4 Best Bets for Wednesday’s Slate

Zero-ranked teams are in college hoops on Wednesday nights, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make money ahead of a packed Friday list.

Our staff have four games on their radar, including Shaheen Holloway’s debut with Seton Hall and an intriguing shift between the states of South Dakota and Boise.

Dive in below and formulate your college basketball betting card.

Wednesday College Basketball Best Bets

The team logos in the chart below represent all of the matchups our college basketball team is aiming for in today’s playlist. Click on the team logos for any of the following matchups to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.

Davidson vs. Wright State

Through Shane McNichol

Wright State could have returned one of the best mid-major rosters in the country, with two 18+ point scorers per game qualified for another season.

But the transfer portal enticed Tanner Holden to go to Ohio State and Grant Basile to Virginia Tech, leaving Wright State looking for someone to fill the gap in the scoring column.

That hole should be filled by senior Trey Calvin, who had 15 points a game including the winning bucket last season to seal the Horizon League title game.

In February and March of last year, Calvin only had one game in which he failed to score in double figures. He’s ready to step up to stardom.

Calvin will be joined by defensive stopper Tim Finke and Mizzou signing Amari Davis, who was dropping 17 points a game in the Horizon League before attempting a power conference contest.

The Raiders are once again lined up as a top-three team in the Horizon League and present a formidable opponent against a Davidson team being retooled under first-year head coach Matt McKillop.

IUPUI vs. Drake

Through Tanner McGrath

Editor’s note: Per Stadium’s Jeff Goodman, Garrett Sturtz, DJ Wilkins and Tucker DeVries will all play with “various restrictions” tonight. Roman Penn will not be playing and is still in everyday life.

I generally want to buy Drake. It’s a premier Valley team, bringing back four starters and five of its top seven players, and its main rival has departed for another conference.

Things are looking up in Des Moines.

Roman Penn, DJ Wilkins and Garrett Sturtz are all returning for their fifth season with the Bulldogs and have been coached by three-time Valley Coach of the Year Darian DeVries throughout their careers. This team is experienced and ready to win DeVries’ first MVC title (regular season or championship).

Also, none of these three is Drake’s best player. The coach’s son, Tucker DeVries, is the preseason MVC Player of the Year after dropping 14 points per game last season. He’s a 6ft 7 bucket with no position, filling him from all three levels.

This team will score in heaps. KenPom has forecast it as a top-50 offense this season, behind four double-digit scorers. I don’t see any problems in covering a large spread.

Meanwhile, IUPUI is only bringing back three players and should continue to fidget at the bottom of the Horizon League. Coach Matt Crenshaw plans to play against 10 players with no Division I experience, including a variety of JUCO transfers.

The Jags showed how much work needs to be done on Monday, losing to Iowa State in a 49-point loss while turning the ball over 30 times.

It worries me that IUPUI drained quite a bit of money to push this line below 26.

However, we are buying Drake at the end of the barrel and I believe there is some buyback value for the Bulldogs now. KenPom still forecasts a 30-point win while EvanMiya forecasts a 31-point win.

Also, I don’t expect Drake to sleepwalk through this game. This is the Bulldogs’ home game opener for a season that has had expectations higher than they’ve been in years. The Knapp Center should be ready for that.

So I expect DeVries and the Bulldogs to pull off a 40-point blowout win.

Monmouth vs Seton Hall

Through DJ James

The Hawks went 21-13 in 2021-2022, but now they’re moving to the CAA in a classic series of conference realignments.

King Rice was a coach with the Hawks and has contested an NCAA bid in four of the last six seasons.

This season this team will be much younger, with George Papas along with much of the production from last year. Myles Foster will lead this team along with a number of underclassmen.

The Hawks have had an adjusted defensive efficiency above 160 in the past, according to KenPom, so Rice will be imposing the same things on his youthful roster.

Seton Hall, on the other hand, looks like a brand new program. Holloway takes on the tasks of head coaching. Funnily enough, he managed the Saint Peter’s Cinderella team that defeated the Hawks in the MAAC Finals last season. He should have an appropriate defensive strategy in this case.

The Pirates won’t have their top three scorers from last season, but they add Clemson’s Al-Amir Dawes, Pitt’s Femi Odukale and Saint Peter’s KC Ndefo.

Given the forward talent, it will be almost impossible for the Hawks to find inside chances in their first game of the year with such a raw group of players.

Combine this with a slow-paced pirate program playing through their big men and it will be hard to see this game finish. Monmouth will not be able to get into buckets and Seton Hall will play at his own pace.

Take this on between a brand new Monmouth squad and the brand new Seton Hall Pirates. Play it from 135.5 to 133.5.

Choose: Under 135.5 (game to 133.5)

State of South Dakota vs. State of Boise

Through Kyle Remillard

The Jackrabbits roster relied on an offense that averaged 86 points per game last season. But the main flaw of the program was its lack of defense.

The group ranked 244th nationally for efficiency last season and struggled to defend both the interior and the perimeter.

This lack of defense was evident in the first game against Akron. The Zips shot 36% from beyond the arc and overcame a six-point halftime deficit to secure a win.

Last season, South Dakota State was the top 3-point shooting team, hitting 44% from behind the arc. But that wasn’t the case against Akron as the group hit just 4 of 15 (27%) from deep.

Now the Jackrabbits are up against a Boise State defense that ranked 20th in the nation in efficiency ratings in 2021-22. The Broncos were keeping opponents at just 60 points per game. That defense will come into its own in this matchup.

Boise State’s offense brings back Marcus Shaver Jr., who originally put his name on the NBA draft but ended up coming back. He and the Broncos’ offense will be able to unmask South Dakota State’s lackluster defense with a comfortable season-opening win.

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