Within Thursday’s 65-game college hoops slate, there’s a valuable betting angle in the Horizon League tournament between No. 3 seed Northern Kentucky against No. 6 Detroit Mercy. Let’s dive into my college basketball best bets for this matchup.
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Detroit Mercy Titans at Northern Kentucky Norse
Although Northern Kentucky will be seeking revenge after dropping both of their regular season games against Detroit Mercy, there’s plenty of motivation both ways with their March Madness odds on the line.
How Detroit Exploits The Opposition
The Norse runs a zone defense while surrendering the conference’s second-highest perimeter scoring rate. It also allows the second-most efficient catch-and-shoot 3-point looks in Horizon League play (via ShotQuality), which typically occurs against schemes that aim limit dribble penetration.
Enter the Titans, manufacturing the third-highest scoring rate from behind the arc across Division I. They’re led by 6-foot-1 point guard Antoine Davis, who’s an elite scorer (24.2 ppg) and a capable floor-spacer as well (38.5%).
Given Davis’ playmaking prowess, Detroit’s attack should be in position to space out Darrin Horn’s scheme once again. Titans stretch-five Noah Waterman even missed the first meeting with a concussion.
Retaining Possession A Major Factor
Both defense aim to generate takeaways via their ball pressure — with Northern Kentucky accruing the 38th-highest opponents’ turnover percentage. Miscues aren’t as big of a concern for Davis as they are for Norse point guard Bryson Langdon, though.
Despite the 5-foot-9 Langdon’s top-130 assist rate, he’s turning it over nearly 28.0% of his run on the floor. If Detroit accrues double-digit takeaways for a third time, it’ll have success slowing down the tempo and playing at its methodical pace.
Even though the Titans opened as four-point underdogs, I’m willing to back it down to +3. They’re live to advance to league tournament semifinals too.
Eli’s College Basketball Best Bets: Detroit +3 (-110)
Best Available Line: Detroit