The Wednesday of conference tournament week always has a March Madness flair, given the number of games spread throughout the day and how early many of them tip off. Bettors should get their wagers in early, as eight games begin at 3:00 p.m. ET or earlier from a slew of major conferences like the ACC, Pac-12, and Big East.
Here are our best bets for Wednesday’s college basketball action.
Best College Basketball Bets for Wednesday
(Odds courtesy of DraftKings)
Wake Forest vs. Syracuse O/U
Syracuse held Wake Forest to its lowest-scoring output of the season in a 72-63 victory in the regular season finale. So now bettors need to ask whether the Orange has the Demon Deacons’ number or if there was a little gamesmanship at play, knowing a likely rematch at the ACC tournament days later was imminent. Given how well the Demon Deacons have played all season offensively, we expect it to be more of the latter.
Preparing for Jim Boeheim’s menacing 2-3 zone is always tricky, but the task became much easier, having seen it up close and personal just four days ago. In addition, a venue change should do wonders for Wake Forest’s offense, as sight lines can often be difficult in a cavernous dome setting like the JMA Wireless Dome. Thus, we expect significant shooting regression for a Demon Deacons squad that ranked second in ACC play in 3-point shooting percentage (36.9%) after making just 25.6% (10-of-39) 3-point attempts in its last game.
The Over is 13-6-1 in Wake Forest’s 20 ACC games this year and has cashed in eight of Syracuse’s 11 road games. Thus, we are benefitting from a smaller number than usual, given the defensive nature of these teams’ last meeting, and are confidently backing a much different result today.
Minnesota vs. Nebraska Spread
The Big Ten tournament will have a lot of eyes on it all week long, as a handful of teams (Michigan, Rutgers, Penn State, and Wisconsin) need big weeks to feel more confident about their NCAA tournament at-large chances. However, lost amid the shuffle of all the tournament talk is that Nebraska is playing some of the best basketball in the Big Ten at the moment, winning five of its final six games to end the regular season. That included an impressive road win at Iowa on Senior Night, marking the first time the Cornhuskers swept the regular season against the Hawkeyes since joining the Big Ten.
Nebraska also swept its two regular-season meetings against Minnesota by a combined 13 points. The Golden Gophers are facing a “pick your poison” mentality about how to defend the Cornhuskers in this matchup. In the first meeting, they had no answer for Cornhuskers forward Derrick Walker (22 points on 9-of-17 shooting), as Nebraska took advantage of Minnesota’s lack of interior defense, with the Golden Gophers allowing the highest percentage of opponents’ points (58.5%) in league play from inside the arc. When Minnesota clamped down on Walker more in the second meeting (ten points on 4-of-12 shooting), the Cornhuskers played outstanding team basketball, with six players scoring in double figures.
Minnesota is 12-15-2 ATS this season, but we expect it to be playing out the string after an abysmal 8-21 (2-17 in Big Ten play) campaign.
Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State Spread
Bedlam has not been much of a rivalry lately, as the Cowboys are looking to make it three straight (and seven of eight) against the Sooners. Oklahoma State has done an outstanding job against Oklahoma leading scorer Grant Sherfield in the first two meetings, holding him to 29 points and 4-of-14 beyond the arc. However, we trust Sooners coach Porter Moses to devise ways to get his star guard more clean looks in a do-or-die tournament setting. We expect Sherfield’s possession percentage rating (per KenPom) to be north of 30% for the second time since that first meeting in Stillwater.
Oklahoma is 4-1 ATS at neutral sites this year, while Oklahoma State has failed to cover any of its three games in neutral site environments. So while we are backing Nebraska to cover a reasonably big spread against Minnesota in their third meeting, we expect the emotions of a bitter rivalry game with massive NCAA tournament implications to buoy the underdogs to stay within the number in the third meeting between these teams.
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