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College Basketball Computer Picks March 12: Gonzaga Is On Upset Alert

Graham Ike Nolan Hickman Ryan Nembhard Ben Gregg and Anton Watson Gonzaga Bulldogs West Coast Conference basketball tournament Nevada
Graham Ike #13, Nolan Hickman #11, Ryan Nembhard #0, Ben Gregg #33 and Anton Watson #22 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs wait for their introduction before a semifinal game against the San Francisco Dons of the West Coast Conference basketball tournament at the Orleans Arena on March 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Bulldogs defeated the Dons 89-77. David Becker/Getty Images/AFP

Top-rated online sportsbooks have released their NCAAB odds for today’s college basketball action.

Three games interest me: Miami vs. Boston College, Stony Brook vs. Charleston and Gonzaga vs. Saint Mary’s. For your best bets, I will recommend investing in Miami-Boston College “over,” Charleston, and Saint Mary’s.

Picks Summary

  • Miami (FL) – Boston College Over 147 (-110)
  • Charleston -7.5 (-110)
  • Saint Mary’s +2.5  (-110)

*All odds from Bet365 (check our Bet365 Review)


Miami (FL) Hurricanes vs. Boston College Eagles

Tuesday, March 12, 2024 – 07:00 PM ET at Capital One Arena 


Our computers project a high-scoring game in which the “over” hits. Neither defense will play well enough to keep the game “under” the posted total.

Miami’s Defense On The Road

Miami’s defense does not travel well.

The Hurricanes allow nearly seven more points per game on the road than they do at home. This season-long reality has been conspicuous in their most recent games.

In three of their last four games, they’ve allowed 77 points or more. They relied on poor free throw shooting from North Carolina in the one exception – in which the Tar Heels scored 75 points.

Miami’s Perimeter Defense

Arguably, more than anything else, the Hurricanes defend the perimeter poorly. This is evident in their most recent game, in which they gave up 83 points in a loss at Florida State. The Seminoles normally shoot abysmally from behind the arc, but they made twelve three-pointers against Miami.

Miami makes it easy even for poor offenses to thrive from deep.

For example, you’ll see offenses that face the Hurricanes easily use ball-screens to create open looks. Miami often looks content to give up wide-open three-pointers generated by ball-screens.

This appearance of complacency among Hurricanes defenders is encouraged by their disposition to focus on defending the paint. Hurricanes defenders often allow themselves to get sucked in closer to the basket, making it easier for opposing players to garner open looks behind the arc.

Boston College’s Shooters

The Eagles match up well against Miami because their three-point attack is strong. They rank fourth in the ACC in three-point efficiency.

Six of their players shoot over 35 percent from deep, making them well-equipped to exploit the Hurricanes’ porous perimeter defense, which is one of the worst teams in the nation at limiting opposing three-point attempts.

Miami Will Score More Than Enough

Miami has a talented inside scorer in center Norchad Omier, whose face-up game helps him be one of the nation’s more efficient scorers inside the arc. The Hurricanes also boast shooters who, in this season and throughout their career, have been efficient.

One example of a player currently shooting well is Kyshawn George, whose three-point conversion rate this season exceeds 40 percent.

With this scoring talent, Miami will have no problem reaching 75 points against a defense that doesn’t really do anything well – Boston College ranks tenth or worse in its conference at limiting opposing three and two-point efficiency.

NCAAB Pick: Over 147 (-110) at Bet365


Stony Brook Seawolves vs. Charleston Cougars

Tuesday, March 12, 2024 – 07:00 PM ET at Entertainment & Sports Arena 


Our computers project a strong victory from Charleston that results in an ATS cover for them. I agree with this projection and expect a double-digit win for the Cougars.

Sizzling Charleston

The Cougars enter tonight’s game enjoying the nation’s second-longest win streak. They’ve won eleven in a row. In their last seven games, only their last one finished with a margin of victory that was fewer than eight points.

The Cougars were unusually inefficient from both inside and outside the arc, granted they were facing Towson, which owns the top defense in their conference.

Charleston’s Offense

Expect their offense to bounce back in a higher-scoring affair against a softer Stony Brook test.

The Cougars will be much more comfortable tonight than they were last night because they shoot more threes than any other team in their conference and now face a Stony Brook team that allows three-point attempts at a drastically higher rate than Charleston’s last opponent.

Charleston’s offense is a free-flowing offense in which players are always moving intelligently.

When a Charleston player drives from the perimeter, you’ll often see a teammate of his move to where he stood behind the arc while the rest of his teammates space themselves out behind the arc. With players spread out, Charleston makes it harder for the opposing defense to recover back to a shooter.

The Cougars are also simply inclined to score at the basket, where they are highly efficient as a team. Stony Brook doesn’t have much shot-blocking talent or length with which to contain Charleston’s balanced offense.

Rematch

I find it vastly likelier that Charleston repeats its scoring output from the first meeting between these teams than Stony Brook.

Stony Brook scored 87 points, losing by six in a home game against the Cougars, largely because they were unusually efficient from deep. 87 points is a surprising total for Charleston to allow because of how hard offenses have it while trying to carve up the Cougars.

Charleston will hard hedge and apply other ball screen tactics in order to make dribble penetration more difficult for its opponent. Video footage also shows their ability to recover from opposing shooters behind the arc in order to contest their shot.

Making it hard for teams both inside and outside the arc, the Cougars allow 72 points per game. They’ll allow fewer points to an offense that is rather one-dimensional in its reliance on three-point shooting to be efficient. The Seawolves won’t be able to rely on dribble penetration or on otherwise posing a threat inside the arc in order to free up shooters behind the arc.

The limitations of Stony Brook’s offense, Charleston’s defensive tactics, and Charleston’s more balanced scoring will ensure a strong Cougars victory.

NCAAB Pick: Charleston -7.5 (-110) at Bet365


Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. Saint Mary’s Gaels 

Tuesday, March 12, 2024 –  09:00 PM ET at Orleans Arena


Our computers indicate that the Gaels will blow by Gonzaga, and I agree. Saint Mary’s is the underdog, but it will win straight-up.

The Gaels’ Post Defense

Gonzaga is allergic to attempting three-pointers. The Zags primarily want to score inside, relying especially on the physical talent of their bigs. However, trying to be efficient inside won’t work tonight for Gonzaga because the Gaels boast one of the nation’s most efficient interior defenses.

Saint Mary’s is led here by Mitchell Saxen, who ranks third in the WCC in block rate. Saxen is a solid defender who will follow his man step-by-step with a vertically stretched hand in his face.

His presence, as well as his backup, center Mason Forbes, allow the Gaels to guard the perimeter aggressively because they know that they have a stout interior defense effectively protecting the basket behind them.

Saint Mary’s on Offense

It’s impossible to like Gonzaga if you don’t like its offense.

The Zags often allow over 70 points on defense because, among other reasons, their perimeter defenders allow opposing ball-handlers to blow by them way too often. Offenses are able to carve up Gonzaga’s defense.

Saint Mary’s has the ability to work inside, especially via its reliance on ball-screens. The Gaels will score inside a lot with strong threats like Saxen, but they are also a uniquely efficient team from behind the arc that will work inside-out in order to create good looks from deep.

The Gaels will win tonight because they’ll have a much easier time scoring than Gonzaga.

NCAAB Pick: Saint Mary’s +2.5 (-110) at Bet365

*The line and/or odds referenced in this article might have changed since the content was published. For the latest information on line movements, visit OddsTrader’s free betting odds tool.

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