College Basketball Best Bets This Week: Marist Takes Manhattan

Gear up for a thrilling week of college hoops with our best bets from the NCAA's most talked-about matchups.

Feb 23, 2024 • 08:29 ET • 4 min read
Marist Red Foxes star Jaden Daughtry in NCAAB action.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

March Madness is still weeks away, but there's no denying the fact that college hoops are becoming increasingly more intense. That was especially evident on Sunday as lightly regarded Ohio State pummeled Purdue in a bodacious Big Ten grudge match. Bruce Thornton and Jamison Battle combined for 41 points as the Buckeyes pulled off a monumental upset in Jake Diebler's first game as the Buckeyes' interim coach 

The Boilermakers weren't the only national powerhouse to fall to an unranked opponent over the weekend. South Florida upended Florida Atlantic,  Iowa slipped past Wisconsin, Southern Illinois got the best of Indiana State, and LSU edged past South Carolina thanks to a pair of last second free throws.

There's bound to be even more upsets this week as all 353 Division I teams take to the hardwood. We've hand-picked the best games on college basketball's jam-packed schedule and have tasked our experts with providing analysis for each matchup. Below you'll find the latest odds along with a best bet for every game we're tracking. Let the games begin!

Best bet: Cornell -2 (-112 at bet365)

There are tough spots, and then there's a third straight road game and a second against a Top 3 Ivy League school spot. That's the position Yale finds themselves in tonight and I don't believe they will be up to the challenge. Cornell is legit. They own a Top 4 field goal percentage mark and average nearly 84 points per game. They are unselfish, and defensively they generate nearly 10 steals per game which is a Top 25 mark. Add in a perfect 9-0 home record, and the revenge factor from a two-point loss at Yale back on Feb 10, and you got the perfect storm for a Cornell win and cover. This line opened at -1 and has since moved in Cornell's favor. Big Red rolls tonight.

Best bet: Under 133.5 (-105 at SIA)

Marist has been one of the best Under teams in the country this season going 7-16 O/U while going 2-11 O/U as a favorite. KenPom is projecting a total of 129 for this game, significantly lower than the total of 133. Marist struggles to score sitting outside the Top 300 in adjusted offensive efficiency and adjusted tempo. However, the Red Foxes are a Top 100 team in adjusted defensive efficiency and are allowing just 62.5 ppg in conference play. They might not have ability to take advantage of Manhattan's weak defense but they will shut down a Jaspers offense that has been held below 64 points in three straight games and is 345th in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency.

Best bet: Princeton -6.5 (-115 at SIA)

Harvard might be tied for fourth in the Ivy League standings but it's a three-team conference with Princeton, Cornell, and Yale well above the rest of the pack. The Tigers are coming off an impressive win against Yale and will look to close the season strong as they're just one game out of first place. They destroyed the Crimson by 31 points when these teams met up last month and while they're on the road this time, don't expect it to affect them much. Keep in mind that this highly-efficient Princeton offense has an exceptional 54.7 EFG% in away games which is actually slightly higher than what they shoot at home. Meanwhile the Crimson lost by 13 points at home to both Cornell and Yale and they won't be able to keep up with the other Ivy League powerhouse either.

Best bet: Kyle Rose Over 1.5 made 3-pointers (-105 at DraftKings)

Kyle Rose is shooting 39.4% from downtown this season. That number rises to 40.9% when playing at home, and he’s knocked down two or more 3-pointers in six of his last eight tilts and in three of his previous five at Rose Hill. While the Duquesne Dukes' defense is legit, they do allow nearly 32% from downtown as the away team. The Fordham Rams senior guard has cleared his treys prop number in four of his last six and has the green light from head coach Keith Urgo to fire away, and he does — he’s attempted four or more triples in five of his last six.

Best bet: Myron Amey Jr. Over 15.5 points (-120 at bet365)

When these teams clashed earlier this month, Nevada dominated on both ends of the floor and held the Spartans best player Myron Amey Jr. to 10 points. Amey went just 1-7 from beyond the arc and played only 25 minutes in that loss but expect a bounce-back performance tonight. Keep in mind that Amey was benched when that game got out of hand and he typically logs 30+ minutes. He's also usually a more efficient shooter averaging 15.7 ppg on 43/36/78 shooting splits. Amey has also been significantly more productive at home where he averages 18.5 ppg with 48.5 FG%. With Amey scoring at least 19 points in his last three games and averaging 21.7 ppg over that span, take the Over 15.5 on his points total.

