College Basketball Betting Picks for Wednesday 3/6/24

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD
College Basketball Betting Picks for Wednesday 3/6/24

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. 4 Tennessee at No. 17 South Carolina

South Carolina +5.5 (-108)

The No. 4 Tennessee Volunteers visit the No. 17 South Carolina Gamecocks in the first of three top-25 matchups tonight. The Gamecocks already defeated Tennessee on the road this season, so we can consider South Carolina +5.5 tonight.

South Carolina forced Tennessee to shoot just 36% overall and 5-of-21 from beyond the arc in their first meeting, holding them to a season-low 59 points. That's nothing new for the Gamecocks -- SC sports the SEC's top scoring defense, after all.

Since then, the Gamecocks have gone 6-2. Although they were upset at home by unranked LSU, they've responded well, rattling off three straight wins. The most recent came at home against then-24th-ranked Florida.

Tennessee has lost just once since that first matchup, though it did come on the road against unranked Texas A&M. They've otherwise managed to pick up four road wins since their first meeting, although their two most recent Ws both came by fewer than seven points.

While the Volunteers are a better team on paper, they let South Carolina dictate the pace the first time they met. I don't expect that to change tonight. A low-scoring game would certainly favor the Gamecocks keeping things within five points, and a 140.5 over/under doesn't hint at too much offense from either side.

numberFire's model expects South Carolina to cover 57.4% of the time, projecting Tennessee to win by 3.12.

I'll back the model here and trust the Gamecocks to keep things tight at home, covering as 5.5-point underdogs in the process.

Given they already took down Tennessee once this season, we can certainly consider South Carolina moneyline, as well. Their +188 odds translate to 34.7% implied odds. numberFire's model shows a bit of value there, giving them a 37.9% chance to win.

No. 2 Connecticut at No. 8 Marquette

Connecticut -5.5 (-105)

The No. 2 Connecticut Huskies travel to take on the No. 8 Marquette Golden Eagles in a battle of the Big East's top teams. UConn smashed Marquette 81-53 less than three weeks ago, and the Golden Eagles have since suffered a major injury. Despite being 14-1 at home, I'm expecting another Huskies blowout and for them to cover as 5.5-point favorites.

Marquette will be without reigning Big East Player of the Year, Tyler Kolek, tonight. Kolek's loss cannot be understated. The senior averages 15.0 points and a Division I-leading 7.6 assists per game. According to EvanMiya's Bayesian Performance Rating, Kolek has been the ninth-best player in college basketball this season.

That's baked into the line, although most projection models won't take his injury into account.

We saw Marquette in action without Kolek over the weekend when they lost to Creighton. The Golden Eagles were also without leading rebounder Oso Ighodaro, but they still managed to keep it a one-possession game deep into the second half. Still, Creighton pulled away for a 14-point W by the end, and I'm expecting a similar outcome tonight.

UConn is just on a different level right now. Aside from a road loss to Creighton, the Huskies have won five straight games by double-digits. They've given up more than 70 points just once since January 10th and are +550 favorites to win the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship later this month.

In Big East play, UConn sports the conference's top offensive rating, defensive rating, and rebound rate. They sport the Big East's best three-point field goal percentage and turn the ball over at the third-lowest clip.

Simply put, there are no holes in this UConn team, and Marquette faces an uphill battle to even keep things close tonight. I'm all over UConn -5.5 and am certainly interested in diving into some of Connecticut's alternate spreads, too.

No. 20 BYU at No. 6 Iowa State

BYU +6.5 (-102)

The No. 20 BYU Cougars visit the No. 6 Iowa State Cyclones with Big 12 tournament seeding on the line. Though both teams are peaking at the right time, I like BYU to cover as 6.5-point underdogs tonight.

Life on the road can be tough in the Big 12, but BYU recently slayed the dragon in a hostile environment. In their inaugural Big 12 season, BYU defeated perennial power Kansas on the road. That was just the 18th time in 21 seasons that Bill Self lost at Allen Fieldhouse.

It wasn't just a one-game wonder, either. BYU has proven to be one of the country's top teams all year long. They sit at No. 12 in the NCAA's NET rankings and No. 16 in KenPom's adjusted efficiency margin.

Iowa State is eighth in the NET and 10th on KenPom, so we're looking at two of the best teams in the entire country. Though the Cyclones have home court advantage, their prior matchup with BYU leads me to believe BYU's style of play will cause ISU all sorts of problems tonight.

The first time these sides squared off, the Cougars won 87-72 at home. BYU torched the Big 12's second-best scoring defense, shooting 47% overall and nailing 13-of-35 threes. They turned the ball over just 11 times -- an admirable feat considering Iowa State sports the country's second-highest forced turnover rate.

BYU is just the worst possible matchup for Iowa State. They turn the ball over at just a 15% clip and get a staggering 50.4% of their buckets from beyond the arc.

Iowa State lives off turnovers, and they allow threes at the second-highest rate among high-major teams. Their offense isn't explosive enough to blow BYU out in a shootout, so the Cougars are in a great spot here.

The numberFire model gives BYU a 55.6% chance to cover the spread, projecting Iowa State to win by 4.78 points.

Again, I'll trust the model and take BYU +6.5. Considering they just took down Kansas on the road, we can consider BYU moneyline, too. At +235, BYU's implied odds to win are 29.9%. Meanwhile, numberFire gives BYU a 31.9% chance to win outright.

If you’re betting on college basketball action happening March 6th, 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.