NFL football is officially over and now basketball takes center stage leading into March. We have a only few weeks until the tournament starts to be the focus, and with that a ton of impact games each and every night. From a betting perspective, we have a lot to break down, and we still have quality DFS slates on the college basketball front as well. This article is going to cover a lot of different aspects for the upcoming slate of games. It will highlight a CBB DFS play that stands out and a few of the potential wagers I like for CBB betting.
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Biggest Game on the slate
Maryland at Illinois -3, O/U 133.5
This is by far the biggest game on the college basketball slate. Most teams play tomorrow, but this is a key Big Ten matchup with tournament implications. Both teams are ranked, and if they have a hot finish, they could be a top seed come March.
Maryland sits at 18-4 and the main reason is the experience at point guard with senior Anthony Cowan. He leads the team in scoring and assists and will give the Terps an advantage in the backcourt in almost any matchup. It’s not a one-man team as Maryland has multiple bigs and is sixth in the country in defensive efficiency per KenPom. They currently are just 2-4 on the road, but they are undefeated on neutral and home court.
On the other side, Illinois is one of the more balanced teams in the country. The Illini are 16-6 on the year and don’t have a glaring weakness. Per KenPom, they are 38th in the country in offensive efficiency and 27th on defense. Illinois relies on a strong frontcourt; they have a 7-footer in Kofi Cockburn who comes in averaging 14 and 10. Three-point shooting is probably their weak link (305th in country in 3-point percentage) and that will need to improve if they want to win multiple games in the tournament.
** Make sure to check out our AwesemoOdds show that breaks down the upcoming college basketball slates and talks about any big events coming up from a CBB betting perspective.**
CBB DFS Target
Ty Gordon, Troy – $7,100 DraftKings
It is just a four-game slate tonight in DFS, so options are somewhat limited. The over/under for Troy-South Alabama is a standard 139 and we have Troy as a four-point underdog at home.
Ty Gordon and the rest of the backcourt will have to do the heavy lifting if Troy is to win here. Gordon comes in averaging 12 points, three boards, and three assists and has taken 11 shots or more in five straight games. He hovers around 30 minutes a game and he could push that limit if Troy is able to hang around. South Alabama is 226th in defensive efficiency and Troy should exploit that in this matchup. With the player pool being scarce, look to Gordon with the volume and the matchup he has tonight.
CBB Games Against the Spread
Harvard at Yale -5
This is a big matchup in the Ivy league as archrivals Harvard and Yale meet in New Haven. Harvard is just 2-2 in league play while Yale leads the conference at 4-0. Both teams could easily be the representative for the Ivy league come tourney time. Yale is a five-point favorite as they are the class of the conference and at home in this one.
Harvard has had injuries throughout the year, but still sit at 13-6. Bryce Aiken was leading the team, but has been sidelined since December with a foot injury. There is no word whether or not he will return tonight, but even without him, the Crimson have been solid, winning six out of the last eight. They have lost two straight, but those were by four points total and one was in overtime.
On the Yale side, they are 16-4 on the season and rely on a top-30 defense. They come into this game having won six straight and they haven’t been beaten at home on the year. They have three players in double figures including two in the frontcourt who should test Harvard inside. Add in that Yale is 19th in 3-point percentage and this is a difficult team to deal with for any opponent.
Harvard is a battle-tested team who is going to be ready, but the loss of Aiken and the balance of Yale is going to be too much. Plus, the game is in Connecticut so I think the Bulldogs will move to 5-0 in the conference with another impressive win and another cover in the CBB betting market.
My Pick: Yale -5
Kent State at Northern Illinois +2
Two teams out of the MAC face off tonight hoping to continue to climb towards the top of the standings. Although the MAC doesn’t have any true top-end teams, they are a deep conference with seven teams over .500 and the worst team in the league sitting at 9-13.
Kent State comes into the game 6-4 in conference play but 16-7 overall. They don’t stand out in many ways as they are average across the board in most offensive and defensive metrics. They have five players averaging 10 points or more and that speaks to their depth. Guard Antonio Williams is probably the leader of the team, but multiple players can take control on any given night.
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Northern Illinois is 7-3 in conference play and 14-9 on the season. The Huskies are finding their groove with five straight wins including a 76-69 road game against Kent State. They will be looking for the season sweep and this time, they get a home-court boost. Unlike Kent State’s balanced attack, NIU is more of a defensive team who will look to keep this game from getting up and down.
It is always difficult to sweep a team within your conference, but Northern Illinois is equipped to do just that. They are playing their best basketball of the season and causing problems defensively. In conference play, NIU is third in defensive efficiency and it is no surprise they are slowing the tempo of their games. I think that formula once again will be in play tonight against Kent State and I will take the points as a live home dog.
My Pick: Northern Illinois +2
If you have any CBB betting or DFS questions, find me in the sports betting channel on the Awesemo.com premium Slack chat or @JazzrazDFS on twitter.