- Miami (FL) vs. Duke: Miami (FL) +3 (-110) at BetRivers
- Mississippi State vs. Alabama: Alabama -7.5 (-110) at FanDuel
- Tennessee vs. Missouri: Tennessee -5.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
Bet sizing is the mark of a champion. It always feels good when you choose the right side for your college basketball picks, but the trick to making money at it is to size your wagers according to your potential profit margins. Small edge, small bet; big edge, big bet.
When it comes to each of our three recommended picks for Friday’s slate, the difference between the projections provided by the free OddsTrader BetStation app and the actual NCAAB odds at press time is four points. That’s enough of a gap to place some seriously chunky bets – if you believe in the AI.
Friday, March 10, 2023 – 07:00 PM EST at Greensboro Coliseum
Here’s our first eyebrow-raiser: The computers have top-seeded Miami (24-6 SU, 18-12 ATS during the regular season) beating No. 4 Duke (23-8 SU, 12-19 ATS) 76-75 in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament. This is despite BetRivers having the Hurricanes as 3-point underdogs.
Is Miami Better Than Duke?
Yes and no. The ‘Canes did win a share of the ACC regular-season title, earning the top seed over the co-champions from Virginia. And they are ranked higher on the AP poll at No. 14 to Duke’s No. 21.
As for the head-to-head matchup, these teams split their series home and away, but Miami cashed in both times – and they nearly beat the Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium on January 21 before losing 68-66 as 6-point road dogs. Maybe the computers are onto something.
On paper, though, Duke is certainly the better team. They rank No. 25 overall (No. 46 offense, No. 27 defense) on Ken Pomeroy’s efficiency charts, about 2.5 points better per 100 possessions than Miami at No. 40 (No. 13 offense, No. 114 defense).
This will also be something of a home game for the Devils, with only an hour’s drive separating Durham from Greensboro, North Carolina. Home-court advantage is worth about three points in college hoops, so Duke may have some hidden value here at -3 instead of -6.
There’s a reason these teams have such divergent ATS records, though. There isn’t really that much difference between the two, even in their strengths and weaknesses, but the betting public is more likely to overvalue the Duke brand and give us a good price on their opponents.
NCAAB Pick: Miami (FL) +3 (-110) at BetRivers
Friday, March 10, 2023 – 01:00 PM EST at Bridgestone Arena
Over in the SEC, we faded the No. 9 Bulldogs (20-11 SU, 16-14-1 ATS) yesterday as 3.5-point favorites versus No. 8 Florida, and the computers were almost perfect – this game did indeed go to overtime before MSU won 69-68. Now the AI wants us to take top-seeded Alabama (26-5 SU, 16-14-1 ATS) for Friday’s quarterfinal matchup.
Will the Tide Beat Mississippi State?
That’s what the computers say. They have ‘Bama winning 78-67, while FanDuel has the Tide favored by 7.5 points.
Alabama was obviously the best team in the SEC this year – although fans of our third college basketball pick will care to differ. The Tide rank third overall (No. 20 offense, No. 4 defense) on the Pomeroy charts, well ahead of No. 46 Mississippi State (No. 13 offense, No. 114 defense).
These two teams did split the cash during the regular season, though, even if Alabama did win both games. And playing in Nashville shouldn’t help either team out too much.
NCAAB Pick: Alabama -7.5 (-110) at FanDuel
Friday, March 10, 2023 – 03:00 PM EST at Bridgestone Arena
The Volunteers (22-9 SU, 16-15 ATS) will be very happy to be in Nashville this Friday. They’re 5.5-point favorites at Caesars Sportsbook over Missouri (23-8 SU, 15-15-1 ATS), but the AI likes the Vols to win their quarterfinal 79-69.
What Makes Tennessee So Good?
Defense. The Vols rank No. 1 in the nation at that end according to Pomeroy, although just No. 45 on offense, leaving them two spots behind Alabama at No. 5 overall.
On the flip side, Missouri ranks No. 9 on offense and No. 196 on defense, and just No. 57 overall as a result. But these two teams did share the same 11-7 conference record, and the Tigers are the 4-seed, one up on Tennessee after upsetting the Vols 86-85 as 12-point road dogs on February 11.
However, guard Josiah-Jordan James (plus-8.1 BPM at Sports Reference) was injured and unavailable for Tennessee in that matchup. He’s back now, and the Vols are 3-1 SU and ATS since his return. Bet accordingly – the AI has spoken.
NCAAB Pick: Tennessee -5.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook