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Best College Basketball Bets Today | NCAAB Picks February 13

Written by: Andrew Norton
Published February 13, 2024
8 min read
Best College Basketball Bets Today February 13

What is better than a loaded Tuesday college basketball slate during conference season? Luckily, we are creeping up on March Madness, but for now, we will focus on these two conference matchups: No. 4 Marquette versus Butler and Pittsburgh versus No. 21 Virginia. Find our best college basketball picks today for these two games below to see which teams we are backing and why!

No. 4 Marquette @ Butler

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook. Get a No Sweat Bet up to $1,000 at DraftKings!

PICK: Butler +4 (-115)

After losing three of their five games in a three week stretch between late December and early January, the Marquette Golden Eagles have since logged seven consecutive wins in Big East play, cementing their status as a top-five team in the nation once again. Marquette has had some brilliant moments this season, knocking off No. 14 Illinois, No. 6 Kansas, and No. 17 Creighton, but has also been very beatable at times, too.

The Golden Eagles were a No. 2 seed in last year’s NCAA Tournament, winning both the Big East regular season and Big East tournament championships. They beat St. John’s, UConn (the eventual NCAA Tournament champions), and Xavier to win the conference tournament. Even with the talent it possessed, Marquette fell short of making a deep run in March Madness, eventually losing to Michigan State in the Round of 32.

Still, Marquette was able to return nearly all of its key players, except for Olivier-Maxence Propser, who was drafted in the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft. This means that Oso Ighodaro, Tyler Kolek, Stevie Mitchell, Ben Gold, Sean Jones, Kam Jones, David Joplin, and Chase Ross all came back, and it has paid off. There have been rocky patches but the Golden Eagles are back in the mix as a likely one or two-seed for the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

Marquette ranks 21st in adjusted offensive efficiency and 15th in adjusted defensive efficiency (per KenPom), shooting 48% from the field and holding opponents to just 42.5%. The Golden Eagles have one of the best point guards in the nation in Tyler Kolek (15.6 ppg and 7.5 apg on a 50/41/87 shooting split) and have plenty of additional scoring through Kam Jones and Oso Ighodaro. 

This team has almost everything: defense, shooting, scoring, and chemistry. But, anything can happen in Hinkle Fieldhouse. As one of the most historic college basketball venues across the country, Hinkle has been a witness to many upsets. This Butler Bulldogs team is on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament, and in desperate need of a resume-building win. 

Securing a home victory against the No. 4 Marquette Golden Eagles would be a huge addition to a growing resume; Butler cannot afford to drop this game. The Bulldogs are 11-2 at Hinkle this season, with an uncharacteristic blip to Seton Hall and an understandable loss to No. 1 UConn being the only shortcomings. 

However, Butler has already bested this Golden Eagles team this season, winning by seven points on the road! Marquette surely has not forgotten about that loss but this is not an ideal spot for this squad to even the season series. 

Even if the Golden Eagles win, four points is a lot to lay against a pesky Bulldogs team that only lost to the Huskies by seven points on their home floor five weeks ago. This team is on a roll, having won five of their past six (again, a loss to No. 1 UConn being the only hiccup), and they have had some impressive offensive outings in that stretch, recording 88 or more points in three of those bouts.

Let’s roll with Butler here. The Bulldogs desperately need this win to get on the right side of the bubble and even though they aren’t a great rebounding team, they are better on the glass than Marquette. Further, they should be able to keep up offensively (32nd in adjO) with the Golden Eagles, which will be the key to keeping this game close at the end.

Pittsburgh @ No. 21 Virginia

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook. Head over to DraftKings Sportsbook to place your bets.

PICK: Virginia -6 (-108)

What a marvelous recovery to what was looking like a potentially shaky season for the now-No. 21 Virginia Cavaliers. After dropping games to N.C. State, Memphis, Notre Dame, and Wake Forest in just under one month, the Cavaliers have since rattled off eight consecutive wins, catapulting them back into the projected NCAA Tournament field; they were considered a bubble team for a brief stretch of time.

Virginia was a suspect road team at the beginning of the 2023-24 regular season, but it seems to have fought off those demons fairly well in recent weeks. However, on their home floor, there are few teams that are as dominant as the Cavaliers, holding a 13-0 record and ranking 13th in average scoring margin, despite having an outlier game against Northeastern earlier this season that resulted in only a two-point win. With the exception of that game, Virginia has been utterly dominant in front of its fans.

Still, in the past few years, Virginia has really struggled to perform on the offensive end of the floor. This season has been no different, as it ranks 119th in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency. The Cavaliers shoot the ball well from behind the arc, ranking 16th nationally in 3P%; however, they struggle to score inside the arc, sitting at 264th in the country in 2P%. 

The losses of Jayden Gardner and Kadin Shedrick have hurt in that department, especially since head coach Tony Bennett and the rest of the Virginia coaching staff didn’t do a spectacular job bringing in talented bigs to replace them. This is an undersized team, with two 6-foot-8 forwards and three guards in the starting lineup, and they lack rebounding talent (213th in total rebounding rate) because of it.

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh has had a solid season, residing in eighth place in the ACC with a 15-8 record overall and a 6-6 record in conference play. The Panthers have had a strong presence in road games, winning five of their eight bouts away from home; however, this Virginia team is simply too good on their home floor. They have a 9-3-1 record against the spread at home and seem to be hitting their stride as a collective unit.

Pittsburgh ranking outside of the top 75 in adjusted offensive efficiency seals the deal for us; it will take a special offensive team to dethrone the Cavaliers on their home floor and the Panthers don’t excel on that end.

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Andrew Norton

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Andrew has always been an avid sports fan and followed his hoop dreams all the way to college. He’s well-versed in everything betting with multiple years of experience and is qualitatively and quantitatively knowledgeable in sports statistics and analytics.

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