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Adam Kunkel of the Xavier Musketeers attempts a shot while being guarded by Trey Galloway of the Indiana Hoosiers in the second half at the Cintas Center on November 18, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Adam Kunkel of the Xavier Musketeers attempts a shot while being guarded by Trey Galloway of the Indiana Hoosiers in the second half at the Cintas Center on November 18, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images via AFP.

Happy Thanksgiving, all! While the NFL traditionally rules the day on Turkey Day, an action-packed college basketball slate provides excellent ways to make money. We have highlighted the odds, movements, and our college basketball picks and best bets for Thursday.

With just 20 games involving Division I teams on Thursday’s college basketball schedule, we make up for that low quantity in substance. In addition to the second day of the Battle 4 Atlantis, many intriguing games out west tip off in the Phil Knight Invitational and Phil Knight Legacy brackets. 

Here are our best bets for Thursday’s college basketball slate (odds via Caesars Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Thursday’s College Basketball Schedule and Odds

(odds via DraftKings Sportsbook)

  • Wisconsin (+235) vs. Kansas (-280)
  • North Carolina (-1650) vs. Portland (+950)
  • Tennessee (-435) vs. USC (+350)
  • Duke (No Moneyline, -21.5) vs. Oregon State
  • UConn (-155) vs. Oregon (+135)
  • Purdue (-120) vs. West Virginia (+100)
  • Alabama (-170) vs. Michigan State (+145)

Check out our top sites for Maryland sports betting.

Thursday’s College Basketball Best Bets

  • Moneyline: Xavier (-118 via FanDuel) vs. Florida
  • Spread: Army +10 (-110 via Caesars) vs. Princeton
  • Total: Kansas-Wisconsin Over 131.5 (-114 via FanDuel)
  • Upset: West Virginia (+100 via Caesars) vs. Purdue
  • Prop Pick: Memphis team total Under (OFF)

Check out our top sites for Maryland sports betting.

Top College Basketball Picks for Thursday

Moneyline: Xavier (-118) ★★★

The Xavier Musketeers narrowly missed a golden opportunity for one of the best non-conference wins by any Big East team thus far, losing by two points in a high-level home game against Indiana on Friday. 

Even in a loss, Xavier proved it would be a contender in the Big East this year, which shouldn’t come as a surprise since it ranks in the top 30 in D-1 experience. In addition, new head coach Sean Miller brings unmatched energy and consistently puts his players in a position to succeed. Head coach Todd Golden’s Florida Gators do not pressure the ball with as reckless abandon as Billy Donovan’s or Mike White’s squads did before him, as the team is forcing turnovers at just a 16.9% clip (ranks 266th).

Xavier has a nice blend of inside and outside scoring, and unlike most teams in college basketball these days, does not need to rely on the 3-point shot (28.7% of its shots are from deep to rank 332nd) to be successful.

Spread: Army +10 (-110) ★★★

Following an overtime upset win at Siena, Army has lost consecutive games to William & Mary and Radford. But we feel the Black Knights are getting too many points in this matchup, especially since Princeton lost to a Navy squad that was projected to finish just one spot higher than Army in the Patriot League preseason media poll. 

Princeton ranks outside the top 350 in bench minutes, which has caused it to let late leads slip away, as the Tigers have yet to find consistent production outside their top five. Look for Army to utilize a slower tempo (currently playing at a top-65 pace) to mask some of the defensive deficiencies that caused it to surrender at least 80 points in three of five games.

Caesars is offering a line of +10 on the underdogs, so as Army backers, we are making our wager there over FanDuel and DraftKings Sportsbook who are at +9.5.

Total: Kansas-Wisconsin Over 131.5 (-114) ★★★★

The Under is likely to be the most popular play in this game, particularly because Wisconsin and Dayton combined to shoot just 10-for-54 from 3-point range Wednesday and totaled just 85 points. However, we have much more faith in Kansas’ offense at this point in the season than Dayton’s and believe this will be a higher-scoring game than the experts predict.

The biggest question entering the season for the Jayhawks was who would replace Ochai Agbaji’s scoring production. While many assumed it would be Jalen Wilson, even though he has been fantastic this year in his own right, Kansas’ Gradey Dick’s 92 points are the most by a KU freshman through five games in 25 years. The last freshman to score that many points that early in a season was Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham, who was the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft that year. Dick’s ability to stretch the defense and complement Wilson (23.4 points and 9.6 rebounds per game) is a big reason the Jayhawks are so lethal early in the season.

We are getting one more point worth of value via FanDuel, as other sportsbooks like BetMGM are as high as 132.5 on the total.

Upset: West Virginia (+105) ★★★★

Purdue may very well go on to have more success in the Big Ten than West Virginia will in the Big 12. But no teams in the Big Ten play the style West Virginia does, and it is the absolute worst matchup for a Boilermakers team devoid of playmaking guards.

The Mountaineers have gotten somewhat back to their “Press Virginia” ways, opening the season right off the bat with a 40% press rate and forcing turnovers on 25% of their opponents' possessions. The Mountaineers have improved upon that rate since then, turning opponents over at a 26.9% clip, and Purdue has not yet found any reliable point guard to be its floor general since the departure of Jaden Ivey.

Check out our top sites for West Virginia sports betting.

Prop pick: Memphis team total Under (OFF) ★★★★

Head coach Penny Hardaway’s Memphis squad wants to get up and down in transition and has not shown the most consistent ability to execute in the half-court offense. No coach can muck up a game like Seton Hall’s Shaheen Holloway can. The Pirates spend an average of 18.3 seconds (313th in the country) on defense each possession, even with a game against the lightning-quick-paced Iowa Hawkeyes under their belt.

That game is a good simulation for this non-conference tilt.

Check out our top sites for Tennessee sports betting.

Where to Bet on College Basketball

Here are our top-rated sportsbooks:

College basketball best bets from 11/24/2022 at 8:31 a.m. ET.