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College basketball best bets.
College basketball best bets.

Our college basketball player props and best bets for Thursday based on the best college basketball odds guide you through a small slate of games.

Ahead of a loaded slate of college hoops on Saturday, the schedules for Thursday and Friday are a bit lighter than usual. Thursday's set of games consists of just 10 matchups, with a rivalry between Iowa and Iowa State serving as the only power conference showdown.

The CyHawk certainly deserves our attention as a standalone game, especially when both teams have been inconsistent to start the year. Our question, as bettors, is how do we take advantage?

Here are our college basketball player props and best bets for Thursday (odds via our best March Madness betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Thursday’s college basketball schedule and odds

(Odds via FanDuel)

Thursday's college basketball best bets

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Thursday's college basketball game picks

Iowa-Iowa State Under 155.5 (-110 via Caesars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This would have been a five-star pick based on the overnight opener when this total started as high as 158. Despite this number dropping 2.5 points, I still like the Under for a four-star recommendation.

It's easy to see a game involving Iowa and think Over, but the Hawkeyes haven't looked the same in the half-court as they have in recent years. They rely on getting out in transition and attacking the rim. Well, Iowa State allows the fewest shots at the rim, per ShotQuality.

Speaking of ShotQuality, that site projects a total of 144 in this game. That might seem way off-market, but it's important to remember the Cyclones have struggled to find much of an offensive rhythm in the T.J. Otzelberger era. ISU ranks 66th in adjusted offensive efficiency so far this year. 

This does feel like a spot where the Cyclones will dictate their style of play and make this a defensive battle. I would look for other ways to fade scoring if this total drops below 155, but the full-game Under is my preferred betting angle for now.

College basketball best bets made 12/7/2023 at 9:45 a.m. ET

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