Top Sportsbooks have released their odds for today’s college basketball action. Two games, in particular, interest me as worth investing in: Chattanooga vs. Furman and San Francisco vs. Gonzaga. Let’s check out the best NCAAB picks for these matchups.
Chattanooga vs. Furman: Jalen Slawson Under 16.5 Points (-125) at Bet365
San Francisco vs. Gonzaga: Khalil Shabazz Over 20.5 Points (-115) at Bet365
San Francisco vs. Gonzaga: Drew Timme Over 19.5 Points (-115) at Bet365
Monday, March 6, 2023 – 07:00 PM EST at Harrah’s Cherokee Center
Jalen Slawson (Furman)
It’s one thing whether we think that a player will perform well, and it’s another thing whether we think that a player will perform well enough to hit the “over” on his point total bet.
As of Monday morning, the over/under for Furman power forward/center Jalen Slawson is 16.5 points, and this point total feels ambitiously high. Slawson has not scored over 15 points in any of his last three games or in four of his last five games. This trend has persisted even in the game at Samford in which his team scored 93 points.
My first reason why I like the “under” on Slawson’s point total is that his team’s offense is not sufficiently dependent on him. As evident in that Samford game, Slawson has so many other teammates capable of coming together to produce a 93-point scoring output.
My second reason for recommending the “under” on Slawson’s point total is that matchup against the Mocs does not favor him optimally. Again, I think Slawson will perform well, but he will not score enough points, because the Mocs’ defense is weakest at guarding the perimeter—Chattanooga allows threes, especially at an unusually high rate.
But Slawson is not primarily a three-point shooter. The Paladins love to attempt threes nearly more than any other team in the nation, so they will rather rely on their three-point shooters. Slawson’s scoring role will be limited by his teammates’ endeavor to exploit the Mocs’ vulnerable perimeter defense.
NCAAB Pick: Jalen Slawson Under 16.5 Points (-125) at Bet365
Monday, March 6, 2023 – 11:30 PM EST at Orleans Arena
Defensively, Gonzaga is not what it’s been in prior seasons. Last season, for example, the Bulldogs ranked tenth nationally in defensive efficiency. Given such seasons, one expects them to be strong defensively. But this year, they have declined to rank 89th nationally in defensive efficiency.
In both regular season games against San Francisco, they allowed 75 or more points. It is not uncommon for them to allow higher scoring totals. As a result of the porousness of Gonzaga’s defense, we should expect a higher-scoring game in which some “overs” hit on individual player props.
The key for our Best Bets will be to decide which players we should trust the most to score.
Khalil Shabazz (San Francisco)
The “over” for guard/forward Shabazz’s point total is regularly a good investment because he has a high floor. He plays so many minutes per game and takes such a large percentage of his team’s shots that he is always primed to score a lot of points. In four of his last five games, he has scored over 20 points.
With the reduced playing time and the injury of center Zane Meeks, San Francisco has grown all the more dependent on Shabazz’s efficiency and overall scoring output. Shabazz is capable of producing a lot of points as a three-level scorer—he is an efficient three-point shooter, can score inside the arc, draws a lot of fouls, and is a very good free-throw shooter.
Gonzaga just allowed 27 points to a similarly versatile guard, Saint Mary’s’ Logan Johnson on February 25, and it is not uncommon for guards to thrive against the Bulldogs’ defense.
NCAAB Pick: Khalil Shabazz Over 20.5 Points (-115) at Bet365
Drew Timme (Gonzaga)
Gonzaga center Drew Timme will further help tonight’s game be high-scoring. Timme with his arsenal of post moves is an efficient weapon inside. Furthermore, he is one of the best players in the nation at drawing fouls.
San Francisco’s interior defenders struggle significantly to defend without fouling, for which reason the team ranks among the worst teams in the nation at limiting fouls. With his inside scoring and free throw shooting, Timme has too many ways to score a lot tonight. He scored 21 points in his last game against San Francisco and will perform at least as well tonight in line with his recent efficiency.
NCAAB Pick: Drew Timme Over 19.5 Points (-115) at Bet365