College Basketball Six Pack: Friday Best Bets From Three Man Weave & Our Experts
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- The college basketball weekend is upon us, and the Three Man Weave has joined Stuckey, Collin Wilson, and Mike Randle to discuss it.
- The six-man crew breaks down each of their favorite bets for Friday's slate of hoops, beginning with Charlotte vs. UAB at 5 p.m. ET.
- Check out each pick complete with betting analysis below.
With conference play underway in college basketball, we take a look at Friday night’s slate in the debut of our new series: The Weekend Six Pack, with help from our friends at Three Man Weave.
Though there’s just one ranked team playing on Friday, our experts and the 3MW crew see value in plenty of matchups and discuss their favorite bets of the night.
They broke down their favorite bet each on The Action Network podcast.
Ky McKeon: Arkansas Little Rock (-5.5) vs. Texas State
7:30 p.m. ET
In a Sun Belt battle, the Trojans welcome the Bobcats in the first leg of a back-to-back. Little Rock should find itself at the top of the conference this season, and I expect it to totally outclass Texas State.
The strength of this Little Rock team lies within its ability to dominate inside the paint and consistency at the free-throw line. The Trojans rank 32nd in 2-point percentage (55.9%), while Texas State allows opponents to shoot nearly 50% from inside the arc — 158th in the country. The height disparity should be on display in tonight’s matchup.
Despite the fact that Texas State ranks top-20 in experience and 38th in continuity, it is clear former head coach Danny Kaspar’s departure mattered. The one thing to worry about, though, is Texas State ranks 15th in the country in forcing turnovers. Little Rock sits at 296th.
Although that’s a bit concerning, I expect the Trojan’s paint dominance on the other end of the floor and ability to get to the foul line has them set up for the win and cover.
The pick: Arkansas Little Rock -5.5 (up to -7)
Jim Root: Charlotte (+1.5) vs. UAB
5 p.m. ET
Let’s address the obvious: Charlotte’s most recent loss to Division II Belmont Abbey. Yes, it’s bad. But it was without starting center Milos Supica for the second half, and prior to that collapse, had just played Western Kentucky tight in two straight matchups. I’m not worried.
The 49ers hold the clear matchup advantage over UAB, which thrives on its defense and on-ball pressure. The Blazers are 16th in the country in turnover percentage, but that should not be an issue with Charlotte’s dual point guard system. Tack on the fact that Quan Jackson, the No. 1 player in steal rate in the country, is out for UAB, and Charlotte should be ready for the defensive pressure.
The biggest advantage where I see Charlotte exploiting UAB is within its pack-line defense. Head coach Ron Sanchez, a Tony Bennett disciple, will force the Blazers to shoot. That’s an area UAB isn’t well-versed in, ranking near the bottom in both 3-point attempts and 244th in 3-point percentage. This sets up very well for Charlotte on both ends of the floor, as the small home dogs should be able to get the job done.
The pick: Charlotte +1.5 (down to -1)
Stuckey: Charlotte (+1.5) vs. UAB
5 p.m. ET
I think this is a great spot for all the reasons that Jim mentioned from a matchup perspective. Keep in mind that the Blazers have dominated defending the 3, holding opponents to 24% from beyond the arc, fifth-best in the country. I’d expect some regression there, too.
The pick: Charlotte +1.5
Matt Cox: South Alabama (-3) vs. Appalachian State
7 p.m. ET
I’m going with the short home favorite here. And no, not the US of A, but the U of SA, the South Alabama Jaguars. Head coach Richie Riley has turned USA into a transfer safe haven over the last couple of years, and while it’s struggled this season, it’s been because of injuries.
Despite a 1-3 start both straight up and against the spread in conference play, this is a juicy spot for the Jaguars. This is the first leg of a back-to-back, and USA has played significantly better in both the opening legs thus far. You saw it jump out to a significant lead against Georgia Southern and play well against Coastal Carolina.
In the first leg of these back-to-backs, I see shorter bench teams like South Alabama give its best effort.
After blowing a massive lead last weekend, I think you see a very motivated and locked in South Alabama team against an Appalachian State squad that’s coming off two of its own miracle comebacks. I see this as a perfect spot with a lot of value in backing a healthy Jaguars team.
The pick: South Alabama -3
Mike Randle: St. Bonaventure (-8) vs. Duquesne
7 p.m. ET
Duquesne has dealt with severe issues this season, none greater than starting point guard Sincere Carry announcing his intent to transfer this past week. Tack on Lamar Norman’s transfer and Maceo Austin missing time due to personal issues, and the Dukes are in disarray. Even with a hard-fought battle against Dayton, Duquesne didn’t cover and eventually lost.
Now, their matchup gets even tougher traveling up to St. Bonaventure, one of the favorites to win the A-10 Conference. The Bonnies have dealt with COVID-19 issues early in the season but are a very strong team with wins against Richmond and Hofstra. Tack on last year’s loss at home to Duquesne, and the Bonnies have revenge on their mind.
Duquesne struggles tremendously from the free-throw line, shooting 63% on the year and 56% in conference play — and that’s counting Carry and Norman. Everything seems to be favoring the Bonnies here, and I’ll call it the Osunniyi rule: St. Bonaventure is 23-6 when Osun Osunniyi plays and 22-4 when he doesn’t foul out. I’m going to grab this line as soon as it comes out because I think it’s going to go north.
The pick: St. Bonaventure -8
Collin Wilson: Robert Morris (+3) vs. UIC
8 p.m. ET
UIC has had its problems defensively, and even with UIC missing a few weeks due to a COVID-19 outbreak, if you look at metrics like offensive rebounding (286th), free-throw percentage (246th), steal percentage (343rd), it’s terrible in a lot of the basic fundamentals.
Meanwhile, Robert Morris is a good shooting team, sitting at 11th in the nation in 3-point shooting percentage and top-50 in plenty of other offensive categories. That translates well on the road with what we’ve seen so far this year, so I’m taking Robert Morris on Friday night.
The pick: Robert Morris +3