College Basketball Best Bets: Picks, Odds & Predictions for Wednesday, December 7

College Basketball Best Bets: Picks, Odds & Predictions for Wednesday, December 7

This article is part of our College Basketball Picks series.

Three more college basketball best bets are ready to roll for the Wednesday slate. After going 2-1 Tuesday, Steve Peralta is back with a trio of his favorite plays.

DePaul at St. John's

This is a rough matchup for DePaul. Not only does St. John's hold a significant edge in adjusted efficiency on both offense and defense, per KenPom, but the Red Storm also has the advantage in several specific areas as well.

First, St. John's is a phenomenal rebounding team, especially on offense, when it's grabbing rebounds at the 29th-highest rate in the country. This is bad news for DePaul, a unit that has been one of the worst defensive-rebounding teams this season, ranking No. 321 in that category. St. John's does most of its scoring on the interior, making over 54 percent of its two-point field goal attempts, the 65th-highest percentage among all D1 teams. DePaul, on the other hand, is allowing opponents to make over 50 percent of two-point attempts, slightly worse than the D1 average. The one area where DePaul's defense does a decent job is blocking shots, but that strength is mitigated by the fact that St. John's hardly ever gets blocked, ranking No. 12 in blocked shot rate on offense. 

Both of these teams love to run, particularly St. John's, currently playing at the second-fastest adjusted tempo among all D1 teams, so KenPom has projected an extremely high-scoring matchup. With so many possessions in play, the Red Storm should have plenty of opportunities to pad their lead and cover the line. I'll take the favorite in this one.

College Basketball Best Bet: St. John's -8.5

Nebraska at Indiana 

Nebraska is coming off its highest point of the season, an impressive 10-point victory at Creighton, while Indiana is coming off its lowest point, suffering a 15-point loss at Rutgers, the Hoosiers' first loss of the season. While it's easy to shrug away a single outcome for either team, Indiana's loss was much more revealing. Prior to its game against Rutgers, Indiana had played one of the easiest schedules in the country, ranking No. 347 among all D1 teams in difficulty. The Hoosiers weren't tested much and got crushed by a physical team on the road.

Nebraska, meanwhile, has played a challenging schedule to date, ranking No. 100 in difficulty. The Cornhuskers aren't great in overall efficiency, on offense or defense, but they do enough things well that should help them stay in the game. Nebraska is strong in the paint, making 55 percent of its two-point attempts, the 43rd-highest percentage in the country. The Cornhuskers are also great on the glass, and actually have an edge over Indiana in both offensive and defensive rebound rates, per KenPom. The latter stat might come as a surprise given the star power of Indiana, but the numbers are what they are. 

It's always possible Indiana will have extra motivation after getting crushed in its last game, but covering a double-digit spread against a conference opponent is a tall task for any team, no matter the motivation. Nebraska has already proven it can compete with an elite team on any given day, and considering its improved defensive play in recent games, I like their chances of staying in the game. I'll take the road team and its double-digit spread.

College Basketball Best Bet: Nebraska +13

Connecticut at Florida

Connecticut has played like a title contender so far, but it's worth pointing out that the Huskies still haven't played in a true road game this season. They looked sharp in Portland, playing on a neutral court against high-caliber opponents, but that's not the same as playing in the opposing team's home arena. There's an extra layer of difficulty that's hard to quantify, but no doubt exists. In any event, UConn ranks near the top in several statistical categories, although one area where it's had significant issues is defensive fouling. Connecticut's defense is ranked No. 306 in free-throw attempt rate, which will likely come into play on the road against a Florida team that draws free-throw attempts at a high rate, ranking No. 137 in that area.

Additionally, the Gators do several other things well that should help them stay in the game. Florida doesn't make unforced errors, recording the 26th-lowest offensive turnover rate this season. Florida is good at shooting, making over 38 percent of its three-point attempts, the 30th-highest percentage in the country. On defense, the Gators defend the paint as well as anybody, allowing opponents to make under 44 percent of their two-point field goal attempts, the 36th-lowest percentage among D1 teams. Florida is also great at blocking the ball, ranking No. 21 in defensive blocked shot rate. 

While UConn holds the edge in overall adjusted efficiency numbers, per KenPom, Florida has demonstrated many traits this season that suggest it's ready to defend its home court. It's tough to bet against UConn after how it's won the last several games, but then again, Florida is still a high-quality team and plays with a balanced attack on both ends of the court. I'll take the points with the home team.

College Basketball Best Bet: Florida +4.5

 

Wednesday College Basketball Best Bets:

Here's a recap of my best college basketball bets for Wednesday:

  • St. John's -8.5
  • Nebraska +13
  • Florida +4.5

For up-to-date information on the latest college basketball odds and props from multiple sportsbooks, check out the College Basketball odds page on RotoWire.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steve Peralta
Graduated from USC in 2012 while interning for ESPN and FOX Sports. Following graduation, I started working full-time for FOX Sports and been there ever since. Been an avid fantasy player for over fifteen years. In addition to my fantasy teams, you'll also find me rooting for the USC Trojans and New York Yankees.
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