College Basketball Betting Picks for Wednesday 2/21/24

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD
College Basketball Betting Picks for Wednesday 2/21/24

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

No. 24 Florida at No. 13 Alabama

Over 174.5 (-115)


Two of the country's top offenses square off in Tuscaloosa tonight when the No. 24 Florida Gators (18-7, 8-4 conference) visit the No. 13 Alabama Crimson Tide (18-7, 10-2). FanDuel Sportsbook has the line set at Alabama -8.5 and the over/under at 174.5 points.

A total that high is going to scare away a lot of people, but there's still value in the over given the wealth of offensive firepower from both sides.

Florida averages 84.8 points per game, the eighth-highest mark in college basketball. The Gators love to push the pace, ranking 36th nationally in KenPom's adjusted tempo. They aren't especially efficient but do a wonderful job taking care of the ball and crashing the glass. Florida sports the third-highest offensive rebound rate in the country, and that's spurred them to attempt 43% of their shots at the rim this season, the highest mark in the SEC.

On the opposite side, Alabama features the nation's top scoring offense, averaging 90.7 points per game. The Crimson Tide rate out as the country's most efficient offense in several models, including numberFire, KenPom, and Bart Torvik.

It's easy to see why. Bama ranks 10th in two-point field goal percentage, 11th in three-point field goal percentage, and 6th in free throw percentage. Though they're efficient inside the arc, the Crimson Tide make their mark from downtown. They have the sixth-highest three-point attempt rate in the country, and their 11.8 made threes per game ranks second nationally. Alabama is 11th in adjusted tempo and has exceeded 90 points in 12 of their 25 games.

Defensively, neither side is especially inspiring. Consequently, both have witnessed their fair share of shootouts. Alabama is 15-10 toward the over while nine of their 25 games have finished north of 174.5 points. Florida is 18-7 toward the over with five of their 25 games totaling at least 175.

I'm expecting plenty of fireworks at Coleman Coliseum tonight, so I'll trust both sides to bring their A-game and push this game over 174.5 points.

No. 8 Duke at Miami

Duke -6.5 (-110)


I typically shy away from road favorites in college basketball, but it's hard to pass on the No. 8 Duke Blue Devils (20-5, 11-3) when they're favored by only 6.5 points against the Miami Hurricanes (15-11, 6-9).

Duke comes into tonight having won four straight games. The Blue Devils are a well-rounded group, leading the ACC in offensive rating and ranking third in defensive rating. They're fourth in the conference in total rebound rate, too, and boast the top effective field goal percentage. Duke has largely taken care of business on the road aside from a loss in their conference opener. Since that December 2nd loss, the Blue Devils are 5-1 on the road, with all five wins coming by at least eight points.

With the second-best odds to win the ACC regular season title, there aren't many holes in this Duke roster. All five starters average double-digit points, and six different Blue Devils have led them in scoring at least once this season. Freshman guard Jared McCain has really come on of late, scoring 35 points and nailing 8 threes in their most recent win.

Meanwhile, Miami has all but been eliminated from at-large contention. After an 11-2 start to the year, the Hurricanes have dropped nine of their last 13 games, including four straight. With home losses to Louisville and Florida State, this isn't exactly a home court advantage we need to worry about.

The Hurricanes still have decent offensive metrics, but they've averaged just 61.8 points per game during their four-game skid. They have their work cut out for them tonight as third-leading scorer Nijel Pack is out and second-leading scorer Matthew Cleveland is questionable.

Miami still has a pair of high-level scorers in Norchad Omier and Wooga Poplar, but they'll be hard-pressed to contain Duke's high-octane offense. There's a real chance the Blue Devils shoot Miami out of their own building. Duke has shot 38% from beyond the arc in conference play, second in the ACC. Miami has allowed over 45% of opponents' shot attempts to come from three, second-most among 94th high-major teams.

There are just too many holes in this Miami team, whereas Duke appears to be hitting their stride. I'll take the Blue Devils to cover 6.5 here in what could be a lopsided affair.

No. 22 Colorado State at New Mexico

New Mexico -6.5 (-120)

Colorado State24th28th106th
New Mexico19th39th42nd

We close things out in the Mountain West tonight where I like the New Mexico Lobos (20-6, 8-5) to cover as 6.5-point favorites against the No. 22 Colorado State Rams (20-6, 8-5).

Colorado State did already beat New Mexico this season, winning 76-68 in Fort Collins to kick off the conference season. They shot 49% and outrebounded New Mexico by 9, defending their home court despite losing the turnover battle. CSU's fourth-leading scorer, Patrick Cartier, scored a season-high 21 points in that one.

Still, New Mexico has consistently output stronger metrics than Colorado State. The Lobos lead the Mountain West in offensive rating and rank third in defensive rating. That's translated to the conference's best net rating, and they're far and away the fastest-paced team in the league.

Colorado State, despite their No. 22 ranking in the AP Poll, has average numbers aside from their defense. Among 11 Mountain West teams, the Rams rank eighth in offensive rating, second in defensive rating, and eighth in rebound rate. They're just eighth in pace despite leading the conference in forced turnover rate.

The Lobos only turned the ball over 11 times in the first meeting, and they sport the league's lowest turnover rate overall.

New Mexico's biggest advantage tonight is that they're at home. The Pit has long been considered one of the toughest venues in the country, and New Mexico ranks seventh nationally in KenPom's home court advantage estimate.

While they've coincidently dropped each of their last two home games, they'd previously dominated visiting teams. Utah State, San Diego State, and Nevada -- three of the top four teams in the Mountain West -- all left The Pit with double-digit Ls. In conference play, New Mexico has a +11.6 average margin of victory at home.

On the opposite side, Colorado State is just 1-5 in conference road games. They've been outscored by an average of 5.3 points per game, though they did lose by double-digits to both Nevada and San Diego State.

After losing to Colorado State earlier in the year, I like New Mexico to bounce back and get revenge at home tonight. Given how well they've played at The Pit, I'm confident backing them at -6.5, and there's certainly some appeal in diving into some of the alternate lines, too.

If you’re betting on any college basketball action on February 21st, you can take advantage of FanDuel Sportsbook’s Boost Builder. See the promotions page for more information.

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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.