College Basketball Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Tuesday, February 14th

By Adam Burke  ( 

February 14, 2023 11:09 AM

College basketball schedule today has 26 games

Quality over quantity highlights the Tuesday night college hoops card with a couple of terrific Big 12 matchups and a strong one in the Big East between Creighton and Providence. What highlights our college basketball coverage at VSiN is the new College Basketball Betting Podcast, which I appeared on yesterday with host Tim Murray during the maiden voyage of the show. Rate, review, subscribe and listen as we take you into March Madness and beyond. (Pick tracking sheet)

Five games in the Association and nine games on the ice mean that Jonathan Von Tobel and Andy MacNeil were busy this morning writing today’s NBA best bets and daily NHL picks. Andy has a new NHL podcast coming soon with host Danny Burke as well.



Here are some thoughts on the February 14 card (odds from DraftKings):

Loyola Chicago Ramblers at UMass Minutemen (-4.5, 146.5)

Loyola Chicago rambles its way up to Amherst to take on UMass in some A-10 action between a couple of the league’s weaker teams. Loyola Chicago has a second-year head coach in Drew Valentine and lost a good bit of talent from last year’s NCAA Tournament team. It couldn’t have come at a worse time with the move from the Missouri Valley to the A-10, but I think the Ramblers are emerging as a play-on team late in the season.

I also think this is a good matchup for them against UMass. Loyola Chicago is 20th in 2P% and UMass is a below average defense in that regard. Loyola Chicago is finishing at a 64.8% clip at the rim, while UMass is finishing at a 53.9% clip, despite getting there a little more often from a shot share standpoint. Against a Minutemen defense that has allowed a 60.5% FG% on Close Twos, I think Loyola gets theirs. We’ll see if UMass does, but there’s something else I like about this game for the Ramblers.

Loyola Chicago is shooting a 3 on 40.7% of shot attempts and UMass has a shot share against of 40.6% on 3s. While the Minutemen have held opponents to 32.9%, which ranks 117th in the nation, the A-10 ranks 21st as a conference in 3P%. Loyola Chicago is fourth in 3P%, behind Duquesne, George Mason and St. Bonaventure. Mason and Bonaventure comfortably beat UMass, while Duquesne lost largely because UMass was 30-of-39 at the free throw line and had 16 offensive rebounds.

I think these teams are trending in opposite directions late in the season. I also think the tempo UMass wants to play at actually benefits the far more efficient Loyola Chicago offense, so long as they take care of the basketball.

Pick: Loyola Chicago +4.5

NC State Wolfpack at Syracuse Orange (PK, 148.5)

NC State fits the mold of the kind of team you want to bet on against a zone defense. The Wolfpack shoot well in the mid-range and from 3. They’re also a pretty good offensive rebounding team and just got 6-foot-8 senior Jack Clark back from injury, who is the team’s leading rebounder. I also really like teams with balancing scoring against a zone so that they have multiple players that can score. The Wolfpack have four players averaging at least 12.2 points per game.

Syracuse is limiting opponents to a 31.2% shot share on Close Twos as defined by Bart Torvik. NC State is only getting to the rim on 32.8% of shot attempts, so they’re more than comfortable with shooting over the defense. NC State is a 35.7% 3P% team for the season, but they’re shooting 43.5% on 3s over the last five games, so they’ve found some range of late.

Syracuse does get the ball inside at an average rate and NC State does allow teams a high shot share on Close Twos at 42.2%, which is my concern here, but I think NC State will score by 3s and Syracuse will score by 2s. Also, the Wolfpack take care of the basketball about as well as any team in the country, so they shouldn’t throw possessions away against this zone. 

In 14 conference games, Syracuse has beaten one top-150 team per Torvik (Virginia Tech on Jan. 11). Otherwise, they’ve made their record look better by beating Notre Dame twice, Boston College twice, Louisville, Georgia Tech and Florida State. NC State is way better than any of those teams.

Pick: NC State PK

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