College Basketball Betting Picks for Thursday 11/30/23

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD
College Basketball Betting Picks for Thursday 11/30/23

The college basketball season always provides a flurry of twists and turns that few saw coming -- especially when March Madness comes around. This can make college basketball one of the most challenging sports to bet on.

Fortunately, we have plenty of tools available that can aid our chances of taking the most favorable college basketball bets. Bart Torvik and KenPom are excellent sources that give insights into team-level efficiency, and Sports Reference provides a wide range of useful team stats, as well.

Let's check out FanDuel Sportsbook's college basketball odds and select some of the best bets of the day by utilizing the mentioned tools.

Please note lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published.

College Basketball Best Bets

Liberty at No. 13 Florida Atlantic

Florida Atlantic -7.5 (-110)

In one of the better Mid-Major matchups of the season, the Liberty Flames (6-0) travel south to take on the 13th-ranked Florida Atlantic Owls (5-1). FAU is favored by 7.5 points, while the total is set at 143.5.

Liberty has run the table thus far, catapulting themselves up the advanced ratings. KenPom has Liberty ranked 40th before tonight's action, though Bart Torvik has them at No. 60.

Their strength lies on the offensive side of the ball where the Flames average 85.8 points per game (25th) and rank 27th in KenPom's adjusted offensive efficiency. They currently lead all 362 Division-I programs in Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%) and have turned the ball over at a measly 12.4% clip (38th). 48% of Liberty's shot attempts have come from three (14th-highest) and they're shooting 42.4% from distance (6th).

The Flames feature a relatively balanced attack spearheaded by a trip of upperclassmen. Senior forward Kyle Rode leads the way with 16.3 points and 3.3 threes per game (48.5%). Juniors Brody Peebles and Kaden Metheny chip in 14.7 and 12.3, respectively.

While their starting lineup is stellar offensively, Liberty lacks size. For the most part, the Flames play seven players -- none of whom are taller than 6'7". They've miraculously managed to post a top-20 rebound rate (57.1%), but it's more than fair to question whether that's sustainable against better competition.

Liberty has played the 123rd-ranked strength of schedule thus far. They've only faced one team inside KenPom's top 100 -- Wichita St. (93rd) -- though Charlotte (130th), Furman (139th), and Vermont (120th) aren't cakewalks by any means. Still, while they've won every game by double digits, there are certainly doubts about how they line up against the nation's best.

There are no such questions for Florida Atlantic. Not after they made a run to the Final Four last season and then returned 90.3% of their minutes, the third-highest mark in the country per Bart Torvik.

The Owls have largely picked up right where they left off. After a miraculous home loss to Bryant (215th on KenPom), FAU ran through the ESPN Events Invitational. They edged out wins over Butler (56th) and Texas A&M (23rd) before pummeling Virginia Tech (69th) by 34 points in the championship game.

Consequently, FAU has flown up the advanced ratings, currently ranking 21st on KenPom and 13th on Bart Torvik.

Florida Atlantic is a balanced squad that comes in at No. 18 in adjusted offensive efficency and No. 38 in adjusted defensive efficency. Like their opponents tonight, the Owls are highly efficient on offense. In addition to averaging 83 points per game (44th), they rank 21st in eFG% and only turn the ball over at a 13.5% rate (82nd).

FAU features a deep offensive attack with seven players averaging between eight and 15 points. Co-Preseason AAC Players of the Year Johnell Davis (13.8 points per game) and Alijah Martin (12.5) carry the load on the perimeter, but the X-factor tonight is leading scorer Vlad Goldin. The 7'1" center is one of the best two-way bigs in the country. He averages 14.7 points per game on 72.7% shooting (fourth in D-I), simultaneously corralling 6.3 rebounds and blocking 2.2 shots per game.

Goldin is where FAU has a huge advantage tonight. He typically only plays around 20 minutes a night, but his performance against Butler (19 points and 11 rebounds in 30 minutes) gives me confidence that head coach Dusty May will stretch Goldin's minutes out if needed. Liberty doesn't have the size to hang with Goldin, nor the defensive prowess to contain the Owls' onslaught of guards.

Give me Florida Atlantic to easily cover this 7.5-point line against an unproven Liberty squad.

Texas Tech at Butler

Butler -1.5 (-122)

The slate's pretty small tonight, so other than FAU, I don't see a ton of value on the board.

That is, outside of Indianapolis, Indiana where the Butler Bulldogs (5-2) are 1.5-point home favorites against the Texas Tech Raiders (5-1). With a 137.5-point total, this looks to be a tight, defensive-minded affair.

That bodes well for Butler.

The Bulldogs have essentially an entirely different team from last season, and the early results are encouraging. They enter tonight's action ranked 56th on KenPom and 69th on Bart Torvik. Through seven games, Butler has averaged 80.6 (77th) and given up 65.3 (79th) points per game. Equally strong on both ends of the floor, the Bulldogs slide in at No. 60 in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency.

Butler has an incredible group of guards. All four starting guards average double-digit points and shoot over 40% from the floor. Michigan State transfer Pierre Brooks (16.7 points) leads the way, followed by Jahmyl Telfort (13.9), DJ Davis (11.4), and Posh Alexander (10.7). They're all experienced upperclassmen who won't shy away from a tough Texas Tech defense.

Tech's defense is good. Like, really good. The Raiders are 49th overall on KenPom and 43rd on Bart Torvik. They rank 15th in adjusted defensive efficiency but just 104th in adjusted offensive efficency. They've given up more than 70 points just once all season.

However, the Raiders can struggle on offense. They rank outside the top 200 in eFG% and turnover rate and are shooting a putrid 27.4% from three. Joe Toussaint (14.5 points per game) and Pop Issacs (13.7) can light it up, but neither are wildly efficient, and there isn't much scoring outside of those two.

If you look at how Villanova took down Texas Tech, I think Butler can follow a similar recipe. 'Nova got 35 points from their three starting guards and another 24 from three guards off their bench. They didn't do anything crazy from three (9 makes at 37.5%) but out-rebounded the Raiders by 8 and only turned the ball over 10 times.

Butler fits that mold. The majority of their offense comes from a deep group of guards that have helped Butler turn the ball over at just a 13.1% clip (65th). Rebounding is a question mark, but their defense is good enough that they should be able to handle a slight disadvantage on the glass.

With how balanced Butler is, I think they should take care of business at home and cover as 1.5-point favorites.

Looking for more college basketball betting opportunities? Head over to FanDuel Sportsbook to check out all of the upcoming college basketball odds.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.