Top College Basketball Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Wednesday, December 14th (2022)

Dec 14, 2022 - 11:14 AM

One colossal ranked vs. ranked matchup headlines today’s college basketball slate as No. 16 UCLA visits No. 20 Maryland. That game makes up one of our three plays, while the other two involve a Big East team in a trap spot and a total in a game involving an underrated defensive team out on the West Coast.

Here are our best bets for Wednesday’s college basketball action. (Odds courtesy of DraftKings)

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Drexel vs. Seton Hall Spread

Seton Hall’s 45-43 victory at Rutgers on Sunday epitomized how Shaheen Holloway’s Saint Peter’s team got to the Elite Eight last year, using a bruising physical defense and forcing 19 turnovers to steal a road win. However, Holloway has the daunting task of getting his players focused after a massive victory in an in-state rivalry. The Pirates play an unimposing Drexel team, with their Big East opener against Providence looming on Saturday. Thus, it is fair to speculate if Seton Hall will give Drexel its full attention.

For as good as Shaheen Holloway’s bunch is defensively (top 35 in adjusted defensive efficiency, effective field goal percentage defense, and 3-point percentage allowed), they are a nightmare offensively. The Dragons take excellent care of the basketball, turning the ball over on just 15.9% of possessions (ranks 30th). That is a must against a Pirates team that has not shown it can consistently operate in a half-court setting.

Trends support a wager on the underdogs, as Drexel is 9-4 ATS in its last 13 road games, while Seton Hall is 5-13 ATS in its last 18 at home.

Bet: Drexel +14 (-115 at DraftKings) 

UCLA vs. Maryland ML

Maryland will look forward to coming home after road/neutral court losses to Wisconsin and Tennessee by a combined eight points. The Terrapins showed resolve in battling back from a 17-point deficit against the Volunteers, and a 3-point loss is impressive, considering they shot 2-for-24 from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, UCLA’s best win is a nine-point home victory against an undermanned Oregon team, and the Bruins lost their two biggest tests against Illinois and Baylor.

UCLA makes its living in the paint, as 62.2% of its scoring comes inside the arc (the sixth-highest rate in the country). However, Maryland’s trio of Julian Reese, Donta Scott, and Hakim Hart are a big reason the Terrapins rank in the top 30 in 2-point percentage allowed (43.6%), which will thwart one of UCLA’s biggest strengths offensively.

Maryland has covered the spread in nine of its last ten home games, but we are looking for a SU win here.

Bet: Maryland ML (-120 at DraftKings)

Long Beach State-USC O/U 

Since a season-opening loss to Florida Gulf Coast, USC has allowed more than 73 points on just one occasion and held its last three opponents to 54.3 ppg. That is a big reason the Under has cashed in their last four games, as is that the Trojans rank 18th in effective field goal percentage allowed. In addition, they are an elite rim-protecting team, ranking in the top eight in 2-point percentage allowed (39.7%) and eighth in block percentage (16.3%). Thus, USC is a matchup nightmare for a Long Beach State team that wants to make a living close to the rim, as just 23.2% of its field goal attempts are from 3-point range (363rd-fewest in the country). On the other side, USC has not exactly lit it up offensively, averaging fewer than 70 points per game (seventh out of 12 Pac-12 teams in scoring) and shooting just 30.6% (284th) from 3-point range.

Bet: Long Beach State-USC Under 145( +100 at DraftKings)  

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