College Basketball Odds & Picks: How to Bet Ohio State vs. Purdue, TCU vs. Oklahoma State, More (Wednesday, December 16)

College Basketball Odds & Picks: How to Bet Ohio State vs. Purdue, TCU vs. Oklahoma State, More (Wednesday, December 16) article feature image
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Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Isaiah Thompson.

  • Conference play is beginning to start around the country, meaning the college basketball schedule is starting to heat up.
  • Our college hoops staff broke down three conference games on Wednesday's slate and shared a betting pick for each.
  • Check out each pick complete with betting analysis below.

With conference play returning across the country, the college basketball schedule is starting to heat up.

That has been made abundantly clear in our college hoops staff’s three favorite picks for Wednesday’s slate.

Our staff broke down the Big Ten matchup between Purdue and No. 20 Ohio State, the AAC game between South Florida and Cincinnati, and the Big 12 contest between Oklahoma State and TCU.

Check out complete analysis and a betting pick for each game below. And get ready for tomorrow, because we’ll be back for more.


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How to Bet Wednesday’s College Basketball Slate

Here’s a rundown of our favorite betting spots on Wednesday’s slate of games:

Tip Time
Matchup
7 p.m. ET
Purdue vs. No. 20 Ohio State 
7 p.m. ET
South Florida vs. Cincinnati
7 p.m. ET
Oklahoma State vs. TCU

All listed odds have been updated as of Wednesday night and via DraftKings. Specific bet recommendations at the end of each matchup breakdown come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing.

Always shop for the best price using our NCAAB Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.


CLICK THE DROPDOWN ARROW TO EASILY NAVIGATE TO ANY GAME
Tip Time
Matchup
7 p.m. ET
Purdue vs. No. 20 Ohio State 
7 p.m. ET
South Florida vs. Cincinnati
7 p.m. ET
Oklahoma State vs. TCU

Purdue (-4) vs. No. 20 Ohio State

By Pat McMahon


ncaa-college basketball-betting-odds-picks-december 16
Purdue Odds -4.5 [BET NOW]
Ohio State Odds +4.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -200 / +165 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 133.5 [BET NOW]
Time 7 p.m. ET
TV Big Ten Network
(Photo Credit: Michael Reaves/Getty Images).

Getting conference play back in college basketball is a beautiful thing, especially in the mighty Big Ten. 

Purdue and Ohio State meet up in West Lafayette, Indiana, for the conference opener for both squads. The Buckeyes enter this contest with a perfect 5-0 record, and the Boilermakers come in at 4-2. 

Purdue suffered a frustrating loss at Miami in last week’s Big Ten/ACC challenge, blowing a 24-point first-half lead. It bounced back with an 80-68 win over a feisty Indiana State team on Saturday. 

The good news for the Boilermakers is that star guard Eric Hunter Jr. came back from injury for the Miami game.

As the top ball-handler on the team, his presence was desperately needed, and he’s already made a big impact. Hunter had a strong game in Purdue’s win on Saturday, posting 13 points and five assists. 

Getting their starting point guard back was huge, but the Boilermakers are known for playing tough defense and bullying the opposition in the post. They do a great job of using their overall team size and length to play tight pressure defense in the half-court to force opponents to take difficult shots.

Purdue ranks in the top 40 nationally in adjusted defense, according to KenPom, and is holding opponents to just 42% shooting from the field and 27% from 3-point range. 

On the offensive end, the Boilermakers will look to play inside-out through Trevion Williams and 7-foot-4 freshman Zach Edey.

Both are very gifted scorers in the post, and Williams is also a capable passer who can find shooters on the outside when the defense decides to double-team him. Sasha Stefanovic (53%) and Brandon Newman (41%) are both off to hot starts from 3-point range and lead a deep Purdue rotation on the wing. 

Purdue often struggled offensively last season but has turned things around early, currently ranking 30th in adjusted offensive efficiency, per KenPom.

Ohio State is off to a fast start for a second straight year. Like Purdue, the Buckeyes have been very efficient on both ends of the floor early. They currently rank 11th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 36th in adjusted defensive efficiency, per KenPom. 

The Buckeyes lost Kaleb and Andre Wesson and only return 49% of their available minutes from last season, but so far, the brothers haven’t been missed too much. Cal transfer Justice Sueing has been great on the wing, and E.J. Liddell has thrived in an increased role, leading the Buckeyes in both scoring and rebounding. 

Chris Holtmann hoped Harvard transfer Seth Towns could come in and provide instant offense, but he’s been dealing with an injury and has yet to suit up this season. It’s unlikely that he’ll be in action tonight. 

The Buckeyes have undoubtedly looked good early, but the Boilermakers are a much more complete team than anyone they’ve faced so far. Ohio State put up 56 second-half points in last week’s comeback win over Notre Dame, but it will be a much tougher task to come from behind against the Boilermakers defense if they get in a hole. 

