College basketball best bets today

Happy start of the NCAA Tournament! We’ll have two play-in games today to go along with nine games in the NIT and a couple in the CIT. The biggest news of the day is that the 2024 VSiN Pro March Mania Betting Guide is out. It includes best bets and brackets from VSiN experts, first-round previews and predictions, and lots of analytics, stats, and metrics, plus some betting trends, courtesy of Steve Makinen.

The only way to get it is to become a VSiN Pro subscriber, so I highly encourage you to do so here today and get all of your March Madness info before things get underway tonight.


As far as the college basketball best bets today article, we’ve got 13 games to think about and some really interesting matchups with the other two college basketball postseason tournaments in action. Keep in mind that the transfer portal opened on Monday and there are a lot of players in it, including some on these teams playing in the NIT, CBI, and CIT. This is a really helpful Transfer Portal Tracker from 247 Sports.

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 are two college basketball best bets for today.

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publish.

Wagner Seahawks vs. Howard Bison (-3.5, 129)

6:40 p.m. ET

The first game in the First Four features Wagner and Howard, as the NEC Champ and the MEAC Champ do battle for the right to face North Carolina in pretty hostile territory on Thursday in Charlotte.

Howard was a likelier conference tournament champ than Wagner, as the Seahawks were a No. 6 seed and a 28/1 shot at the time our conference tournament preview was posted. Howard was the No. 4 seed in the MEAC, but priced at 4/1. It is a quicker turnaround for Howard, having won the MEAC on Saturday, but I think that’s a lot better than not having played in a week like Wagner.

Statistically, I favor the Bison here. They shot 37.5% from 3 and also had a shot share on Close Twos that was over 10% higher than what Wagner had. The Bison took a Close Two on 40.3% of their shots, while Wagner took one on 30.2% of their shots. They’re going to be very jump shot-heavy in a very unfamiliar venue in the biggest game of most of their careers. I really think the ability of Bryce Harris to slash to the basket is a huge edge for Howard here.

Harris has 32 dunks this season. Wagner has 19 as a team. Harris has 144 shot makes on Close Twos. Wagner has 261 as a team. Only Coppin State, Dartmouth, Charleston Southern, Bellarmine, Maryland Eastern Shore, and Arkansas Pine Bluff had fewer makes on Close Twos than Wagner. Those six teams combined to go 48-129 SU.

Wagner grades as the better defensive team and opponents only shot 29.9% from 3, but Howard is far more talented than most NEC teams, including a handful of power-conference transfers. I like the Bison tonight.

Pick: Howard -3.5

Cornell Big Red at Ohio State Buckeyes (-10.5, 156.5)

7 p.m. ET

The Big Red take on the Scarlet & Gray, as Cornell travels to Columbus to battle Ohio State. We’ve seen a noteworthy move up on the total here, with two good offensive teams squaring off in the Buckeye State in first-round NIT action.

This is an awkward time of the year for a major-conference program like Ohio State. The transfer portal opened on Monday and the Buckeyes need to be active in there, which is why they made the Jake Diebler announcement when they did. They had to act quickly to secure a coach and that meant keeping Diebler. It was a rather muted celebration from the players when incoming AD Ross Bjork told the team.

So, I don’t think Ohio State is totally focused here. While nobody of consequence has entered the portal, the coaches aren’t really prepping for Cornell. It’s easy to overlook an Ivy League team, but this is a Cornell crew that shot 61.7% on 2s up against an Ohio State team that struggled on defense throughout large stretches of the season. Cornell also took a 3-pointer on 48.6% of shot attempts, which gets really interesting in a matchup like this.

Ivy League teams are disciplined and head coach Brian Earl comes from the Princeton school of offense, so you know they’ll run their sets and have a chance at some good offensive efficiency numbers. It’s been a long, emotional season for the Buckeyes. Maybe Diebler can rally them to be focused here, but I think Cornell really puts forth a motivated, engaged effort tonight with a crack at a Big Ten opponent.

Pick: Cornell +10.5