CBB Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Sunday, March 5th

By Zachary Cohen  (VSiN.com) 

March 5, 2023 08:40 AM

College basketball schedule today features big rivalry games and some important conference tournament action

If you're a college basketball fan, we strongly suggest parking yourself on the couch and soaking in today's action. This is an absolutely loaded slate and it features good games all throughout the day. With that said, let's jump right into it and give you some of our favorite picks for Sunday, March 5th. March Madness is right around the corner and now is the time to start building some good habits — while also boosting your bankroll. 

Here are some thoughts on the March 5 card (odds from DraftKings):

Houston Cougars (-5, 145.5) at Memphis Tigers

Over the last three seasons, Penny Hardaway’s Tigers are 11-3 against the spread when playing as underdogs. They’re also 13-3 ATS when playing in March in that span. On top of both of those key trends, the Tigers happen to be 19-8 ATS when trying to avenge a road loss against an opponent under Hardaway. That’s significant when you consider that the Cougars earned a 72-64 win when these teams met in Texas back on February 19th. That was, however, a game in which Memphis covered, and the Tigers are now 8-1 ATS in the last nine head-to-head meetings between these two.

We know how hard it can be to bet against Houston, which is the top team in our VSiN Team Power Ratings and happens to be a top-10 team in KenPom’s offensive and defensive efficiency rankings. But this is a matchup that hasn’t intimidated the Tigers in the past, and we like the team to hang around in a game that could do wonders for the team’s seeding in the NCAA Tournament.

Look for big games out of Kendric Davis and DeAndre Williams here. The two are combining to score 38.6 points per game for Memphis, and this will be the last home games they play at the Forum. That means there should be a little extra emotion from Memphis, and the same can’t be said for Houston. The Cougars have locked up a top seed in the NCAA Tournament, so they can afford to let this one slip away. That might not result in an outright Memphis win, but this should be a competitive battle throughout.

Pick: Memphis +5

Michigan Wolverines at Indiana Hoosiers (-4.5, 144.5)

Since the start of last season, the Over is 31-18 when Michigan has played against teams with winning records. The Over also happens to be 9-2 when the Wolverines have gone on the road to play against teams that have shot at least 45.0 percent from the field after 15 games of action in that span.

Neither one of these teams really pushes the tempo all that much, which is just about the only thing that’s worrisome about a play like this. But both groups are very good offensively, with Indiana being 27th in the nation in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency rankings and Michigan not being too far behind at 41st. Those offenses are a big part of the reason that the Over has hit in three of the last four games that the Wolverines have played, while it has also hit in each of the last three the Hoosiers have played.

The oddsmakers also don’t seem bothered by the fact that these teams combined to score only 123 points when they met on February 11th. They’ve essentially left this total where it was in that game (145.5) and are begging bettors to take the Under. We’re not taking the bait, so let’s hope for a shootout.

Pick: Over 144.5

Wisconsin Badgers (-5, 127.5) at Minnesota Golden Gophers

Wisconsin really can’t afford to let this game against Minnesota get away, as the Badgers are right on the bubble heading into March Madness. However, this is one of the Big Ten’s best rivalries and it’s hard to envision the Golden Gophers not showing up in a home game that means so much to them.

Minnesota also happens to be coming off a tremendous win on Thursday, as the Gophers earned a 75-74 win on a Jamison Battle three at the buzzer. That capped off a 15-4 run in the game’s final minute and 15 seconds, and the Golden Gophers now have a ton of momentum entering this game.

It should also help Minnesota that Wisconsin is essentially a poor man’s version of Rutgers. Both teams are superb defensively, but neither one is anything close to competent on the offensive end. With that in mind, the Golden Gophers should feel confident in their ability to execute against this type of basketball team.

The Badgers are just 1-4 both straight-up and ATS when playing in road games with totals of 129.5 or less this season. Wisconsin is also just 7-11-1 ATS against Big Ten opponents this year.  That leads us to believe that the Badgers will have to claw their way to a win in this one, if they’re able to get the job done at all.

Pick: Minnesota +5

Did you know that you can parlay these three picks together at +612 odds? Try out our VSiN Parlay Calculator HERE!

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