College Basketball Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Wednesday, January 11th

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College basketball schedule today has 63 games

There are plenty of options and plenty of conferences for bettors to investigate on Wednesday, as we’ve got more than 60 games on the college hoops card. There are some really good high-major games, but also some top-notch mid-major tilts. There is something for everyone and some good chances to learn about the teams if you haven’t been paying a lot of attention this season.

Jonathan Von Tobel and Andy MacNeil have been paying a ton of attention to the NBA and NHL, respectively, and they’re back today with more insights and best bets. Check out JVT’s NBA picks today and Andy’s NHL betting tips.

 

Here are some thoughts on the January 11 card (odds from DraftKings):

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at UAB Blazers (-10.5, 151)

We’ve seen a little bit of line movement on the underdog Hilltoppers in this one, but they’re still a double-digit underdog going up against UAB. The Blazers just had a tough trip to Florida with losses to FAU and FIU in close games, with the FIU game on Saturday going to overtime. Those two games exposed some weaknesses with the UAB defense, as they struggled to protect the rim.

It is the one major glitch for this team, as opponents are shooting 63.7% at the rim. Western Kentucky is efficient enough on offense to get the ball inside and get some buckets that way. The Hilltoppers also force opponents to take a lot of 3s, as they really pack it in and protect the rim. Opponents have taken a 3 on 41% of shots against the Hilltoppers, which is not UAB’s preferred offensive strategy. The Blazers have shot over 36% from 3, but they are very selective, firing away from deep on just 31.4% of their shot attempts.

Western Kentucky can disrupt UAB’s offensive rhythm and should get enough looks close to the basket to be able to keep this one close. UAB needs to get inside to have offensive success and Western Kentucky’s opponent shot share of 32.6% on Close Twos ranks in the top 70. Lastly, Western Kentucky has taken good care of the basketball this season, which should neutralize UAB’s ability to force turnovers.

Pick: Western Kentucky +10.5

Utah Valley Wolverines (-1, 134) at Cal Baptist Lancers

It used to be that New Mexico State was the WAC team that nobody wanted to face in the NCAA Tournament. This season, it sure looks like that team could be Utah Valley. Led by 7-footer Aziz Bandaogo, the Wolverines are out to a 13-4 record that includes wins over BYU and Oregon. They also rolled Sam Houston State to open conference play back on Dec. 29.

The Wolverines and Lancers both boast good defenses, but one offense is clearly better than the other and that offense belongs to Utah Valley. Cal Baptist settles for a lot of 3s with a shot share of 43.8% on triple tries, but they have one player shooting over 36% from 3 and he barely plays. They’re shooting 31.3% as a team from 3. Opponents are only shooting 30.9% from 3 against Utah Valley, who has played a much tougher schedule to this point.

The Wolverines are also 14th in 2P% against vs. D-I opponents. Cal Baptist has defended the 3 extremely well, but ranks around the national average in 2P%. Utah Valley takes a good amount of 3s, but also gets the ball inside to Bandaogo a ton. He has 39 dunks already this season. Cal Baptist has 18 as a team. Utah Valley is way better at the free throw line as well. The Wolverines should keep rolling right along in WAC play with another dub today.

Pick: Utah Valley -1

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