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College basketball best bets.
College basketball best bets.

While there aren’t any massive matchups on Sunday’s schedule, there’s plenty of potential NCAA Tournament teams to watch, and we've put together our top college basketball player props and best based on the best college basketball odds.

Eight top-25 college basketball teams have lost since Thursday, including five to unranked opponents. That's a continuation of what the college basketball season has been all campaign, with constant madness and very few teams looking like true National Championship contenders.

One such contender, the Purdue Boilermakers, are a week removed from a shocking loss to Ohio State. Now they get what can only be described as a tune-up game against a depleted Michigan squad on Sunday afternoon. 

While Zach Edey is poised for an impressive showing, there’s a handful of worthwhile Big Ten games going on across the country. That includes a defensive bar fight between Maryland and Rutgers, a must-win game for Michigan State, and a potential high-flying duel with Nebraska facing Minnesota.

Beyond the Midwest’s favorite conference, two of the Big East’s best programs in Marquette and Creighton play conference foes. Then in the AAC, FAU faces a showdown in Memphis after losing to USF earlier this week. That same Bulls squad can continue adding to its resume on Sunday with a win over SMU.

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

Sunday’s college basketball schedule and odds

(Odds via bet365)

Sunday’s college basketball best bets

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Sunday’s college basketball player props

Zach Edey Over 24.5 points vs. Michigan (+130 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐

The Michigan Wolverines have been a mess all season, and now they're up against a hungry Purdue Boilermakers squad coming to town to do its worst. Not only is Juwan Howard’s group 8-19, but it’s limping to the finish line this season, and the team's second-leading scorer and best frontcourt player Olivier Nkamhoua is done for the campaign. That makes this matchup even more appetizing for Wooden Award odds favorite Zach Edey.

Michigan is allowing 78.8 points per game, ranks 169th in adjusted defensive efficiency, according to KenPom, and the team is last in the Big Ten in DBPR, per Evan Miyakawa. The school is allowing opponents to shoot 42.6 2-pointers per game, which sits among the top 10 in the country, and those shoots are falling at a 50.7% clip. That’s news to Edey’s ears, with the Boilermaker big averaging 23.3 points per contest and shooting 62% from inside the arc.

Edey is the most dominant inside force in the country, ranking first in all of college basketball in individual OBPR, first in MVP rating, and he's the most indispensable player in the sport. He should enjoy a field day because of the mismatch Edey creates with his size and Michigan’s defensive issues being even more exploitable without Nkamhoua.

Of our best sports betting sites, just bet365 is offering player point milestones. With Edey’s standard point total for the game being 22.5 at -125 to -133, it’s worth the risk to add two more points to the equation for +130 odds.

Johnell Davis Over 17.5 points vs. Memphis (-115 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Memphis endured a major setback amid an inconsistent season with center Malcolm Dandridge sidelined while his eligibility is investigated. Now Penny Hardaway needs to get his squad geared up to play an NCAA Tournament-ready FAU team. Tough luck, especially with how well Johnell Davis has been playing.

After being an integral part of last year’s Final Four run, Davis has taken on a larger role in 2023-24 and it’s paying off. The junior is averaging 18.3 points per game and shooting a career best 45.5% from three. That 3-point range should help him against a Memphis defense that’s 107th in adjusted defensive efficiency and ranks 284th in 3-point percentage allowed (34.9%). 

The Tigers are struggling so much on the perimeter that teams have been aggressive while taking threes against them. Memphis is now top 12 in threes against per game (26.7) and threes allowed per contest (9.3). That lends well to Davis taking more threes while still being able to use his electric athleticism to attack the rim. He's notched at least 18 points 12 times this campaign across 27 games.

With Davis set to enjoy a favorable matchup against Memphis, our best sportsbooks are setting his Over 17.5 points line between -115 and -121, with bet365 offering the best odds.

Sunday’s college basketball game picks

Maryland vs. Rutgers Under 129.5 (-110 via Caesars) ⭐⭐⭐

This game might look more like a Big Ten football clash than a basketball game with the way these two defenses have been playing. Despite the records on each side, Maryland and Rutgers are the top two teams in the Big Ten in adjusted defensive efficiency this season, and both schools sit among the top 10 in the country. 

The Scarlet Knights, who rank third, allow just 66.6 points per game while holding opponents to shooting 40.6% from the floor, 46.1% from two, and 32% from three. Those marks all rank among the top 100 in the nation. While the team's hard-nosed defense has impressed, Rutgers' offense has been abysmal and the reason the program is just 14-12. Steve Pikiell’s squad is putting up just 66.9 points per game, ranks 354th in field-goal percentage (39.2%), and sits 266th in adjusted offensive efficiency.

While slightly better, Maryland’s offense is only 161st in adjusted offensive efficiency while scoring 69.9 points per game and shooting 41.3% from the floor to rank 329th in the country. Like Rutgers, defense is how Maryland has dragged itself to a 14-13 record. The Terrapins are sixth in adjusted defensive efficiency and second in the Big Ten in team DBPR, behind just the Scarlet Knights. There’s a reason these two teams are a combined 34-19 to the Under in 2023-24.

With these two defenses being dominant in the Big Ten all season, all of our best sports betting apps are offering the game total at 129.5.

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Minnesota vs. Nebraska Over 147.5 (-105 via BetMGM) ⭐⭐⭐

Both Minnesota and Nebraska are fighting for a chance to get into the Big Dance come mid-March, and each program is built similarly.

The Golden Gophers have been an offense-first team all season while leaning on big Dawson Garcia and the shooting of guards Cam Christie and Mike Mitchell, leading to 76.7 points per game. Similarly for the Cornhuskers, the combo of Brice Williams and Rienk Mast supplement the range of guard Keisei Tominaga, with the trio helping the offense to score 77.3 points per game.

Behind Garcia’s 17.7 points per contest, the Gophers are 63rd in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency while shooting 47.6% from the floor to rank 37th in the nation. While not a high-paced team, Minnesota has been leaning on efficiency with Garcia as an inside threat, and Christie and Mitchell outside, who both shoot better than 39% from three. That should hurt a Cornhuskers defense that’s 315th in threes allowed per game this season (8.5). 

While Nebraska is a respectable 48th in adjusted defensive efficiency, it’s allowing 70 points per game and has needed its offense to do the heavy lifting in the Big Ten. The Cornhuskers are shooting 36.3% from deep while ranking 59th, and they can push a Minnesota outfit that ranks 82nd in adjusted defensive efficiency.

Most of our best live betting sites are offering a total of 147 at -110 for this tilt. The exceptions are the 147 at -108 through DraftKings, and BetMGM placing the total at 147.5 for -105 odds. That half point to avoid the push with better odds makes all the difference.

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College basketball best bets made 2/25/2024 at 6:46 a.m. ET

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