Best Bets for a Packed Wednesday Slate

By Ryan Coleman

A midweek basketball slate, what’s better than that! I am here to provide the best basketball bets to get you over your hump day. As a reminder, these are to be used for entertainment purposes only. Enjoy!

Tennessee at Cincinnati
6:00 pm central, ESPN2
Line: Tennessee -1.0
O/U: 130

The Pick: Tennessee -1.0

Both teams haven’t been performing up to par of late, with Tennessee coming off a loss to Memphis where they only scored 47 points and Cincinnati suffered a heartbreaking loss to Colgate. But Tennessee is the better team here. They have not had the toughest schedule but beat a solid VCU team and held their own against Florida State. The Volunteers also have an elite interior defense and Cincinnati is below-average at shooting threes. The Bearcats will have home court advantage but I’m taking Tennessee here– especially with the apparent tension between Jarron Cumberland and John Brannen not gone yet.    

Arizona St. at Saint Mary’s 
8:00 pm central, Pac-12 Network
Line: Saint Mary’s -2.0
O/U: 138

The Pick: Saint Mary’s -2.0

While Saint Mary’s experienced a hiccup to start the season with a loss to Winthrop, they seem to have steadied the ship, beating Utah State and only falling to Dayton since. The Gaels hold the best three-point shooting mark in the nation, boasting a 43.8% clip from beyond the arc. But Arizona State is no pushover, as they limit opponents to just 26.5% shooting from three, ranking 13th best in the nation. Despite playing fast, it has been ASU’s defense that has carried them lately, quite the contrast to a SMC team that grinds out halfcourt possessions but is incredibly efficient on offense. This is a bit of a toss-up and there may be some OT but I’m taking Saint Mary’s here and betting on their offensive consistency to shine through.  

North Carolina at Gonzaga
8:00 pm central, ESPN2
Line: Gonzaga -11
O/U: 146

The Pick: Gonzaga -11

It is well known that North Carolina has struggled of late, losing each of their last three games and four of their last five. Without Cole Anthony, the Tar Heels identity is lost and they are seemingly incapable of forming offensive possessions. It doesn’t help that they depend mostly on the 2-pointer, but Gonzaga’s size and interior defense will further limit UNC from scoring. Oh, I almost forgot to mention, Gonzaga is really good. The Bulldogs are riding high after beating Washington and Arizona, both away from home. Now that they return to Spokane and I expect their performance to be further improved. Eleven points might be a lot but I expect North Carolina to continue their struggles and Gonzaga to roll.  

Michigan State at Northwestern
7:00 pm central, Big Ten Network
Line: Michigan State -12.0
O/U: 138

The Pick: Northwestern +12.0

This may be my biggest regret but sometimes I trust the indescribable. The fact that home teams in Big Ten play are 13-0 is indescribable. Can Northwestern continue this trend and keep the streak alive, bringing every Big Ten team to 1-1 in conference? Almost definitely not. If I know Northwestern basketball, they will somehow have a 15-point halftime lead and find a way to lose. The Wildcats are at home but the Northwestern students are on break so they shouldn’t gain much of an advantage from home court. But Northwestern will keep this game interesting, their defense is better than average and their slow pace might disrupt Michigan State’s play. Michigan State wins. Northwestern covers. 

Utah at Kentucky
10:00 pm central, ESPN2
Line: Kentucky -11.5
O/U: 139

The Pick: Utah +11.5

This is a tough choice, as Kentucky has only faced two top-100 teams, but Utah is one of the more inconsistent teams nationally, losing to Coastal Carolina and Tulane but knocking off BYU. The Wildcats depend a lot on interior scoring but Utah and their size can defend the paint. Utah is also quite disciplined when it comes to fouling so Kentucky won’t be able to get to the free throw line as often as they usually do. As this game is in Las Vegas, no team has a particular advantage but Kentucky has to travel halfway across the country, and the game begins at 11:00 eastern, so it may be a bit to adjust to for Kentucky. Give me Utah on this one.

UNC Greensboro at Vermont
6:00 pm central
Line: Vermont -3.5
O/U: 122.5

The Pick: UNCG +3.5

This may not seem like too important of a game now but if you have an interest in figuring out potential Cinderella’s come March, both these teams fit the bill. UNC Greensboro just lost on a buzzer-beater to N.C. State and beat Georgetown already while Vermont features Anthony Lamb, the American East Player of the Year. I am expecting UNCG to outplay Vermont here, the Spartans defense will disrupt Vermont as they force a turnover on more than a quarter of their opponents possessions. I expect a low scoring, sloppy game but UNC Greensboro is a worthy squad. They win and cover.   

Miami OH at Louisville 
7:30 pm central, ACC Network
Line: Louisville -23
O/U: 140

The Pick: Louisville -23

While Louisville fell to Texas Tech, they seemed to have bounced back, trouncing Eastern Kentucky. Miami (Ohio) will receive similar treatment, as Jordan Nwora should be able to score at will and Miami’s defense in general is pretty terrible. Louisville can dominate the glass and Miami of Ohio won’t force many turnovers so the Red Birds will have second chances galore. This Louisville team is solid, and they will show it against Miami.   

Last Week: 15-9

Season Total: 72-44-2*

*While I do not publish all my plays, you can follow all my college basketball bets on the Action Network App @RcCola3

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s