There are no shortage of high-profile nonconference matchups to highlight a loaded mid-week college basketball slate, and we have you covered with our daily college basketball player props and best bets for Wednesday based on the best college basketball odds.
Through the first seven games of the ACC/SEC Challenge, the SEC holds a slim 4-3 lead, though two unranked ACC teams did beat ranked SEC teams with Georgia Tech beating No. 21 Mississippi State and Clemson knocking off No. 23 Alabama.
Wednesday's marquee ACC/SEC matchups feature No. 10 Tennessee against No. 17 North Carolina and No. 7 Duke visiting unranked Arkansas, which opened the year ranked No. 14 in the AP preseason poll.
Elsewhere, No. 20 Colorado State sees its first game action against in-state rival Colorado following its first top-10 win since 1984 — a 69-48 victory over then-No. 8 Creighton since 1984.
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).
(Odds via DraftKings)
- Saint Joseph’s vs. Villanova (-14.5)
- Tennessee vs. North Carolina (-2)
- Texas A&M vs. Virginia (-1.5)
- Florida (-3.5) vs. Wake Forest
- Colorado vs. Colorado State (-3.5)
- Duke (-5.5) vs. Arkansas
Wednesday’s college basketball best bets
- Armando Bacot (North Carolina) Under 14.5 points vs. Tennessee (-125 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Mark Armstrong (Villanova) Over 0.5 3-pointers made (+110 via DraftKings, bet365) ⭐⭐⭐
- Virginia -0.5 vs. Texas A&M (-118 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Colorado-Colorado State Over 147.5 (-105 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
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Wednesday’s college basketball player props
Armando Bacot (North Carolina) Under 14.5 points vs. Tennessee (-125 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Armando Bacot opened the season with three games of 21-plus points against inferior competition but was held to an average of just nine points per game in three games at last week's Battle 4 Atlantis. While he gets to go home to the friendly confines of Chapel Hill, things get more challenging for Bacot and the Tar Heels when they face the No. 1 defense in KenPom's adjusted defensive efficiency metric.
Rick Barnes's Tennessee team has had plenty of experience dealing with dominant bigs this year, as the Volunteers played the two favorites for the Wooden Award (Zach Edey and Hunter Dickinson) in back-to-back games at the Maui Invitational. Though it lost both, Tennessee held the top two teams in the country at the time to an average of 70 points, with Edey and Dickinson combining for 40 in the two games. However, Dickinson's 17 points were his second-lowest total of the season, and those two big men are much more a focal point of their team's offense than Bacot. In Bacot's last eight games (dating back to last season) against top 34 KenPom teams (Tennessee is No. 7 for reference), Bacot has scored 14 or fewer points in seven of them. We do not expect him to light up the scoreboard against arguably the most physical team the Tar Heels will play all season.
Mark Armstrong (Villanova) Over 0.5 3-pointers made (+110 via DraftKings, bet365) ⭐⭐⭐
For starters, we are not making this more than a three-star play, as Villanova point guard Mark Armstrong is just 1-for-9 from 3-point range this season. However, the Wildcats shoot 49.2% of their shots from beyond the arc (ninth-most in D-I), and seven Wildcats have made at least five 3-pointers on the season. While perimeter shooting may not be Armstrong's forte after shooting 24.6% from beyond the arc last year, he did have the sixth-most 3-point attempts on the team, and sheer volume would dictate that Armstrong will get in on Villanova's 3-point barrage sooner than later.
Expect the Wildcats to fire away more than usual from deep tonight, as Saint Joseph's is much better at defending the paint (23rd in 2-point percentage allowed) than the perimeter (108th in 3-point percentage allowed). And in a game where Villanova is favored by 14.5 points, we expect Kyle Neptune to give Armstrong plenty of minutes at the end to bring him along and get him up to speed with the rest of the team's veteran players.
Wednesday’s college basketball game picks
Virginia -0.5 vs. Texas A&M (-118 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Virginia enjoys a huge rest advantage in this matchup, getting a week off after last Wednesday's two-point win against West Virginia, while Texas A&M is just three days removed from playing three games in four days at the ESPN Events Invitational. The Aggies did well to storm back from a 21-point first-half deficit against Iowa State to salvage third place in the tournament, especially without two of their top three leading scorers (Henry Coleman III and Tyrece Radford).
This becomes a more confident four-star play if one or both players are ruled out again. Still, the likely scenario is that the team will miss Coleman again, as he is dealing with an ankle injury, while Radford's absence last game was related to breathing issues. Either way, Texas A&M has scored 73-plus points in all seven games to start a season for the first time since 1977-78. However, that streak should end when facing a Cavaliers defense that ranks in the top 12 in adjusted defensive efficiency, effective field goal percentage, and 2-point percentage allowed (39.3%).
Virginia only allowed more than 65 points to a Florida team that beat its pack line defense with Princeton-type actions, but that is not Texas A&M's forte. We are heading to FanDuel for their line of a virtual pick'em, as it will take a two-point Cavaliers win to cash a point spread wager at BetMGM and DraftKings, whose spread is -1.5.
Colorado-Colorado State Over 147.5 (-105 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This wager might seem blasphemous considering that Colorado State held a Creighton offense that had scored 82-plus in each of its first five games to 48 points on 28% shooting. However, we walked away more impressed with what the Rams can do offensively and how they can challenge the Buffaloes' defense.
Colorado's strength is its frontcourt, led by Tristan da Silva and Eddie Lampkin. However, the Rams have one of the best floor generals in the country in point guard Isaiah Stevens. His ability to create off the dribble and head coach Niko Medved's depth to surround him with shooters is a big reason they rank fifth nationally in assisting on over 68% of their made field goals. Thus, Colorado will have difficulty defending a Rams offense that ranks 26th in 3-point shooting, has the fifth-highest percentage from inside the arc, and entered the Creighton game scoring 1.34 points per possession on its guarded jump shots.
Meanwhile, Colorado ranks sixth in 3-point shooting percentage (42.1%), largely because of how much attention needs to be paid to its two outstanding post players when they get touches. The Buffaloes have four players shooting 42.9% or better from beyond the arc, and they will not be affected by the altitude playing in-state as other non-conference opponents would.
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College basketball best bets made Wednesday at 6:31 a.m. ET
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