The Friday college basketball slate leaves much to be desired, with only a single top-25 team in action. Outside of that contest, there is little intrigue but still plenty of opportunities to pad your bankroll for the NCAA Tournament wagering finale. Here are our NCAA Basketball best bets for Friday.
College Basketball Best Bets for Friday, February 24th
Xavier Musketeers (-1) at Seton Hall Pirates
Where: Prudential Center, Newark
College Basketball Lines
Time: 7:00 PM EST
In a meeting of two programs that are heading in the wrong direction as the tournament looms, Seton Hall will host Xavier in the only game of the evening featuring a top-25 club. Both clubs have lost three of their last four contests, though for different reasons. Xavier is missing their leading scorer and rebounder, Zach Freemantle who is out with a foot injury. The Pirates have been without Dre Davis for the last six contests though the 6’6 wing has been little more than a bit player for coach Shaheen Holloway this season.
As a home underdog, the Seton Hall Pirates have covered just a single time in four opportunities. During the last four games on the season, the Pirates have managed fewer than 63 points in each of the four losses. The club remains a stout defensive club though it rarely matters if you are unable to put points on the board.
Xavier has performed rather admirably despite the absence of their star forward, as freshman forward Jerome Hunter appears to be coming into his own as Freemantle convalesces. The Musketeers have fallen to 20-8 overall on the season with an 11-5 record in Big East play and have secured their dance card, but their seeding is likely taking a hit lately, given their inability to place any notches in the left-hand column. Xavier has covered in three of their last five contests and should be expected to again on Friday.
Nevada Wolfpack (-6) at Fresno State Bulldogs
Where: Save Mart Center, Fresno, CA
College Basketball Lines
Time: 11:00 PM EST
Backing two road teams on the same day may seem like a risky proposition, but this spread feels like a misfire by those that make those determinations. This contest features the best team in the Mountain West Conference against the spread in the Wolfpack at 17-8-2 ATS, while the Bulldogs are one of the worst at 10-16 against the number.
The Pack is outperforming the spread by +2.0 points per contest in their eleven true road games this season and defeated the Bulldogs by eleven points just two weeks ago. Meanwhile, Fresno State has covered the number in just five of their eleven home games during the campaign and is underperforming the spread by nearly a point per contest at home. Their home margin of victory is just +1.2 points per game on the season, which is the worst in the Mountain West on the season. Fresno State has covered in four of their last eight games on the season and has been defeated in six of their last nine games straight up.
Nevada is currently a top 40 team in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency and should coast to a comfortable victory and easily cover this number.
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