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Best College Basketball Bets Today | NCAAB Picks February 14

Written by: Andrew Norton
Published February 14, 2024
8 min read
Best College Basketball Bets Today February 14

Two top-ten teams have crucial conference matchups on Wednesday night, including the No. 1 UConn Huskies, who will face the DePaul Blue Demons, and the No. 8 Tennessee Volunteers, who will go up against the Arkansas Razorbacks. 

While neither Arkansas nor DePaul pose a threat in their respective conferences, they could play “spoiler” to Connecticut or Tennesse, lessening their chances at securing a regular season title. Find below our best college basketball picks today for the February 14th slate!

No. 1 UConn @ DePaul

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

PICK: UConn -24 (-112)

This conference matchup could hardly be more lopsided. The No. 1 UConn Huskies face off against DePaul, a 3-win team this season that has failed to register a single Big East win thus far (0-12.) The Blue Demons’ only wins in their 2023-24 campaign have come against South Dakota (318th in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency margin), Chicago State (295th in adjEM), and Louisville (166th in adjEM). 

DePaul itself ranks 299th in adjEM, which is slightly bolstered by an extremely challenging strength of schedule (17th in SOS Rating). Still, few matchups during conference play (in any conference) are as imbalanced as this one.

On the other hand, the UConn Huskies have been on a tear, logging 12 consecutive wins in Big East play. The Huskies dropped their first conference game against Seton Hall and wasted no time striking back with a vengeance. The Big East has the second-highest adjEM of teams expected to finish above .500 in conference play, giving the Huskies’ exceptional stretch even more credibility.

But it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. The Huskies brought back three key contributors from one of the most dominant March Madness teams that we have ever seen; they won every one of their six games by double-digits. Alex Karaban, Tristen Newton, and Donovan Clingan returned to give UConn a trio of players with championship pedigree. At 7-foot-2, Clingan has the size, strength, length, IQ, and talent to cause distress for opponents on both ends of the floor. And he will be a surefire first-rounder in the upcoming 2024 NBA Draft because of it. 

Head coach Dan Hurley didn’t stop there, either; he signed consensus five-star freshman guard Stephon Castle and snagged veteran sharpshooting guard Cam Spencer in the transfer portal. Regarding starting lineups, the Huskies rank sixth in adjEM and first in roster strength ratings per EvanMiya. This team appears to be a freight train moving at a supersonic speed: they are unstoppable. 

The last time these two squads matched up, UConn handled them by 29 points and allowed the Blue Demons to hit merely two of their 13 three-point attempts. The Huskies outrebounded them, outhustled them, and shot a scorching-hot team split of 58/46/90. Even more impressive is that they did all that without their interior anchor, Donovan Clingan. But he is back healthy now and should decimate this DePaul frontcourt.

In fact, DePaul ranks 304th in the nation in defensive rebounding percentage, while the Huskies are 15th in offensive rebounding percentage. With Donovan Clingan, Alex Karaban, and Tristen Newton in the frontcourt, UConn becomes a dominant force on the glass. Expect double-digit offensive rebounds and knockdown shooting from the Huskies in a game that could be a 24-point game by halftime.

Click here to read our full UConn vs. DePaul Game Preview and Predictions.

No. 8 Tennessee @ Arkansas

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

PICK: Arkansas +9 (-110)

After having a dominant stretch between November 30th and January 29th, the Tennessee Volunteers have since gone 2-2 in their past four games, with losses to No. 11 South Carolina and Texas A&M. The road loss to the Aggies made enough sense; however, a home loss to a team that was projected to finish last in the SEC in the preseason media polls was not spectacular.

Tennessee can sometimes get itself into trouble with offensive draughts, as evidenced by that game against the Gamecocks, due to its reliance on senior guard Dalton Knecht and a general lack of stellar offensive talent outside of him. Still, the Volunteers possess one of the most elite defenses in the nation, ranking sixth in adjusted defensive efficiency and eighth in opponent-effective field goal percentage.

Here are the concerns if you are considering backing the Tennessee Volunteers on the road in this spot: defensive rebounding and the considerable variance in defensive performance overall at home versus on the road.

Tennessee allows opponents to shoot an effective field goal percentage of close to 50% and to knock down just shy of 37% of their three-point attempts. The difference between how opponents shoot versus the Volunteers on the road is nearly ten percent higher in both statistics, which is humongous.

Further, Arkansas might be having a down year, but the Razorbacks have been pesky on their home floor at times, winning ten of their 14 games, including against the No. 9 Duke Blue Devils, Georgia Bulldogs, and Texas A&M Aggies. Their effective field goal percentage in their past three games has been a solid 55.2%, while they have posted 81 points per game. Arkansas has players who can get hot, like Tramon Mark and Khalif Battle. 

Don’t expect a Razorbacks win here, but nine points is a lot to lay for a Tennessee team with a few big letdown games.

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Andrew Norton

148 Articles

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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