College Basketball Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Friday December 15


College basketball expert picks and predictions

Saturday’s college basketball slate is a doozy, but Friday night’s is not. There are only nine games on the betting board, although one of them is UConn vs. Gonzaga in Seattle, so one of tonight’s nine matchups is must-see TV.


A lot of games are appointment viewing tomorrow, but today’s another weekday filled with slim pickings as many colleges and universities finish up exams and send everybody on their way for the winter break. Shout-out to the Tommies for last night’s effort against Marquette. If Bradley was the Bradlies, I’d probably take them for that reason tonight.

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Here are some thoughts on the December 15 card (odds from DraftKings):

Texas State Bobcats at Sam Houston State Bearkats (-4.5, 135)

7:30 p.m. ET

A couple of offensively-challenged teams meet up tonight, as Texas State and Sam Houston State get together in Huntsville. Sam Houston State ranks 287th in eFG% offense, including a 43.6% 2P% that ranks 342nd in the nation. Texas State is 332nd in eFG% offense and they’re shooting just 45.9% on 2s and 26.1% on 3s.

Defensively, there is room for improvement for the Bobcats, who have been pretty good as it is. They rank 146th in adjusted defensive efficiency per Bart Torvik and have held the opposition to a 29.4% success rate on 3s. According to Ken Pomeroy, they’ve played the 35th-ranked slate of opposing offenses, so it should get a bit easier from this point forward, including a Sam Houston State team that has problems scoring.

The three bad defensive performances for Texas State have been against Oklahoma, Texas, and Southern Utah, which was in a back-to-back spot in a Thanksgiving Week tournament. But, they haven’t had many standout offensive performances and are also shooting under 62% on free throws.

Sam Houston State’s rough offensive numbers have come against the 131st-ranked slate of opposing defenses, which falls about in line with where Texas State ranks. The Bearkats are only shooting 52.1% on Close Twos and Texas State is only shooting 52.7% on that shot type. I also don’t expect this to be a fast-paced game at all. Sam Houston State is slightly above the national average in tempo and Texas State is well below.

Pick: Under 135

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