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NCAAB Picks Against the Spread: CBB Teams to Target This Week

Written by: Andrew Norton
Updated February 13, 2024
8 min read
NCAAB Picks Against the Spread 2024

Since most betting lines for college basketball games don’t drop until the night before, determining which teams have positive trends, impressive statistics, and ideal upcoming matchups can often be challenging for the non-professional bettor due to time restraints.

Our NCAAB Picks page hopes to bridge the gap between the frustrating wait on betting lines that we all experience for college basketball games and the time required to delve into a matchup to adequately evaluate it by highlighting the hottest teams in the country and in which particular spots they might be good to back.

While it can be challenging to predict exactly where a line might open, this page will serve as a helpful resource and hub for all of the most important statistics and trends, so that your betting decisions are more informed. Find our NCAAB picks and college basketball teams to target for this week below!

Teams to Target Against the Spread

This section will break down our favorite teams to target against the spread this week, including some recent statistics and trends that could indicate big performances. Take a look!

Auburn Tigers

Key Statistics & Trends:

  •  Auburn is 12-0 with the tenth-highest average scoring margin on its home floor.

  •  The Tigers rank fifth in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency margin.

  •  At home, Auburn holds opponents to just 35.8% shooting from the field and 29.7% from behind the arc, while forcing 15 turnovers.

Analysis: 

A letdown game was bound to happen for the Auburn Tigers after securing a massive double-digit revenge win against rival Alabama on their home floor. They dominated that game from tip-off to final horn, scoring 99 points on the Crimson Tide, while only allowing them to score 81 points on 37% shooting from the field. Not too shabby against the top-ranked offense in the nation!

Auburn dropped a road game to Florida in its next bout, but not due to a lack of defense, which has been its bread and butter all season. Rather, the Tigers lost because they committed eight more turnovers than Florida and only knocked down three of their 17 three-point attempts, which has plagued them on occasion throughout the year. Shooting 14-for-26 from the free-throw line certainly didn’t help either.

If the Tigers have one real weakness, it would be three-point shooting, as they rank outside the top 200 in three-point percentage so far this season. Still, the rest of their game is rock solid, making them exceptionally tough to beat on their home floor.

The teams that can give Auburn trouble are high-octane offensive teams, like Florida (13th in adjO), Alabama (first in adjO), and Baylor (seventh in adjO.) The Gamecocks don’t fit into that category.

South Carolina has climbed the rankings, entering this game as the 11th-ranked team nationally; however, the Gamecocks are amongst the luckiest teams (16th in Luck Rating, per KenPom) and have not been challenged much this year (107th in Strength of Schedule Rating) except for games against Kentucky, Alabama, and Tennessee.

This is a prime bounce-back spot for the Tigers as they look to get things back on track quickly at home after a tough loss on the road against Florida in their last game. Auburn can jump South Carolina in the SEC standings with a win and get within one-half of a game of first place.

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Saint Mary’s Gaels

Key Statistics & Trends:

  • Saint Mary’s has shot 41.1% from behind the three-point line in its past three games, despite ranking just 194th in 3P% this season.

  • The Gaels allow the fourth-fewest points at home nationally.

  • Saint Mary’s has the second-highest defensive rebounding percentage in the country, scarcely allowing teams to score second-chance points.

  • In the past three games, Saint Mary’s ranks fourth in turnovers per game.

Analysis:

It was an exceptionally slow start to the 2023-24 regular season for the Saint Mary’s Gaels, a program that has been extremely competitive in the past two decades. Unfortunately, they dropped bouts to Weber State, San Diego State, Xavier, Utah, and Boise State in five of their first eight games. 

However, since then, the Gaels have logged 17 wins in their past 18 games, with the only blip coming against Missouri State. Saint Mary’s has prided itself as a defensive-minded program that plays slow to wear down opponents in its half-court offensive sets and relentless defense on the other end. So the Gaels ranking 11th in adjusted defensive efficiency thus far in the season should not surprise anyone.

Beyond their massive winning streak, the Gaels have also been decimating most of their opponents, including Portland, Pacific, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Kent State, Middle Tennessee, Northern Kentucky, and Cleveland State. Saint Mary’s has also shown magnificent poise on the road in crunch time, securing narrow wins against Gonzaga and Colorado State, two NCAA Tournament-caliber squads.

This team is on an absolute roll and undoubtedly has a deep tournament run on their mind. Four of their next five games are at home and they have yet to lose a WCC game this season! Look out for the Gaels behind their stout, pesky defense and their experienced, patient, and fundamental offensive attack that features Alex Ducas, Aidan Mahaney, Joshua Jefferson, Mitchell Saxen, and Augustas Marcuilionis.

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Virginia Cavaliers

Key Statistics & Trends:

  • Virginia has logged eight consecutive wins, including bouts against Clemson, Miami, Florida State, N.C. State, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Louisville, and Virginia Tech.

  • The Cavaliers hold a 13-0 record on their home floor, boasting the 13th-highest average scoring margin there, despite a slow start to the 2023-24 regular season.

  • Virginia allows the second-fewest points to opponents on the fifth-lowest effective field goal percentage on its home floor.

Analysis:

Similarly to Saint Mary’s (but not quite as drastic), the Virginia Cavaliers did not have the most optimal beginning to their season, registering losses to Notre Dame, North Carolina State, Wisconsin, Wake Forest, and Memphis before finally finding their groove. 

As has been the case for the past few seasons, Virginia’s calling card has been its airtight defense, which has been amongst the best in the nation, particularly on its home floor.

As mentioned above, the Cavaliers allow opponents to post the second-fewest points in the country on the fifth-lowest eFG%. In fact, they recently held the Miami Hurricanes, a team with plenty of offensive weapons even though they have struggled at times this season, to merely 38 points on 28.6% shooting from the field and 10% from behind the arc. This 22-point smackdown came with Virginia shooting only six free throws for the entirety of the game!

While Virginia has had some offensive struggles throughout this season, they have mostly come on the road. At home, the Cavaliers are 26th in three-point percentage and rank seventh in turnovers per game, valuing the ball on every possession. 

This team is 9-3-1 against the spread on their home floor and we will keep backing them as long as they keep performing at this level. December 2nd was the last time an opponent scored 60 or more points against Virginia at John Paul Jones Arena.

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AUTHOR

Andrew Norton

117 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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