We have a decent-sized main board of NCAA college basketball action on Wednesday, and we are here with our three best bets for the slate.
These are value-based bets based on our proprietary model, so not all the plays will involve major conferences. Our eclectic mix of best bets for today includes one big favorite, one big underdog and one total that you can play at the top offshore sportsbooks.
Ready to break down the NCAAB odds? Let’s hit it!
Princeton Tigers vs. Duquesne Dukes
Wednesday, November 15, 2023 – 07:00 PM ET at UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse
This looks like a high total for what we expect to be a slow-paced game, so we are backing the Under when Princeton visits Duquesne on Wednesday.
Different Year, Same Tigers
Princeton has a long-time reputation for being extremely methodical on offense, and if the first two games are any indication, it is the same old story this season. The Tigers are averaging 21.1 seconds per possession, ranking 351st early on, with their adjusted tempo rating of 67.0 ranking 333rd in the land.
That classic Princeton methodology has led to a 2-0 start, beating Rutgers 68-62 and Hofstra 74-67. Both of those scores would be Under this total, and the 74-point “outburst” last game came vs, a Hofstra defense ranked 146th in defensive efficiency.
Duquesne is 50 spots higher defensively at 96th with an adjusted 99.2 points allowed per 100 possessions, so we see Princeton scoring closer to the low-to-mid 60s here.
That defense has helped Duquesne get off to a nice 3-0 start all vs. Division I competition, and the offense has also been efficient ranking 75th on Kenpom. However, while the Dukes do not play at a snail’s pace like Princeton, they are not particularly fast either, ranking 105th in tempo rating at 72.4 possessions.
Yes, Duquesne put up 90 and 85 the last two games respectively, but that came vs. two defenses in Charleston and Stony Brook ranked 154th and 314th respectively in efficiency. Princeton, on the other hand, is at a decent 100.8 points per 100 possessions defensively and plays even better when combined with their slow pace.
So taking both defensive efficiencies and expected tempos into account, we project this final total at around 135, which would safely cash this Under ticket.
Predicted Score: Duquesne 70 – Princeton 65
Stony Brook Seawolves vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers
Wednesday, November 15, 2023 – 08:00 PM ET at Pinnacle Bank Arena
While there is a large disparity in the overall Kenpom rankings of these two teams with Nebraska rated 53rd and Stony Brook 291st, the Cornhuskers have feasted on an easy schedule, and we think the Seawolves can at least score enough here to cover the big spread.
Beat Bottom D1 Teams
Nebraska is 3-0, but their first two wins came over 354th-ranked Lindenwood and 343rd-ranked Florida A&M, and when they then faced a 232nd-rated Rider squad that is closer in talent level to their Stony Brook opponent tonight, their winning margin of 14 points would not cover tonight’s posted spread.
Furthermore, the Huskers have a power conference matchup up next with Oregon State on Saturday, so it would be quite easy to look past this game. At the very least they may limit their starters’ minutes unless this outcome is in doubt, with either scenario (pulling starters early or involved in a close game) serving a 17-point underdog well.
Slow Pace Good for Dogs
The Seawolves are another team that plays slow, ranking 270th in average possession at 18.0 seconds and 324th in tempo rating, and they do a good enough job of ball protection ranking 91st in turnover percentage at a respectably low 15.5%. On the flip side, the Stony Brook defense has been fairly good at forcing turnovers at 19.9%.
Another area where Stony can pick up some cheap points here is on second chance opportunities, as they rank 85th in offensive rebounding percentage, in fact ranking higher than Nebraska (117th) in that department.
So between Nebraska potentially looking ahead, Stony Brook slowing the pace and also having a projected edge in second-chance points, take the big points in Lincoln on Wednesday.
Predicted Score: Nebraska 74 – Stony Brook 65
Northern Arizona Lumberjacks vs. Seattle Redhawks
Wednesday, November 15, 2023 – 10:00 PM ET at Climate Pledge Arena
We see a bigger blowout than even a spread in the lower double-digits suggests Wednesday, so we are laying the points with Seattle at home hosting Northern Arizona.
How Will Lumberjacks Score?
NAU comes in at 0-2 while scoring 52 and 55 points respectively, and while Seattle may be a step down from Connecticut and Grand Canyon, we still do not expect too much improvement from this offense tonight. After all, the Lumberjacks are still ranked just 249th in offensive efficiency on Kenpom and those adjusted ratings take schedule into account.
As bad as the offense has been, the defense is rated even worse at 266th, and there is not one single component on their Kenpom profile on either end of the court where the Lumberjacks rate above average, ranking in the 200s or even the 300s in most of them, making their overall 257th ranking look a tad high.
Conversely, Seattle has started 2-0, albeit while not being much in Prairie View A&M and Montana State. Still, they may be facing their easiest opponent yet of the three tonight, and we expect an even easier win and the Redhawks defense ranked 85th in efficiency at an adjusted 98.8 points per possession should have no problems stopping the weak NAU offense.
On the other end, Seattle may be 235th in offensive efficiency but their components match up very well with the NAU defense. One huge edge in particular is in two-point shooting, where the Redhawks rank 75th offensively at 56.5% while the Lumberjacks are 356th defensively allowing a pathetic 71.4% success rate.
So, with Seattle seemingly able to score easily on the inside and Northern Arizona expected to have trouble scoring from anywhere, we make this final margin closer to 20 so give the points in this spot.
Predicted Score: Seattle 79 – Northern Arizona 60
NCAAB Pick: Seattle -13.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.