Best College Basketball Bets Today (Fade Louisville on Opening Night)

Mar 17, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA;  USC Trojans guard Boogie Ellis (5) fights for a rebound with
Mar 17, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA; USC Trojans guard Boogie Ellis (5) fights for a rebound with / Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA

Strap in, the college basketball season is set to begin today with 184 games scheduled to take place across the country.

That's a ton of games! Thankfully, I'm here to narrow things down a bit and give you my three best bets across the entire nation.

If you want to join me on these plays, I recommend doing so at DraftKings Sportsbook. For a limited time, new users who click the link below to sign up for an account will receive $150 in bonus bets and daily same-game parlays when they place their first $5 bet!

College Basketball Picks Today

  • UMBC +9 vs. Louisville
  • Northern Illinois +23.5 vs. Marquette
  • Kansas State +3.5 vs. USC

UMBC +9 vs. Louisville

This is one of the most popular bets on the board today, but for good reason. Louisville was a disaster last season, going 4-28, and it seems like things haven't gotten better for the Cardinals. They lost to a Division II team, Kentucky Wesleyan 68-71 in preseason and while it was an exhibition game, that's still not a good omen for their 2023-24 season.

Kenny Payne has lost control of this program and even if this is going to be a down year for UMBC, I still have no interest in laying nine points on Louisville until the Cardinals can prove they can be a competent team this season.

Northern Illinois +23.5 vs. Marquette

Marquette is expected to be one of the best teams in the country this season, but covering a 23.5-point spread in their opening game is a completely different question. Northern Illinois returns their top three scorers from last season, Keshawn Williams, David Coit, and Zarique Nutter. Those three players should be able to do enough to slow down Marquette's guards and keep this game to a reasonable score.

I have to admit, I also like going against a team that has been receiving a ton of hype this offseason. I can't resist being a contrarian on opening night. I'll take the Huskies to cover.

Kansas State +3.5 vs. USC

Kansas State lost some key players this offseason, including Keyontae Johnson and Markquis Nowell, but we should take note that did add some key players this offseason, including Arthur Kaluma from Creighton and Tylor Perry from North Texas. Now, they take on USC in Vegas in The Hall of Fame Series tonight

USC, like Marquette, has a lot of hype surrounding them heading into this season, but the Wildcats have the talent to hang with them especially at the guard position.

I'll take the 3.5 points on a neutral court.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

You can check out all of Iain's bets here!