The Ohio State Buckeyes head to Cameron Indoor Stadium to face the Duke Blue Devils, while the former No. 1 team in the country, the North Carolina Tar Heels, head to a deafening Assembly Hall environment to face the Indiana Hoosiers. These two matchups headline the day’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge games, but there are plenty more intriguing matchups on the hump day slate.
Here are our best bets for Wednesday’s college basketball action. (Odds courtesy of DraftKings)
Middle Tennessee vs. St. Bonaventure Team Total Under
The Bonnies are a team that returned just 0.5% of its minutes from last year (357th-fewest in the country), which makes the job that Mark Schmidt has done from getting this team to rebound from a 1-2 start even more impressive. St. Bonaventure has won three consecutive games against Bowling Green, Southern Indiana, and Notre Dame, all by at least 12 points. The victory over the Fighting Irish was easily St. Bonaventure’s most impressive performance of the season, as Notre Dame shot a season-low 2-of-17 (11.8%) from 3-point range and 34.5% (19-of-55) from the floor overall. The Bonnies have allowed 61.7 points per game during the three-game winning streak, which means a brand new team is starting to buy into Mark Schmidt’s defensive schemes, and he has gotten through to them early.
The Under is 11-5-1 in the Blue Raiders’ last 17 games overall, and we expect that trend to support another low-scoring game on their end.
North Carolina vs. Indiana Spread
Anyone who backs North Carolina in this spot would have to feel confident that the team has its legs under them after a four-overtime loss to Indiana. We trust that Hubert Davis has used the last three days to lighten the team’s load in practice, and we expect the preseason No. 1 team to do all it can to avoid a third consecutive loss.
North Carolina is one of the few teams with a better frontcourt than Indiana, as we like their tandem of Pete Nance and Armando Bacot better than Trayce Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson. And while this is North Carolina’s first true road game, we trust their four returning starters with experience playing in the national championship not to let the atmosphere rattle them.
The Hoosiers rank in the top 14 in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency. Still, those metrics are heavily inflated, considering Xavier is the only team they have played ranked inside KenPom’s top 255.
North Carolina is 8-2-2 ATS in its last 12 road games and will be a tough out tonight.
Providence vs. TCU Spread
The Horned Frogs are coming off an impressive victory as underdogs in the finals of the Emerald Coast Classic, as they held an explosive Iowa offense to just 66 points after the Hawkeyes scored fewer than 83 points on just one other occasion this year. In addition, Jamie Dixon’s squad hits the offensive glass at an elite rate, securing 36.8% of their misses (the 22nd-best rate in the country). While Providence is even better with the tenth-best offensive rebounding rate, the Friars allowed 29 offensive rebounds in their two losses combined, which has to be a concern against a physical TCU team.
The Horned Frogs are 19-7-3 ATS in their last 29 games against teams with a winning record, while Providence has failed to cover any of its last four games overall. Back Dixon’s bunch to bully their way to a big victory.
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Mike Spector is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeSpector01.
College Basketball, Picks