College basketball is an interesting sport for gambling and there are often many games for NCAA predictions. Unlike the NBA, spreads can be upwards of 20 or 30 points. Typically, there is a lot of value early in the season because teams are still unproven, meaning lines will be ripe for the picking.
NCAA Basketball Gambling Predictions
#10 Oregon Ducks @ #5 Michigan Wolverines
This is the premier game of the night, at least in terms of rankings. Oregon enters Ann Arbor with a record of 7-2, but they have not looked as good as expected yet. They have losses to an overrated North Carolina team and a close loss to Gonzaga, both coming in the Bahamas. They do have good wins over Memphis, Seton Hall, and Houston.
They are led by star senior Payton Pritchard who is complemented by a deep roster. Last season, Oregon made their tournament run on the strength of their defense, but this year they have struggled defensively, mainly because they do not have a paint presence like Kenny Wooten. With that being said, they are an elite three-point defensive team.
Of note, Shakur Juiston will miss this game due to injury.
Michigan is an interesting team. They started the season unranked then rolled through the Bahamas earning the number four ranking in the nation. Since the Bahamas, they were rocked by Louisville, hammered Iowa at home, and lost at Illinois. It is safe to say Michigan is not quite ready for road games.
Michigan has a very equal scoring distribution. They have six players that average 20 minutes a game or more and all of them score between seven and 15 points per game. Michigan relies on their jump shooting and their ability to run other teams off of the three-point line. They have been susceptible in the paint, demonstrated by Luka Garza scoring 44 on them.
Michigan has an elite defensive guard in Zavier Simpson and Oregon does not have a paint presence. Since this game is played in Ann Arbor, Michigan wins.
The Bet – Michigan Wolverines -3.5
#21 Xavier Musketeers @ Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Xavier is led by a slew of experienced hard-nosed guys. Naji Marshall and Quentin Goodin make up one of the best backcourts in the nation. They have a solid offense, but definitely ride the strength of their defense to victories.
The Musketeers are an abysmal three-point shooting team, but they are an excellent rebounding team. If anything will hurt Xavier, it will be that they are turnover prone.
Wake Forest is led by Brandon Childress. They have several players that can get to the rim and create for themselves. The Demon Deacons also are great rebounders, but it is mainly because they miss so many jump shots.
Wake Forest is off to a rough start and enters this game off of four straight losses. They just do not have enough scoring to contend with Xavier. The Musketeers roll.
The Bet – Xavier Musketeers -4
#13 Memphis Tigers @ #19 Tennessee Volunteers
It is safe to say these cross-town rivals hate each other. Last year, this matchup produced several scraps and some hateful words thrown out by both coaching staffs. This year, there should be more of the same.
Memphis is loaded with freshmen talent, but their most notable, James Wiseman, is still sidelined by the NCAA for several more games. They still have plenty of talent and have gone 6-0 since Wiseman was suspended, including wins over Mississippi and North Carolina State.
Memphis only has one player that is not an underclassman. They rely on the athleticism and playmaking of several freshmen including Boogie Ellis, Precious Achiuwa, and DJ Jeffries. They have numerous matchup nightmares and play with a lot of speed. Add to that a stingy defense and the Tigers start to look like a great team, even without their best player.
Tennessee is in the midst of a small rebuild. They are replacing four of their best players from a phenomenal team last season, but most of those replacements have been on the roster for several years.
Lamonte Turner and Jordan Bowden, two significant players from last year, have stepped up their play in their senior year to help ease the burden of roster turnover. Make no mistake, Tennessee is led by their defense, allowing just 55.9 points per game, which is eighth in the nation.
Tennessee does just enough defensively and rides the home crowd in this rivalry to sneak out a physical game.
The Bet – Tennessee Volunteers -5.5
Liberty Flames @ Vanderbilt Commodores
Liberty was close to being a Cinderella story last year after knocking off five seed Mississippi State in March. They return their best player, and possibly the best mid-major player, Caleb Homesley.
Liberty has a lot of experience and talent to pair with a great coach. This will certainly be their biggest test as they have yet to face a power conference team, but they are 11-0 and seem to be continuing the success from last season. As was the case last season, Liberty is led by the strength of their defense. They allow a measly 49.6 points per game on just 34 percent shooting. To say this defense is elite would be an understatement.
Vanderbilt is in year one of the Jerry Stackhouse project. They are led by Aaron Nesmith, Saben Lee, and Scotty Pippen Jr. who power the Commodores high scoring offense. So far, Vanderbilt has totaled a 6-2 record with losses at Richmond and to Tulsa.
Vanderbilt does not play great defense as they give up 71.1 points per game. This team is still relatively inexperienced and will take their lumps this season.
Road games are difficult early in the season. Liberty already has one under their belt and frankly, they are the better team here. The Flames defense rolls and Homesley makes a statement.
The Bet – Liberty Flames -1.5
#6 Gonzaga Bulldogs @ #15 Arizona Wildcats
Gonzaga looks significantly different from their roster last year after replacing five significant players, including Rui Hachimura. They still play the same as usual, making a lot of threes and playing inside out, through their bigs.
Filip Petrusev, RJ Barrett’s high school teammate, has taken a huge step forward from his freshman campaign, leading the team in scoring. Also, Corey Kispert has improved drastically and become one of the best shooters in the country. All of this results in the fifth-best offense in the nation and another great Gonzaga team.
Arizona is another team loaded with young talent as Sean Miller put together an excellent recruiting class, led by Nico Mannion and Josh Green. Zeke Nnaji, a freshman center, has been excellent as well, leading the team in scoring and rebounding.
Arizona scores at will and is an excellent assist team, mainly because of Mannion. Being a young team, Arizona has been quite inconsistent. They blitzed Illinois early in the season, then had a rough stretch in their preseason tournament, although they did win it, they suffered their first loss in a low scoring game against Baylor. In that Baylor game, they had a 1:2 assist to turnover ratio and shot 2/18 from three.
Gonzaga has more experience and a better coach. They use that to sneak out a tough win on the road.
The Bet – Gonzaga Bulldogs +3.5
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