Wednesday College Basketball Best Bets: Kentucky – Texas A&M, Wake Forest – Georgia Tech

Written By Eli Hershkovich on January 19, 2022 - Last Updated on January 20, 2022
College Basketball Best Bets

Following a loaded Tuesday slate of games, including Florida State upsetting No. 6 Duke, Wednesday’s college basketball schedule presents bettors with promising matchups and situational spots. These circumstances are directed by bounce-back, letdown, look-ahead or revenge opportunities. Here’s a look at my college basketball best bets — highlighted by an SEC battle between No. 12 Kentucky and Texas A&M.

Click on the odds below to place a wager.

In this COVID era, some of these bets are contingent on the betting market and player availability, so be sure to check back and follow me on Twitter. You can also continue the discussion in our Discord betting community, as we dissect all of the games.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Although the Demon Deacons have risen in my college basketball power rankings after an upset win at Virginia, they’re running into a difficult spot against Josh Pastner’s bunch. Not only am I expecting a motivated effort from the Yellow Jackets, following their blowout loss at UNC, but their defense also sets up well in this matchup.

Wake Forest’s attack is hyper-efficient with fast-break opportunities, compiling 1.10 points per possession (PPP via ShotQuality). Keep in mind, that’s on par with Kentucky. Nevertheless, transition defense is a strong suit for Georgia Tech, and I’m expecting them to slow down the tempo a bit — given their ability to clean up the defensive glass.

Plus, Pastner’s 1-3-1 zone forces miscues at the fifth-highest percentage in ACC play. As crisp as Oklahoma transfer Alondes Williams & Co. look at times offensively, they’re notching the conference’s highest turnover rate during the ACC slate.

Backing an isolation-driven Georgia Tech team isn’t an enjoyable experience, yet expect it to do enough at the other end to cover.

Eli’s Bet: Georgia Tech +2.5 (placed on Tuesday afternoon at DraftKings Sportsbook)
College Basketball Best Bets: Georgia Tech +2.5 or better
Best Available Line: Georgia Tech

No. 12 Kentucky Wildcats at Texas A&M Aggies

I’m as big of a believer in these Wildcats as anyone, betting Kentucky national title futures on Dec. 20. But this matchup represents a prime look-ahead spot with Auburn on deck.

Similar to Wake Forest-Georgia Tech, the Aggies will rely on their defense to hang around. Buzz Williams runs a “Cover Two” scheme, which hinges upon dropping a defender from the top of the arc into the paint. Consider it a matchup zone, aiming to force opposing offenses to operate around the perimeter.

The Wildcats aren’t dependent on 3-point shots, yet their aforementioned success in transition could prevent Williams’ bunch from consistently utilizing his philosophy. Still, the Aggies are limiting opponents to the 25th-lowest efficiency in that department.

On top of that, Kentucky is due for some negative shooting regression after pouring in an average of 1.32 PPP in its last three contests. On the flip side, Texas A&M’s perimeter shooters should be able to exploit Calipari’s setup if they’re on. I’m banking on that, along with the spot.

Eli’s Bet: Texas A&M +7.5 (placed on Tuesday afternoon at PointsBet Sportsbook)
College Basketball Best Bets: Texas A&M +7.5 or better
Best Available Line: Texas A&M

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Written by
Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

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