With no NFL on this Sunday as we prepare for Super Bowl, all sports bettors are turning their attention to day's college basketball slate which includes a marquee matchup in the Big Ten between No. 6 Wisconsin and No. 2 Purdue.
I have a bet locked in for that game, as well as plays for two other games. Let's dive into them.
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College Basketball Best Bets Today
- Wisconsin +2.5 vs. Purdue
- UAB vs. SMU UNDER 152
- Stanford +17.5 vs. Arizona
Purdue vs. Wisconsin prediction
Home court advantage seems to be more significant in the Big Ten than any other conference and that idea is reflected in the splits for both of these teams. Wisconsin's effective field goal percentage goes up 9% when playing at home compared to one the road while Purdue's drops 8.4% on the road compared to at home.
The defensive numbers follow a similar story so any time we bet on the Big Ten, including this game, the road/away splits have to be front of mind. Is Purdue the better team? I'd say absolutely. Should we be laying two points on them at Wisconsin? I don't think so.
Let's also consider that Purdue has a bit of a turnover issue, ranking 132nd in the country in turnovers per possessions while also coughing up the ball on 18.1% of possessions when playing on the road. That could prove to be a big issue against this Wisconsin team today.
I'll back the underdog Badgers in this afternoon's marquee matchup.
UAB vs. SMU prediction
UAB has a solid offense, but I'm still shocked the total in this game is in the 150s. SMU is built like an UNDER bettors' dream. SMU ranks third in the country in opponent effective field goal percentage. Even more importantly, SMU ranks eighth in opponent Floor%, which ranks the percentage of an opponent's possessions that result in at least one point being scored.
The Mustangs also play at a relatively low pace, ranking 205th in possessions per game. Let's also note that UAB gets the majority of its points at the foul line. 24.1% of the Blazers' points come from free throws, the 14th-highest rate in the country. The Mustangs shouldn't fall for that trap since they're inside the top half of the country in opponent free throws per game.
I won't hesitate to take the UNDER in this AAC showdown.
Stanford vs. Arizona prediction
Despite the difference in the record between these two teams, the metrics tell me there's no way that Stanford should be a 17.5-point underdog. For example, Stanford rank 21st in the country in effective field goal percentage while Arizona comes in at 29th.
It's not like Arizona blows them out of the water defensively either. The Wildcats are 119th in opponent effective field goal percentage while Stanford is 169th.
These teams are way closer in skill than you might think. I'll take the points with the Cardinal.
Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
You can check out all of Iain's bets here!