Wednesday College Basketball Betting Odds & Picks: Tennessee-Cincinnati, Arizona State-Saint Mary’s
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Remy Martin
Eli Hershkovich is an Action Network contributor and produces/hosts the You Better You Bet Podcast on RADIO.COM Sports.
With nine ranked teams in action on Wednesday night’s college basketball docket, there’s plenty of betting angles to look at.
Let’s break down No. 21 Tennessee at Cincinnati and Saint Mary’s-Arizona State.
Wednesday College Basketball Betting
Odds as of Wednesday morning and via DraftKings, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
Tennessee at Cincinnati
- Spread: Tennessee -1.5
- Over/Under: 130
- Time: 7 p.m. EST
- TV: ESPN2
Cincinnati was dealt a one-point home loss by Colgate on Saturday, as senior forward Jaron Cumberland inexplicably tossed up a half-court prayer in the final seconds to propel the Raiders to an upset win. Cumberland’s hip injury has limited him thus far, and his decision-making in the Bearcats’ past affair makes it somewhat difficult to trust them.
Cincinnati first-year coach John Brannen has shifted away from Mick Cronin’s snail-pace and defensive-minded philosophy to an up-tempo offense. But the Vols can hang with Cincinnati on the glass to stop Brannen’s squad from speeding up the pace (top-90 offensive rebounding rate).
In Tennessee’s past two games against top-45 KenPom opponents (Memphis, VCU), the Vols have started off hot from behind the arc — where the Bearcats’ defense is most susceptible. I’d expect more of the same from the Vols if they’re able to control the tempo early on.
Once Cincinnati settles in, Cumberland and Co. should have success attacking the paint — similar to how the VCU and Memphis did in transition against Tennessee. Not only do the Bearcats possess a slight size advantage, but the Vols are also bottom-80 across college basketball in opponents’ 2-point scoring rate.
I’m eyeing this contest as a motivational spot for Cumberland and his teammates after their debacle against Colgate. I like the Bearcats, but look to live bet them at a favorable price after a hot start by Tennessee.
The Pick: Cincinnati live +5.5 or better
Saint Mary’s vs. Arizona State
- Spread: St. Mary’s -2
- Over/Under: 137.5
- Time: 9 p.m. EST
- TV: Pac-12 Network
The Sun Devils (6-4 ATS) have semi-home court for their matchup against the Gaels (5-7 ATS) in Phoenix, and there are matchup advantages at both ends for coach Bobby Hurley.
For starters, Saint Mary’s enters this one with the No. 1 3-point percentage (43.8%) in the country, which is due for regression against an ASU team that boasts one of the top perimeter defenses (opponents’ 26.5 3-point%).
The Sun Devils are well-positioned to disrupt the Gaels’ snail-paced offense because of their prowess for pushing the tempo, too. ASU owns the 34th-lowest average possession length in the nation (15.6 seconds), and it’ll have room to attack the rim against Saint Mary’s, which is letting up the 57th-worst two-point scoring rate.
Hurley’s bunch is most successful off dribble penetration with guard Remy Martin and center Romello White’s back-to-the-basket nature, thanks their consistency getting to the line.
Although the Sun Devils (No. 102 Adjusted Offensive Efficiency) aren’t in the same ballpark as Dayton’s attack (No. 7 AdjO), the Gaels struggled with a similarly fast-paced Flyers’ team less than two weeks ago.
In what should be a road-like atmosphere for Saint Mary’s, expect the Sun Devils to hang tough throughout.
The Pick: Arizona State +2