Top AI NCAAB Picks to Bet on February 24: Grand Canyon’s Bryce Drew to Do His Thing

Head coach Bryce Drew Grand Canyon Antelopes
Head coach Bryce Drew of the Grand Canyon Antelopes reacts against the New Mexico State Aggies. Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images/AFP.

Picks Summary

  • Air Force vs. UNLV: Air Force +9.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
  • Seattle U vs. Grand Canyon: Grand Canyon -5 (-110) at SugarHouse
  • Iona vs. Mount St. Mary’s: Mount St. Mary’s +11.5 (-110) at BetMGM

We had to change things up at some point. The free OddsTrader BetStation app has been leaning heavily towards the Over for its college basketball picks, consistently projecting higher scores than what the totals on the NCAAB odds would suggest – sometimes correctly, sometimes not.

Given this dynamic, it only makes sense to switch our emphasis to the point spread. Sports betting is all about finding an edge, then betting an amount that’s commensurate to the size of that edge; the AI-approved spread picks should be more reliable for applying this formula, if still a bit on the high side with these gaps between the projections and the NCAAB lines.

Air Force Falcons vs. UNLV Rebels

Friday, February 24, 2023 – 09:30 PM EST at Thomas & Mack Center

The biggest of these gaps at press time is with Friday’s Mountain West matchup between Air Force (14-15 SU, 17-12 ATS) and UNLV (16-11 SU, 14-12 ATS). The Runnin’ Rebels are favored by 9.5 points at Caesars Sportsbook; the AI says they’ll win 73-68.

Aren’t Both These Teams Pretty Bad?

By Mountain West standards, yes. UNLV is only half a game up on Air Force in the conference standings; Ken Pomeroy has the Rebels ranked No. 86 overall (No. 97 offense, No. 78 defense), while the Falcons are trailing at No. 154 (No. 136 offense, No. 198 defense).

That defensive ranking is especially poor, but Air Force will make it hard for UNLV to cover this spread by running as slow an offense as possible: the Princeton offense. Head coach Joe Scott was an assistant there under Pete Carril and Bill Carmody before taking the reins himself from 2004-07.

In its basic form, the Princeton offense is all about motion – dribbling, passing, setting picks, and eventually making backdoor cuts when an opening arises. Eventually; the guards must wait patiently behind the arc for just the right moment to strike.

It can take a while. Air Force rank No. 345 out of the 363 teams in Division I in Adjusted Tempo, fitting in just 63.4 possessions per game. By eating up the clock and keeping the ball out of their opponent’s hands, the Falcons tend to stick around in games against superior opponents, which explains their 17-12 ATS record.

NCAAB Pick: Air Force +9.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook

Seattle U Redhawks vs. Grand Canyon Antelopes

Friday, February 24, 2023 – 09:00 PM EST at GCU Arena

Moving on to the WAC, the AI says Grand Canyon (19-10 SU, 10-16 ATS) will beat Seattle (18-10 SU, 11-15 ATS) 75-67, but the Lopes are only favored by five points at SugarHouse as we go to press.

Aren’t These Teams Tied in the Standings?

Yes, each team is 9-6 in WAC action (WACtion?) heading into Friday’s contest. But wins and losses can disguise true performance levels; Pomeroy has Grand Canyon rated No. 125 overall (No. 82 offense, No. 197 defense), 15 spots ahead of Seattle at No. 140 (No. 237 offense, No. 73 defense).

The Lopes also feature one of the brighter minds in college hoops in head coach Bryce Drew. The former point guard coached at his alma mater with Valparaiso, then at Vanderbilt before making the move to Phoenix. Drew led Grand Canyon to their first-ever Big Dance two years ago. He’s got the goods.

NCAAB Pick: Grand Canyon -5 (-110) at SugarHouse

Iona Gaels vs. Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers

Friday, February 24, 2023 – 07:00 PM EST at Knott Arena

Friday’s tour wraps up in the MAAC, where the first-place Gaels (20-7 SU, 15-12 ATS) are favored by 11.5 points over Mount St. Mary’s (10-18 SU, 10-17 ATS) at BetMGM. That’s one point more than other locations, and 3.5 points too many according to the AI, which has Iona winning 71-63.

Is Iona Too Good for the MAAC?

They are way ahead of the low-major curve at No. 78 overall (No. 103 offense, No. 60 defense) on the Pomeroy charts. The next MAAC team on the list is Quinnipiac at No. 159.

However, the No. 295 Mountaineers (No. 326 offense, No. 225 defense) aren’t that much worse – at least not usually. They did get blown out 81-51 the last time they faced Iona on February 3, but that was as 16.5-point road dogs.

The NCAAB lines appear to have over-corrected with Iona favored by 11.5 points on the road; Jeff Sagarin at The USA Today has home-court advantage valued at 3.02 points this year. Bet accordingly – the AI has spoken.

NCAAB Pick: Mount St. Mary’s +11.5 (-110) at BetMGM is your sports betting command center. Read featured betting strategy compiled from a panel of leading sports betting experts.

Site Footer