College Basketball Betting Guide: Thursday 3/9/23
College basketball is one of the more entertaining sports to bet on due to the sheer volume of games that take place each day. Conference tournaments are in full swing, 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.
Arkansas vs. Auburn
Auburn +3.5 (-120)
This SEC matchup looks like it should be closer to a pick 'em, which makes the Auburn Tigers a potential value tonight.
According to KenPom, the Arkansas Razorbacks are the nation's 19th-best team, which is just 7 spots ahead of the 26th-ranked Tigers. BartTorvik has the two teams even closer, separating them by only two spots.
Unsurprisingly, their underlying metrics also show two evenly-matched foes. Per BartTorvik, Auburn has the edge in adjusted offensive efficiency (43rd vs. 53rd), whereas Arkansas is the better adjusted defense (12th vs. 23rd).
While the Razorbacks are arguably the slightly better overall team, Auburn is the one who won their lone matchup in the regular season. It wasn't particularly close, either, with the Tigers winning 72-59 at home.
This feels like a game where the spread should be far lower, and BartTorvik agrees, showing the Razorbacks as a minuscule 0.2-point favorite.
Our model likes Auburn and the points to hit 57.7% of the time
La Salle vs. Fordham
La Salle +6.5 (-120)
Take a quick glance at their respective records, and it's pretty easy to see why the Fordham Rams (24-7) are favored over the La Salle Explorers (15-18) in this Atlantic 10 matchup.
However, despite all those wins, Fordham isn't exactly an elite program. BartTorvik has the Rams ranked just 153rd, which isn't that much of a leg up over the 205th-ranked Explorers. While it's worth noting that KenPom has a wider gap between the two teams (137th and 231st), it still reaffirms that Fordham is well outside the nation's top 100 teams.
That should give us more faith in La Salle giving Fordham a run for its money. While the Explorers are just 235th in adjusted defensive efficiency, per BartTorvik, they're around the national average in adjusted offense (179th), which includes ranking 104th in offensive rebounding rate and 162nd in three-point shooting percentage.
The Rams may not be able to punish the Explorers' poor defense as much as they would like, either, as they're a mere 244th in adjusted offensive efficiency. They're much better defensively (91st), which could give La Salle some issues, but they're hardly perfect as a team that forces turnovers at a low clip (257th) and also allows a high free throw rate (315th).
Overall, BarTorvik projects Fordham as a 2.8-point favorite, making La Salle look like a solid value tonight. In their regular season matchup, Fordham won by just two points at La Salle.
TCU vs. Kansas State
Kansas State +2.5 (-120)
On paper, this should be one of the day's better matchups, as it's the only one featuring two ranked opponents. What could be intriguing for us, though, is that the No. 12 Kansas State Wildcats are actually the underdogs against the No. 22 TCU Horned Frogs.
While the AP Top 25 is hardly an exact science, BartTorvik and KenPom see the Wildcats as the better team, too. BartTorvik places Kansas State 13th, while KenPom has them 18th. On the other hand, both sites have the Horned Frogs as roughly a top-25 team.
Digging a little deeper, these teams are a wash offensively, but the Wildcats should have the upper hand on defense. Per BartTorvik, Kansas State is 13th in adjusted defensive efficiency, and we have to double that to get to TCU's ranking (26th).
Obviously, these are slim margins, and the two teams split their regular season series. But everything suggests that it's the Wildcats who should be favored at a neutral site -- BartTorvik pegs them as a 0.9-point favorite -- so we might as well take the opportunity to back the better team when we're getting points on top of it. numberFire's model gives this wager a 55.9% probability.