College Basketball Betting Guide: Friday 2/17/23
College basketball is one of the more entertaining sports to bet on due to the sheer volume of games that take place each day. The season is heating up as conference play winds down, and this is a great time to hone your betting prowess before March Madness.
Using our projections as a guide, which bets should you make via the college basketball odds at FanDuel Sportsbook?
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.
Harvard at Columbia
Under 138.5 (-108)
Columbia +10.5 (-114)
Our model sees this game playing out a little differently than oddsmakers do, and we see value on both the total and spread.
Columbia is bad. They rank 249th by our nERD metric while Barttorvik (343rd) and KenPom (346th) also have them among the country's worst teams. They've covered the spread only once in their past nine games. So why should you back them to do it today?
Well, a lot of it has to do with Harvard, who isn't good, either. The Crimson rank 181st by nERD, 182nd by KenPom and 191st on Barttorvik. Harvard is 0-4 against the spread (ATS) in their past four games, failing to cover by an average of 7.1 points per night in that time.
Barttorvik projects Harvard to win by 6.0 points, and we have Harvard winning by 6.2 points. We give Columbia a 62.5% chance to cover the spread. The Lions are the side to be on.
However, I actually like the total as the best bet in this game.
The first time these two played this season, they combined for 124 points. Harvard is 238th in adjusted tempo, per KenPom, and 283rd in adjusted offense. Columbia is 353rd in offense but plays as the 53rd-fastest tempo.
Something that can offset the Lions' fast pace is that the biggest strength on either side is the quality of Harvard's defense, which checks in 87th.
We project there to be 131.4 points in this game. Barttorvik has the total at 132.0 points. There's a good amount of cushion between those projections and this 138.5-point over/under. We give the under a 65.5% chance to cash.
Northern Kentucky at Purdue Fort Wayne
Purdue Fort Wayne +2.5 (-104)
According to our metrics, not much separates these two teams, so it makes sense to roll the dice on Purdue Fort Wayne when they're a home 'dog.
Our nERD-based rankings have Northern Kentucky and PFW rated 210th and 223rd, respectively. KenPom mostly falls in line with our numbers, ranking the Norse 209th and PFW 230th. Barttorvik sees more of a gap, slotting Northern Kentucky 194th and the Mastodons 241st.
The Dons have been on a skid, losing four of their previous five games. They also fell by 20 points at Northern Kentucky when the teams tangled earlier this campaign. But prior to this recent downturn, PFW had won 10 of 14 games and appeared on track for a good season. In short, they're probably not as bad as their recent slide suggests.
Plus, it's not like Northern Kentucky is some powerhouse, especially away from home. The Norse are 2-7 ATS on the road this season and suffered 18-point losses in each of their past two road affairs.
Our model is bullish on the underdog Dons. We project them to win by a score of 66.5-63.5 and give them a 61.8% chance to emerge victorious. Barttorvik doesn't feel quite as strongly about PFW as we do but still projects them to win by 0.6 points.
Feel free to take Purdue Fort Wayne on the moneyline (+126) if you want more bang for your buck, but I'll stick to taking them to cover the 2.5 points.