There’s no slowing down Feast Week.
While the Maui Invitational is in full swing right now, the Battle 4 Atlantis and Phil Knight Invitational haven’t even begun yet.
Some may be waiting for those tip offs, but we’re looking for value on Tuesday in college hoops.
Our staff has you covered, so dive in below and formulate your pre-Thanksgiving Eve card now.
Tuesday’s 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.
Abilene Christian vs. Weber State
By DJ James
The Vegas Four continues on Tuesday night, as Weber State takes on Abilene Christian.
Both of these teams play at a fast pace — Weber State is ranked 168th in Adjusted Tempo, per KenPom, while Abilene Christian is ranked 103rd.
Abilene Christian has the best of the two defenses. The Wildcats hold opponents to under 25% from downtown.
Weber State, on the other hand, does not have much going for it on the defensive end. It’s allowing opponents to shoot over 41% from 3-point range.
This does not fare well for the Wildcats of Weber State because Abilene Christian prospers from behind the arc, hitting around 35% while scoring nearly 40% of its points from downtown.
Weber State is fairly sharp when getting to the free-throw line. Around 23% of its points come from the strike. Keith Dinwiddie Jr. and Dillon Jones are the usual suspects at the line.
This is a good area for both of them because Abilene Christian ranks 343rd in the NCAA in FTA/FGA. This is absolutely horrid, so expect the other Wildcats to be in the bonus for around 20 minutes of this game.
Finally, both of these teams turn the ball over constantly. This will make for an obscene amount of fast breaks for teams who already like to push the pace in transition.
With that, it will open 3s up for Abilene Christian — which loves shooting them — and it allows Weber State more opportunities to get to the free-throw line.
The over should be in play, especially if Abilene Christian fouls early.
What is QuickSlip?
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Liberty vs. Northwestern
I’m relatively high on Northwestern. Returning the starting backcourt of Boo Buie and Chase Audige means Chris Collins has a good core to build around.
If the Wildcats’ extremely experienced backcourt lives up to its potential, I’d bet they push into the middle of the Big Ten pack and make the NCAA tournament.
That’d be a success for Collins.
However, you’re still looking at a Northwestern team undergoing roster turnover. Pete Nance and Ryan Young are gone, and the Cats are asking a lot out of UTEP transfer Tydus Verhoeven, alongside career backups Robbie Beran, Ty Berry II, Julian Roper and Brooks Barnhizer.
Meanwhile, in steps a Liberty team returning four starters and led by human flamethrower Darius McGhee. McGhee is arguably the top shotmaker in the country, and he alone will make Northwestern’s pack-line defense prove its worth.
But inside-out forwards Shiloh Robinson and Kyle Rode should be a tough matchup for an inexperienced Northwestern frontcourt.
And while the Wildcats’ numbers look excellent, I think they’re a Paper Tiger. Northwestern’s 11th-ranked eFG% allowed is carried by playing Chicago State (327th KenPom offense), Northern Illinois (317th), Georgetown (95th) and Purdue Fort Wayne (326th in eFG%).
ShotQuality also calls for some slight negative regression for Northwestern, as its -19.27 record luck ranks outside the top 300.
Liberty will be Northwestern’s toughest test yet. And while the Flames’ defensive metrics aren’t good, they’ve been dragged down as opponents are shooting an unsustainable 41.8% from 3.
As you might expect, ShotQuality calls for positive regression for Liberty. The Flames’ +14.34 record luck is top-100 nationally.
After a tough loss to Southern Miss, look for the Flames to bounce back in a huge way against the overvalued Wildcats. I’d probably make the Flames a favorite here, but I’d like to play them at one possession or above.
Syracuse vs. St. John’s
The 2022 Empire Classic delivered two of Monday’s most exciting college basketball games, and I fully expect that trend to continue for Tuesday’s title bout.
The Syracuse Orange (3-1) squared off with Richmond in a thriller that featured 16 lead changes. But in the end, the Orange outlasted the Spiders and won by three in overtime.
Meanwhile, the St. John’s Red Storm (5-0) fought down to the wire against the Temple Owls. St. John’s closed the game on an 8-0 run to make its way to Tuesday’s Empire Classic Championship.
So, how do the two New York teams match up?
Syracuse is a good squad, but its rebounding struggles against Richmond are concerning. That deficiency may be exaggerated against Joel Soriano and St. John’s.
Expect the Red Storm’s physicality and scoring ability in the paint to be the deciding factors in this game.
I’ll be backing the Red Storm as high as a 4-point favorite to win this event and move to 6-0 on the season.