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Best College Basketball Bets Today | NCAAB Picks November 22

Written by: Andrew Norton
Published November 22, 2023
11 min read
Best College Basketball Bets Today November 21

It is championship day for the Maui Invitational, one of the most exciting early-season tournaments in college basketball. This year, the No. 2 Purdue Boilermakers will battle the No.4 Marquette Golden Eagles to see who will bring home the hardware.

While Purdue and Marquette will make up the majority of our focus, we will also cover the third-place game, which features the No. 7 Tennessee Volunteers and the No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks, two Final Four-caliber teams come March. Take a look at our best betting picks for these two games below! 

No. 7 Tennessee @ No. 1 Kansas

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My Pick: Kansas ML (-120)

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Tennessee is undoubtedly the best defensive team in the nation thus far in the season; the Volunteers held Purdue to just 35% shooting from the field and 27% shooting from deep after they had registered a 52/42/77 shooting split in its first four games. 

However, they were unable to come away with a win due to how often they put Purdue on the free throw line. As a matter of fact, the Boilermakers shot 48 free throws, an outlandishly large amount for any team in any college game.

Still, the Vols only lost by four points and got another great performance from forward transfer Dalton Knecht, a versatile offensive threat who could take this team far in the NCAA Tournament once March rolls around. The fact that this team stuck around after giving up so many free throws is a huge positive. Unfortunately, the disparity in rebounds was another concern that could rear its ugly head again in this bout.

Tennessee got outrebounded by 13 boards, which could be a “history repeats itself” situation against Kansas, who has 7-foot-2 center Hunter Dickinson lurking around in the paint, waiting to use his strength, length, and rebounding iQ to wreak havoc. The Jayhawks also have a few of the best perimeter defenders in the nation in Dajuan Harris Jr. and Kevin McCullar Jr.

Those two players should cause enough problems for Knecht, Santiago Vescovi, and Josiah-Jordan James to limit Tennessee’s offensive upside in this game. Even in the event that one of those players is able to get around Harris, McCullar, or Elmarko Jackson with the ball, one of the best rim protectors in college basketball (Dickinson) will be there to meet them. 

Tennessee is not a great offensive team (33rd in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency) and the Jayhawks’ stout defense is going to cause some issues. Kansas should get the win here.

No. 2 Purdue @ No. 4 Marquette

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

My Pick: Marquette +3.5 (-110)

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Marquette didn’t just beat Kansas. It decimated the Jayhawks. The craziest part of the blowout was that the Golden Eagles didn’t even necessarily shoot that well. They had a similar team shooting split to Kansas. 

However, the major difference in the game was the 18 turnovers that Marquette forced Kansas to commit. Hunter Dickinson was responsible for five of those turnovers, highlighting the Golden Eagles’ impressive defensive effort against one of the top Wooden Award candidates for the 2023-24 college season.

The Golden Eagles have a similar matchup, this time against the reigning Wooden Award winner, Zach Edey, and the Purdue Boilermakers. Purdue squeaked out a narrow win against the seventh-ranked Tennessee Volunteers behind 27 points and six rebounds from sophomore guard Fletcher Loyer, whose season average (four games) had been 6.8 points on 33% shooting from the field before that game. 

Zach Edey also registered his usual line of 23 points and ten rebounds, too, giving the Boilermakers just enough offensive firepower (albeit, most coming from the free throw line) to push past one of the nation’s best defenses. Can they knock off their third-straight ranked opponent on Wednesday night against the fourth-ranked Marquette Golden Eagles and claim the Maui Invitational trophy?

Not likely. While Purdue is used to going through a gauntlet like this (i.e. last season’s Phil Knight Legacy tournament), this is not a great matchup for the Boilermakers. The Golden Eagles just held the second-most dominant center in college basketball, Hunter Dickinson, to merely 13 points and eight rebounds, forcing him to commit five turnovers. Edey might be two inches taller than Dickinson, but Dickinson is just as strong and physical, and can spread the floor with his shooting, too.

Ultimately, Marquette’s guards are much more dangerous offensively than Purdue’s; Tyler Kolek (5.8 apg) is one of the best point guards in college basketball and Kam Jones (17.5 ppg) can score from all three levels. Further, forward Oso Ighodaro is a likely first-round pick in next year’s NBA Draft due to his size, offensive feel, touch around the rim, and overall IQ as a passer and screener; he does everything you could want from a forward at the collegiate level.

Edey will dominate like he usually does, but similarly to the Kansas game, Marquette will force another player to step up to beat it. Let’s roll with Shaka Smart, the almighty underdog spread coverer, and his Golden Eagles squad to keep this one close or, possibly, even secure a narrow victory.

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Andrew Norton

124 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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