deliver their three favorite college basketball picks for Thursday evening. Below, you’ll find betting analysis for each of our analysts’ top picks for tonight’s slate.


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How to Bet Thursday’s College Basketball Slate

Here’s a rundown of our favorite betting spots on Thursday’s slate of games:

Tip Time
Matchup
7 p.m. ET
UConn vs. USC
7 p.m. ET
Wright State vs. Marshall
9:30 p.m. ET
Boston College vs. Florida

All listed odds have been updated as of Thursday morning and via DraftKings. Specific bet recommendations at the end of each matchup breakdown 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.


CLICK THE DROPDOWN ARROW TO EASILY NAVIGATE TO ANY GAME
Tip Time
Matchup
7 p.m. ET
UConn vs. USC
7 p.m. ET
Wright State vs. Marshall
9:30 p.m. ET
Boston College vs. Florida

UConn (-1) vs. USC

By Mike Calabrese


ncaa-college basketball-betting-odds-picks-december 3
UConn Odds -1 [BET NOW]
USC Odds +1 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -117 / -105 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 142.5 [BET NOW]
Time 6 p.m. ET
TV ESPN
(Photo Credit: Joe Murphy/Getty Images).

Dating back to last spring, the Huskies are currently on a 10-2 run, punctuated by a six-point victory over the 21st-ranked Houston Cougars.

Had the NCAA Tournament been held last season, UConn would likely have been on the right side of the bubble had it been afforded a chance to make some noise at the AAC tournament. College basketball’s loss (watching another historic UConn turnaround) is gamblers’ gain in this case because the betting markets still haven’t caught up to the Huskies.

That 10-2 SU run I mentioned was accompanied by an impressive 7-4-1 mark at the betting window, including three outright upsets as an underdog.

From a personnel standpoint, the loss of Christian Vital has been considerably softened by Howard transfer R.J. Cole. The former MEAC standout was a volume scorer down in Washington D.C., but it appears he spent his year off working on his shooting. Through two games, Cole has already upped his shooting percentages from 3-point range, the line and the field.

Pairing Cole with James Bouknight is exactly what Dan Hurley envisioned when he lured away the sought after mid-major superstar. Through two games, the pair is averaging 32.5 points and 4.5 steals per game. By season’s end, this very well may be the best backcourt in the Big East.

USC is coming off of a blowout victory over BYU. The Trojans absolutely bullied the Cougars on the glass, with both Mobley brothers ending the game with double-doubles. I sense a slight shooting regression coming from this USC team that’s shooting a blistering 53.5% from the field.

I also expect a strong performance from the Huskies’ Isaiah Whaley. The former complementary piece off the bench is now logging starter minutes and responded nicely with a double-double in his last game. If he can keep the Mobley brothers from dominating the paint and creating second-chance opportunities, I believe UConn will have enough firepower to pull away in its home state.

Pick: UConn -1.


[Bet UConn now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 bonus, including a $500 risk-free bet]

CLICK THE DROPDOWN ARROW TO EASILY NAVIGATE TO ANY GAME
Tip Time
Matchup
7 p.m. ET
UConn vs. USC
7 p.m. ET
Wright State vs. Marshall
9:30 p.m. ET
Boston College vs. Florida

Wright State (+1.5) vs. Marshall

By BJ Cunningham


ncaa-college basketball-betting-odds-picks-december 3
Wright State Odds +1.5 [BET NOW]
Marshall Odds -1.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline +100 / -121 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 156 [BET NOW]
Time 7 p.m. ET
TV ESPN3
(Photo Credit: Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).

Wright State dominated the Horizon League last season, going 15-3 in conference play before losing to a much less talented UIC team in the conference tournament.

The Raiders are loaded once again and should be the best team in the Horizon again in 2020-21. Last season, Wright State finished ranked as the 133rd-best team, per KenPom, and is expected to improve, as it’s now ranked 114th going into the season. The main reason is because of its frontcourt led by Loudon Love, who almost averaged a double-double last season.

The Raiders were top-60 in college basketball in 3-point percentage, turnover percentage, and offensive rebound percentage. That’s going to be a big advantage against Marshall, who ranked 328th in allowing offensive rebounds last season.

Marshall returns its entire roster from last season, so it’s projected to take a big step forward in Conference USA after having one of the youngest rosters last season.

The Thundering Herd play at one of the fastest paces in the country under Dan D’Antoni, ranking fourth in tempo last season. The offense struggled to shoot the ball at times, ranking near the bottom of college basketball in 3-point percentage and free-throw percentage. That’s not going to bode well against Wright State’s defense, which was 28th in defending the 3-ball and 51st in effective field goal percentage allowed.

I think this line should be flipped. I have Wright State projected at -1.43 favorites, so I think there’s value on the Raiders on their home floor.

Pick: Wright State +1.5.


[Bet Wright State now at PointsBet risk-free up to $250]

CLICK THE DROPDOWN ARROW TO EASILY NAVIGATE TO ANY GAME
Tip Time
Matchup
7 p.m. ET
UConn vs. USC
7 p.m. ET
Wright State vs. Marshall
9:30 p.m. ET
Boston College vs. Florida

Boston College (Team Total Over 67.5) vs. Florida

By Ace DeCardano


ncaa-college basketball-betting-odds-picks-december 3
Boston College Odds +7.5 [BET NOW]
Florida Odds -7.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline +275 / -360 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 142 [BET NOW]
Time 9:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPN2
(Photo Credit: Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).

As basketball fans, we’ve all become accustomed to the “bubble” concept. More importantly, we’ve seen what offensive players can do when they are familiar with the bubble environment. This is Boston College’s fourth consecutive game in Mohegan Sun’s Bubbleville.

Wynston Tabbs and Jay Heath form one of the best backcourt duos in the ACC. They are each going to get their share of points, as they are combining for over 30 points per game this season. While these two do a lot of the heavy lifting, it’s actually the role players who have been responsible for the Eagles’ 55.8% effective field goal percentage and 45th-ranked free-throw rate (out of 357 Division I basketball teams).

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that making a high percentage of field goals and getting to the line often is the most efficient way to score points.

Some might wonder, “Wait a minute. Do we really want to take an over against Mike White’s Florida Gators?” Under normal circumstances, the answer would be no. However, the Gators’ season has started under anything but normal circumstances. Unfortunately, they’ve had to deal with Covid-19 issues in both October and November. On Nov. 22, they even had to suspend basketball activities and pull out of the Mohegan Sun Hall of Fame Tip-off Tournament.

Florida returned to practice Friday, and by Sunday, its travel plans were rerouted from Norman, Oklahoma, to Uncasville, Connecticut.

When preseason preparation is disrupted, it’s the defensive end that suffers.

Pick: Boston College Team Total Over 67.5 (up to 69).


[Bet the Boston College team total at FanDuel completely risk-free up to $1,000]

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