The college basketball season always provides a flurry of twists and turns that few saw coming — especially when March Madness comes around. This can make college basketball one of the most challenging sports to bet on.
Fortunately, we have plenty of tools available that can aid our chances of taking the most favorable college basketball bets. Bart Torvik and KenPom are excellent sources that give insights into team-level efficiency, and Sports Reference provides a wide range of useful team stats, as well.
Let’s check out FanDuel Sportsbook’s college basketball odds and select some of the best bets of the day by utilizing the mentioned tools.
Please note lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published.
College Basketball Best Bets
Virginia Cavaliers at Wisconsin Badgers
Virginia -2.5 (-120)
The Virginia Cavaliers and Wisconsin Badgers collide at the Fort Myers Tip-Off tonight. The two teams are trending in opposite directions with Virginia sitting at 4-0 and 3-1 against the spread (ATS), and Wisconsin is 1-2 over their last three games while going 0-3 ATS.
This could be a prime opportunity to take advantage of the Badgers’ cold streak by backing the Cavaliers. Does Virginia have the tools to cover the spread?
First off, the Cavaliers may not need much as they are favored by only 2.5 points. They rank 19th in KenPom compared to Wisconsin at 41st.
After finishing 25th in adjusted defensive efficiency last season, Virginia’s dominant defense seems to be back in full force. The unit ranks 10th in defensive efficiency while allowing only 51.0 points per game (5th).
Meanwhile, the Badgers have shot under 42.0% from the floor in two of their last three games. Their three-point shooting has also been dreadful, ranking in the bottom 17% of made threes per game and the bottom 27% of three-point percentage.
Wisconsin has relied on points in the paint, which could be trouble against the Cavaliers. Virginia is in the 98th percentile of made two-pointers allowed per game, the 95th percentile of opponent two-point percentage, and they average 6.8 blocks per game (11th).
On the other side of the court, the Cavaliers have been deadly from three, shooting 41.2% (17th). The Badgers are in the bottom 42% of surrendered three-pointers per game. Plus, Wisconsin is in the bottom 15% of opponent effective field goal percentage (eFG%) and the bottom 10% of opponent two-point percentage.
If Virginia’s Isaac McKneely stays hot from three (57.1%), the Badgers’ defense could be torched yet again. The Cavaliers can attack the paint while boasting an impressive two-point defense. Virginia could be in store for their fourth cover of the season.
No. 2 Purdue Boilermakers at No. 11 Gonzaga Bulldogs
Purdue -4.5 (-110)
Let’s dig into the matchup of the day: No. 2 Purdue vs. No. 11 Gonzaga. The Maui Invitational wasted no time in giving us a must-see matchup. This tournament is certainly something I’m thankful for this week.
What could be the best bet for this collision, though? The Boilermakers are 3-0 but failed to cover their most recent game. The Bulldogs are still getting their feet wet with a 2-0 record.
Of course, the frontcourt matchups will likely gain the most attention. Purdue’s Zach Edey, who is averaging 20.7 points per game (PPG) and 10.0 rebounds per game (RPG), has not skipped a beat and remains an excellent option for the 2024 John R. Wooden Award. According to EvanMiya, Edey leads the nation in MVP rankings.
Gonzaga’s frontcourt is led by Graham Ike (18.0 PPG; 7.0 RPG), Anton Watson (15.5 PPG; 9.0 RPG), and Braden Huff (21.0 PPG; 7.5 RPG). Ike has excelled with an 83.3% field goal percentage (FG%) after missing last season due to injury. Huff has been a pleasant surprise as a redshirt freshman:
As usual, the 7-foot-4 Edey has a big size advantage. Ike and Watson stand at 6-foot-9 while Huff is 6-foot-10. The Bulldogs’ paint defense has been excellent, ranking in the 98th percentile of opponent two-point percentage. Slowing Edey is a different animal, though.
If the Bulldogs are to pull off the upset, their guards — Ryan Nembhard (11.0 PPG) and Nolan Hickman (13.5 PPG) — must turn in big performances. When the Boilermakers have struggled since last season, it’s been due to underwhelming guard play and deflating three-point shooting.
Purdue has shut down any backcourt worries so far by cashing in 46.3% of their three-point attempts (fourth). Gonzaga is in the bottom 11% of three-point attempts allowed per game. Guards Braden Smith (11.7 PPG), Myles Colvin (8.3 PPG), and Fletcher Loyer (8.3 PPG) have all balled out while shooting better than 40.0% from three.
Perhaps the Boilermakers have eased their guard worries. We will certainly learn more about this backcourt today. Ultimately, Purdue has been automatic from deep. With the Bulldogs allowing plenty of three-point attempts, I can’t go against the Boilermakers. Give me Purdue to cover the spread.
No. 5 UConn Huskies at No. 19 Texas Longhorns
Under 144.5 (-105)
UConn and Texas deliver another top-25 matchup in the Empire Classic Championship in Madison Square Garden. One thing’s for sure about both of these squads — they like to score.
The Huskies rank 5th in adjusted offensive efficiency while the Longhorns are 28th in the category. Additionally, Connecticut is averaging 91.5 PPG (20th), and Texas is totaling 83.8 PPG (65th); both marks are among the top 18% in the country.
Both teams’ stats have been surely boosted by beating up on bad teams, though. They finally faced notable squads on Sunday. Connecticut still scored at a high clip with a 77-57 win over Indiana, and the Longhorns squeaked out an 81-80 win over Louisville.
Following Texas’ 1-point win as 17.5-point favorites, the Huskies could be an intriguing cover as 6.5-point favorites. However, the Longhorns have done an excellent job of limiting three-point attempts (90th percentile in allowed shots per game). UConn launches 26.5 threes per game (81st percentile). This matchup could be closer than expected.
The Huskies aren’t too shabby in three-point defense, as well, ranking in the 98th percentile of three-point attempts allowed per game. Texas has flourished from beyond the arc, converting 39.1% of their shots (89th percentile).
With a pair of exceptional perimeter defenses, the under deserves a look. Plus, both teams are among the top 45% of the slowest tempos in the nation. If the threes are not falling, the under has a great chance of hitting — especially given an elevated 144.5-point total.
Looking for more college basketball betting opportunities? Head over to FanDuel Sportsbook to check out all of the upcoming college basketball odds.
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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author’s advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.