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Where can I bet on college basketball?

You can bet on college basketball odds at every online sportsbook and casino. The best sites offer NCAA basketball point spreads, Over/Under totals, derivative bets, NCAAB futures and even prop plays as well. Check out our list of the best U.S. betting sites and sportsbooks in 2023 to find a location in your region.

Strategies for betting on college basketball

Betting on college basketball games can be exciting, but it's important to approach it with a strategic mindset. Here are some helpful tips to consider before laying down a wager:

Research teams and players: The college basketball landscape is always changing. Stay up to date on team rosters, NCAAB player injuries, and coaching changes to make the most informed decision possible.

Analyze team statistics: Review NCAAB team statistics such as points per game, field goal percentage, 3-point shooting, and defensive efficiency. Knowing is half the battle, especially when it comes to outwitting oddsmakers.

Study historical performance: Examine head-to-head matchups, recent game results, and trends between the teams. Some teams may have historical dominance over others. Just remember that not all trends are created equal. Try to rely on more recent data that takes into account the team's current personnel and playing style.

Home court advantage: Consider the impact of home-court advantage. Teams tend to perform better when playing in front of their home crowd, especially in places like Duke's jam-packed Cameron Indoor Stadium, where the frenzied fans are practically on top of the court.

Practice bankroll management: Set a budget for your betting activities and stick to it. Bankroll management is crucial for long-term success.

Shop for the best odds: Compare NCAAB odds from multiple sportsbooks to find the best value for your bets. Even a slight difference in odds can make a significant impact on your profits, particularly if you're placing larger wagers.

Play the long game: Betting on college basketball is a marathon, not a sprint. Don't get discouraged by short-term losses, and avoid chasing those losses with bigger bets.

AP Top 25 Rankings

Rank Team Record Points
1 UConn UConn 24-2 1,550
2 Houston Houston 22-3 1,473
3 Purdue Purdue 23-3 1,414
4 Arizona Arizona 20-5 1,373
5 Tennessee Tennessee 19-6 1,230
6 Iowa State Iowa State 20-5 1,160
7 UConn Marquette 19-6 1,144
8 Duke Duke 20-5 1,116
9 Kansas Kansas 20-6 1,065
10 North Carolina North Carolina 20-6 1,044
11 Baylor Baylor 19-6 959
12 Illinois Illinois 19-6 853
13 Alabama Alabama 18-7 803
14 Auburn Auburn 20-6 690
15 Clemson Creighton 19-7 612
16 Dayton  Dayton  21-4 584
17 Kentucky Kentucky 18-7 540
18 Wisconsin Saint Mary's 21-6 486
19 Wisconsin San Diego State 17-6 374
20 NFC South Carolina 21-5 346
21 Wisconsin Washington State 20-6 215
22 Wisconsin Colorado State 20-6 171
23 Kentucky Texas Tech 18-7 135
24 Wisconsin Florida 18-7 124
25 BYU BYU 18-7 123

Team rankings as of February 22, 2024.

Biggest riser: San Diego State moved up seven spots to No. 19 after impressive back-to-back victories over Colorado State and previously ranked New Mexico. The Aztecs defeated the Rams and Lobos by a combined 25 points.

Biggest faller: South Carolina plummeted nine spots to No. 20 following a pair of humbling losses to Auburn and LSU. The Tigers defeated the Gamecocks by 40 points as they shot 63.3% from the field in the first half and 60% from beyond the arc overall.

The Associated Press (AP) Top 25 rankings are determined by a panel of approximately 65 sportswriters and broadcasters from various media outlets across the U.S.

Each voter is asked to submit a list of their Top 25 college basketball teams. They rank these teams based on their assessment of their performance, including wins, losses, and overall team strength. The rankings are submitted on a weekly basis during the college basketball season.

Once all the individual ballots are submitted, the AP compiles the rankings by assigning points to each team based on their position in the voters' lists. A team that is ranked first on a ballot receives 25 points, a team ranked second receives 24 points, and so on. The points are then tallied to determine the overall rankings.

The AP Top 25 rankings are released every Monday at noon during the college basketball season. 

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