Wednesday College Basketball Betting Picks: Texas Tech vs. DePaul, Ohio State vs. North Carolina
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Cole Anthony
Eli Hershkovich is an Action Network contributor and produces/hosts the You Better You Bet Podcast on RADIO.COM Sports.
With another night of enticing college basketball action, including 10 ranked teams on the court, let’s break down No. 6 Ohio State at No. 7 North Carolina and Texas Tech at DePaul.
I see value in both matchups.
Wednesday College Basketball Picks
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Texas Tech at DePaul
- Spread: Texas Tech -2
- Over/Under: 140
- Time: 8:30 p.m. EST
- TV: FS1
The Red Raiders lost back-to-back contests in the Las Vegas Invitational and star freshman Jahmi’us Ramsey (hamstring) exited their overtime loss against Creighton on Friday. He’s considered day-to-day and is questionable for their matchup against the Blue Demons.
Even though DePaul (5-2 ATS) is 8-0 straight-up for the first time in 30-plus years, its interior defense remains an area Texas Tech can take advantage of — with or without Ramsey. Its bottom-100 opponents’ free-throw rate will allow the Red Raiders (top-100 free-throw rate) to get to the line via dribble penetration and from the block.
Stephen F. Austin transfer T.J. Holyfield and freshman wing Terrence Shannon are adept in those departments, and their ability to make the Blue Demons’ defense collapse should open the floor up for their perimeter offense (34.9 3-point%).
After Texas Tech was exposed defensively (1.07 points per possession) out west, I’m expecting a bounce-back performance from its defense as well. The Red Raiders’ interior unit is their strength, and 55.6% of DePaul’s offense comes from inside the arc (65th-highest rate in college basketball).
Texas Tech’s top-four defensive rebounding rate should allow them to control the tempo and get to the line in the process.
The Red Raiders aren’t as loaded as the past two seasons, but it’s still cheap price in a great situational spot. The Red Raiders have a coaching mismatch with Beard against Dave Leitao to top it off.
The Pick: Texas Tech -2 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
Ohio State at North Carolina
- Spread: North Carolina -3.5
- Over/Under: 136
- Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
Speaking of buy-low opportunities, UNC opened as a 2.5-point favorite against the Buckeyes, but action has come in on the Tar Heels ever since.
Ohio State owns the second-lowest Adjusted Defensive Efficiency in the country (via KenPom), along with allowing the second-lowest two-point clip (35.9%). It’s yet to face an offense that runs most of its action inside, though.
UNC has generated the 47th-highest two-point scoring percentage in the nation, and it’ll continue to do damage in that department. Led by freshman point guard Cole Anthony and Roy Williams’ frontcourt, look for the Tar Heels to expose Chris Holtmann’s defense off the dribble and in the low-post.
The Tar Heels should play at their quicker tempo, collecting the third- and 12th-highest offensive and defensive rebounding rate in college hoops, respectively. Not only do the Buckeyes have a size disadvantage, but they’ve struggled to keep opponents off the offensive glass.
We’ve yet to see the Buckeyes react to a deficit against a top-25 opponent, as their lone comeback win came against a Cincinnati team that was plagued by foul trouble in the second half. UNC hasn’t dealt with issues in that area, letting up the ninth-lowest free-throw rate.
Expect the Buckeyes to struggle in their first road test against a Power 5 opponent, especially since they’re more comfortable playing at a slower pace.
The Pick: UNC -3.5 [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]
Eli Hershkovich is 297-231-9 (56.3%) overall betting on college basketball. You can follow him in our free app.