NCAAB Best Bets for Saturday: Will Florida State Cover as 19-Point Underdogs Against Virginia?

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RayQuan Evans #0 of the Florida State Seminoles shoots the ball as the Syracuse Orange defend during the second half at Barclays Center. Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

With conference play starting to get underway, we’ve got three intriguing matchups we’ll be firing on in tonight’s college basketball odds board. Which bets are you tailing?

Florida State Seminoles vs. Virginia Cavaliers

Saturday, December 3, 2022 – 02:00 PM EST at John Paul Jones Arena

While the Virginia Cavaliers look elite to begin the year, Florida State looks everything but elite.

The Virginia Cavaliers are currently 19-point favorites in this ACC matchup. That wasn’t expected at the beginning of the year. Virginia has wins against Baylor, Illinois, and Michigan. Florida State has losses to Stetson, UCF, Troy, Florida, Siena, Stanford, Nebraska, and Purdue.

Wild stuff.

The Seminoles are shooting an effective field goal percentage of 46.6%. They’ve earned 25.4% offensive rebounds and are shooting 31.7% deep and 46.1% inside the arc.

Turnovers are piling up to 19.4% of the time, but overall, Florida State has struggled offensively this season.

They’ll take on a Virginia defense that has struggled to get stops from deep this season. Teams are shooting 35.3% from three against them this year. But then again, Florida State isn’t shooting a high volume of threes. They’d instead try and score inside and will end up struggling more against Virginia.

Virginia's Offense

On the other hand, Virginia is one of the best offenses in the nation. They’ve shot an effective field goal percentage of 57.9% and have nailed 45.2% from deep and 52.6% from inside the arc.

The Cavaliers won’t continue to shoot lights out from three at that rate, but that’s okay. They’ll have success inside the arc against Florida State. The Seminoles allow 51.3% from inside the arc and have been awful on the defensive glass, giving up 37.2% of offensive rebounds. Virginia is aggressive. They get to the line, and now they’ll also win a bunch of second chances.

The Pick

But a 19-point spread against Florida State is just way too many points. Florida State should also be able to get to the line and earn freebies. They’ve also defended well against the three and should earn a bunch of blocked shots.

Take the 19 points with FSU. And don't forget to check out our guide on the best Florida betting sites if you're planning on placing a bet from the Sunshine State.

NCAAB Pick: Florida State +19 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Florida State +19 (-110)
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Indiana Hoosiers vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Saturday, December 3, 2022 - 04:00 PM EST at Jersey Mike’s Arena

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are coming off a loss to Miami, 68-61. Rutgers had a double-digit lead and watched it vanish in the second half. The Scarlet Knights also have a loss to Temple and no real big wins this season.

Meanwhile, Indiana is coming off a massive win over North Carolina, 77-65. The Hoosiers also beat Xavier earlier this year. Plus, Indiana is still undefeated, while Rutgers is without one of their best players, Paul Mulcahy.

The Scarlet Knights are shooting a 47.5% effective field goal percentage, hitting 31.7% from deep and 47.4% from inside. Rutgers has been dominant on the glass and continues to earn multiple second chances. But shots still aren’t falling.

The Pick

Indiana won’t allow Rutgers to destroy the glass. They’ve held teams to 26.4% offensive rebounds. The Hoosiers have also kept teams to 29.2% from deep and 40.9% from inside the arc.

Meanwhile, Rutgers has been just as good defensively. However, Indiana’s got a much better offense. The Hoosiers are shooting a 60.2% effective field goal percentage, while Rutgers has held opponents to a 40% effective field goal percentage.

Opponents have shot just 19.9% from deep this season against Rutgers. But Indiana would rather bang around inside. They’re shooting 62.3% from inside the arc, while Rutgers has held opponents to 46.4%.

The Knights have also allowed 30% offensive rebounds and will likely get beat on the glass.

Take Indiana to cover the four.

NCAAB Pick: Indiana -4 (-110) at BetOnline

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Indiana -4 (-110)
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St. Mary's Gaels vs. Houston Cougars

Saturday, December 3, 2022 - 09:30 PM EST at Dickies Arena

Houston might be the best team in college basketball this year. They’ve won over Oregon and Kent State, but a win over St. Mary’s would help their resume even more.

The Gaels have lost two straight to Washington and New Mexico. But they’re still ranked 29 on KenPom. Each of those losses was at least a close game.

Houston’s defense is the best in the nation. They’ve held opponents to a 34.2% effective field goal percentage. Opponents have shot 18.5% from downtown and 39.5% from inside the arc.

The Gaels are one of the slowest run offenses in the nation, using nearly 20 seconds per possession.

On the other hand, Houston rarely gets to the foul line, and while they’ve dominated the offensive glass, St. Mary’s has been one of the best teams on the defensive glass. The Gaels should be able to limit Houston from dominating on the offensive glass in this game.

The Pick

Houston will likely get some good looks from deep but could end up struggling inside against a St. Mary’s team that has allowed teams to shoot just 41.1% from inside the arc.

With that said, I’ll take the Under 118.5 for my final NCAAB pick. St. Mary’s will have slow possessions with little to show for it, while Houston won’t earn nearly as many second chances as it's used to.

NCAAB Pick: Under 118.5 (-110) at BetOnline

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*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.