College Basketball Best Bets: Three Man Weave’s 3 Picks for Black Friday, Including Oklahoma State vs. Oral Roberts
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images. Pictured: Isaiah Mucius (1) of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
- Oklahoma State has a dangerous game vs. Oral Roberts, while Oregon State and Wake Forest face off in an intriguing showdown.
- Also, there's value to be had in Portland State vs. Iowa.
- Matt Cox breaks down these three games and provides his top selections for each.
Black Friday’s college sports slate is loaded from top to bottom, including 16 college football games — many of which are in-state rivalries, the Battle 4 Atlantis Championship game between Michigan State and Baylor, the ESPN Events Invitational, NIT Tip-Off, Wooden Legacy, and so much more.
With a genuinely loaded card on deck, which college basketball games most warrant your attention — and your investment — on Friday?
Matt Cox of Three Man Weave cuts through the noisy college sports schedule in order to highlight his top 3 betting spots from Friday’s college basketball slate — beginning with Oklahoma State vs. Oral Roberts at 4 p.m. ET. Below, you’ll find comprehensive betting analysis for all three of his top picks today, including strike prices for how high or low you should bet each game.
Friday College Basketball Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that Three Man Weave 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.|
Oklahoma State vs. Oral Roberts
Friday, Nov. 26
4 p.m. ET
As detailed on this week’s episode of Big Bets on Campus, Oral Roberts is a live dog this afternoon against a familiar and nearby foe: The Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Only an hour bus ride separates Stillwater, OK from Tulsa, the latter of which sets the stage for the first of our Friday best bets trifecta.
It’s rare to see a power-conference program venture into mid-major waters, but Oklahoma State will take that treacherous journey this afternoon. Though not a daunting travel, it marks the first true road game of the year for the Cowboys.
They played well at the Mohegan Sun MTE last week, notching two convincing victories over UMass Lowell and NC State, but neither was a true hostile environment.
Oral Roberts’ home gymnasium, the Mabee Center, may not bring the same juice as Gallagher Iba Arena — but it could be the lighter fuel this incendiary Golden Eagles offense needs to catch fire.
The reigning NCAA Tournament darlings, led by super-scorer Max Abmas, are thirsty for a marquee win. Oral Bob came up short against Colorado State in the season opener and recently fell prey to a feisty Central Arkansas team on the road.
The situational spot feels like a vintage ‘get right’ game. This marks the third consecutive season these two teams will meet, and the Golden Eagles gave the Cowboys all they could handle in both prior matchups, losing by five points in each meeting.
Both of those close calls were in Stillwater. Now, the Cowboys must make the return trip east.
On the heels of a fat and happy Thanksgiving, the Cowboys are ripe for a flat showing, especially against a hungry and desperate ORU squad that has yet to notch a Division-I victory this season. The Golden Eagles should be locked and loaded after dropping a brutal road game at UCA.
Pick: Oral Roberts +10 (Bet to +8)
Portland State vs. Iowa
Remember when the dogs were barking with vengeance? Such was the case the first week of the season, as large underdogs were feisty in all scenarios.
Now, the favorites are reclaiming their authority. The feel-good stories of the SWAC, MEAC, Southland and other low-major teams covering at a torrent pace are slammed shut. Their bite, once potent, has lost its grip.
If there’s ever a time in the non-conference season to circle your favorite ‘Goliath,’ this is your moment. One formidable power-conference destroyer is Iowa — a high-octane offense with a gear that few mid- and low-majors can match.
Under head coach Fran McCaffery, the Hawkeyes are always loaded with depth and skill. They play with pristine spacing at a breakneck pace, which makes it impossible for inferior challengers to keep up. At home in the friendly confines of Carver Hawkeye Arena, Iowa’s offense can turn into a full-blown fireworks finale.
Since 2017, here are Iowa’s against the spread (ATS) records in the following situations:
- 29-18 in non-conference games
- 37-28 in home games
- 43-32 as a favorite
All three stars align in this matchup against Portland State — a perfect storm of a spot for the host Hawkeyes.
Don’t let this enormous spread scare you: Portland State is grossly overvalued in the current betting markets.
Look no further than earlier this week, when the Vikings opened as 9-point favorites against crosstown rival Portland. The sharp money sniffed out the blood and hammered the Pilots. This proved prophetic as Portland, who closed as 6.5-point underdogs, routed Portland State by 15 points in their own building.
Jase Coburn and the Vikings aren’t talent-deficient by any means, but they are an island of misfit toys at this point in the season. On top of that, Coburn’s frenetic style, not all that different from his predecessor Barret Peery, will roll out the red carpet for the Hawkeyes to drop 100 or more.
Attempting to press Iowa and bait them into a track meet is a recipe for disaster. The Hawkeyes, paced by a cavalry of sharpshooters, could have a field day if shots are falling.
Pick: Iowa -24.5 (Bet to -27)
Oregon State vs. Wake Forest
This tilt between two power-conference leftovers, Oregon State and Wake Forest, won’t win any beauty contests. But for under backers, ‘ugly’ is a beautiful thing.
The Beavers and the Demon Deacons will duel at the Emerald Coast Classic, a panhandle-based MTE hosted by Northwest Florida State College and an annual tradition since 2014. This offers a hearty sample size to dissect scoring trends, from which we find strong signals that unders are still an untapped goldmine.
Unders at neutral site multi-team events during the Thanksgiving season are typically strong bets in general, but few have skewed as strongly toward the under as the Emerald Classic.
If we isolate the last five seasons from 2016 to 2020 (the event was cancelled last year due to COVID-19 concerns), as well as the preliminary campus site games — which leaves only neutral site games at the Northwest Florida State College arena — Under bets are 25-12. Additionally, in those games, the total score has sailed under the line by an average of 4.1 points a game.
The reason behind this macro trend is unclear, but a multitude of factors are likely at play — notably the dead spot in the schedule (around Thanksgiving). What makes this under even stronger are the two teams in question, neither of which is an offensive juggernaut.
Entering this game, Wake Forest has ransacked five low major teams, padding its offensive efficiency and tempo metrics against lesser opponents. Oregon State, on the other hand, has dropped four straight, three losses coming against teams outside KenPom’s top 100. The only top-100 team the Beavers squared off against, the Iowa State Cyclones, held the Beavers to a putrid 0.69 points per possession in a disgusting 60-50 affair.
Wake Forest’s array of multi-positional athletes, coupled with Oregon State’s gargantuan frontcourt size, will act as two impenetrable barriers for the other side’s offense to score. The lone concern could be the Demon Deacons’ quest to push the pace in the open floor, but Wayne Tinkle’s disciplined transition defense should slow Wake to their slowest pace of the young season.