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Best College Basketball Bets Today | NCAAB Picks November 9

Written by: Andrew Norton
Published November 9, 2023
11 min read
Best College Basketball Bets Today November 9

It has only been three days of college basketball and we have already seen a giant (Michigan State) go down in a “buy game” against James Madison. Can the Spartans bounce back or will they continue to falter early on in the season? Let’s get into our favorite betting picks for a few games, including the Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles versus the Michigan State Spartans, and the New Mexico Lobos versus the Saint Mary’s Gaels.

Southern Indiana @ No. 4 Michigan State

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PICK: Michigan State -31 (-105)

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Michigan State’s inexplicable “buy game” loss to the James Madison Dukes should light a fire underneath it. The Spartans got embarrassed on their home floor in front of a boatload of fans eager for their fourth-ranked team in the nation to show what they are made of. Yikes. Still, let’s take a deeper look at this matchup and see if their struggles could be a trend, or if that game was more likely just a “one-off” game.

For one, the Spartans shot an unthinkably poor 1-for-20 from behind the arc, giving them a 5% chance of hitting a three-pointer every time they launched one. Michigan State was one of the best shooting teams last season, so this doesn’t even make sense, especially since they only lost one key shooter (Joey Hauser.) Hauser shot at an extremely high percentage, but so did a few other guys for the Spartans.

Had the Spartans even had a moderately decent shooting game, they probably would have ran away with the win and could have even covered the spread still. And that is not even including their abysmal 62% shooting from the free-throw line, where they left 14 points on the board.

There were so many aspects of the bout where if the Spartans had cleaned their game up, they would have ran away with a win without much resistance.

On the other hand, Southern Indiana ranked 285th (out of 363 teams) in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency margin last season. This season, KenPom has the Screaming Eagles at 334th after one game.

Southern Indiana did not return any of its top six scorers from last season’s team, which hurts it a great deal, especially considering that the Screaming Eagles were already the fourth-worst team in the Ohio Valley Conference last season. They are projected to be the third-worst team during the 2023-24 campaign.

This game could get ugly. Michigan State is going to come out with a vengeance after what could only be described as one of its worst losses in recent memory. The Spartans against the spread is the way to go here.

New Mexico @ #23 Saint Mary’s 

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

PICK: Under 142.5 (-110)

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Make no mistake, the Lobos and Gaels are two uber-talented basketball teams, who both have some key returners from last year’s teams. Saint Mary’s returns eight of its top ten scorers from its 13th-ranked team (KenPom’s adjusted efficiency margin) last year. 

Logan Johnson, the Gaels’ leading scorer, is undoubtedly a massive loss, but sophomore guard Aidan Mahaney should take another big step forward offensively after an exceptional freshman season. Further, former Harvard transfer Mason Forbes, who is finally healthy again, is set to play an important offensive role for the Gaels, along with seniors Mitchell Saxon (center) and Alex Ducas (guard/forward.)

Meanwhile, New Mexico brings back its dynamic guard duo of Jamal Mashburn Jr. (19.1 points per game) and Jaelen House (16.9 points per game) from its 22-12 team during the 2022-23 season that had the 24th-highest adjusted offensive efficiency in the nation. 

Further, the Lobos have Donovan Dent and Braden Appelhans ready to take big leaps in not only floor time, but production, too, evidenced by their combined 23 points, seven rebounds, and six assists in their first game this season.

The bottom line, though, is this: Saint Mary’s is going to roll out an elite defense once again this year, making it challenging for opponents to score consistently. The Gaels finished tenth in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency in the nation last season, so don’t be surprised to see them lock down nearly every opponent that they play. The vast majority of their games last season went under this point total line and even though New Mexico has talented offensive weapons, they will be overwhelmed by the Gaels’ defense.

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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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