College Basketball Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Wednesday, February 8th

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College basketball schedule today has 57 games

We’ll have 114 of the nation’s 363 teams in action on Hump Day, as we draw another day closer to the Super Bowl. There are some pretty solid games tonight, topped by San Diego State vs. Utah State as the Mountain West looks like a league that could have as many as four bids a little over a month from now. Yes, Selection Sunday is just a little over a month from now! (Tracking sheet)

My colleague Jonathan Von Tobel has you covered with NBA best bets today and Andy MacNeil is all over daily NHL picks. Also, be sure to check out our Super Bowl betting coverage and check us out live from Radio Row. (LISTEN LIVE | WATCH LIVE) We’ve also got lots happening on our VSiN YouTube and our social media channels – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.

 
 

 

Here are some thoughts on the February 8 card (odds from DraftKings):

DePaul Blue Demons at Villanova Wildcats (-9.5, 141)

The first year without Jay Wright has been a struggle for Villanova. The only conference wins for the Wildcats have been over Georgetown and St. John’s. The Hoyas are awful and the Red Storm will be firing their coach in the near future. Three of those four games represent the only conference games in which Villanova has held opponents to under 1.044 points per possession.

When the Wildcats lost to DePaul back on Jan. 10, the Blue Demons had 1.1 PPP in a 75-65 win. Villanova plays at a slow pace and doesn’t have nearly the same offensive efficiency as the teams we’ve seen in the past, so covering big spreads is challenging, particularly when you factor a subpar defense into the mix.

The Blue Demons have not played well of late themselves, but they’ve also faced a slate of teams better than Villanova. The Wildcats settle for a ton of 3s and also allow opponents to take a lot of them. DePaul is shooting 35.8% on triple tries, while Villanova is shooting 33.3%. Neither team gets to the rim all that often, so this may become a shooting contest. With identical 3P% against on defense, I have to think DePaul can hang in there long enough in a game likely played to 66 or 67 possessions to cover 9.5.

Pick: DePaul +9.5

Bryant Bulldogs (-9, 153.5) at Albany Great Danes

I think the buy sign is lit up on Bryant and especially in this road matchup against Albany. The Bulldogs play at one of the fastest tempos in the country and draw a Great Danes defense that is among the worst in the nation. Bryant has a shot share of 45.1% on Close Twos, which ranks 10th. Albany’s shot share against on Close Twos of 41.3% ranks 328th. Albany is also 348th in FG% against on those shots.

To make matters worse, Albany is only finishing at a 49.9% clip on Close Twos, which ranks 353rd nationally. Even if they get inside against Bryant, they’re not going to be anywhere near as efficient. Instead, Albany chucks a 3 over 40% of the time and has only shot 32.3% on those attempts.

Bryant won by 17 back on Jan. 11 against Albany and racked up 1.299 points per possession. To be honest, Albany’s 1.042 PPP is higher than I would have expected for a team that has so many offensive challenges, but they shot 10-of-19 from the mid-range, which probably won’t happen again.

I don’t see Albany capable of keeping up here. They certainly haven’t lately, losing seven straight by an average of 13.3 points per game. Tough card today, so only the two plays from me.

Pick: Bryant -9

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