CBB betting preview: Red-hot Seton Hall will challenge Michigan
The start of college basketball's regular season has been a mixed bag betting-wise. With some success on totals and poor luck with spreads, our 2-4 record is set to improve with time.
To start the week, we combine observations from these early games with notable trends from last year to constitute our best bets.
Furman @ Belmont (-7, 151)
Nov. 15, 7:30 p.m. ET
Both squads are riding high here, with Belmont coming off a 38-point drubbing over Evansville, and Furman squeaking past Louisville in overtime. As two of the country's better mid-major teams, this matchup is sure to be one worth watching. The potential for a high point total makes it a game worth betting too.
Belmont and Furman sport elite offensive systems, with both finishing in the top 10 nationally in KenPom's effective field-goal percentage last season. Shockingly, the Paladins upset Louisville while shooting just 36.4% from inside the arc after boasting Division I's second-best 60.8% mark in 2020-21. Against the offensive-minded Bruins, that percentage should rise significantly.
Last season's exploits hold weight here, as Furman brought back over half its minutes and Belmont returned a staggering 78%. With the continuity and offensive pedigrees of these teams, it's a good idea to side with the over as long as it doesn't trickle past 155.
Pick: Over 151
Seton Hall @ Michigan (-11, 141)
Nov. 16, 9:00 p.m.
Seton Hall has been among the hottest teams in the country to start the season, ripping off 44- and 36-point wins against mid-major opponents. The Pirates face a major step up in competition on the road against Michigan.
The hot start has been led by Seton Hall's defense, which hasn't allowed more than 49 points in either of the Pirates' two wins. With seven of its nine rotation players standing at 6-foot-6 or taller - including 7-foot-2 monster Ike Obiagu - Seton Hall's size presents major problems for opponents. Experience is an advantage too, with no freshmen and six seniors playing significant minutes.
Michigan's two diminutive guards, DeVante' Jones and Eli Brooks, could struggle with Seton Hall's size. The Wolverines' group of talented freshmen, who have yet to face a Power 6 opponent, might need some time to adjust. With a double-digit spread, it's worth backing the Pirates to give the Wolverines a good fight in Ann Arbor.
Pick: Seton Hall +11
Nevada (-1, 149) @ Santa Clara
Nov. 16, 9:00 p.m.
Sometimes, preseason rankings aren't as bad as they seem. After an upset loss at home to San Diego, KenPom dropped Nevada all the way from 50 to 63. Meanwhile, after a blowout win over Stanford, Santa Clara rose from 123 to 107. What would have been a matchup between squads ranked 73 spots apart just days ago, is now a gap of just 44.
Nevada's Grant Sherfield and Desmond Cambridge are labeled as one of the best backcourts in mid-major basketball but shot a combined 5-for-24 in the loss to San Diego. If the talented pair struggle to that extent again, the Wolfpack are unlikely to win. But should the guards be more efficient, it will open things up for Nevada's two 7-footers, Warren Washington and Will Baker.
Santa Clara isn't a small team by any means, but the Broncos have allowed at least 16 offensive rebounds in both of their games this season. Allowing Nevada's interior presence to get second chances would only further amplify its talent advantage. Santa Clara could stay hot and Nevada could continue to struggle, but with a line that would have been much larger just a week ago, go with the better team.
Pick: Nevada -1