College Basketball Betting Odds & Picks: Syracuse & Northwestern Worth Fading?

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Written By Eli Hershkovich | Last Updated
College Basketball Picks

While the tip-off of March Madness odds is quickly approaching, it’s still difficult to determine which teams will see their efficiency rise or decline over the next few weeks. However, notable metrics can assist with handicapping. Let’s examine two potential negative regression nominees for college basketball picks during the weeknight slate.

The odds below showcase the spread, moneyline, and total markets for each matchup. Click any of them to bet on sites with the best sportsbook promo codes.

Virginia tech at Syracuse; tuesday, 7 p.m. ET on ESPNu

Some things never change. After winning three of the last four games, the Orange have miraculously played themselves onto the NCAA tournament bubble. Not only will they need assistance (in the form of losses) from other at-large candidates down the stretch, but their white-hot floor spacing must also sustain itself.

Syracuse is shooting 38.4% from behind the arc during this recent stretch. Chris Bell, a four-star freshman, is the driving force behind its proficiency. Although Bell & Co. were due for positive variance from 3-point land before this span, they’ve likely overstayed their welcome.

According to KenPom’s luck metric, the Orange are the sixth-luckiest team across D-I. This category represents the deviation in winning percentage, regarding their actual and expected record. It incorporates the correlated Gaussian method.

Nearly a third of Syracuse’s wins have come by two or fewer possessions, indicating good fortune. Additionally, it’s fallen by double digits to a slew of upper-echelon opponents, including Tennessee, Gonzaga, Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest, and Clemson. That isn’t a sign of a “good” team, either.

Enter Virginia Tech, which boasts the shooting to exploit an Orange defense that ranks No. 310 in open 3-point rate allowed. Granted, the Hokies rank No. 352 in Haslametrics‘ “Away From Home” metric. Their road inconsistencies could plague them again on Syracuse’s senior night, but this line is closer to a pick’em per my raw numbers.

The Tar Heel State announced North Carolina sports betting will go live on March 11 — right in time for the ACC tournament.

northwestern at maryland; wednesday, 7 p.m. ET on btn

For context, this spread opened Maryland -3.5. My raw numbers project it closer to -4.5/5.

I was high on the Terrapins in the preseason, yet freshmen Deshawn Harris-Smith and Jamie Kaiser have failed to meet expectations for much of the campaign. Unlike Syracuse, Maryland has been victimized by some cruel variance in close games, manufacturing a 1-9 record in these situations.

One of those losses came at Northwestern on Jan. 17. The Wildcats only shot 28.6% from behind the arc that night. Nevertheless, they’ve tallied a 42.5% clip in Big Ten play. According to ShotQuality, it should be closer to 34%, especially with two-guard Ty Berry (torn meniscus) out for the remainder of the year.

For context, Berry was their top-ranked marksman before suffering the injury at Nebraska on Feb. 7.

If Maryland’s ball pressure continues to create havoc around the perimeter, expect Kevin Willard‘s crew to win this game by more than a possession. Haslametrics’ projection aligns in the same direction, forecasting a 66.2-63.1 outcome in favoring the Terps.

watch outside shots: college basketball picks

Erik Haslam runs the analytics site referenced above and will return to Outside Shots once conference tournaments are underway. Catch this week’s betting preview below.

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Where Can You Bet On College Basketball Player Props?

Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia all outlaw betting on college props. Other states match the guidance of banning in-state school prop betting.

Virginia allows betting on in-state schools but not props on in-state players. The remaining states with sportsbooks allow wagering (plus live bets) on college basketball props picks, including in-state teams.

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