Best College Basketball Bets Today | NCAAB Picks November 29

Written by: Andrew Norton
Published November 29, 2023
6 min read
Best College Basketball Bets Today November 29

A handful of top teams play on Wednesday night, including the No. 10 Tennessee Volunteers and the No. 17 North Carolina Tar Heels, two teams that have taken early-season losses but have still shown a ton of promise. One of those squads will suffer a second loss before conference play even starts!

Meanwhile, the No. 7 Duke Blue Devils also play, with their game being against the Arkansas Razorbacks, who are trying to break out of a rough stretch of games at home. Check out our best college basketball picks for Wednesday night’s games below!

No. 10 Tennessee @ No. 17 North Carolina

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PICK: North Carolina ML (-130)

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Tennessee fell a bit short against the Purdue Boilermakers and the Kansas Jayhawks in its two losses thus far this season, but it couldn’t have lost to worthier opponents. 

For example, the Boilermakers rank second in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency margin and are now the No. 1 team in the nation after rolling through Tennessee, Gonzaga, and Marquette on their way to winning the Maui Invitational.

Still, the Volunteers are well-positioned to make another deep run in the NCAA Tournament this season after returning Santiago Vescovi, Zakai Zeigler, Josiah-Jordan James and bringing in two highly-coveted transfers in Jordan Gainey and Dalton Knecht. 

Knecht, in particular, was sought after by a handful of major programs due to his silky-smooth jump shot and elite scoring prowess; he’s averaging 17.5 points on a 45/38/82 shooting split so far this season.

Meanwhile, North Carolina is fresh off the most disappointing season in its history, relative to expectations, at least. The Tar Heels marched all the way to the championship game in the 2021-22 season as a No. 8 seed but failed to even make the NCAA Tournament last year, despite returning nearly all of their core players and being ranked as the preseason No. 1 team in the nation.

The Tar Heels returned Armando Bacot and R.J. Davis, two of the main players responsible for their deep tournament run two seasons ago; however, they lost Caleb Love and Puff Johnson to the transfer portal and Pete Nance and Leaky Black to the NBA/G-League.

Luckily, North Carolina brought in one of the more impressive transfer classes, with Cormac Ryan, Harrison Ingram, Jae’Lyn Withers, and Paxson Wojcik. They also signed Elliot Cadeau, a consensus five-star freshman guard who reclassified from the 2024 class to the 2023 class.

So, which team has the advantage here? 

North Carolina has a slight edge at home behind its experience (Davis and Bacot) and depth (Cadeau, Withers, Wojcik, and Ryan if he can play since he is nursing an ankle injury.) The Tar Heels are a far superior offensive team (11th in adjusted offensive efficiency) and a coherent defensive team (24th in adjusted defensive efficiency) that will force Tennessee players not named Dalton Knecht to beat them.

Tennessee has also had some significant fouling issues early on in the season that were highlighted in the bloodbath battle against Purdue. The Volunteers will be behind the eight ball on the road, too, as UNC could get the home-court whistle. This, combined with their streaky shooting and lack of size to keep Bacot off the glass, could result in a collapse late in the second half. Take the Heels’ Moneyline.

No. 7 Duke @ Arkansas

Odds via BetMGM Sportsbook.

PICK: Duke -4.5 (-115)

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It has been a rough start to the 2023-24 regular season for the Arkansas Razorbacks (4-3), a team that made a Sweet 16 last season before being bested by the eventual national champions: UConn. 

The Razorbacks have struggled much more than they could have predicted; they have lost to UNC, Memphis, and UNC Greensboro. The first two losses are justifiable for a team that has not played together much, but dropping a home game to the Spartans is not. KenPom currently has them ranked 49th in his adjusted efficiency margin metric.

Arkansas lost its three top freshmen, Nick Smith Jr., Anthony Black, and Jordan Walsh, to the 2023 NBA Draft; however, the Razorbacks were able to return Trevon Brazile, whose breakout sophomore campaign was cut short due to a knee injury last December.

Brazile joined Makhi Mitchell and Davonte Davis as key returners for Arkansas, but that would not be enough for head coach Eric Musselman to put a competitive team on the floor. 

Musselman brought in El Ellis, a senior guard who transferred from Louisville, Khalif Battle, a 6-foot-5 microwave scorer originally from Temple, and Tramon Mark, one of the core players from Houston’s uber-talented team last season. 

Musselman also looked to sign talented recruits and did just that with five-star freshman guard Layden Blocker. Top-five center Baye Fall also committed to play for the Razorbacks.

Unfortunately, Mark will be doubtful heading into this game after being hospitalized from a scary late-game fall against UNC. Without Mark, Arkansas has to lean on Battle, Mitchell, Davis, Ellis, and Blocker. That is still a formidable team.

While Duke is usually a program that has to replenish its talent level every year, this season is a little bit different. The Blue Devils didn’t have to dive deep into the transfer portal or bring in a bunch of talented recruits, but they did the latter anyway.

Duke returned Tyrese Proctor, Kyle Filipowski, Mark Mitchell, and Jeremy Roach while signing Jared McCain, T.J. Power, Sean Stewart, and Caleb Foster, all of whom were Top 25 recruits in the nation.

Ultimately, Duke has the experience and maturity now to take care of Arkansas on the road, especially without Mark on the floor. Mark was a part of Houston’s elite defensive unit last season, and without him playing, expect the Razorbacks’ defense to take a huge step back, even if they can replace his offensive output.

The Blue Devils are shooting much better from deep this season, giving them the inside-out play they will need to win games like this. Take them -4.5 here.

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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.
Nationality: American
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