Feast Week is officially here as the Charleston Classic and Myrtle Beach Invitational tip-off on Thursday, providing us with hoops from 11 am ET until the final game of the day at 11 pm ET.
Ky McKeon of Three Man Weave is eyeing three games in particular for this best bets piece, though, including matchups featuring South Carolina and Minnesota.
So, if you’re looking for where the betting value lies for a rather large Wednesday college hoops slate, we have you covered below.
Three Man Weave’s Thursday College Basketball Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our college basketball staff is targeting from today’s slate of games. Click the team logos for one the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
Colorado State vs. south carolina
By Ky McKeon
The Rams and Gamecocks meet in Charleston for an intriguing non-conference matchup. This is intriguing mostly because we don’t really know how good (or bad) either team is.
South Carolina flipped its entire roster and coach this summer. After an almost catastrophic defeat to South Carolina State in their opener, the Gamecocks took down Clemson at home for an impressive win.
Colorado State has been without star point guard Isaiah Stevens, one of the best players in America. The Rams’ first game against Gardner-Webb suggested they might be in trouble without their leader, but subsequent contests have shown CSU in a better light.
To boot, the Rams got Josiah Strong back last game, a wildly important transfer from Illinois State who could be their leading scorer this season. He should carry a heavier minutes load tonight against South Carolina.
At this point, I trust Colorado State more than I trust South Carolina. Niko Medved is one of the premier coaches in the country, and his team has shown noticeable improvement through three games.
The guard play has been shaky — particularly in the turnover department — but this South Carolina team doesn’t look to wreak havoc with pressure.
The Gamecocks still feel fraudulent to me. This is not an SEC-caliber roster, and even though GG Jackson is a surefire star down the road, he’s still just 17 years old and learning how to play at this level.
Medved will have a gameplan for him, and the Rams have plenty of versatile wings to throw at Hayden Brown.
USC’s best source of offense has been the offensive glass this season, but the Rams are rock solid on the defensive boards — they should hold the Gamecocks at bay.
The fact that the game is in Charleston, a presumable edge for South Carolina, doesn’t factor much into the equation. It’s a neutral, unfamiliar floor for both teams, and this isn’t Gamecocks football — the fanbase isn’t traveling here in droves.
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Central Michigan vs. Minnesota
By Ky McKeon
Minnesota has played three games this season and none of them have been pretty. The Gophers survived a one-point affair with Western Michigan to open the season, controlled a bad St. Francis Brooklyn squad from start to finish and then lost by 16 at home to Chicago’s Big East team (DePaul).
Those games were ugly. The possession count for all three went 64, 59 and 63, respectively. For context, the national average is a tick above 70.
The Gophers are playing slow, grind-it-out basketball, and the ATS results reflect that. Every Minnesota game has gone under the total by an average of 11 points. That is massive and suggests a major edge for Gopher under bettors.
There is, of course, a reason for this. Minnesota’s best player and presumed leading scorer, Jamison Battle, hasn’t played yet. Battle led the Gophers in scoring last season — putting up 17.5 points per game — and they clearly miss his production.
All signs point to Battle being out once again, which means we should be looking towards the under. Why not ride this train ’til the end of the tracks?
On the other side, Central Michigan isn’t a team known for lighting up the scoreboard. While the Chippewas want to play up-tempo, they struggle with efficiency.
In two games this season, CMU has scored 0.89 and 0.97 points per possession. Neither mark should endanger the under bet tonight.
Portland vs. Air Force
By Ky McKeon
There’s three rules in real estate: 1) location, 2) location, 3) location. Those apply to college basketball, as well, and they are the driving force for tonight’s bet on Air Force.
Most degenerate are familiar with Rocky Mountain altitude, which gives schools residing in that area a marginal leg up on their competition.
Air Force, located in Colorado Springs, is one of those schools.
Per KenPom, Air Force has the third-best home-court advantage in college basketball. Though the Falcons haven’t exactly been a juggernaut in recent history, they are always tough at home.
This home-court edge is magnified when you consider the Falcons’ opponent tonight — particularly their current travel situation. Flying from Portland alone would be somewhat taxing for the Pilots (no pun intended), but they aren’t coming from the great state of Oregon — they’re coming from Ohio.
Portland played Kent State on Monday and unless it has a much bigger budget than I’m giving it credit for, it likely flew straight into Colorado Springs. The Pilots will likely feel the effects of five days on the road combined with that Rocky Mountain air.
Stylistically, Air Force is a pain to play. Head coach Joe Scott runs a Princeton-style attack that milks time off the clock. His teams consistently rank among the slowest nationally in tempo. This game will be a slog and have a low number of possessions, which favors the home dog.
To add one more layer to the cake, Air Force is coming off of a disappointing overtime loss to Texas A&M-Commerce. The Falcons led by as many as six points in overtime, but couldn’t close out the Lions at home.
No doubt Scott and Co. want to make up for that performance — and they know they can.
Last Friday, Air Force flexed its home-court muscles by taking down a very good Delaware team. Tonight’s game against Portland isn’t just coverable — it’s winnable.