Friday College Basketball Betting Odds & Picks: Lipscomb vs. Vermont, NDSU vs. Marquette
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Markus Howard
With only a single ranked team in action tonight, Friday night represents an opportunity for seasoned gamblers to throw their weight around by backing feisty mid-majors.
The beast of the American East is looking to shake off a rare home loss and a title contender in the Summit is traveling to Milwaukee in search of a season-defining non-conference upset.
Here’s the angles I’m exploring in both contests.
Friday College Basketball Odds & Picks
Odds as of Friday morning and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150). No strings attached. No rollover required.
Lipscomb at Vermont
- Spread: UVM-11
- Over/Under: 132.5
- Time: 7 p.m. EST
- TV: ESPN+
In a strange way, savvy bettors often enjoy watching teams they’re high on lose games they shouldn’t.
Coming into the season, basketball pundits were touting the Vermont Catamounts to anyone who would listen, but a 7-5 straight-up (5-6 ATS) start for UVM has cooled expectations considerably.
In its last game, Vermont dropped a tight, one-point contest to fellow mid-major power UNC Greensboro. It’s a rare event for UVM to come up on the wrong side of a game at Patrick Gymnasium. In fact, the Catamounts are 47-6 in their last 53 in Burlington.
But John Becker teams coming off of a home loss are an incredibly solid investment.
In the last three years UVM is 5-0 SU and 5-0 ATS in their next home game coming off a loss in Patrick Gymnasium.
The fact that this spread is this low is predicated upon UVM’s 7-5 SU record, which belies the fact that three of those losses came to likely NCAA Tournament teams (Yale, UVA, UNCG) and Cincinnati on the road.
As for what to expect against a young, turnover-prone Lipscomb squad, gamblers should prepare to watch an old-school, half-court affair.
Vermont’s effective FG percentage defense checks in at 42.7% (15th) and UVM prefers a glacial pace (321st), so a low-scoring affair with the Catamounts coming out on top is the most likely outcome.
Picks: UVM Moneyline -675 and Under 132.5
North Dakota State at Marquette
- Spread: Marquette -13.5
- Over/Under: 142
- Time: 9 p.m. EST
- TV: FS1
The reason for that likely stems from the difference in styles between these two programs. Marquette has embraced a run-n-gun mentality under Steve Wojciechowski. In the last five years, Marquette has averaged 78.5 points per game. This season that number has dropped to 75.8 ppg, the lowest since Wojo’s first year on the bench in Milwaukee.
The Bison play a completely different brand of basketball, preferring a half-court affair played in the 60s. They generally thrive in lower possession games for a few key reasons.
NDSU leads the nation in defensive rebounding percentage and is fourth in turnovers. This limits second chance buckets and fast break opportunities.
The under has paid out in six of 10 Marquette games this season, but it really comes down to the play of Markus Howard. The All-American candidate has struggled a bit since his 51-point eruption against USC on Nov. 29. Since then he’s just 13-41 from the field across three games.
North Dakota State has faced three dynamic point guards this season and limited the scoring punch from all three:
- Jordan Barnes, Indiana State: 11 pts, 5 assists, 2 turnovers
- Terrell Gomez, CS Northridge: 16 pts on 5-16 shooting
- Javon Levi, UT Rio Grande: 9 pts, 10 assists, 3 turnovers
If NDSU can “limit” Howard and keep him under 30 points, the under is an awfully enticing play in this spot.
Pick: Under 142