If you’ve been following this space for a while, you’re probably wondering why all these college basketball picks have been on the Over – and how much you should bet. There’s no question that the free OddsTrader BetStation app is a little on the high side with some of these projected totals, but it remains a very useful tool for sharp handicappers.
The games with the largest gaps between the projections and the NCAAB odds should still be the best basketball picks on the board, including the following picks from Wednesday’s slate. But you’ll probably want to size your bets smaller to account for the AI.
Taking a closer look at these matchups would also be prudent – which is exactly what we’re here to do, so let’s get on with the show.
- Providence vs. Connecticut: Over 136 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
- Virginia vs. Boston College: Over 124.5 (-110) at BetMGM
- Temple vs. Cincinnati: Over 139.5 (-110) at FanDuel
Wednesday, February 22, 2023 – 06:30 PM EST at Gampel Pavilion
The best team on this week’s list is UConn (Over 16-11), and it isn’t even close, even if the Friars (Under 14-13) are three games up in the Big East standings. The computers like the Huskies to win 82-74, which is 11 points more than the 136-point total at Caesars Sportsbook.
Why So Bullish on the Huskies?
Because they’re that good. They may be No. 18 in the polls this week, but Ken Pomeroy has Connecticut at No. 6 overall (No. 11 offense, No. 16 defense) on his efficiency charts.
Even the pollsters know that No. 20 Providence are playing over their heads. Pomeroy confirms this; he has the Friars at No. 28 in efficiency, including No. 20 on offense and No. 66 on defense.
Both teams operate at a reasonably medium pace of 67-68 possessions per game, so we’re in pretty good shape here given their offense/defense imbalance. This is also one of the lowest totals these teams have seen in conference play this year, especially for Providence.
NCAAB Pick: Over 136 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
Wednesday, February 22, 2023 – 07:00 PM EST at Silvio O. Conte Forum
On the flip side, we have a highly overrated team in Virginia (Over 13-12), who are nowhere near as good as their No. 6 spot on the polls would suggest. But the computers say they’re still good enough to beat Boston College (Over 17-11) 73-63, giving us another double-digit gap to work with beyond that 124.5-point total at BetMGM.
What’s Wrong With Virginia?
It’s not like they’re the Washington Generals out there; Pomeroy has Virginia at No. 25 overall (No. 51 offense, No. 26 defense) in efficiency. They’re still the best team in the ACC whether you look at the standings or the advanced stats – it’s the entire conference that’s a mess this year.
Boston College is one of the reasons why. They’re No. 198 (No. 248 offense, No. 121 defense) on the Pomeroy charts, and while they’ve already matched last year’s total of 13 wins, their performance level is down roughly 3.5 points per game according to the Simple Rating System at Sports Reference.
The Cavs happen to be one of the slowest teams in Division I at 62.0 possessions per game (No. 361), but 124.5 points is a tiny total; only two of Virginia’s games thus far had a total this low, and both of them went Over.
NCAAB Pick: Over 124.5 (-110) at BetMGM
Wednesday, February 22, 2023 – 07:00 PM EST at Fifth Third Arena
Our tour wraps up in the AAC, where Cincinnati (Over 14-12-1) projects to beat Temple (Over 14-13-1) by a score of 78-69. That’s 7.5 points more than what’s on the NCAAB odds board at FanDuel as we go to press.
Is Cincinnati That Good?
Probably not. The Bearcats only rank No. 63 overall (No. 69 offense, No. 68 defense) according to Pomeroy, but they are significantly better than Temple at No. 116 (No. 140 offense, No. 113 defense).
Cincinnati does have a decent backcourt, though. They rank No. 32 in the nation in made 3-pointers at 9.0 per game; chucking all those threes does keep the ‘Cats away from the free-throw line, though, where they attempt just 15.7 shots per game (No. 310).
As it happens, the Owls are better at defending the perimeter than the paint, but Cincinnati isn’t shy about scoring down low, either. This should be a really good matchup for 6-foot-11 sophomore forward Viktor Lakhin (21.8 points per 40 minutes), who also happens to lead the team at plus-7.8 on the Box Plus/Minus charts. Bet accordingly – the AI has spoken.
NCAAB Pick: Over 139.5 (-110) at FanDuel