Wednesday College Basketball Betting Odds & Picks: Gonzaga vs. North Carolina, Vermont vs. UNC Greensboro
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Corey Kispert
Wednesday’s college basketball slate brings us a quality mid-major matchup with two teams trying to build a strong resume for March Madness, and another between two powerhouses (historically, anyway).
The first game features two of the most underrated coaches in the country with UNC Greensboro’s Wes Miller bringing his Spartans to Vermont to face John Becker’s Catamounts.
The second game will pit struggling North Carolina against Gonzaga.
Let’s see which teams have the advantage on the college hardwood.
Wednesday College Basketball Betting
Odds as of Wednesday morning and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
Vermont vs. UNC Greensboro
- Spread: Vermont -3
- Over/Under: 122.5
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN+
Vermont (7-4) enters this game off an 11-day rest from their 55-38 win over Towson. The Catamounts played a strong non-conference schedule with true road games at St. John’s, Virginia, Bucknell, Yale, and Cincinnati.
The Catamounts feature one of the nation’s toughest defenses against the 2P. Vermont is only allowing opponents to shoot 41.3% from inside the arc.
But Vermont has experienced a significant drop off in 3P shooting from last year, falling from 35.9% down to 28.5% this year. This is an ideal spot for positive regression against a UNC Greensboro team that ranks 241st against the 3P.
The return of point guard Ben Shungu (7.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg) from a nagging hamstring injury was a huge boost for Vermont, which held Towson to a season-low 38 points. The Catamounts also saw the return of 6-foot-11 inch Daniel Giddens (3.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg) after he suffered a knee injury on Dec. 1 against Yale.
The extra rest in preparation for the Spartans insures Becker’s team is fully rested.
UNC Greensboro is coming off an 80-77 home loss to N.C. State, a game in which it only shot 41.5% (17 of 41) from 2P range. The Spartans also allowed the Wolfpack to shoot 46.4% (13 of 28) from beyond the arc. They have struggled significantly from the free-throw line, shooting only 59.2% (343rd nationally).
I see a well-rested Vermont team using their stifling defense and home-court advantage to earn a comfortable win at Patrick Gymnasium. I would bet this game up to Vermont -4.5.
The Pick: Vermont -3
Gonzaga vs. North Carolina
- Spread: Gonzaga -12.5
- Over/Under: 145.5
- Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN2
Gonzaga (11-1) hosts North Carolina (6-4) on the second leg of a home and home series with the Tar Heels. Last year, the Bulldogs lost 103-90 in Chapel Hill, and all Gonzaga fans remember their crushing 71-65 loss to North Carolina in the 2017 national title game.
The Bulldogs have steamrolled their opponents this season, with an offense that ranks third nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency. Gonzaga ranks fourth overall with an average of 85.8 points per game and is Top 20 from 2-point range, averaging 55.6%.
Head coach Mark Few’s Bulldogs are extremely balanced offensively with six players averaging double-figures. Junior Corey Kispert (14.1 ppg, 40.3% 3P) and sophomore Joel Ayayi (10.5 ppg, 40.1% 3P) are very efficient from beyond the arc.
The Tar Heels enter this matchup coming off three consecutive losses, including two at home. North Carolina has been crippled by injuries and will be without their leading-scorer freshman Cole Anthony (19.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.6 apg) who is out 4-6 weeks after knee surgery. Playing without Anthony last Sunday, the Tar Heels lost 68-64 at home to Wofford.
Gonzaga’s last home loss was 23 months ago to St. Mary’s. Since that game, the Bulldogs have won 28 consecutive home games by an average of 23.6 points per game.
North Carolina’s offense has struggled all year long, ranking 297th or worse in effective field goal percentage, 3P%, 2P%, and FT%. The Tar Heels also fail to force turnovers on defense, ranking 334th in defensive turnover percentage.
This game should be a comfortable Gonzaga win against the short-handed Tar Heels. North Carolina’s struggles on offense are a poor match against the superior offensive efficiency of the Bulldogs in the comfortable confines of the Kennel.
I would bet this game up to Gonzaga -14.5.
The Pick: Gonzaga -12.5