On the eve of Thanksgiving, Ky McKeon of Three Man Weave is taking us all across America for his best bets.
From Bloomington, IN to Fort Myers, FL to Los Angeles, CA, Ky has drawn his college basketball card with one spread and two totals for Wednesday’s slate of games.
So, let’s dive in right away and continue our Feast Week celebrations.
Three Man Weave’s Wednesday College Basketball Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that Ky is targeting from Wednesday’s slate of games. Click the team logos for one the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
Little Rock vs. Indiana
By Ky McKeon
When looking to back a massive favorite, two questions need to be answered in the affirmative: 1) is the team you are backing capable of blowing teams out (and have a history of doing so), and 2) is the team you are fading prone to getting blown out?
In tonight’s game between Indiana and Little Rock, we can answer “yes” and “yes”.
IU has torched lesser competition this season. The experienced Hoosiers are enjoying the program’s highest offensive efficiency ranking since 2016 and highest defensive efficiency ranking since 2002.
That combination — scintillating offense and lockdown defense — can lead to blowouts if the team is willing to run (which the Hoosiers most definitely are).
This season, IU has wins over Morehead State by 35, Bethune-Cookman by 52 and Miami (OH) by 30.
Little Rock is about on par with Bethune-Cookman this season and far worse than Morehead State and Miami (OH).
Little Rock lost by 31 to Southern Illinois to open the year, a team not known for getting out in transition. Against a superior foe in Indiana, this game could get out of hand quickly.
The Trojans (to their detriment) play fast, and when facing good teams, they allow plenty of easy buckets and a high number of possessions.
Barring a miraculous shooting night from the visitors — or a total benching of main rotation players by IU — this game will end in a massive margin.
What is QuickSlip?
QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Utah vs. Mississippi State
By Ky McKeon
I’m not one to blindly follow trends — and that should be the case for any serious or recreational sports bettor.
More often than not, trends are mirages, coincidences that don’t have any predictive value. However, it’s hard to ignore how Utah and Mississippi State have performed on totals this season.
Against the closing line this year, Utah’s games have gone under all five times by an average of nine points per contest. All five of Mississippi State’s games have gone under, but by an even more massive 17 points per contest.
Not only are these games going under, they are going under by a significant margin.
So, why has this been the case?
For Mississippi State, it’s a more straightforward answer. Under new head coach Chris Jans, the Bulldogs have been a dominant force on the defensive end.
Per KenPom, Miss State ranks 11th nationally in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, allowing just under 0.90 points per possession. Not since the days of Rick Stansbury in the early-to-mid 2000s has this program been so good defensively.
The Bulldogs are also controlling the pace in their games. They look to play in the half-court, ranking outside the top 300 in transition field goal attempt rate, per Hoop-Math.
Utah’s situation is more nuanced. The Utes actually play fairly up-tempo — ranking 79th nationally in offensive pace — but thus far, they have played a gaggle of slow opponents.
Utah faced Cal State Bakersfield (360th in offensive pace), Idaho State (299th) and Sam Houston (317th). That’s likely skewing Utah’s numbers.
However, even against quicker foes like LIU and Georgia Tech, Utah’s games comfortably went under the point total. The Utes are solid enough defensively — especially in the paint — to muck games up, and just okay on the offensive end.
Against Mississippi State, Utah is going to find it extremely difficult to score. Likewise, the Bulldogs, who look to get most of their buckets inside the arc and off the glass, are facing a Utah team that ranks seventh nationally in 2P% defense, a stat that is usually predictive of a strong unit.
Expect Mississippi State to control the pace tonight and for both teams to struggle to score efficiently.
Pepperdine vs. UCLA
By Ky McKeon
I’m expecting points galore in a late game on the West Coast. Most of that expectation has to do with Pepperdine, a team on the rise with a talented core of players that have been playing at a breakneck pace.
The Waves play at the ninth-fastest pace in the country and rank 22nd in initial rate of field goal attempts in transition.
Head coach Lorenzo Romar has a stable of sophomore guards in Houston Mallette, Maxwell Lewis and Mike Mitchell Jr. who can all light it up and go for 30 on any given night. Even against slower-paced teams this year, Pepperdine has been able to find success in the open floor.
UCLA will let Pepperdine run — why wouldn’t it? The Bruins know they’re the far superior team, and proved what they can do in a high-possession game against a lesser opponent when they walloped a solid Long Beach squad by 24 points earlier this month.
More possessions equals more opportunities for UCLA to score, and the Bruins’ excellent offense—led by point guard Tyger Campbell and All-American candidate Jaime Jaquez Jr.—should be able to name its number against a so-so Waves defense.
This game should play in the mid-70s (possessions) as opposed to KenPom’s projected 71. Against two foes who play at similar speeds as Pepperdine (Illinois and Long Beach), the UCLA games have played to 77 and 81 possessions.
Coach Mick Cronin should feel no need to slow tempo or prevent his team from running up and down on the Waves all night.