Happy Thanksgiving everyone! While the NFL traditionally rules the day on Turkey Day, an action-packed college basketball game offers excellent ways to make money. We marked the odds, moves and ours college basketball picks and the best bets for Thursday.
With only 20 games involving Division I teams on Thursday’s college basketball schedule, we’re making up for that small number. In addition to the second day of the Battle 4 Atlantis, many intriguing games in the west end in the Phil Knight Invitational and Phil Knight Legacy brackets.
Here are our best bets for Thursday’s college basketball slate (odds via Caesars Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook; choose confidence on a scale of 1 to 5 stars).
Thursday’s College Basketball Schedule and Odds
(opportunities through DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Wisconsin (+235) vs. Kansas (-280)
- North Carolina (-1650) vs. Portland (+950)
- Tennessee (-435) vs. USC (+350)
- Duke (no money line, -21.5) vs. the state of Oregon
- UConn (-155) vs. Oregon (+135)
- Purdue (-120) vs West Virginia (+100)
- Alabama (-170) vs Michigan State (+145)
Check out our top Maryland sports betting sites.
Thursday College Basketball Best Bets
- Moneyline: Xavier (-118 via FanDuel) v. Florida
- Spread: Army +10 (-110 via Caesars) vs. Princeton
- Total: Kansas-Wisconsin over 131.5 (-114 via FanDuel)
- Upset: West Virginia (+100 via Caesars) vs. Purdue
- Prop Pick: Memphis Team Totally Under (OUT)
Check out our top Maryland sports betting sites.
Top College Basketball Picks for Thursday
Moneyline: Xavier (-118) ★★★
The Xavier Musketeers narrowly missed a golden opportunity for one of the best non-conference wins to date by any Big East team, losing by two points in a high-level home game against Indiana on Friday.
Even losing, Xavier proved it would be a contender in the Big East this year, which should come as no surprise considering it’s in the top 30 in D-1 experience. In addition, new head coach Sean Miller brings unparalleled energy and consistently empowers his players to succeed. Head coach Todd Golden’s Florida Gators don’t press the ball as recklessly as the teams of Billy Donovan or Mike White did before him, as the team forces turnovers at just a 16.9% clip (ranked 266th).
Xavier has a nice mix of indoor and outdoor scoring, and unlike most teams in college basketball these days, he doesn’t have to rely on the 3-point shot (28.7% of his shots are from deep to rank 332) to be successful to be.
Spread: Army +10 (-110) ★★★
After an overworked victory in Siena, Army has lost straight games to William & Mary and Radford. But we feel the Black Knights get too many points in this game, especially since Princeton lost to a Navy squad that was expected to finish just one spot higher than Army in the Patriot League preseason media poll.
Princeton is outside the top 350 in bank minutes, allowing late leads to slip as the Tigers have yet to find consistent production outside of their top five. See if Army uses a slower pace (currently at a top-65 pace) to mask some of the defensive flaws that saw it drop at least 80 points in three of its five games.
Caesars offers a +10 line for the underdogs, so as army backers we bet there on FanDuel and DraftKings Sportsbook which are at +9.5.
Total: Kansas-Wisconsin Over 131.5 (-114) ★★★★
The Under is probably the most popular play in this game, especially since Wisconsin and Dayton combined shot only 10-for-54 from 3-point range Wednesday and only managed 85 total points. However, we have much more confidence in Kansas’ offense at this point in the season than Dayton’s and believe this will be a game with higher scores than the pundits predict.
The biggest question going into the season for the Jayhawks was who would replace Ochai Agbaji’s scoring production. While many assumed it would be Jalen Wilson, though he’s been stellar in his own right this year, Kansas’ Gradey Dick’s 92 points are the most by a freshman at KU in five games in 25 years. The last freshman to score that many points this early in a season was Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham, who was the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft that year. Dick’s ability to expand the defense and complement Wilson (23.4 points and 9.6 rebounds per game) is a big reason the Jayhawks are so lethal early in the season.
We get another point of value through FanDuel, as other sportsbooks like BetMGM have a whopping 132.5 points in total.
Upset: West Virginia (+105) ★★★★
It’s quite possible that Purdue will have more success in the Big Ten than West Virginia does in the Big 12. But no team in the Big Ten plays the style West Virginia does, and it’s definitely the worst matchup for a Boilermakers- team without playmaking guards.
The Mountaineers have returned somewhat to their “Press Virginia” ways, opening the season right off the bat with a 40% pressure percentage and knocking over 25% of their opponents’ assets. The Mountaineers have since improved that percentage by flipping opponents at a 26.9% clip, and Purdue hasn’t found a reliable point guard as a floor general since the departure of Jaden Ivey.
Check out our top sites for Sports Betting in West Virginia.
Prop choice: Memphis team total Under (OFF) ★★★★
Looking to bounce back and forth in transition, head coach Penny Hardaway’s Memphis team hasn’t shown the most consistent ability to execute on the half-court offense. No coach can screw up a game like Seton Hall’s Shaheen Holloway. The Pirates spend an average of 18.3 seconds (313th in the nation) defending every possession, even with a game against the lightning fast Iowa Hawkeyes in their pocket.
That game is a good simulation for this non-conference tilt.
Check out our top sites for Tennessee sports betting.
Where to Bet on College Basketball
Here are ours top rated sportsbooks:
College basketball best bets as of 11/24/2022 at 8:31am ET.