College Basketball Best Bets: Most Valuable Lines For Wednesday

Written By Eli Hershkovich on December 20, 2021 - Last Updated on December 23, 2021
College Basketball Best Bets

Even with the numerous COVID-driven cancellations across Division I, there are still a trio of intriguing games that highlight the midweek college basketball schedule. Let’s dig into my college basketball best bets, including a pair of ranked matchups.

Click on the odds below to place a wager when the lines are available.

With this article being published Monday evening, lines are not out yet for the Wednesday games featured below. I have my eye on a couple sides. Stay up to date in our free Discord betting community, as we dissect all of the games throughout the week.

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Liberty Flames vs. Northern Iowa Panthers

Although Ben Jacobson’s squad has dealt with an up-and-down start to the campaign, his team possesses the pieces to dismantle Ritchie McKay’s pack-line defense in the Diamond Head Classic.

Not only do the Panthers deploy a perimeter-oriented offense, generating the 43rd-highest three-point scoring rate in the country, but they’ve also faced this type of defense against St. Bonaventure.

Be sure to monitor if Northern Iowa big man Austin Phyfe will receive his regular minutes after returning from long COVID-19.

Overall, look for A.J. Green & Co. deliver enough scoring to maintain an uptempo pace and bother Liberty’s methodical attack.

College Basketball Best Bets: Consider UNI against the spread
Best Available Line: UNI

College Basketball Best Bets

A.J. Green represents one of college basketball’s premier mid-major scorers.

No. 6 Arizona Wildcats at No. 19 Tennessee Volunteers

I’m a believer in the Wildcats’ long-term prospects, but this road affair features a Vols bunch that excels in transition too.

Despite Arizona’s absurd length, it’s struggled to defend ball-screen action around the arc, surrendering the 69th-highest three-point scoring rate.

We’ve seen Tennessee’s long-range shooting fall apart against upper-tier competition in Villanova and Texas Tech, yet both of those games were at neutral sites. If Santiago Vescovi and his teammates are on from deep, this game should be competitive throughout.

At the other end, Tennessee is letting up the seventh-lowest near-proximity field goal percentage (lay-ups, dunks and tip-ins via Haslametrics), which will challenge the interior-led Wildcats.

Assuming the betting market is all over Arizona, there could be value with the home team.

College Basketball Best Bets: Consider Tennessee ATS
Best Available Line: Tennessee

College Basketball Best Bets

Kennedy Chandler, No. 1, was a top-10 recruit in the 2021 class.

No. 18 Xavier at No. 23 Villanova (From Tuesday)

Travis Steele’s team has outperformed expectations thus far, and it’s nearing Villanova in my college basketball power rankings. But the Wildcats are set up for a bounce-back spot after consecutive straight-up losses.

The Musketeers’ biggest liability is turnovers, ranking No. 218 in turnover rate across Division I. Villanova’s ball pressure has been more effective than in past seasons because of its ability to switch at almost every position. If Jay Wright’s bunch can force Paul Scruggs and the rest of Xavier’s backcourt into miscues, it’ll lead to a slower pace throughout while limiting Xavier’s transition opportunities.

Expect positive shooting luck for the Wildcats as well after going 23-of-100 from behind the arc over their last three games. Nevertheless, there isn’t enough pregame betting value for this contest, so aim for a live bet instead.

College Basketball Best Bets: Consider Villanova live -2.5 or better
Best Available Line: Villanova
Final Score: 71-58 Villanova

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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.

View all posts by Eli Hershkovich