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College Basketball Betting Picks & Odds: Can Xavier Cover on the Road?

A loaded slate of men’s college basketball action awaits bettors today. With a number of buy-low spots, a few underdogs pop out as sharp value bets. Let’s dive into the odds to identify the best college basketball betting picks for Wednesday, Jan. 25. The Xavier Musketeers jump out as an especially sharp play.

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College Basketball Expert Betting Picks & Odds

West Virginia (+3.5) vs. Texas Tech

Our Insider Access Discord jumped on this number once Texas Tech announced that stud big man Fardaws Aimaq would miss this game. Already 0-7 in conference play, Texas Tech cannot afford to miss any minutes from their main contributors. Similarly, West Virginia enters this road matchup with a 1-6 conference record, but they’ve faced stiff competition all year and rank 11th in strength of schedule. They even scored wins over TCU and Florida. Meanwhile, Texas Tech has faltered despite ranking 93rd in strength of schedule.

Most of Texas Tech’s theoretical advantages over West Virginia come down to height. The Red Raiders rank 128th in rebounding but the Mountaineers rank only 193rd. Texas Tech also ranks 27th in two-point shooting percentage. That should afford them an edge against a West Virginia defense that ranks 168th in interior defense. However, the Mountaineers actually have the height advantage without Aimaq on the floor

West Virginia may also have the edge in raw talent. Their 42nd-ranked offense will face off against Texas Tech’s 34th-ranked defense. However, Texas Tech ranks outside the top 100 in both two- and three-point shooting percentage allowed. Their strong defensive numbers come from generating turnovers, but West Virginia remains above average in terms of turnovers committed. With stylistic advantages and injuries on the other side, West Virginia has a good chance to pull off the upset here.

College Basketball Betting Pick: West Virginia +3.5 (-110) at BetMGM

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Xavier (+7) vs. UConn

A tale of two seasons, UConn started the year 14-0 before going 2-5 across their last seven games. This stretch includes an 83-73 loss to Xavier, who they will face again today. Meanwhile, Xavier has gotten off to a red-hot start to conference play. They beat Georgetown, Marquette and Creighton and only lost to DePaul by a point. But despite UConn’s recent skid, the Huskies still look drastically overrated in the betting markets.

The efficiency metrics highlight Xavier’s advantage. The Musketeers rank 12th in offensive efficiency while the Huskies rank 17th. On defense, UConn ranks 12th and Xavier ranks 170th, seemingly giving UConn a massive edge. However, this elite UConn defense has disappeared in conference play. The Huskies have now allowed at least 66 points in all but two of their conference games. They have even allowed 70-plus points in half of their conference games.

Xavier also creates a unique matchup nightmare for UConn. The Musketeers have excellent big men in Zach Freemantle and Jack Nunge to bang with Adama Sanogo inside. They also have four elite shooters in Adam Kunkel, Colby JonesSouley Boum and Nunge, who shoot at least 40% from the perimeter. Home-court advantage aside, Xavier should not be a seven-point underdog to any Big East opponent at this point in the year. Hit Xavier before the line moves.

College Basketball Betting Pick: Xavier +7 (-110) at DraftKings

Wake Forest (+3) vs. Pittsburgh

A battle in the middle of the ACC basketball standings, both Wake Forest and Pittsburgh sit at 6-3 within the conference. Fresh off a 13-point loss to Florida State, Pittsburgh will look to bounce back against Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons just dropped their most recent game — a nine-point loss to Virginia. While almost perfectly matched in terms of strength of schedule, key wins and stylistics, Wake Forest holds some key advantages over Pitt.

Pittsburgh lost their main post presence, John Hugley, to a season ending injury. Although the Panthers rank 57th in interior scoring and 51st in rebounding, losing Hugley will hurt them in both metrics. While the Demon Deacons rank only 256th in two-point shooting percentage allowed and 166th in rebounding, they also rank fifth in effective height.

Fortunately for Wake Forest, Pittsburgh has dropped outside the top 100 in two-point shooting percentage, negating their largest theoretical advantage here. On the other side, Wake Forest has the elite shooting to exploit a somewhat vulnerable offense. Wake Forest ranks 49th in two-point shooting percentage and 31st in perimeter shooting percentage. Grabbing the points with Wake Forest for what should be a close game makes the most sense here.

College Basketball Betting Pick: Wake Forest +3 (-110) at DraftKings

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