College basketball best bets for Wednesday, 3/1: Xavier and Providence pour in points
March is here. It’s not yet March Madness, of course, but the regular season is coming down the home stretch and then it will be time for conference tournaments and ultimately the Big Dance. Wednesday’s schedule is a fun one, with 11 top-15 teams taking the court. That includes a pair of all-ranked showdowns: #19 Xavier at #20 Providence and #9 Texas at #22 TCU. Alabama, Gonzaga and Kansas State are also in action.
Let’s take a look at my 3 best bets for Wednesday.
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Xavier vs Providence Over 151.5 (-105
We have an extreme line movement on our hands in this Big East matchup. The over/under opened as high as 155 at some sportsbooks and now stands at 151.5. I already thought the over was a decent play even at 155, and now it’s obviously even better. These 2 conference rivals faced each other at Xavier earlier in the season and the result was an 85-83 overtime victory for the Musketeers. Xavier and Providence combined to fork up 43 shots from the land of plenty, making 39.5 percent of those attempts. Per KenPom, both teams rank in the top 20 in adjusted offensive efficiency and outside the top 70 in adjusted defensive efficiency. The Musketeers have scored exactly 82 points in 2 of their last 3 games; the Friars have reached the 85-point mark in 3 of their last 4.
TCU -1.5 over Texas (-110)
This isn’t a big spread for 1 of the best and certainly most underrated teams in the country playing on its home floor. TCU lost a decent number of games while star guard Mike Miles was sidelined, which continues to deflate their stock. When Miles is on the floor, though, the Horned Frogs are a well-oiled machine. A 4-game losing streak without him has given way to 2 wins in the last 3 outings with him. Moreover, this just isn’t a great matchup for Texas. The Longhorns just barely won 79-75 on their home floor back in January, so I expect the Frogs to get revenge. TCU’s defense is ranked #28 nationally in 3-point percentage and Texas’s offense is ranked #154 in 3-point shooting.
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George Washington vs Davidson Over 149 (-110)
This should be an absolute track meet in the Atlantic 10. Both teams are on a roll right now – especially at the offensive end of the floor – to the tune of respective 3-game winning streaks. George Washington has both scored and given up at least 80 points in all 3 of its recent wins. It is true that 2 of those games went to overtime, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Colonials are scoring and giving up bunches of points on a consistent basis. Four different players are averaging in double-figures, led by James Bishop IV with 21.6 ppg. He has delivered at least 23 points in four consecutive contests. Davidson has exceeded the 70-point mark in 3 straight and in 5 of its last 6, a stretch that includes a 93-point performance during a victory at UMass
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