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College basketball best bets.
College basketball best bets.

We're halfway through a thrilling college basketball season as we approach March Madness, and we offer our top college basketball player props and best bets for Wednesday based on the best college basketball odds.

If it feels like top teams have been losing at a historic rate this college basketball season, you'd be correct. And that isn't changing anytime soon.

Over the last two days, we've seen No. 3 North Carolina and No. 4 Kansas lose on their home court to unranked opponents, which has been a theme this season. According to OptaSTATS, we had seen 26 wins by unranked teams over AP top-10 opponents in the previous 31 days - the most in any 31-day span since 1989-90 - before UNC's loss on Tuesday extended that to 27.

On Wednesday, two more teams test that theory as LSU looks to pull an upset of No. 6 Tennessee on the road while No. 9 Duke looks to avoid a bad loss at home against unranked Notre Dame.

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

Wednesday’s college basketball best bets

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Wednesday’s college basketball schedule and odds

(Odds via Caesars)

Wednesday’s college basketball player props

Mark Sears (Alabama) Over 20.5 points vs. Auburn (-115 via DraftKings, bet365) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Alabama guard Mark Sears enters the day ranked seventh in KenPom’s Player of the Year standings, and he ranks first in KenPom’s offensive rating metric among players who are used in at least 24% of his team’s possessions (second among those used in 20% of possessions). 

Sears has been on a scoring tear of late, with 21 or more points in eight of the previous nine games. He is no stranger to the hardcourt version of the Iron Bowl, and he performed well in his only game in “the Jungle”, scoring 15 points on an efficient 5-of-7 shooting in a 77-69 road win when his team was ranked No. 3 last year. Sears’ role in the offense has grown tremendously from last season, going from a 19.8% possession rate and taking 19.9% of his team’s shots last year, to a 26.5% possession rate and 25.4% of the shots this year. 

Auburn has allowed 56.5 points in its last two home games, but it tends to play at a much faster tempo at home as opposed to on the road. KenPom projects Alabama to score 81 points in this matchup, and Sears will likely be counted on for the brunt of the scoring, so there is no reason he cannot perform the same way he has ever since the calendar turned to 2024. 

DraftKings and bet365 offer the same price for this wager.

Baylor Scheierman (Creighton) Over 8.5 rebounds vs. Providence (+115 via DraftKings, bet365) ⭐⭐⭐

The Under on Baylor Scheierman’s rebounds is juiced to -150 despite him totaling nine-plus rebounds in three of the last four games and six of the previous nine. Scheierman rarely comes out of the game, as he has played 39-plus minutes in five of the last six contests, which gives him ample opportunity to pad his stats.

The first game between these teams was the first contest that Providence star Bryce Hopkins missed after tearing his ACL, and Scheierman took advantage of the Friars’ lack of size with 11 rebounds, including two on the offensive end. Providence will look to pull the 7-foot-1 Ryan Kalkbrenner away from the basket as much as possible, which should leave Scheierman plenty of opportunities to clean up Providence’s misses around the basket. Scheierman is second in the Big East, averaging 8.3 rebounds per game, and his plus-money odds for this wager are a steal, considering this should be a rock fight with KenPom projecting both teams under 70 points.

Another option is to use bet365’s “Player Rebounds Milestones” option, bettors can back Scheierman at +200 odds to pull down at least 10 rebounds, but his -270 odds to grab seven or more rebounds is too steep.

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Wednesday’s college basketball game picks

James Madison-Arkansas State Over 160 (-110 via Caesars, bet365) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Arkansas State is one of the most profitable teams to the Over in the Sun Belt, cashing it in eight of 11 league games, including a 7-2 O/U record in its nine home games overall. Those trends are not surprising considering the Red Wolves rank first in league play in adjusted offensive efficiency, effective field goal percentage, and free throws attempted per field goal attempt (41.5%), combined with a defense that ranks dead last in the Sun Belt in adjusted defensive efficiency, and 3-point percentage allowed (38.2%).

James Madison is one of the oldest teams in college basketball (it ranks ninth in average D-I experience) and plays at the 41st-fastest tempo in the country, so it would be wise to maximize possessions in this game and take advantage of Arkansas State’s defensive deficiencies. The Dukes have been red-hot from beyond the arc in back-to-back wins, combining to shoot 20-for-46 (43.5%) from 3-point range in the two games. Arkansas State will look to run the Dukes off the 3-point line (it ranks in the top six in lowest percentage of opponents’ field goal attempts coming from 3-point range), but James Madison still ranks in the top 40 nationally in 2-point shooting percentage (and is the best 2-point shooting team in the Sun Belt), with so many perimeter threats opening up driving lanes. 

Caesars and bet365 are the only two of our top sports betting sites offering standard -110 juice at a total of 160 points, while BetMGM is on the high end of the market with an O/U of 160.5.

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Nebraska-Northwestern Over 142.5 (-105 via Caesars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Nebraska and Northwestern are each coming off back-to-back overtime games (the two teams are 1-3 SU combined in those games) and have each played three overtime contests within the last six games, so the Over is a wise play if not for any reason other than the likelihood that the Big Ten rivals are destined to play bonus basketball.

Nebraska is at a slight rest disadvantage in this game, having played on Sunday while Northwestern’s weekend game was on Saturday, and that has been a profitable trend for the Over, as the Cornhuskers are 10-1 to the Over when at a rest disadvantage compared to their opponent. In addition, the Over is 9-2-1 in Nebraska’s 12 Big Ten games, in large part because it gets shots up at the second-quickest pace in league play and has made 40.8% of its 3-point attempts against Big Ten opponents. 

The Cornhuskers defend the paint at an elite level (top 40 nationally), which becomes an even more formidable interior defense with Juwan Gary back healthy for the last two games, as he owns the team’s highest individual DBPR (Defensive Bayesian Performance Rating), per EyanMiya. However, that interior defense should not matter much when facing a Northwestern squad that ranks eighth nationally in 3-point shooting percentage (39.8%, which improves to 44.2% in Big Ten games) and who gets the second-highest percentage of its points (35.3%) from beyond the arc in league play.

Caesars is the only shop charging less than the standard -110 juice to back the Over at 142.5, and we are getting a great number compared to BetMGM’s O/U of 143.5.

College basketball best bets made Wednesday at 6:41 a.m. ET.

Here are our best March Madness betting sites:

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