College Basketball Betting Guide: 3/14/21

numberFire has built comprehensive algorithms to pinpoint the bets with the highest probability of returning money, whether you are betting on the total, the spread, or the moneyline. For those new to numberFire, we use a five-star system to show which bets you should be targeting for any given game. Stars represent how much you should risk on a wager relative to what you would normally bet.

For example, if you would normally bet $110 to win $100 on a -110 spread wager, if we give a three-star ranking, we suggest risking three times that amount: $330 to win $300. Here are the best bets for this weekend with guidance from our model.

Please note that lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated information. You can also look at our oddsFire tool to get a feel for what the betting public is doing.

VCU vs. St. Bonaventure

VCU +2.5: 1 Star out of 5

Virginia Commonwealth and St. Bonaventure are both projected to make the field as 10 seeds, according to Joe Lunardi, but the winner of this game will remove any doubt as they will clinch an automatic bid along with the A-10 title.

We have VCU ranked 45th in our nERD-based rankings, and St. Bonaventure is ranked 35th. So we give the Bonnies a slim edge with a projected score of 67.69-66.37. VCU has won 9 of their last 11 games, including a win over St. Bonaventure during that span, and are playing their best basketball of the season right now.

Our model gives VCU a 54.09% chance to cover the 2.5-point spread, and that is good enough for us to make this a one-star wager.

LSU vs. Alabama

LSU +5.5: 2 Stars out of 5

LSU has been on a hot streak to close out this season, having now won four consecutive games, including a victory Saturday over an Arkansas team we have ranked 15th. They will certainly go into this game with confidence, and although LSU are not the favorites to win, our model projects a close game with a final score of 74.27-71.44.

Alabama has been fantastic this season, and they are 23-6 for the year and in line for a potential 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. They have even won six of their last seven, but it is not always easy for the Tide as three of their last six wins have come by five points or fewer.

Our model does project a 61.2% probability of an Alabama victory, but it also gives LSU a 58.17% chance to cover the 5.5-point betting line. Alabama is the pick to win the game, but LSU is the bet we recommend given the spread. We mark it as a two-star wager.

Ohio State vs. Illinois

Ohio State +5.5: 2 Stars out of 5

The Big Ten title game provides an incredible matchup between Ohio State and Illinois, teams ranked sixth and second, respectively, by nERD. This clash features two of the best teams in the country, and they split the season series in the regular season.

Ohio State suffered a four-game losing streak in February, but they have since bounced back with three consecutive wins, including conference tourney victories over Purdue (12th by nERD) and our Michigan (4th) to get to this game. Ohio State is more than capable of beating anyone in the country, and they have already won once against Illinois earlier in the season.

Our model projects a tight win for the Illini by a final of 72.67-70.86, but we give Ohio State a 60.95% chance to cover the 5.5-point spread, making this a two-star bet for Sunday.