The 2023-24 NCAAB season is still in its infancy, but we've already witnessed some historic milestones. UConn tied an NCAA record on Friday by winning its 23rd consecutive non-conference game. Even more astounding is the fact the Huskies won every one of those matchups by double digits. La Salle coach Fran Dunphy joined some elite company on Sunday by winning his 600th career game. The revered bench boss is in his second season with the 4-0 Explorers after successful stops at Penn and Temple. And last, but certainly not least, Arizona guard Caleb Love added another impressive feat to his growing resume by scoring his 1,500th career point.
There's bound to be even more big moments to celebrate this week as all 353 Division I teams return 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: Under 138.5 (-110 at DraftKings)
Houston is allowing just 16.6 made field goals per game, the fewest makes in the NCAA. Take away a 66-point effort from Utah, and the Cougars have held every opponent to 55 points or less. They rank first in KenPom’s defensive efficiency metric, forcing 16.7 turnovers a game and generating 3.9 steals per contest. While the Xavier Musketeers present a sturdy opponent, their offense averages just 77.1 ppg this season — ranking 137th in the country. The Musketeers especially struggle from distance, shooting just 31.4% from 3-point range. Six of Houston’s seven games have gone under the total, and the 138.5 points set here is the second-largest for a Cougars game.
Best bet: Kansas -2.5 (-115 at FanDuel)
Hunter Dickinson has created an incredible inside-out game for the Jayhawks with guard Kevin McCullar, who is averaging 18.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 1.1 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game. This is a big reason why the Jayhawks lead the country in both assists per game (24.1) and field goal percentage (54.0%). The Jayhawks are also excellent defensively, ranking fourth in KenPom’s defensive efficiency. If this game were on a neutral court, I would have a much more difficult time picking this game. However, at Kansas is a completely different beast. The Fieldhouse will be rocking on Friday night, where the Jayhawks went 15-1 last season and have not lost a non-conference game since Kentucky beat them in January of 2022.
Best bet: Indiana -2 (-110 at DraftKings)
The Terps are stingy on the defensive end of the floor but they can't shoot a lick with an effective field goal percentage of just 46.8%. They'll have a tough time getting baskets on the road against a Hoosiers team that is 5-1 SU and is filled with long and athletic players. Indiana is solid on both ends of the floor and will have the best players in this matchup. Kel'el Ware is arguably the second-best center in the Big Ten, and sophomore Malik Reneau is emerging as an All-Conference caliber player.
Best bet: Over 160.5 (-110 at DraftKings)
With an up-tempo style and a squad that ranks outside the Top-300 in adjusted defensive efficiency, the Trojans have been an Over machine, going 7-0 O/U this season and 17-2 to the Over in their last 19 games dating back to last season. The Red Wolves also struggle defensively (248th in adjusted defensive efficiency) but have been scoring at a decent rate with 75.4 ppg. Expect plenty of points between these inter-state rivals and take the Over.
Best bet: Louisiana State -14 (-110 at DraftKings)
The Tigers are struggling this year but there is a massive talent disparity between these squads. The Lions are just 2-5 with their wins coming against an NAIA squad and a Div 2 team. At least the Tigers have Div 1 caliber athletes as well as one of the biggest lineups in the country, while Lions have one of the smallest. LSU also does a great job of forcing turnovers (28th in the nation in opponent turnover rate) and should be able to pressure a SE Louisiana backcourt that coughs up the ball.
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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
Team rankings as of November 29, 2023.
Biggest riser: Villanova moved up eight spots to No. 18 following a statement win over North Carolina. The Wildcats edged the Tar Heels by two points in overtime thanks in large part to senior forward Eric Dixon, who scored a career-high 34 points.
Biggest faller: Creighton fell seven spots to No. 15 following a disheartening 19-point loss to Colorado State. The Bluejays shot just 27.9% from the field and were outrebounded 36-25 in the lopsided defeat.
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.
Player spotlight: Tommy Bruner
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. That's been the mantra for Tommy Bruner, who has broken through this season with the Denver Pioneers after previous stops at South Carolina Upstate and Jacksonville. The fifth-year senior is making the most of his third chance by leading the nation in scoring at 25.6 points per game.
Bruner's latest outing was an impressive 31-point explosion against Texas A&M Commerce in which he went 10-25 from the floor and made all eight of his free throw attempts to lead the Pioneers to a breezy 10-point victory. Up next is a date with the 3-3 Idaho Vandals on Wednesday.
College basketball betting FAQs
A: You can bet on college basketball by picking the winner of the game (moneyline), which team will cover the spread (point spread), or combined points scored in the match (Over/Under).
You pick if the favorite covers a certain winning margin or if the underdog will lose by less than that gap.
College basketball moneyline bets include overtime. Betting the second half also includes overtime.
College games tend to be shorter than NBA matches, lasting just over two hours.
Overtime in college basketball games is five minutes.
There are two halves, consisting of 20 minutes each.
You can watch college basketball on ESPN, Fox Sports, CBS, TBS, and TNT. You can also stream games online on several platforms including on select sportsbook apps.