Moreover, the Buckeyes defense struggled and allowed Notre Dame to shoot 51% from the floor and 46% from distance. If Ohio State lets Purdue’s shooters get into that kind of a rhythm, it could be in for a long night. 

Another reason I like Purdue in this spot is that this time of year last season is when Ohio State started to struggle. Its first loss of the season came in its first Big Ten road game at Minnesota. The Buckeyes struggled on the road throughout conference play, finishing just 3-7 away from home. 

Purdue plays very well in Mackey Arena and should look sharp offensively in Hunter’s third game back running the point. The Boilermakers’ deep roster and mix of veteran and young talent have what it takes to hand the Buckeyes their first loss of the season.


[Bet Purdue now at BetMGM and get a $500 INSTANT deposit match]

CLICK THE DROPDOWN ARROW TO EASILY NAVIGATE TO ANY GAME
Tip Time
Matchup
7 p.m. ET
Purdue vs. No. 20 Ohio State 
7 p.m. ET
South Florida vs. Cincinnati
7 p.m. ET
Oklahoma State vs. TCU

South Florida (+9) vs. Cincinnati

By BJ Cunningham


ncaa-college basketball-betting-odds-picks-december 16
South Florida Odds +8.5 [BET NOW]
Cincinnati Odds -8.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline +350 / -455 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 132 [BET NOW]
Time 7 p.m. ET
TV ESPN2
(Photo Credit: Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).

South Florida finished the 2019-20 season below .500. However, it returns a key piece in 2020 with the return of center Alexis Yetna. Yetna is the Bulls’ best player and missed all of last season due to injury. As a freshman, Yetna almost averaged a double-double and will be a nightmare for Rhode Island to guard.

The Bulls did lose leading scorer Laquincy Rideau but made some key additions in the offseason. Head coach Brian Gregory brought in the highest-rated recruit of his tenure in four-star guard Caleb Murphy. He also snagged transfers Prince Oduro (from Mississippi State) and Luke Anderson (Iowa State).

The strength of South Florida last season was its defense, which projects to be even better in 2020. Per KenPom, South Florida is 59th-best in terms of defensive efficiency, and getting Yetna back is only going to help. The Bulls are also allowing opponents to shoot only 26.2% from beyond the arc to begin the season. 

Cincinnati has failed its two biggest tests of the season, losing to Xavier and Tennessee. The Bearcats lost the Cumberland brothers from last year’s team, which is a huge blow since Jarron Cumberland was their best player. After finishing 44th in the KenPom rankings last year, Cincinnati is expected to take a step back again this year, as evidenced by its ranking of 60th. 

Where Cincinnati is going to struggle is on the offensive end of the floor. It’s below the NCAA average in almost every shooting category and is shooting an abysmal 25% from deep to start the season. Additionally, it’s struggling on the offensive glass, as its offensive rebound percentage has dropped significantly from last year, going from 32% in 2019 to 23% in 2020. 

Defensively, the Bearcats will be one of the best teams in AAC, ranking 39th in defensive efficiency. They’re top-75 in the country in effective field goal percentage allowed, defensive rebounding percentage, and 3-point percentage allowed. However, will their defense be able to do enough to make up for their struggles on the offensive end of the floor?

I have Cincinnati projected as only -6.91 favorites tonight, so I think there’s some value on South Florida at +9.


[Bet South Florida now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 bonus, including a $500 risk-free bet]

CLICK THE DROPDOWN ARROW TO EASILY NAVIGATE TO ANY GAME
Tip Time
Matchup
7 p.m. ET
Purdue vs. No. 20 Ohio State 
7 p.m. ET
South Florida vs. Cincinnati
7 p.m. ET
Oklahoma State vs. TCU

 


Oklahoma State (-5) vs. TCU

By Tanner McGrath


ncaa-college basketball-betting-odds-picks-december 16
Oklahoma State Odds -5 [BET NOW]
TCU Odds +5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -220 / +180 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 135.5 [BET NOW]
Time 7 p.m. ET
TV ESPN
(Photo Credit: Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).

The TCU Horned Frogs are traveling to take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys tonight as Big 12 conference play starts to ramp up. As with most matchups, I lean toward the home team with the better defense. 

Oklahoma State’s defense has been fairly effective this season. It ranks 27th in the nation in Defensive Efficiency with a 45.4 eFG% against, per KenPom. Additionally, opponents are shooting just 43.3% from the field against the Cowboys this season.

TCU’s perimeter defense is good, but its interior defense isn’t. TCU’s opponents are shooting 51.1% from 2-point range, and Oklahoma State is shooting 52.6% from inside the arc this season. That mismatch could prove important in this matchup.

TCU has five wins on the season, but it dropped two home games against Oklahoma and Providence. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State is 6-0 with road wins over Marquette and Wichita State. 

Moreover, Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham has been exceptional. He’s averaging 18.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game on 48.1% shooting. He’s projected to be a top pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, and he’s showing his worth so far.

I’m playing Oklahoma State -5 in this spot.


[Bet Oklahoma State now at PointsBet risk-free up to $250]

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