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College basketball best bets.
College basketball best bets.

Wednesday’s schedule offers a few significant SEC clashes and a chance to watch some of the better mid-major programs, and we've put together our top college basketball player props and best bets based on the best college basketball odds.

The upset victory of No. 15 Creighton over top-ranked UConn underscores the unpredictable nature of college basketball, emphasizing that no team is immune to defeat. Now anticipation builds for several consequential matchups on Wednesday, particularly within the SEC, offering ample opportunities for potential upsets and exciting contests.

There will be an offensive shootout for the ages between No. 24 Florida and No. 13 Alabama, featuring a nearly unbelievable game total of 174. Meanwhile, both No. 17 Kentucky and Mississippi State are playing must-win conference contests as Selection Sunday approaches.

Elsewhere, No. 12 Illinois gets a chance to throttle a struggling Penn State team, and No. 8 Duke can do the same to Miami. Beyond the big programs taking the court, Wednesday offers a chance to get a look at some of the more impressive mid-majors like Indiana State, Dayton, and Colorado State.

To accompany our March Madness odds, here are our college basketball player props and best bets for Wednesday (college basketball picks based on odds via our best March Madness betting sites; Pick confidence is based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Wednesday’s college basketball schedule and odds

(Odds via Sportsbook bet365)

Wednesday’s college basketball best bets

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Wednesday’s college basketball player props

Robbie Avila Over 18.5 points vs. Valparaiso (+100 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Indiana State was ranked in the AP poll for the first time since Larry Bird was a Sycamore last week. However, Josh Schertz's squad lost two straight games right after that ranking. Luckily, the perfect opponent to bounce back against lies ahead, and starting center Robbie Avila gets a favorable matchup.

Valparaiso is one of the worst teams in the country in 2023-24 while ranking 272nd in adjusted defensive efficiency, according to KenPom, and allowing 75.1 points per game. The Beacons sit among the bottom in the nation in field-goal percentage (47%), 2-point percentage (53%), and 3-point percentage allowed (35.7%). Their performance has been even worse during conference play, with the team permitting opponents to shoot 49.6% from the floor and 37.5% from three.

The goggle-wearing, floor-stretching Avila can create all kinds of problems against the Beacons. He’s averaging 16.6 points per game in 2023-24 while shooting 62.8% from two and 40.2% from three. His size at 6-foot-10, 240 pounds leads to a mismatch, and he’s recorded 19 points in seven of 16 conference games.

Of our best sports betting sites, DraftKings is the only one offering Avila Over 18.5 points at better odds than -105.

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Marcus Domask Over 16.5 points vs. Penn State (-105 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐

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It’s been a tough season for Penn State basketball, and it’s only getting more difficult with leading scorer Kanye Clary dismissed from the program earlier this week. It’s bad timing with No. 12 Illinois coming to town, and the team features one of the Big Ten’s best one-two punches in Terrence Shannon and Marcus Domask.

Domask, a Southern Illinois transfer, has been elevating his game recently, and he's a significant reason why the Illini are fifth in adjusted offensive efficiency. While not much of a 3-point shooter, Domask has been dominating with his mid-range game while hitting 54.4% of his twos. He'll be going toe-to-toe with a Nittany Lions defense that’s 319th in the country in two-point percentage allowed (53%). 

Mike Rhoades' program hasn’t been able to slow Big Ten opponents in 2023-24, allowing 76.9 points per game during conference play and ranking second last in field-goal percentage allowed (47.5%). That bodes well for Domask, who ranks 13th in the Big Ten in OBPR, according to Evan Miyakawa, and he's averaging 18.9 points per game throughout Big Ten play.

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Wednesday’s college basketball game picks

Florida vs. Alabama Under 174.5 (-105 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐

There’s no doubt Florida and Alabama possess two of the nation's most potent scoring offenses. But taking the Under on a total of 174.5 is too good to pass up.

Of our best sportsbooks, only FanDuel is offering a total of 174.5 at -105, with the others between 173.5 and 174 at -110. It might be illogical to bet against these offenses putting on a show, but this is the highest game total of the season for the Gators and second highest for the Crimson Tide.

While neither of these teams is anywhere near a defensive juggernaut, Alabama is holding SEC opponents to 42.8% shooting from the floor and 30.3% from three (second-best in the conference). Its fast style of play allows for plenty of shots to go up, but the squad's perimeter defense has been surprisingly solid. The team also ranks in the top 100 in both steals and blocks while being 72nd in adjusted defensive efficiency. 

Florida isn’t quite as respectable, but the school does hold teams to shooting 43.6% from the floor and 33.3% from three while ranking 90th in adjusted defensive efficiency.

Betting the Under here is far more about the game total being astronomically high than it is about these two defenses.

Providence vs. Xavier Under 150.5 (-110 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐

Both Providence and Xavier have been struggling to make noise amid a loaded Big East. But each team has been playing solid defense while leaning on a lead guard to do the bulk of the scoring. Devin Carter is scoring 19.2 points per game for the Friars, and Quincy Olivari is putting up 19.1 for the Musketeers. This game could devolve into a rock fight quickly.

Kim English’s Friars are holding opponents to just 68 points per game during 2023-24, and they rank 16th in adjusted defensive efficiency, with teams shooting 41% from the floor and 32.4% from three against them. That puts Xavier in a sticky situation, with the Musketeers only hitting 43.5% of their shots this campaign while leaning more on their defense.

Sean Miller’s squad is 37th in adjusted defensive efficiency and holding teams to a 42.2% field-goal percentage and a 32.9% 3-point percentage, leading to an appealing matchup against Providence. The Friars' offense has been sporadic all season while averaging 73.8 points and ranking 127th in adjusted offensive efficiency.

Two messy offenses against two decent defenses should mean fewer than 150.5 points.

College basketball best bets made 02/21/2024 at 10:30 a.m. ET

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