- Georgia Tech vs. Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh -7.5 (-105) at BetMGM
- UTSA vs. Rice: Rice -6 (-120) at SBK
- Butler vs. St. John’s: St. John’s -5.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
As you may have noticed, we’ve been throwing around the term “AI” a bit loosely in this space. The projections generated by the free OddsTrader BetStation app aren’t technically an example of artificial intelligence – most things labeled AI these days aren’t.
The language has changed. People are saying “AI” when they mean “computers” all the time now, and since we’re here making college basketball picks instead of less important things, we’ll keep doing the same.
With that in mind, here’s what the AI has in store for Wednesday’s slate. The following three games are the ones with the biggest gap between the projections and the actual NCAAB odds at press time, and the computers have chosen the favored team for all three.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Pittsburgh Panthers
Wednesday, March 8, 2023 – 02:30 PM EST at Greensboro Coliseum
We start with Round Two of the ACC Tournament, where No. 5 Pittsburgh (21-10 SU, 21-9-1 ATS) are 7.5-point favorites over No. 13 Georgia Tech (14-17 SU, 16-13 ATS) at BetMGM. The AI says Pitt will win this contest by 13 points, 81-68.
Can Pitt Win the ACC Title?
It’s pretty much anyone’s to win – anyone who’s still in the tournament, that is. There’s no division killer in the ACC this year; Duke is the highest-rated team at No. 31 on Ken Pomeroy’s efficiency charts, so while Pitt ranks sixth in the ACC according to efficiency, they’re not that far behind at No. 68 overall (No. 29 offense, No. 107 defense).
However, we would be a bit surprised if Georgia Tech made it through at No. 168 overall (No. 203 offense, No. 137 defense). They did take Tuesday’s opening-round matchup with Florida State, the 12-seed for this tournament, but the Yellow Jackets were 2-point favorites – and they failed to cover in their 61-60 victory.
Pittsburgh won both their regular-season battles with Georgia Tech this year, but ended up splitting the cash after “only” beating the Jackets 76-68 on February 21 as 11.5-point home faves. Their third meeting is at a neutral site in North Carolina; anything can happen in college hoops, but the computers say it’ll be another butt-whipping for the Panthers.
NCAAB Pick: Pittsburgh -7.5 (-105) at BetMGM
UTSA Roadrunners vs. Rice Owls
Wednesday, March 8, 2023 – 09:30 PM EST at Ford Center At The Star
Moving on to the opening round of the Conference USA Tournament, we have No. 6 Rice (17-14 SU, 13-14-1 ATS) taking on No. 11 UTSA (10-21 SU, 12-15-2 ATS) in what looks like another mismatch on paper. The Owls are 5.5-point faves at WynnBet; the AI likes them to win 83-73.
Where Does Rice Play?
Rice University is located in Houston, which is basically the same four-hour drive away from Frisco, Texas that UT-San Antonio will take for Wednesday’s game – but the Roadrunners and their fans presumably took the IH-35, while the Owls would have followed IH-45.
Since we don’t have to worry about home-court advantage, Rice clearly deserves to be favored here despite checking in at No. 206 overall (No. 115 offense, No. 292 defense) on the Pomeroy charts. That’s miles ahead of UTSA at No. 291 (No. 240 offense, No. 324 defense).
These are also two very quick teams, with Rice at 70.2 possessions per game (No. 46) and the Roadrunners at 69.5 possessions (No. 80). That’ll make it easier for the Owls to cover this medium-sized spread, although they went 2-0 SU and 0-1-1 ATS during their regular-season series.
NCAAB Pick: Rice -6 (-120) at SBK
Butler Bulldogs vs. St. John’s Red Storm
Wednesday, March 08, 2023 – 03:00 PM EST at Madison Square Garden
There’s nothing neutral about the venue for Wednesday’s first-round Big East tilt between No. 9 Butler (14-17 SU, 14-15-2 ATS) and No. 8 St. John’s (17-14 SU, 13-18 ATS). Madison Square Garden is home turf for the Red Storm, and they’re projected to win 76-67 despite being favored by 5.5 points at Caesars Sportsbook.
Where Does Butler Play?
Butler University is in Indianapolis, so they’ll have the travel disadvantage for this contest – and the disadvantage on paper as the No. 122 team (No. 236 offense, No. 55 defense) on the Pomeroy charts.
St. John’s, meanwhile, ranks No. 87 overall (No. 111 offense, No. 71 defense), and they’re the fastest team in Division I at 73.6 possessions per game, so they’ll do their best to run Butler (65.7 possessions, No. 280) ragged this Wednesday afternoon after splitting their regular-season series 1-1 SU and ATS. Bet accordingly – the AI has spoken.
NCAAB Pick: St. John’s -5.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook