Top AI NCAAB Picks to Bet on March 1: Hidden Value in WAC, WCC and Big East Conference

Picks Summary

  • Seattle U vs. Utah Tech: Utah Tech -1.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
  • Chicago State vs. Gonzaga: Chicago State +27.5 (-110) at BetMGM
  • DePaul vs. Connecticut: UConn -17.5 (-106) at FanDuel

Old-school handicappers have been preaching the virtues of betting on low-major college basketball games since time immemorial.

Now the computers have proven them right; at press time, the free OddsTrader BetStation app says the best choice for Wednesday’s NCAAB picks is in the Western Athletic Conference, aka the WAC. Let’s investigate.

Seattle U Redhawks vs. Utah Tech Trailblazers

Wednesday, March 1, 2023 – 09:00 PM EST at Burns Arena

It’s a bit strange to see Utah Tech (12-17 SU, 15-10-1 ATS) favored by 1.5 points at Caesars Sportsbook for Wednesday’s game against Seattle (19-10 SU, 12-15 ATS). Stranger still, the AI says the Trailblazers will win 76-70.

Is Seattle Healthy?

Apparently so. Neither of these WAC teams has any injuries to report, so there must be something else going on behind the college basketball lines.

Our first clue is their respective ATS records. Maybe the gap between these two clubs isn’t at big as it appears at first blush; Utah Tech did cover their first meeting on February 8, although they lost 75-71 as 7.5-point road dogs.

That result appears to have made an impression on the betting market. Home-court advantage in college hoops has been worth 3.06 points this year, according to Jeff Sagarin’s numbers at The USA Today, so Utah Tech “should” be closer to +1.5 instead of -1.5 for the rematch.

Or the Trailblazers Are Just That Good

Ken Pomeroy has the Blazers ranked No. 178 overall (No. 134 offense, No. 240 defense) using his efficiency-based stats; that’s a fair bit behind Seattle at No. 134 overall (No. 245 offense, No. 64 defense), but not overwhelmingly so.

The key here may be in just how poor the Redhawks are at the most important thing in this sport: shooting. They rank No. 346 out of the 363 Division I teams at 40.4% from the field, hoping to make up for it in volume by shooting 61.7 times per game (No. 27).

Utah Tech, on the other hand, ranks No. 18 in the nation in 3-point accuracy at 38.1%, and they get to the line a lot as well, making 16.8 freebies per game (No. 16). At the same time, the Blazers eschew the 2-pointer at just 31.8 attempts per game (No. 326). That’s some efficient basketball right there.

NCAAB Pick: Utah Tech -1.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook

Chicago State Cougars vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs

Wednesday, March 1, 2023 – 09:00 PM EST at McCarthey Athletic Center

Double-digit underdogs are another easy target for betting value, and independent Chicago State (11-18 SU, 16-9 ATS) have ample value as 27.5-point puppies at DraftKings versus Gonzaga (25-5 SU, 11-17-1 ATS), who project to win this game 90-66.

What’s Going On With Chicago State?

The Cougars left the WAC last year, and there was some talk the school might leave Division I all together, but now rumor has it they’re looking at adding a D-I football program instead. In the meantime, the basketball program has played 21 of its 29 games thus far on the road. That kind of odyssey can really galvanize a young team.

Obviously, the Zags (No. 10 on the Pomeroy charts) are far ahead of Chicago State (No. 277) in pretty much every aspect, but this is a textbook example of a game where the heavy favorites will be overlooking their opposition.

The Bulldogs just had an emotional win over Saint Mary’s, and there’s a good chance Mark Few will rest some of his top players with an eye on keeping them fresh for the WCC Tournament.

NCAAB Pick: Chicago State +27.5 (-110) at BetMGM

DePaul Blue Demons vs. Connecticut Huskies

Wednesday, March 1, 2023 – 07:00 PM EST at XL Center

Not every double-digit dog is worth putting in your college basketball picks. The AI says UConn (22-7 SU, 18-10-1 ATS) will beat DePaul (9-20 SU, 12-16-1 ATS) 88-67, but the Huskies are only favored by 17.5 points at FanDuel, with -106 vig attached for good measure.

Is DePaul That Bad?

They’re not the worst team in the Big East – that would be Georgetown – but the Blue Demons are a disappointing No. 145 overall (No. 136 offense, No. 177 defense) on the Pomeroy charts. Rod Strickland isn’t walking through that door anytime soon.

UConn, meanwhile, are way better than their 11-7 conference record would suggest at No. 5 overall (No. 7 offense, No. 23 defense) in efficiency. Narrowly losing 56-53 to Creighton (-4.5 at home) on February 11 helped solidify their value even further. Bet accordingly – the AI has spoken.

NCAAB Pick: UConn -17.5 (-106) at FanDuel is your sports betting command center. Read featured betting strategy compiled from a panel of leading sports betting experts.

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