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College basketball best bets.
College basketball best bets.

The start of February means we are one step closer to March Madness. Read on for our college basketball best bets for Wednesday based on the top NCAAB odds.

When the latest AP poll was announced on Monday afternoon, the Purdue Boilermakers became the first unanimous No. 1 team of the season, receiving all 62 first-place votes. They will get a chance to defend their top ranking Wednesday when hosting the Penn State Nittany Lions.

Here are our college basketball best bets for Wednesday (odds via BetMGM, FanDuel, Caesars, and DraftKings; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Check out our top college basketball picks and our best March Madness betting sites.

Wednesday’s college basketball schedule and odds

(odds via DraftKings)

  • Penn State vs. Purdue (-10)
  • Providence vs. Xavier (-3.5)
  • Tennessee (-5.5) vs. Florida
  • Georgia vs. Auburn (-12)
  • Villanova vs. Marquette (-7)

Check out our best March Madness odds and Wooden Award odds.

College basketball best bets for Wednesday

  • Spread: Villanova +7.5 vs. Marquette (-110 via BetMGM) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Moneyline: Utah State vs. New Mexico (-175 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Total: Georgia-Auburn Over 141.5 (-110 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Upset: Seton Hall vs. St. John’s (+100 via Caesars) ⭐⭐⭐

College basketball top picks

Spread: Villanova +7.5 vs. Marquette (-110 via BetMGM) ⭐⭐⭐

It may be too little too late for Villanova, whose record now stands at 10-11, but the Wildcats received a considerable boost in their last game with the return of Justin Moore from an Achilles injury after being a key cog in their Final Four run last year. 

Villanova battled Marquette in the first home meeting, losing 68-66 despite shooting a worse field goal percentage and committing five more turnovers. After being a starter for much of the season, the Wildcats used guard Chris Arcidiacono for just 16 minutes in Moore’s debut last game, and fewer minutes for Arcidiacono is a good thing considering his offensive rating (per KenPom) was under 100 in five of Villanova's 10 losses before Saturday.

This is a three-star play, as Villanova has better defensive efficiency numbers in league play than Marquette. This is too many points to lay, especially since the Wildcats have shown they can slow down the Golden Eagles’ explosive offense that ranks second in the Big East in scoring.

The Wildcats are down to +6.5 from an opening line of +8.5 at various sportsbooks, so be sure to grab any +7.5s while you can.

Moneyline: Utah State ML vs. New Mexico (-175 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Utah State has been lights out at home this year, going 10-1 and winning its four league home games by a combined 38 points. Teams tend to shoot better on their home court, which is a bad sign for the Lobos, as Utah State has the nation’s best 3-point shooting percentage (40.7%). Meanwhile, New Mexico lost two of its last three road games and committed 35 turnovers to just 23 assists in those losses. The Lobos are the Mountain West’s best team at defending the 3-point line (28.2%), but that should not matter against Utah State guard Steven Ashworth and forward Taylor Funk, who are each shooting 41.4% or better from deep on their combined 295 3-point attempts.

DraftKings is the only sportsbook still at the original number of -175, as the Aggies are as low as -186 elsewhere.

Total: Georgia vs. Auburn Over 141.5 (-110 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐

Georgia and Auburn each rank in the top half of the SEC in points allowed. However, the Bulldogs rank outside the top seven in defensive efficiency in league play, while the Tigers have not been able to stop teams from getting to the free-throw line (they rank 13th of 14 teams in free throws attempted per field goal attempt). This is a three-star play, as Auburn has scored or allowed 79 points in each of its last three games, while Georgia has allowed 79.5 points per game in its previous four.

All sportsbooks are in unison with the 141.5-point total, but we would play this line up to 142.5.

Upset: Seton Hall ML vs. St. John’s (+100 via Caesars) ⭐⭐⭐

St. John’s has lost three of its seven Big East games by 15 or more points, including a 22-point road loss to Seton Hall on Decmber 31. Lately, the Red Storm’s depth has been hurt by an ankle injury to guard Posh Alexander that forced him to miss the last two games. St. John’s followed up an eight-point loss to Villanova and a 28-point loss to Creighton with a two-point win over Georgetown, who is just 1-29 in its last 30 Big East games.

Thus, it suffices to say that St. John’s is not in its best form, and this is a three-stay play as we expect a Pirates defense that ranks in the top 23 in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency, effective field goal percentage, and 3-point percentage allowed to stifle the Red Storm once again.

College basketball best bets made 2/1/2023 at 6:16 a.m. ET.

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