Thanksgiving Eve provides a loaded college basketball slate with more than 60 games involving Division I teams. We have highlighted the odds, movements, and our college basketball picks and best bets for Wednesday.
One of the most anticipated early-season tournaments wraps up on Wednesday with four games from the Maui Invitational, including the championship matchup between Creighton and Arizona. Elsewhere, the Battle 4 Atlantis gets underway with four first-round games, a tournament that should provide plenty of excitement over the next three days.
Wednesday’s College Basketball Schedule and Odds
(odds via DraftKings Sportsbook)
- NC State (+340) vs. Kansas (-425)
- McNeese vs. Baylor (No Moneyline, -33)
- North Florida vs. Kentucky (No ML, -26.5)
- Little Rock vs. Indiana (No ML, -29.5)
- Tennessee (-330) vs. Butler (+275)
- Pepperdine (+1000) vs. UCLA (-1800)
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Wednesday’s College Basketball Best Bets
- Moneyline: UNLV (-150 via DraftKings) vs. Minnesota ★★★★
- Spread: Tennessee -7 (-110 via Caesars) vs. Butler ★★★★
- Total: Utah-Mississippi State Under 126.5 (-110 via Caesars) ★★★★
- Upset: Maine (+105 via FanDuel) vs. Central Connecticut State ★★
- Prop pick: Georgia Tech-Marquette first half Under (OFF) ★★★★
Top College Basketball Picks for Wednesday
Moneyline: UNLV (-150) ★★★★
Defensively, head coach Kevin Kruger’s UNLV squad is elite at the guard and wing positions, and the Runnin’ Rebels have used an aggressive trapping zone to create turnovers at the second-highest rate (32.8%) in the country. They have faced one team with an elite frontcourt in Dayton (DaRonHolmes II and Toumani Camara) and held them to six total points. The duo could not get off more than seven combined shot attempts as the Flyers turned the ball over a whopping 24 times.
Similar ball pressure would do wonders when facing Minnesota’s Jamison Battle and Dawson Garcia, arguably the best frontcourt in the Big Ten. The Golden Gophers still look like a work in progress after losing Parker Fox and Isaiah Ihnen to season-ending injuries. We do not trust Minnesota’s guards in this matchup, as the Golden Gophers have turned the ball over at the 273rd-worst rate in the country.
Spread: Tennessee -7 (-110) ★★★★
Tennessee shockingly shot just 6-for-26 from 2-point range and 10-for-37 from deep in a loss to Colorado but silenced the doubters in a big way in a 31-point victory over a Florida Gulf Coast team that owns a win over USC. Butler shot 21.7% from 3-point range in its only true test of the season to date against Penn State, and the Bulldogs' lack of depth (four players average 31-plus minutes) will be tested against a Volunteers team that likes to get up and down the floor.
Tennessee lives and dies by the 3-pointer, as 57.1% of its overall field goal attempts coming from 3-point range is the most in the country. That is a dangerous way to play but bodes well for its chances of success against a Butler defense that allows opponents to shoot 35.9% from deep (ranks 246th).
We are making this wager at Caesars, as most competitors are offering a spread of -7.5.
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Total: Utah-Mississippi State Under 126.5 (-110) ★★★★
Mississippi State’s pick-and-roll defense is elite, and that is where Utah wants to thrive, especially since the Utes could not beat Georgia Tech’s zone consistently over the top (went 5-for-16 from 3-point range). Utah’s four-point victory over a bad Yellow Jackets team was largely due to a significant free-throw disparity, as the Utes went 15-for-21 at the line, while Georgia Tech connected on just 11 of 20 free-throw attempts.
The Bulldogs rank in the top 14 in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency, effective field goal percentage defense, and 3-point percentage allowed. Combined, these two teams have cashed the Under in 11 consecutive games, and we should be in for another defensive struggle on Wednesday.
Upset: Maine (+105) ★★
Maine completed one of the more shocking upsets of the season when it knocked off a Boston College team (albeit a shorthanded Eagles squad) by five points as 20.5-point underdogs. The Black Bears also easily covered as 21-point underdogs in its only other game against Power Five competition, a 79-66 loss to Nebraska. So why, then, are they underdogs against an 0-5 Central Connecticut team that has played only two teams inside KenPom’s top 200?
Three of the Blue Devils’ losses are by five or fewer points, so we cannot trust them in late-game situations in a game that projects to be tight throughout. Detrick Gymnasium will not provide a significant homecourt advantage on Thanksgiving Eve with the students on break, and we look for Maine to earn a fourth straight victory.
Prop pick: Georgia Tech-Marquette first-half Under (OFF) ★★★★
Georgia Tech head coach Josh Pastner has not shown the morphing 1-3-1 zone much against D-1 competition this year. That makes his Yellow Jackets team tough to prepare for, knowing he can break it out at any moment.
Georgia Tech ranks outside the top 300 in effective field goal percentage, 3-point percentage, 2-point percentage, and free throw percentage. Meanwhile, the Yellow Jackets' defense ranks in the top 45 in many statistical categories, including 3-point and 2-point percentages allowed and turnovers forced. As a result, this should be a sloppy game early. With the full game total being 141.5, we would back this wager down to 68.5.
Where to Bet on College Basketball
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College basketball best bets from 11/23/2022 at 6:10 a.m. ET.