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College basketball best bets.
College basketball best bets.

A 10-game college basketball slate to end the work week gets us primed for the weekend. Read on for our college basketball best bets for Friday based on the top odds.

While it may not be the most anticipated game of the day, Detroit Mercy vs. Robert Morris is appointment television because of Antoine Davis. The Titans guard is the NCAA record holder with 131 consecutive games in double figures. He's also second all-time in scoring, and 379 points behind Pete Maravich’s record of 3,667.

Here are our college basketball best bets for Friday (odds via FanDuel Sportsbook, PointsBet, and Caesars Sportsbook; Pick confidence is based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Check out our college basketball best bets.

Thursday’s college basketball schedule and odds

(odds via DraftKings)

  • Saint Louis (-1.5) vs. Davidson
  • Iona (-5.5) vs. Siena
  • Detroit Mercy vs. Robert Morris (-3)

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

College basketball best bets for Friday

  • Spread: Siena +6.5 vs. Iona  (-115 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Spread: Purdue Fort Wayne +5 vs. Cleveland State (-110 via PointsBet) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Total: Saint Louis-Davidson Over 144 (-110 via Caesars) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Upset: Detroit Mercy ML vs. Robert Morris (+126 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐

College Basketball Top Picks

Spread: Siena +6.5 vs. Iona  (-115) ⭐⭐⭐

Siena has been a sleeping giant under head coach Carmen Maciariello, finishing in the top three or better in the MAAC during his three seasons with the school. The Saints are 2-1 at home against Iona in his tenure, and they bludgeoned their way to a 70-64 home victory last year after shooting 20 more free throws than the Gaels.

This is a three-star play, as senior Jackson Stormo is back to man the paint after being the league’s best post defender in 2021-22 (.73 points per possession), according to Synergy. His presence was a big reason Iona went 16-for-41 shooting (39%) from 2-point range in last year’s meeting.

All other sportsbooks are either at +5.5 or +6, so paying the slight extra juice through FanDuel is worth it to get the best number available.

Check out our best sports-betting sites for New York.

Spread:  Purdue Fort Wayne +5 vs. Cleveland State (-110) ⭐⭐⭐

Purdue Fort Wayne begins a tough three-game road stretch on Friday, so there will surely be an emphasis on starting with a victory.

The Mastodons have been successful on the road lately, winning three of the last four away from home. Additionally, Purdue Fort Wayne is one of the oldest teams in the country, ranking second in D-I experience and fourth in minutes continuity from 2021-22. Therefore, a 6-5 conference start has to be deemed a disappointment after last year’s 15-6 campaign. Still, the Mastodons started to gain traction around this time last year, winning nine consecutive games from Feb. 4 to the end the regular season.

There will be a significant discrepancy from the 3-point arc in this matchup, as Cleveland State has made 30.0% of its 3-point attempts (332nd), while Purdue Fort Wayne ranks 22nd in defending the 3-point line (29.5% allowed).

PointsBet and DraftKings are the only sportsbooks offering +5, while competing sportsbooks are lower at +4.5.

Total: Saint Louis-Davidson Over 144 (-110) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Saint Louis is off to a 14-6 start and is 6-1 in league play, but that success is tied more to its offense than defense. The Billikens put two of the A-10’s worst defenders on the floor at any time in Gibson Jimerson and Javonte Perkins.

However, this is a four-stay play because the team makes up for those defensive deficiencies with the league’s second-best offense in terms of adjusted efficiency and the best effective field-goal percentage, 2-point shooting percentage (56.9%), and assist-to-field goals made rate (61.8%). Meanwhile, Saint Louis’ defense ranks 349th in turnover rate (14.8%), which is dangerous against a Davidson offense that relies so much on off-the-ball movement under Matt McKillop.

Over backers should head to Caesars, the only sportsbook at 144. Others are as high as 145.5.

Upset: Detroit Mercy ML vs. Robert Morris (+126) ⭐⭐

This three-star play is all about the aforementioned Davis, who torched Robert Morris earlier this season in an 87-75 win. Davis scored a season-high 41 points on 15-of-26 shooting, including a career-high 11 3-pointers made.

The Colonials may want to rethink their defensive philosophy when guarding Davis, as he's attempted at least 11 3-pointers in the last five meetings and is a perfect 24-for-24 from the foul line. We aren't putting much stock in Robert Morris’ 34-point victory over a two-win Green Bay team in its last game, as it had lost three straight contests before that and five of six.

College basketball best bets made 1/27/2023 at 6:19 a.m. ET.

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