College Basketball Betting Picks for Wednesday 11/29/23

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD
College Basketball Betting Picks for Wednesday 11/29/23

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

Grand Canyon at UT Rio Grande Valley

Grand Canyon -7.5 1H (-110)

We kick things off down south where the Grand Canyon Lopes (4-1) visit the UT Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros (2-5). Grand Canyon is favored by 13.5 points, and the total is set at 151.5.

Grand Canyon sits at 75th on KenPom and 76th on Bart Torvik. Their strength lies on the offensive end where they average 81.4 points per game (70th) and rank 52nd in KenPom's adjusted offensive efficiency. The Lopes are led by former Kansas wing Tyon Grant-Foster (22 points per game) and First Team All-WAC guard Ray Harrison (13.8).

UT Rio Grande Valley will be the second-worst team Grand Canyon has played this year, per KenPom. The Lopes have wins over SE Missouri (347th), Northern Arizona (241st), San Francisco (69th), and North Dakota State (232). Their lone loss came by seven to South Carolina (64th).

For UT Rio Grande Valley, the Vaqueros are down at 317th on KenPom and 338 on Bart Torvik. They average just 73.9 points per game (211th) and rank 328th in adjusted offensive efficiency. Defensively, UT Rio Grande Valley is 278 in adjusted defensive efficiency, allowing 80.1 points per game (328th).

The Vaqueros are led by JUCO transfer Elijah Elliot (16.6 points per game) and forward Ahren Freeman (10.4 points; 6.6 rebounds).

UT Rio Grande Valley has not beaten a Division-I opponent this season. They were blasted by both Power Conference opponents they faced: 88-55 against TCU and 90-66 against Oklahoma.

Clearly, Grand Canyon has the upper hand here. However, in a road game in such a volatile sport, I'm wary of laying 13.5 for the entire game.

That said, there's real value in the first-half spread. UT Rio Grande Valley has the single-worst first-half scoring margin (-22.6) of all 362 D-I programs. In their five games against D-I opponents, the Vaqueros have trailed by 34, 11, 14, 20, and 34 points. On top of that, they only held a four-point halftime advantage against D-II North American.

Grand Canyon, meanwhile, is no stranger to big opening halves. They rank 83rd nationally with a +5.4 first-half scoring margin and are averaging 38.4 first-half points per game. The Lopos held a 24-point halftime lead over SE Missouri (347th on KenPom) and a 12-point advantage over Northern Arizona (241st on KenPom).

I like Grand Canyon to come out hot tonight and cover this 7.5-point first-half line.

Georgia at Florida State

Georgia +8.5 (-102)

The Georgia Bulldogs (3-3) and Florida State Seminoles (4-1) square off in the ACC/SEC challenge tonight. Florida State is favored by 8.5 points, and the total is set at 153.5.

I'm all over the visiting Bulldogs.

Georgia is ranked 84th on KenPom and 108th on Bart Torvik. They can struggle offensively -- 70.8 points per game (260th) and 144th in adjusted offensive efficiency -- but are true stalwarts on the defensive end of the floor. The Bulldogs have allowed 72 points per game (198th) but rank 48th in adjusted defensive efficiency. They guard the three well (28.7%; 68th) and come up with a ton of steals (5.2 per game; 55th).

They may already have three losses, but none of them are bad. Georgia dropped neutral site matchups with Oregon (51st), Miami (46th), and Providence (44th) all by 11 or fewer points. They picked up notable wins over Wake Forest (83rd) and Winthrop (151st).

The Bulldogs are led by a pair of senior guards in transfer Noah Thomasson (14.3 points per game) and Jabri Abdur-Rahim (13.3). Thomasson -- a First Team All-MAAC guard in 2022-23 -- has really picked up steam of late, notching 19 and 24 points in their last two games.

Looking at FSU, the Seminoles sit at 70th on KenPom and 78th on Bart Torvik. They're a balanced group that averages 83.2 points per game (48th) and gives up 73.8 points per game (241st). Florida State ranks 76th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 69th in adjusted defensive efficiency.

They're lockdown when defending the three, allowing just 4.4 threes per game (12th) at a 23.9% clip (eighth). On top of that, they do a great job of forcing turnovers (18.4 per game; third).

Florida State is led by upperclassmen Jamir Watkins (14.2 points per game) and Darin Green Jr. (13.2), along with sophomore Cam Corhen (10.8).

The Seminoles are coming off a big win over Colorado, KenPom's 34th-ranked team. Among their other notable results were an eight-point win over UNLV (125th) and a 21-point loss to Florida (29th).

Although this will be their first true road game, I like a battle-tested Georgia team to keep things tight with Florida State and cover this 8.5-point spread. With that, I'm not expecting a ton of offense and have a strong lean toward the Under 153.5 (-110).

Louisiana Tech at New Mexico

New Mexico -6.5 (-120)

We close things out today out west where the New Mexico Lobos (5-1) host the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (5-1). Despite their identical records, New Mexico is a 6.5-point favorite, and the total is set at 149.5.

Both squads are top-100 KenPom teams. New Mexico is ranked 50th overall (50th in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency), while Lousiana Tech is down at No. 93 (123rd in adjusted offensive efficiency and 85th in adjusted defensive efficiency).

Despite that, I see a clear advantage with New Mexico and am more than comfortable laying 6.5 points with them.

Louisiana Tech has played only one game against a team inside KenPom's top 75. They lost a true road game to Colorado State (27th). The Bulldogs did take down McNeese State (89th) in addition to Louisiana Monroe (291st) and Southern Utah (233rd). Their two other wins came against D-II opponents.

The Bulldogs are led by a trio of upperclassmen. Senior Isaiah Crawford (14.2 points) paces the team in scoring with juniors Daniel Batcho (14 points; 9.5 rebounds) and Jaylin Henderson (12.5 points) not far behind.

New Mexico will likely be without Preseason All-MW guard Jamal Mashburn Jr (18.2 points per game), but fellow Preseason First Teamer Jaelen House is trending toward playing. House averaged 16.9 points and 4.7 assists per game last season while shooting 43% from the floor and 38% from deep. He's been limited to just one game this season.

For as good of a scorer as Mashburn is, he's shooting just 35% from the floor this season despite taking over 16 shot attempts per game. He averages just 1.9 assists per game for his career, so there should be more shots to go around for this Lobos team.

That could lead to more looks for leading scorer Donovan Dent and freshman standout JT Toppin. Dent has taken a huge step up with Mashburn and House hobbled, upping his scoring from 5.6 to 18.5 points per game. He's coming off a dominant 24-point, 7-assist game in their win over Pepperdine.

As for Toppin, the 6'9" freshman was a four-star recruit and is coming off a monster three-game outing at the Ball Dawgs Classic. In three New Mexico wins, he averaged 17.0 points and 8.3 rebounds while shooting 81% from the floor.

It doesn't hurt that New Mexico is at home. The Lobos rank sixth in the country in KenPom's home court advantage estimate. They went 15-5 in home games last season and have gone 21-13-3 against the spread at home since Richard Pitino took over in 2021-22, per Team Rankings.

Simply put, New Mexico is too much for Louisiana Tech to handle in a tough road environment. I won't be shocked if this gets out of hand early and am all over New Mexico -6.5.

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.