A 3-Pack of College Basketball Picks For Wednesday

Jay Pryce

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 1:29 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017 1:29 PM UTC

Our top college basketball picks for Wednesday feature No. 5 Florida and No. 11 North Carolina in heavily favored home matchups, as well as an intriguing A-10-Ivy League tilt between Princeton and George Washington. Predictions and previews here.

Western Carolina vs No. 11 North Carolina (-31)

Look for North Carolina to chase the century mark versus Western Carolina on Wednesday, pushing the combined score to soar over a 154 betting total. Head coach Roy Williams, yet again, fields one of the nation’s most efficient offenses, scoring 116.2 points per 100 possessions according to KenPom’s adjusted rankings (12th). Luke May, the current ACC Player of the Week, leads the team with 20.8 points per game.

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Luke Maye is the ACC Player of the Week: https://t.co/4z3NvMwP1J#CarolinaSZN pic.twitter.com/MloPdyoGnk

— Carolina Basketball (@UNC_Basketball) December 4, 2017

Since 2005, the Tar Heels average 92.0 points per game in nine hosting Southern Conference squads at Dean Smith Center. They’ve posted 108, 97, 100, and 96 points in the only four laying 27 points or more. Oddsmakers opened this mismatch at -31 in favor of the home team.

Larry Hunter has been in charge of the Catamounts since 2005. Coach returns four of five starters from a team that went 9-23 last year. The squad has improved little. Western Carolina has tipped off spotted 27 points or more on the college basketball oddsboard twice in his tenure, each this season. Then-No. 17 Cincinnati routed Western Carolina 102-51 as 28.5-point chalk on November 13, while then-No. 15 Minnesota romped as 30-point favorites 96-64 six days later. The Tar Heels are more efficient and operate at a quicker pace than either of the aforementioned opponents.

The ‘over’ is 16-5 in the last decade when UNC is a 25-point favorite or greater in Chapel Hill. This is your best bet tonight.

Free NCAAB Pick: Over 154BEst LIne Offered: at Heritage

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Princeton vs George Washington (-4)

Princeton is 1-6 SU and 0-7 ATS versus A-10 opponents since head coach Mitch Henderson took over in 2011. The lone win was a 5-point home victory (71-66) as 6.5-point chalk over George Mason in 2013. The betting market expects the Tigers to be more competitive in the matchups, tipping off a -1.5 favorite on average. They’re losing by 6.4 points per game.

Princeton tends to come up short offensively, trumped by superior A-10 talent. It is shooting 40.4 percent overall, the figure dipping to 38.5 in five away trips. The Tigers average 59.6 points per game for the latter, reaching their projected team total one time.

George Washington lacks a true center, but second-year head coach Maurice Joseph is compensating by flooding the paint with bodies to force more perimeter shots. This should slow down Princeton’s patented pass/cut opportunities. The backcourt is seasoned and athletic as well, alleviating potential danger from the inside-out game. The Tigers will struggle to hit 60 points, while the Colonials prove a bit better. Lay the -4 points.

Free NCAAB Pick: George Washington -4BEst LIne Offered: at Heritage

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Loyola-Chicago vs No. 5 Florida (-15)

No. 5 Florida has hosted nine non-Power 5 programs at O’Connell Center since Mike White took over as coach in 2015. It is 9-0 SU and 5-1-1 ATS, beating a -21.4 line by 3.8 points per game. The Gators 70-63 win over New Hampshire on November 19 of this year is the only one of these contests they did not win by 20 points. They overwhelm overmatched foes defensively, holding teams to 38.1 percent shooting in this situation.

Loyola-Chicago enters 8-1 SU and 4-2 ATS, picked to finish third in the Missouri Valley. A pair of preseason first-team seniors leads the program: forward Aundre Jackson (13.8 ppg) and Donte Ingram (12.3 ppg). The Ramblers have played a cupcake schedule up to this point (314th per KenPom) and will be overwhelmed by the talent and athleticism of one of the better Gators teams in recent years.

Porter Moser has coached the Ramblers four times against ranked opponents in his career. The team averages 39.1 percent from the floor. Expect a tough night offensively, while Florida runs towards 90 points. Lay the 15 points behind the Gators.

Free NCAAB Pick: Florida -15Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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