Thank goodness for Ada Lovelace. Lord Byron’s daughter turned out to be the real star of the family, creating what’s been described as the first computer algorithm way back in 1842-43. Without Lovelace’s groundbreaking work, would we have all these AI-generated college basketball picks at our fingertips?
Maybe someone else would have come along and done it. In the meantime, the free OddsTrader BetStation app is there for us to use, and it nailed two of last week’s three NCAAB picks, which were all on the Over – as are this week’s trio for Thursday’s Division I slate.
Wisconsin Badgers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
Thursday, February 02, 2023 – 07:00 PM EST at Value City Arena
Once again, the Big Ten is the first stop on our tour, and we’re heading straight for Value City with Over 132.5 at BetMGM. The AI projects Ohio State to win this matchup 76-66, which we’re pretty sure adds up to 142 – that’s 9.5 more points than what’s on the NCAAB odds board at press time.
Is It Safe to Bet the Over with Wisconsin?
It is with this particular total. The Badgers somehow have the Over at 11-9 this year, despite playing at their usual snail’s pace; Ken Pomeroy has Wisconsin down for just 62.6 possessions per game (No. 349) using his Adjusted Tempo formula.
The Badgers also check in at No. 124 in offensive efficiency and No. 36 on defense, which is hardly the ideal profile for an Over team. But they make up for it somewhat by being really bad at interior defense, ranking No. 201 in 2-point percentage allowed (49.9%) and No. 354 in blocks (1.6 per game).
Ohio State (Over 12-9) will be delighted to see those numbers. This is the Over team we’re looking for, ranking No. 10 on offense and No. 85 on defense – although the Buckeyes are a bit slow at 66.6 possessions per game (No. 213).
We can overlook that tempo because OSU has such a big advantage in the paint. They’re No. 18 overall in made 2s at 42.3 per game, with freshman forward Brice Sensabaugh (4.2 2P per game) already cementing himself as the team’s best player.
NCAAB Pick: Over 132.5 (-105) at BetMGM
Rice Owls vs. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
Thursday, February 02, 2023 – 07:00 PM EST at Thomas Assembly Center
Sticking with last week’s pattern, we’re moving from the Big Ten to Conference USA, where the computers say Louisiana Tech will beat Rice 79-75. That’s 154 points, which is 8.5 points more than the total at FanDuel.
What Makes Rice So Nice?
That 12-6 Over record for the Owls is a product of several factors, including the No. 50-ranked Adjusted Tempo in college hoops – Rice gets in a hefty 69.9 possessions per game. Nice indeed.
The Owls also have the nation’s No. 108-ranked offense compared to No. 245 on defense, an imbalance that plays right into our hands. It’s a shame that Louisiana Tech (Over 10-8-1) are as average as they come in all three of those facets, but at least they’ll be a neutral commodity when it comes to this Over bet.
Or will they? Both teams in this C-USA battle love to fire up 3-pointers, and neither side is very good at defending them, so the Bulldogs can help our cause just by being themselves.
NCAAB Pick: Over 145.5 (-110) at FanDuel
UNC-Greensboro Spartans vs. Mercer Bears
Thursday, February 02, 2023 – 07:00 PM EST at Hawkins Arena
Let’s wrap things up this time in the Southern Conference, where the Spartans are projected to beat Mercer 66-65. Overtime is a very real possibility in this contest – which can only help us get Over that 124-point total at BetMGM.
Aren’t These Both Under Teams?
Well, that’s how things have shaken out thus far, with the Spartans driving the Under to a 14-7 record and Mercer making it 13-8. And Greensboro is definitely the worse of the two when it comes to all the things we’re looking for, including pace and offense/defense imbalance.
We’ll spare you the details this time; the important thing is that total, which is very, very small. The Spartans haven’t seen an over/under this low all season, and the Over is 2-1 in their three games with a total lower than 130 points. The Bears also haven’t faced a tiny total like this – not even close – so do the right thing and bet accordingly. The AI has spoken.
NCAAB Pick: Over 124 (-110) at Bet365