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Best College Basketball Bets Today | NCAAB Picks November 30

Written by: Andrew Norton
Published November 30, 2023
11 min read
Best College Basketball Bets Today November 30

While there are not any “Blue Blood” teams playing tonight, there are still a few programs to watch that are on the rise, such as Florida Atlantic and Creighton. The Owls will host the Liberty Flames on Thursday night, while the Bluejays will hit the road to face Oklahoma State in an attempt to bounce back after a 21-point drubbing at the hands of No. 20 Colorado State just one week earlier. 

Check out our best college basketball picks for these two electrifying matchups, each featuring a team that had a deep NCAA Tournament run last season: Florida Atlantic, who secured a trip to the Final Four, and Creighton, who made an Elite Eight where it lost by merely one point to the San Diego State Aztecs. 

Liberty @ No. 13 Florida Atlantic

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PICK: Liberty +7 (-110)

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If you’re not familiar with the Liberty Flames, it is best to get acquainted with them now, before they become a Cinderella darling in March, as they have the talent, shooting, experience, and chemistry to be an NCAA Tournament team.

Liberty enters this season without its leading scorer from the 2022-23 campaign, Darius McGhee, who posted an absurd 22.8 points per game last season; however, the Flames do have a solid core of players from last year’s squad, including Kyle Rode, Brody Peebles, Zach Cleveland, Shiloh Robinson, Joseph Venzant, and Colin Porter. Bowling Green transfer Kaden Metheny is also a great addition despite being undersized at 5-foot-10.

Size is a bit of a concern for the long term. In addition to Metheny, Porter is 5-foot-9, Peebles is 6-foot-2, and Venzant is 6-foot-3; the Flames have a small backcourt, and there is no way around that.

Even their frontcourt is slightly undersized, as the Flames start Zach Cleveland (6-foot-7) and Kyle Rode (6-foot-7.) Luckily, what Liberty lacks in size, it makes up for in shooting, mobility, and fundamentals. The Flames have shot close to 53% from the field and 41% from three through their first six games (6-0), lighting opponents on fire on their way to double-digit wins.

Further, Liberty has already had a respectable schedule; it has played four teams currently ranked in KenPom’s Top 150 in adjusted efficiency margin. In those games, the Flames won by an average of 13 points and held their opponents to just 26.6% shooting from behind the arc. Their flaming start has been rewarded with a high ranking in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency margin (39th).

Meanwhile, Florida Atlantic had a shaky start to the season, with an inexplicably poor loss at home to the Bryant Bulldogs (3-2.) However, the Owls have rattled off three quality wins against Butler, Virginia Tech, and No. 14 Texas A&M since then. 

The Owls were ranked in the preseason AP Top 25 Poll after a miraculous Final Four run last March; they returned Johnell Davis, Alijah Martin, Vlad Goldin, Nick Boyd, Brandon Weatherspoon, Bryan Greenlee, Giancarlo Rosado, and Jalen Gaffney. The Owls almost copied and pasted their Final Four team last year to this season.

So far this season, Liberty is 5-0 ATS, consistently exceeding the sportsbooks’ expectations. Can the Flames do it again in this spot?

We believe that they can. Seven points is a lot to lay against an offense, clicking on all cylinders. The Flames have the sixth-highest unadjusted offensive efficiency in the nation, which should be no surprise considering their shooting split. Further, Liberty rarely turns the ball over, committing fewer than ten turnovers per game. 

While size is a concern for the Flames, particularly in defending shots on the perimeter against the Owls’ taller guards and rebounding in the interior against 7-foot-1 center Vlad Goldin, they have still displayed competency on the glass. Liberty ranks 53rd in total rebounding rate and 27th in defensive rebounding rate. 

That will be the X-Factor for Liberty that can keep this game close. Luckily, we believe the Flames will do just that.

No. 15 Creighton @ Oklahoma State

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PICK: Over 142 (-110)

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A head-scratching 21-point loss at home against the Colorado State Rams is the highlight (or lowlight) of Creighton’s season thus far. 

Despite returning several key players from last season’s Elite Eight (and near Final Four) team, including Baylor Scheierman, Ryan Kalkbrenner, and Trey Alexander, the Bluejays posted just 48 points on a 28/21/62 shooting split one week ago.

This is inexplicable, given that Creighton had scored between 82 and 105 points in each of its five games leading up to the bout with Colorado State.

Even with their recent blunder against the Rams, Creighton still ranks 20th in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency metric, highlighting just how dangerous it can be when the shots fall.

Is their last game a concerning sign of a future trend, or will the Bluejays snap out of it and get their potent offense operating at a high level again?

They should snap out of it. Creighton has one of the best offenses in the nation, ranking fifth in effective field goal percentage behind Kalkbrenner, Alexander, Scheierman, and sharpshooter Steven Ashworth. The Bluejays are one of the thinner teams in the nation, as they can’t go too deep into their bench, but as long as the starters stay healthy, it won’t matter. 

Besides the outlier game against Colorado State, the Bluejays have gone over this line in four of their five games. Texas Southern, the 311th-ranked offense in the nation per KenPom, didn’t carry its weight in the sole game that went under.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma State has a 3-3 “Over” record against this line, with some games not coming all that close and others leaving no doubt. Ultimately, expect Creighton to get back near the 80s or 90s in its point total, leaving the Cowboys little work to get us to the Over.

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AUTHOR

Andrew Norton

151 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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