College Basketball Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Wednesday (2/1)

Feb 1, 2023 - 11:23 AM

In a year where double-digit teams had cases for No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament early in the year, the Purdue Boilermakers have separated themselves from the rest of the pack. Not only do they have the frontrunner for the Player of the Year in Zach Edey (his odds are up to -1000 on DraftKings), but they were just named the first unanimous No. 1 ranked team in the AP poll this season. However, if the Boilermakers slip up today when hosting Penn State, the No. 2 ranked Tennessee Volunteers will be ready to pounce on that No. 1 spot if they can survive a tough road test against the Florida Gators.

(Odds courtesy of DraftKings)

Here are our best bets for Wednesday’s college basketball action.

YTD (as of 1/21): 13-11

And check out Wednesday’s other top picks:

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Best College Basketball Bets for Wednesday

Georgia vs. Auburn O/U

Trends suggest we should be in for a defensive struggle in this game, as Georgia and Auburn each rank in the top half of the SEC in points allowed. However, when looking through the lens of just their play against SEC competition, those metrics suggest this game should be higher scoring. 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). That is an issue against a Georgia team that ranks second in the SEC with the most such free throw attempts. In addition, 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.

The Over is 26-11-1 in Georgia’s last 38 road games, and has cashed in five of Auburn’s previous six overall.

Bet: Georgia-Auburn Over 141.5 (-110 at DraftKings) 

Villanova vs. Marquette Spread

We do not expect Villanova to make a late-season NCAA tournament run (it has made the tournament in nine consecutive years) as it is under .500 through 21 games. However, we expect the Wildcats to play better basketball down the stretch now that they are finally at full strength. Villanova 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 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 their ten losses before Saturday. Furthermore, Villanova has better defensive efficiency numbers in league play than Marquette. Thus, 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.

Marquette has covered each of its last five home games, but this line is inflated as a result of that positive trend.

Bet: Villanova +7.5 (-110 at DraftKings)

New Mexico vs. Utah State ML

Utah State is 10-1 at home this year, with its only loss in the non-conference by three points to Weber State. In addition, the Aggies have won their four league home games by an average of 9.5 points per game.

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 has 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 Steven Ashworth and Taylor Funk, who are each shooting 41.4% or better from deep on their combined 295 3-point attempts.

The home team is 12-4 ATS in the previous 16 meetings between these teams, and we expect that trend to continue with a comfortable Aggies win.

Bet: Utah State ML (-175 at DraftKings)

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