With nine ranked teams in action on Friday, there are plenty of intriguing matchups on the oddsboard. Let’s break down my college basketball best bets, focusing on No. 22 St. Bonaventure vs. Clemson and Creighton vs. Brown.
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College Basketball Best Bets: Friday, Nov. 19
St. Bonaventure Bonnies vs. Clemson Tigers
The Bonnies are considered the best mid-major squad in college basketball while the Tigers are the ACC’s sleeper team. So which one presents more value in the Charleston Classic semifinals?
Although Brad Brownell’s unit lacks a go-to interior presence, like Aamir Sims provided a season ago, its long-range gunners makes up for that. Clemson shot 52.4% from distance in Thursday’s win over Temple, which undeniably won’t continue on a game-by-game basis. But Nick Honor & Co. deliver a five-out offense that’s tough to match up with.
Enter St. Bonaventure, which has more size than Clemson yet lacks the pieces to give its floor-spacing lineup fits. It’s especially the case when the 6-foot-10 Osun Osunniyi is on the floor, as he isn’t quick enough to stick with Tigers bigs Hunter Tyson or P.J. Hall.
Mark Schmidt’s bunch is allowing a top-40 perimeter scoring rate as a result, so Clemson’s offense has an advantage.
At the other end, the Bonnies could give the Tigers issues inside with Osunniyi and their flawless off-ball movement. But given the spread, I’ll back Brownell’s team getting a possession despite a primarily St. Bonaventure crowd.
Eli’s College Basketball Best Bets: Clemson +3 (bet down to +2.5)
Best Available Line: Clemson
Creighton Bluejays vs. Brown Bears
Greg McDermott’s team is coming off an impressive road win at Nebraska on Tuesday. But keep in mind, the Cornhuskers lost guard Trey McGowens to a foot injury in the first half.
This game represents a sell-high spot with Creighton, especially on a neutral floor in the Virgin Islands. Although the Bluejays boast an elite freshman class, McDermott has been tasked with replacing all of his starters from last season’s Sweet 16 team.
Considering Creighton doesn’t have the consistent perimeter shooting that it’s possessed in the past, it’s needed to rely on its interior offense in the early goings. Meanwhile, Brown’s extremely athletic lineup is surrendering a bottom-125 two-point scoring rate across Division I.
The Bears nearly knocked off North Carolina on the road last week, and their 3-point shooting should generate similar concerns for Creighton.
Eli’s College Basketball Best Bets: Brown +12.5 (bet down to +11.5, or play it live)
Best Available Line: Brown