College Basketball Best Bets for Thursday, December 23rd (Back Flames to Stay Hot)

Nov 15, 2021; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA;   Liberty Flames guard Darius McGhee (2)
Nov 15, 2021; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; Liberty Flames guard Darius McGhee (2) / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

We have a short college basketball slate on Thursday, mainly taking place in Honolulu, Hawai'i with the Diamond Head Classic, which is where I found two best bets for today's card. Let's get right to it:

All odds are courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook.

For more plays you can check out all my plays in real time here.

Column Record: 8-6-1 (+1.4 Units)

Liberty (+2) vs. Stanford

I have my full game preview here, but I'm going to trust that Liberty can keep up their fine shooting that led to a nice win over Northern Iowa on Wednesday afternoon.

The Flames are 54th in the country in effective field goal percentage while Stanford is right around the national average. Further, the Cardinal have brutal turnover (292nd in the nation) and free throw metrics (315th) that are going to be problematic against a disciplined Liberty club.

I like guard Darius McGhee to lead Liberty to another impressive win.

Wyoming (-2) vs. Northern Iowa

The game after Liberty-Stanford will feature the two teams that lost to the aforementioned two on Wednesday.

Wyoming is an underrated offense (55th per KenPom) that is adept at protecting the ball and getting clean looks inside with their size down low. Not to mention, the team is coming off of a 4-of-23 shooting performance from deep against Stanford on Wednesday, so I'm expecting a bounce back performance against UNI.

Despite some poor shooting, Wyoming was in the game late against Stanford, losing by 3 as one possession underdogs, but offensive rebounding killed them, allowing the Cardinal to grab 14 of them. However, Northern Iowa does not attack the glass on offense, 341st in offensive rebounding rate.

If Wyoming can limit the Panthers from beyond the arc and use the likes of Graham Ike and Hunter Maldonado to get good looks against a beatable Northern Iowa defense, I like their chances to win this one by a couple of possessions.