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Best College Basketball Bets Today | NCAAB Picks March 2

Written by: Andrew Norton
Updated March 2, 2023
12 min read
NCAAB Picks March 02

It is officially March! We can expect the unexpected all month long with the conference tournaments and NCAA Tournament approaching. For now, there are two ranked teams playing to keep our entertainment on Thursday night. The aforementioned matchups will be the No. 5 Purdue Boilermakers versus the Wisconsin Badgers and the Arizona State Sun Devils versus the No. 4 UCLA Bruins. Check out our best bets for these battles below!

Purdue Boilermakers @ Wisconsin Badgers

When: 9:00 PM EST

Team

Spread

Total

Money

Purdue Boilermakers

-4 (-110)

BET HERE

O 128 (-105)

BET HERE

-175

BET HERE

Wisconsin Badgers

+4 (-110)

BET HERE

U 128 (-115)

BET HERE

+150

BET HERE

Spread: Purdue Boilermakers -4 (-110) @ DraftKings Sportsbook

🔥 Claimed by 26 people this week!

DraftKings

4.8/5

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Purdue can lock down a Big Ten regular season conference title with a win on the road against this Wisconsin Badgers team that has, frankly, been pretty poor this season. The Boilermakers secured at least a partial share of the regular season title due to other happenings around the league but were unable to beat Indiana on their home floor to clinch the outright title against their rivals. They would have loved that but, unfortunately, will have to settle with beating the Badgers on the road or grabbing a win at home against Illinois to seal the deal.

Despite a loss to the Hoosiers, Purdue is still ranked No. 5 in the AP Poll and sixth in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency margin. The Boilermakers’ success almost entirely revolves around their All-American, and likely future National Player of the Year winner, Zach Edey. Edey’s size (7-foot-4), strength, and touch make him an impossible guard one-on-one. If defenses don’t throw a double-team at him, he will score; however, if they do, Purdue will have someone else open to exploit the defense. 

Further, Purdue’s defense focuses on forcing shooters off the three-point line, so they have to drive in and score over or around Edey. The Boilermakers’ game plan can only be disrupted by teams that thrive in the mid-range and can mitigate Edey’s impact with a strong frontcourt that can rebound. Is Wisconsin one of those teams?

The short answer is no. The Badgers rank 150th in adjusted offensive efficiency per KenPom and are 331st (out of 363 Division I teams) in two-point percentage. With Edey patrolling the paint and Purdue’s guards forcing Wisconsin into tough, contested mid-range shots, there is virtually no chance Wisconsin can score more than 55-60 points against a top-20 defensive team in the Boilermakers. The Badgers already struggle to put points on the board (65 points per game, 320th in the nation), but they have no chance of hanging around with Purdue.

Arizona State Sun Devils @ UCLA Bruins

When: 9:00 PM EST

Team

Spread

Total

Money

Arizona State Sun Devils

+12 (-110)

BET HERE

O 134 (-110)

BET HERE

+625

BET HERE

UCLA Bruins

-12 (-110)

BET HERE

U 134 (-100)

BET HERE

-900

BET HERE

Spread: Arizona State Sun Devils +12 (-110) @ DraftKings Sportsbook

🔥 Claimed by 26 people this week!

DraftKings

4.8/5

Bet $5, Get $200 in Bonus Bets Instantly

21+ | T&Cs apply

The Sun Devils likely kept their postseason hopes alive with a 60-foot hail mary at the buzzer to beat the now eighth-ranked Arizona Wildcats. Arizona State could solidify a March Madness birth with a road win against the UCLA Bruins in this one. Needless to say, there is a lot on the line for the Sun Devils.

Meanwhile, UCLA has all but put a bow on its Pac-12 regular season title, boasting a 16-2 record heading into this game. The Bruins have secured the No. 1 seed heading into the Pac-12 conference tournament, meaning this game has no conference implications for them; however, they will want to win the remainder of their regular season games to ensure a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Despite some believing at the beginning of the season that UCLA’s most significant strength would be its backcourt scoring, it turns out that the Bruins’ key to success has been on the other end of the floor: defense. UCLA ranks second in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency, 13th in opponent turnovers per game, 27th in opponent 3P% (three-point percentage), and 27th in opponent eFG% (effective field goal percentage.)

Earlier in the season, UCLA won by 12 points on the road, but this game will be played on the Bruins’ home court; that certainly could make a difference. Still, I believe in momentum, and Arizona State knows it needs this win to solidify an NCAA Tournament birth. While the Sun Devils could raise havoc in the Pac-12 Conference tournament, this is the quickest way to lock in a ticket. 

I don’t expect them to win, but a 12.5-point spread is quite massive. I’m trusting the Cambridge brothers, DJ Horne and Frankie Collins, to keep this one close and, hopefully, not turn the ball over 18 times as they did in their first matchup.

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AUTHOR

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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