No. 3 Villanova headlines the opening night of NCAA men’s basketball on Wednesday, Nov. 25 in a matchup with Boston College. Photo via @NovaMBB (Twitter).
- On Wednesday, NCAA men’s basketball returns in a huge way, with a whopping 122 games on Nov. 25 featuring at least one Division I team
- Several ranked teams are in action, including No. 3 Villanova at a neutral site against Boston College
- Find odds for some of the top matchups on Nov. 25, plus three of our best picks, in the article below
After months of waiting and uncertainty, college basketball is back.
Almost 250 teams will be in action on Wednesday, Nov. 25 on the opening night of the NCAA men’s basketball season. There are lots of neutral site games, lots of ranked teams in action — and plenty of reasons to be engaged from a betting standpoint.
Check out the odds for some of the top matchups in our table below, followed by three picks to get you ready for a busy day of hoops.
NCAA Men’s Opening Night Odds
|No. 16 North Carolina||-4000||OFF||Over 143.5 (-115)|
|Charleston||+1500||OFF||Under 143.5 (-105)|
|No. 10 Kentucky||-10000||-23.5 (-104)||Over 141.5 (-110)|
|Morehead State||+3000||+23.5 (-118)||Under 141.5 (-110)|
|No. 25 Michigan||-1800||-14.5 (-105)||Over 148.5 (-110)|
|Bowling Green||+980||+14.5 (-115)||Under 148.5 (-110)|
|No. 13 Michigan State||-7000||-20.5 (-104)||Over 137.5 (-110)|
|Eastern Michigan||+2000||+20.5 (-118)||Under 137.5 (-110)|
|No. 19 Texas||-7000||-19.5 (-118)||Over 140.5 (-110)|
|UT Rio Grande Valley||+2000||+19.5 (-104)||Under 140.5 (-110)|
|No. 3 Villanova||-2000||-14.5 (-110)||Over 141.5 (-110)|
|Boston College||+1040||+14.5 (-110)||Under 141.5 (-110)|
|No. 7 Wisconsin||-7000||-19.5 (-118)||Over 136.5 (-115)|
|Eastern Illinois||+2000||+19.5 (-104)||Under 136.5 (-105)|
|No. 22 UCLA||-164||-3.5 (-105)||Over 133.5 (-110)|
|San Diego State||+138||+3.5 (-115)||Under 133.5 (-110)|
|Georgia State||+235||+6.5 (-114)||Over 144.5 (-110)|
|Georgia Tech||-290||-6.5 (-106)||Under 144.5 (-110)|
|Clemson||-178||-3.5 (-112)||Over 135.5 (-110)|
|Mississippi State||+150||+3.5 (-108)||Under 135.5 (-110)|
Odds as of Nov. 24 at FanDuel.
Pick 1: No. 3 Villanova -14.5 (-110) vs Boston College
Reasoning: Villanova’s experience will overwhelm BC.
Collin Gillespie leads a group of four returning starters for the Wildcats. With that much experience returning for a consistently talented team, bettors should feel good about Villanova’s ability to start strong.
Dope touch pass from JRE to Collin Gillespie at the buzzer pic.twitter.com/cCwI95TFSF
— Max Carlin (@maxacarlin) November 22, 2019
Boston College lost seven of its final eight games last year and is simply not up to this task. Oh, and Villanova is 19-7-1 against the spread in its past 27 neutral site games.
Pick 2: No. 22 UCLA Moneyline (-164) vs San Diego State
Reasoning: Great value for the Bruins in a potentially crazy game.
This one was just too fun to pass on. UCLA finished last year on fire — winning its final seven regular season games — and figures to be in great position this year under second-year coach Mick Cronin.
We just picked UCLA to win the Pac-12 (as did their media poll), and you can read why right here if you want. They’re a legit squad this season, with all five starters returning.
Well, that was a fun night. #GoBruins 😃 pic.twitter.com/jRx6Icx0hS
— UCLA Men’s Basketball (@UCLAMBB) March 1, 2020
San Diego State is no slouch, though, starting the year at No. 44 in KenPom’s composite rankings (UCLA is No. 29). KenPom ranked this matchup with the highest “thrill score” among Wednesday’s tilts — giving the edge to the Aztecs — which helps explain why the odds are as tight as they are.
But we like the Bruins, and we might not see a lot of moneylines with this much value for them in 2020-21.
Pick 3: Under 135.5 (-110) Clemson vs. Mississippi State
Reasoning: Neutral sites have spelled high scoring for both teams.
It’s always a bit weird trying to draw on trends when a new season is getting underway, but here’s one we think might have a leg to stand on: in neutral site games, both Clemson and Mississippi have regularly outperformed their over/under totals.
In the Space Coast Challenge, these teams will face off in an empty arena in Melbourne, Florida. That might not sound like the most exciting venue from an energy standpoint, but it also means neither team will have an edge with the crowd.
𝙩𝙝𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙙𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙣𝙚𝙚𝙙𝙡𝙚@NickHonor3 🤝 @olmaxpros8 pic.twitter.com/TZkdB8Zpp9
— Clemson Basketball (@ClemsonMBB) November 20, 2020
Clemson has hit the over in nine of its past 13 neutral site games. Mississippi State has hit the over in five of its past six. The Bulldogs have also seen the over hit in 20 of their past 28 games overall.
This is an unranked matchup without much organic interest, but now you can have a reason to tune in!
Jordan Horrobin is a sports journalist whose MLB, NHL, NFL and NCAA work has appeared in outlets such as The Athletic, MLB.com, the Detroit Free Press and more. He is currently based in Toronto, also working as a contributor for Forbes.com and a freelance editor for Sportsnet.