College Basketball Best Bets For February 23rd, 2023

College Basketball Best Bets For February 23rd, 2023

Thursday’s college basketball slate only includes four contests that include ranked teams though the slate is downright massive. Today, we have Thursday’s NCAA Basketball best bets for you, with one early spread looking like a massive mistake. Let’s take a look at that one first.


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Northwestern Wildcats (+5) at Illinois Fighting Illini


When: February 23
Where: State Farm Center, Champaign, IL

Time: 9:00 PM EST

While this spread is speculative at the moment, it makes it likely that Northwestern will in fact, be a road dog when the spreads are officially released. This is a thought-provoking number, as the Wildcats are one of the hottest teams in the nation. Chris Collins’ club has won eight of their last ten games on the season, including victories over Purdue, Indiana, and Iowa.

In the previous meeting with Illinois, Northwestern pasted the Illini by a final score of 73-60. The Wildcats managed to keep Illinois star Terrance Shannon in check, holding him to just nine points on 3-8 shooting from the field while turning the ball over three times and fouling out in 33 minutes played.

The Northwestern Wildcats are the best team in the Big Ten Conference this season against the spread at 17-10 on the season. Coach Collins’ crew is outperforming the anticipated margin by a league-best +3.6 points per contest and owns a margin of victory of +6.6 points per ball game.

This Illinois team may be one of the most talented in the conference, but they are also incredibly inconsistent. They do rank third in the Big Ten against the spread at 16-10-1 on the season but are performing negatively on average against the spread at -0.6 points per ball game.

The Wildcats are also a league-best 6-2 ATS on the road this season, while Illinois is 9-5-1 ATS at home during the campaign. The Illini’s inconsistent nature and previous performance against Northwestern should lean you towards a Wildcats cover, at the very least.


Rice Owls at UAB Blazers: Over 162


When: February 23
Where: Bartow Arena, Birmingham, AL

Time: 7:30 PM EST

So many people often forget the totals, and this season we have been hot when picking them. This game appears to be fairly easy to pick. You have two programs that are absolutely destroying the totals lately. The Owls are the 42nd fastest-tempo team in the nation and ranked 104th in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency. They have gone over the total in each of their last six games, with the totals in those contests set to a range of 152-156 points.

The Blazers of UAB have been almost as impressive against the total lately, going over in five of their last six contests. UAB is an even faster team in terms of tempo, ranking 30th in the nation while ranking 45th in adjusted offensive efficiency. UAB ranks 94th in the nation in defensive efficiency, while Rice ranks just 258th in the country. Neither club defends the three-point line particularly well, and both clubs rank within the top 70 in the nation in shooting it. Take the over and sleep well.

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