Daily Dunk: Best College Basketball Bets Today (Target These Two Home Underdogs on Wednesday, Feb. 21)

College basketball best bets, predictions and preview for Wednesday, Feb. 21 action. Should you trust home underdogs like Miami and LSU in conference play?

Feb 10, 2024; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA;  LSU Tigers forward Will Baker (9) drives to the basket
Feb 10, 2024; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers forward Will Baker (9) drives to the basket / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Another day, another crowded slate of college hoops.

We have plenty of betting action on the card on Wednesday, which we have come to expect in late February, as we continue to march towards conference tournament play and the NCAA Tournament.

Several teams are fresh off of impressive road triumphs over the weekend, like Kentucky and Duke, but are still on the road on Wednesday, are we getting a break in the price to take home underdogs like LSU and Miami?

Here's three bets I'm eyeing for Wednesday's slate.

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College Basketball Season Long Record: 117-85-5 (+23.78U)

Best College Basketball Bets Today

  • Duke vs. Miami (+7)
  • Charlotte (+5.5) vs. Memphis
  • Kentucky vs. LSU (+5.5)

Duke vs. Miami Prediction and Pick

Miami's season is on the ropes, drawing all but dead in the NCAA Tournament conversation, but I'll take the home underdog at a big price against a surging Duke team.

Of course, the Hurricanes' won't have Nijel Pack again after the lead guard missed Saturday's game, but his absence may be slightly overstated.

According to Hoop-Explorer, Miami is scoring more than six points per 100 possessions when Pack is sitting and is allowing nearly 12 points fewer per 100. While Pack has a tangible impact in certain situations, the drop-off may not be as bad as some may expect.

Meanwhile, Duke may still be without wing Tyrese Proctor, who gives the Blue Devils a strong secondary ball handler and a lead defender to slow down a still potent Miami offense.

While Duke was able to win (and cover) at Florida State on Saturday without Proctor, the team avoided much danger due to an unreal shooting game from freshman Jared McCain, who hit eight of 11 three's. The Blue Devils have more than enough firepower to cook against a leaky Miami defense, but I can see some regression creeping into this one.

Given that there isn't much of a slip in play from the Hurricanes when Pack sits, and this number is larger than the close at Florida State on Saturday, I'll take the points with a more competitive team that has more paths to keeping up offensively.

Not that this is everything, but maybe its something: since the 2020 shortened season, Miami hasn't lost to Duke by more than four points, going 3-2 straight up, including a 22-point home win last year, although the Hurricanes were far better.

PICK: Miami +7

Charlotte vs. Memphis Prediction and Pick

The market is still trying to catch up to the tailspin that Memphis is in, who started the season 15-2 before dropping six of nine games to fall to 18-8 on the year, caped by a 27-point loss at SMU on Sunday. For what it's worth, if you filter season long metrics to just conference play, Bart Torvik lines this game as Charlotte favored by nearly two points. The market still needs adjusting.

This is an interesting matchup between two polar opposites. Penny Hardaway's group wants to play fast and crash the boards, but Aaron Fearne's bunch plays at a bottom 10 pace in the country, per KenPom and does a good job at limiting transition opportunities with token full court pressure.

As well, Charlotte protects the ball well, 62nd in the country in terms of limiting turnovers. The 49ers have seen plenty of full court pressure this season, and can navigate the Tigers' aggressive full court pressure. The team played East Carolina, the most turnover-centric defense in AAC play and won by 15, albeit at home, earlier this month.

Given the state of Memphis, who was on the wrong side of a disheartening Hardaway press conference on Sunday following another loss, I'm not in a rush to trust the Tigers to win by multiple possessions.

Further, the teams inability to keep teams out of the bonus is going to perk up in this one. The 49ers get to the free throw rate at the highest rate in AAC play, shooting at 75%, while Memphis is 10th in free throw rate allowed.

Give me Charlotte to keep it close.

PICK: Charlotte +5.5

Kentucky vs. LSU Prediction and Pick

Kentucky spoiled Auburn's College GameDay appearance on Saturday night with an impressive road win, a testament to the high ceiling of the Wildcats.

However, as the team travels to Baton Rouge on Wednesday ahead of another monumental game at home against Alabama, I believe we see more of what we have become accustomed to from UK, an underwhelming and incomplete performance.

Many will point to the absence of lead guard Jalen Cook for LSU on Wednesday, but that didn't stop the Tigers from rallying at South Carolina over the weekend to win. Cook's impact is notable, but not the end-all-be-all for Will McMahon's bunch. The team scores two points fewer when he is off the floor and allows two more points per 100 possessions, per Hoop-Explorer. A drop-off, but not all that significant.

Most importantly, I'm looking to fade Kentucky off of two wins that were filled with some positive shot variance. ShotQuality graded Kentucky's home win against Ole Miss as a convincing Rebels win and the same can be said for the Auburn game. Each game had a sub-30% win expectancy, per SQ.

Oh, sweet regression.

The Tigers have a strong frontcourt of seven footer Will Baker and Jalen Reed that can matchup nicely with a potentially short-handed UK frontcourt if Tre Mitchell continues to be limited by a shoulder injury (missed two of the last three games).

When Mitchell sits, the Kentucky offense plays far better, but the defense takes a big hit. UK scores more than 10 points per 100 possessions more, but allow more than four points on the other end. While that sounds like a solid trade-off, this matchup may not suit the team as well on the road against a formidable frontcourt.

If Cook is out again, the team has turned to Tre Hannibal for more help, who is an upgrade on defense and a willing rebounder and passer. He can hound the likes of Reed Sheppard on defense while also bringing some physicality to this game that Kentucky has struggled with throughout the year. The Tigers are 57th in free throw rate while Kentucky is bottom half of the nation at 189th.

Even if Cook doesn't play, I like LSU to keep things close with Kentucky set to play much closer to its season long average, which is an untrustworthy road favorite.

PICK: LSU +5.5

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Track Reed's bets here!