Friday College Basketball Best Bets: Gonzaga vs. MSU, Liberty vs. Bama

Written By Eli Hershkovich on November 11, 2022 - Last Updated on November 12, 2022
College Basketball Best Bets

For the first time this season, we’re gifted with a loaded college basketball odds board. Let’s break down my college basketball best bets for Friday’s slate. Join our Discord betting channel (under the #roles server) and receive a notification from Discord when I make a bet.

Click on any of the odds below to place a wager as well.

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Gonzaga vs. Michigan State: Spread, Moneyline, Total

For starters, this game will take place on an aircraft carrier in downtown San Diego. No, that’s not a joke.

The total has dipped nearly eight points after opening at 155.5. Considering the last two aircraft carrier games have tallied a combined 8-of-54 (14.8%) shooting performance from behind the arc, this move isn’t surprising.

In regards to spread, I noted my concerns about Gonzaga’s defense in my college basketball power rankings. However, that’s not a huge issue in this game — given the notion that Michigan State is still discovering its offensive identity. Not only did the Spartans overachieve by six wins in 2021-22 (per ShotQuality’s luck rating), but they also lost their fair share of offense via the likes of Gabe Brown and Max Christie.

Mind you, Marcus Bingham and Julius Marble — two valuable frontcourt pieces — are gone as well. Outside of 6-foot-9 Mady Sissoko, there isn’t another Spartan who can match up with Drew Timme, a Wooden Award contender (), in the low-post.

If Gonzaga is also able to push the tempo to its liking, the Spartans’ poorly-rated transition defense won’t be able to keep them in the game. I don’t have a bet because of the unknowns with this venue, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bulldogs win by double figures.

Related: Eli’s College Basketball National Title Futures

Liberty at Alabama: Spread, Moneyline, Total

Although Nate Oats reloaded his roster with a bevy of five-star freshmen and transfers, the Crimson Tide will have their hands full with one of the premier mid-majors in college basketball.

Liberty represents the antithesis of Alabama, possessing chemistry while playing at a methodical tempo. On top of that, Ritchie McKay operates a pack-line defense, which forces opponents to rely on perimeter shots. The Tide should see some positive regression after an abysmal shooting display last season (30.9%), yet this group isn’t necessarily built to do it in the halfcourt for a full 40 minutes.

To make matters worse, St. Bonaventure transfer Dom Welch, a career 37.4% 3-point gunner, will likely miss this contest with a lower-body injury.

Assuming Flames point guard Darius McGhee helps maintain a slower pace throughout, his team is built to hang within three possessions — at the least. I backed Liberty for the first of my college basketball best bets, and you’ll find it in our aforementioned Discord channel. Play them down to +9.5.

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Penn at Missouri: Spread, Moneyline, Total

Yes, Iona demolished Penn by 28 points on opening night. Yes, we’re going back to the well with the Quakers.

Steve Donahue’s unit delivered a 3-of-25 shooting performance on Monday, producing 0.71 PPP in the process. However, it missed plenty of open looks, which is why ShotQuality projected that the Quakers should’ve notched 1.00 PPP.

Variance is a natural part of any sport, and they did face off against Rick Pitino’s stingy pressure defense. But expect a hyper-focused effort against a defense that’s incorporating several transfers and a brand-new coach in Dennis Gates.

Donahue’s “shuffle offense,” elicited from the Princeton offense, should have more success if junior guard Jordan Dingle and his backcourt mate Clark Slajchert refine their respective efficiency, too. I’m a little uneasy about Dingle’s undisclosed injury, yet the junior guard logged 24 minutes in Penn’s blowout loss.

Moreover, Penn boasts legitimate rim protectors in Max Lorca-Lloyd and Gus Larson. Their presence will be critical against a team that aims to attack off the bounce and get to the free-throw line. Despite adding Noah Carter (Northern Iowa) and Nick Honor (Clemson), among others in the portal, they lack outside shooting.

Similar to Liberty, I bet the opener for the second of my college basketball best bets. Play it down to +13 (-110). If you’re unable to grab that spread, try to live bet this game.

For more college basketball analysis, subscribe to, rate, and review TheLines’ Outside Shots podcast.

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