Gambling preview + picks for a loaded Wednesday in college hoops (presented by Betfred Sportsbook)
Updated: Feb 23
It's another loaded Wednesday slate of college hoops, as positioning for both conference and NCAA Tournament seeding is heating up.
Here's your preview - with the odds, provided, as always, by Betfred Sportsbook.
No. 20 Providence at No. 18 UConn (-7.5) – 6:30 p.m. ET, FS1: UConn is a big favorite at home against a solid Providence team. UConn’s rebounded recently after a tough stretch and is back to playing well in the Big East, winning four of its last five. While Adama Sanogo is the player to know, it's actually guard Jordan Hawkins who's stepped up the most during the Huskies' most recent stretch. He's averaging 21 points in the Huskies' last eight games. Meanwhile, Ed Cooley is doing it again and has the Friars back near the top of the Big East after losing all five starters from last year. Providence's breakout player is Bryce Hopkins, who leads the team in scoring at 17 points per game and he also leads the Friars in rebounding too. This should be close for a bit, but UConn should pull away and continue to improve their NCAA Tournament seeding resume. They’re also a good play here because they’re at home. Expect the Huskies to pull away and cover late.
The Pick: UConn (-7.5)
Kentucky at Florida (-2.5) – 7 p.m. ET, ESPN: Kentucky is safely on the right side of the bubble right now after adding three Quad 1 wins to its resume last week - but they need to continue to win to feel safe. That's especially true entering this one, since Florida star Colin Castleton is out for this game. For the Wildcats, it all starts with Oscar Tshiebwe down low, but he has help on the perimeter where guard Cason Wallace (11.8 points per game and 4.1 assists per game) and guard Antonio Reeves (13 points, on 42 percent three-point shooting have stepped up). In terms of a pick, Kentucky feels like the obvious play here. Tshbiebwe should feast down low without Castelton and even though it’s on the road, the Wildcats should cover, even if it’s late.
The Pick: Kentucky (+2.5)
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Tulane at No. 1 Houston (-15) – 9 p.m. ET, ESPNU: Houston is a big favorite against a Tulane team, which is currently alone in second place in the AAC standings. Marcus Sasser is the primary scorer for the Cougars and is one of the best players in all of college basketball. He averages 17 points per game and leads the team in steals per game too. They’re one of the best defensive teams in all of college basketball too and lead the country in points allowed at 55.7 points per game. Tulane is much improved at 17-7 and 13-3 in league play, but they need more marquee wins to make a real case for an NCAA Tournament bid, and this would be a perfect one to start with. Jalen Cook is a great point guard for the Green Wave and leads the team in scoring at 20 points per game and leads them in assists too. Houston has been dominant this year in the American and it should continue with a big home win against Tulane where they cover and showcase that they belong as the No. 1 team in the country.
The Pick: Houston (-15)
Wake Forest at NC State (-5.5) – 9 p.m. ET, ACC Network: NC State is shaping up to be a dangerous team for anyone to face, and showed America on Sunday, with a dominant win over in-state rival North Carolina. Terquavion Smith has been great for the Wolfpack this season. He leads the team in scoring at 18 points per game for the season and in assists and steals per game for the season. Wake Forest is on the wrong side of the bubble right now, but they have a chance to make up some ground, and it starts with this game. Tyree Appleby leads the team in scoring, assists, and steals per game for the season. He also averages 19 points per game for the season. These are two of the Top 25 scoring teams in college hoops, so it should be an entertaining one - but NC State is the better team here and is the pick especially at home in an underrated series on Tobacco Road.
The Pick: NC State (-5.5)
Follow Jake Faigus on Twitter - @Jake_Faigus
For all of Tuesday's college hoops lines check out the Betfred Sportsbook
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