The college basketball season always provides a flurry of twists and turns that few saw coming — especially when March Madness comes around. This can make college basketball one of the most challenging sports to bet on.
Fortunately, we have plenty of tools available that can aid our chances of taking the most favorable college basketball bets. Bart Torvik and KenPom are excellent sources that give insights into team-level efficiency, and Sports Reference provides a wide range of useful team stats, as well.
Let’s check out FanDuel Sportsbook’s college basketball odds and select some of the best bets of the day by utilizing the mentioned tools.
Please note lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published.
College Basketball Best Bets
Memphis at VCU
Memphis -2.5 (-110)
Tonight’s action tips off in Richmond, Virginia as the Memphis Tigers (5-2) visit the VCU Rams (4-4). The visiting Tigers are favored by 2.5 points while the total is set at 142.5.
Typically, I look to fade road favorites in college basketball, but Memphis being favored by only 2.5 is too good of value to pass up.
Memphis is a well-balanced team. They entered Wednesday ranked 41st on KenPom and 40th on Bart Torvik. Although the Tigers have given up 73.1 points per game (233rd), KenPom has them at 32nd in adjusted defensive efficiency. Offensively, Memphis averages 78.7 points per game (111th) and ranks 61st in adjusted offensive efficiency.
Their only two losses (on a neutral floor to Villanova and on the road at Ole Miss) came against teams inside KenPom’s top 100.
Notably, Memphis will be without starting center Jordan Brown (6.1 points; 3.9 rebounds per game). Backup Malcolm Dandridge (5.9 points; 2.9 rebounds; 2.0 blocks) is fresh off a 13-point, 3-block outing and is expected to start in his place.
The majority of their scoring will likely still come from the perimeter via David Jones (18.4 points), Jahvon Quinerly (10.9), and Jaykwon Walton (10.6).
Looking at VCU, the Rams are down at No. 103 on KenPom and No. 97 at Bart Torvik. They’ve managed just 68 points per game (307th) thus far and rank 169th in adjusted offensive efficiency. VCU is much better defensively, having given up just 64.6 points per game (54th) and slotting 59th in adjusted defensive efficiency.
VCU has lost two of their last three games and already has two home losses to McNeese St. (92nd) and Norfolk St. (241st). They turned the ball over 17 times in last weekend’s loss to Norfolk.
That’s where I see them falling apart tonight. Memphis does a good job forcing turnovers (16.8%; 125th) and getting out in transition (15th in adjusted tempo). VCU, meanwhile, ranks 316th in adjusted tempo and has turned the ball over at a 22.8% clip this season, 351st out of 362 Division-I teams.
I’m more than comfortable laying the points with a more talented Memphis squad.
No. 12 Texas at No. 8 Marquette
Marquette -8.5 (-106)
The Fiserv Forum hosts the only top-25 matchup of the evening when the No. 12 Texas Longhorns (6-1) square off with the No. 8 Marquette Golden Eagles (6-2). Marquette is favored by 8.5 points while the total is set at 151.5.
I went against my better judgment and backed the away team in the Memphis game, but I’m taking the home favorites in this one. Marquette is one of the most battle-tested teams in the country, and they should make short work of a relatively untested Texas squad.
Diving into the advanced numbers, Texas is 27th on KenPom (22nd in adjusted O; 46th in adjusted D) and 31st on Bart Torvik. Their only loss came by 10 to UConn, but they haven’t played anyone else inside KenPom’s top 100.
The second-best team they’ve played is Louisville (160th) — a team that won four games last season (but only lost to Texas by one). It makes sense, then, that the Longhorns have the 320th-ranked strength of schedule, per KenPom.
Marquette, meanwhile, has the 7th-toughest strength of schedule. They’ve dropped two of their last three — to Purdue (2nd) and Wisconsin (12th) — but have three monster wins on their resume. The Golden Eagles took down Illinois (14th) in a true road game before beating UCLA (39th) and Kansas (11th) on a neutral floor.
That’s propelled Marquette to a No. 8 ranking on KenPom (11th in adjusted O; 17th in adjusted D). They’re truly one of the most efficient teams in the country, ranking 39th in effective field goal percentage and 11th in turnover rate.
This is a tough spot for Texas playing their first true road game. Though they gave UConn a game on a neutral floor, I’m expecting Marquette to make short work of them and cruise to cover this 8.5-point line.
The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author’s advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.