HomeCollege BasketballCollege Basketball Best Bets Today March 9 From Matt Youmans

    College Basketball Best Bets Today March 9 From Matt Youmans

    Matt Youmans shares his favorite college basketball picks for Saturday, March 9.

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    College Basketball Best Bets from Matt Youmans

    VSiN betting analyst and host of VSiN Tonight, Matt Youmans, shares his top college basketball picks for today, March 9.

    Kentucky +8 at Tennessee

    A hot-shot transfer from Northern Colorado turned out to be the difference in the SEC title race this season. Dalton Knecht, a 6-6 senior guard, might also be the difference-maker Tennessee needs to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament this month.

     

    The Volunteers, 24-6 and riding a seven-game winning streak, are a hot topic after clinching the outright conference championship. The media hype is over the top for Tennessee, which is a good bet to be announced as a No. 1 seed on Selection Sunday, March 17. A team known for defense is now well-rounded due to what Knecht brings on the offensive end, where he averages 20.7 points and shoots 40.6% from 3-point range.

    In the betting market, the Vols’ value seems to have peaked. DraftKings opened Tennessee as a 9.5-point home favorite against Kentucky today. If that line looked too high to you, you’re not alone because sharp money moved it to 8 and 7.5 by the morning.

    Three talented scoring guards — Antonio Reeves, Rob Dillingham and Reed Sheppard — lead the attack for the Wildcats, who have topped 100 points four times in conference play. Kentucky (22-8) has won six of its past seven games.

    The Wildcats, 9-point underdogs in a 70-59 win at Auburn on Feb. 17, are 5-1 ATS in six games as ‘dogs this season. As 11-point underdogs in Knoxville last season, Kentucky stunned the Vols, 63-56.

    This is a new-look Tennessee team, of course, and Knecht is the biggest difference. The Vols rank No. 3 in the nation in defensive efficiency, per Kenpom.com, and a much-improved 21st in offensive efficiency — a formula that fits the profile of a Final Four team.

    When these rivals met on February 3, Tennessee rolled to a 103-92 win at Kentucky. Revenge is a factor that should benefit the high-powered Wildcats, who have turned in a few of their most impressive performances in the underdog role.

    College Basketball Best Bet: (661) Kentucky +8.

    My plays in this column went a combined 10-7 ATS the past two Saturdays, and here are four more plays for today (with betting rotation numbers in parenthesis):

    (696) Fresno State (-1.5) over Wyoming
    (728) USC (+8) over Arizona
    (729) UNLV (+6) at Nevada
    (733) Cal State Bakersfield (+7.5) at Hawaii

    Matt Youmans
    Matt Youmans
    Matt Youmans is a Senior Editor of VSiN.com and has been writing for the website and hosting shows on the network since the beginning in January 2017. He currently hosts VSiN Tonight, weeknights from 9 p.m. to midnight ET, in addition to writing weekly handicapping columns.

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