College basketball best bets today

Win or lose, the UConn Huskies have put together the most dominant NCAA Tournament run in recent memory. They’ve won 11 straight games by an average of 22.3 points per game. We’ll see if the Purdue Boilermakers can prevent the first repeat champion since the Florida Gators in 2006-07.

With depreciating returns in March, I took a break to focus on the start of the MLB season, as the Month of Madness really took a bite out of what was a really good college basketball season. March was a -10u month, but the daily article that began on opening day way back in November sits +16.2u for the season. (Tracking sheet linked below)


With one game left, it felt fitting to put a bow on the season and head off into next year.

Check the latest college basketball odds for legal U.S. sportsbooks across the country and our Vegas odds if you share a state with us here at VSiN. Also, give the college basketball betting splits a look for these or any other college basketball games today have your interest. Check out the Tracking Sheet for this season’s results and our college basketball home page for more CBB content.

Here is one college basketball best bet for today.

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publish.

Purdue Boilermakers vs. UConn Huskies (-6.5, 145)

9:20 p.m. ET

There is definitely a little bit of inflation on this line, as most sportsbooks are out to -7 already with the Huskies’ slicing and dicing through every team put in their path. The market number is higher than Bart Torvik (-2.8), Ken Pomeroy (-3), and Haslametrics (-2.33), as well as other premier metrics sites.

For the ninth straight year, a top-six team entering the NCAA Tournament per KenPom’s rankings will win it, so keep that in mind for your futures bets next season. This is the No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup for KP and Haslametrics and the No. 1 vs. No. 3 for Torvik (Houston No. 2). UConn was -7.5 last year against San Diego State, who was not nearly ranked as highly as Purdue is.

On that alone, I can’t really lay the UConn price. They may very well win in blowout fashion and exceed expectations like they have in every NCAAT game to this point. Our own Tyler Shoemaker projects UConn -3, so he’s in line with the metrics sites. But, we’ve got 3.5 to 4.5 points of inflation on the line, depending on which source you consult.

It is worth noting that the Huskies are uniquely positioned to deal with 7-foot-4 Zach Edey with their own big man in 7-foot-2 Donovan Clingan. Nearly every other team in the nation has no answer for Edey, something that the metrics sites aren’t necessarily going to account for when crunching the data and the body of work for both teams.

A huge difference between this team and Purdue teams of the past is that their guys are knocking down outside shots. Last year’s Purdue team only shot 32.2% from 3. This year’s group is second in the nation at 40.6%. They’re at 39.3% in the NCAA Tournament, with a 3-of-15 against Tennessee dragging down that number. Given that they’ve played in all neutral settings, that is quite good.

That being said, UConn defends the 3 really well and has some long-limbed guards that can get out and contest shots. Also, nobody has to help Clingan with Edey, so that should leave more defenders on the perimeter.

My other concern with Purdue here is that Matt Painter might actually have to coach instead of being able to just throw the ball down to Edey. If Clingan stays out of foul trouble, what has worked well to get Purdue to this point won’t work as well. Dan Hurley should have a big coaching edge in this game and I could see UConn being well-positioned for a second-half bet.

Like so many, I’ll look at my favorite bet here as the first half Under 67.5. My belief is that the officials will be pushed to let the teams play here and not have a parade to the free throw line. Nobody wants to watch Clingan get three fouls in the first half and Edey shoot 25 free throws. It is a game being played in an enormous venue, and while the shooting numbers in the Final Four games weren’t that bad, these are two top-50 teams in 3P% defense and nerves have to be a factor.

Also, UConn plays at a very slow tempo and I don’t think Purdue will be interested in running in this one. They’ll be looking for ways to get the ball inside to Edey and UConn will be looking to get clean looks away from Edey. Or maybe they’ll go right at him. Either way, those things take time.

Shop around, as most of the market has 68 here and DraftKings has 67.5, but since that’s where the numbers have come from all season, that’s the one that will be graded here.

Pick: 1st Half Under 67.5