The month of March is rapidly approaching, which means that games are becoming more important and suffused with a sense of urgency. This is when college basketball betting is exciting.
North Carolina Tar Heels @ Duke Blue Devils
Odds: Blue Devils -11.5
North Carolina versus Duke is the best rivalry in all of college basketball, but this year, it might lack some of its normal sizzle and verve simply because North Carolina does not have a particularly good team. The Tar Heels were loaded last season, but a wave of departures to the NBA left the cupboard very bare in Chapel Hill for 2013. North Carolina does not have one particularly dependable shooter. This team struggles to knock down shots, and it doesn’t have the low-post presence it owned last season with Tyler Zeller and John Henson in the paint. There is simply no escape hatch, no safe place, for North Carolina in this matchup with Duke, a comprehensively better team. The game is being played on Duke’s home floor, so a North Carolina win would rate as a massive upset. Pick Duke here.
San Diego State Aztecs @ Colorado State Rams
Odds: Rams -3.5
This is a big game in the Mountain West Conference, one of two high-profile showdowns in that league on Wednesday. Colorado State is tied with New Mexico for first in the league, and playing at home, it should own an advantage over a San Diego State side that beat CSU in overtime in the first meeting between these schools in 2013. That game, however, was in San Diego. This one is in Fort Collins, Colo., and a rowdy crowd in the heart of Rocky Mountain country will make it hard for the Aztecs, playing at elevation, to outlast the Rams. Colorado State is a superb rebounding team, led by the interior tandem of Pierce Hornung and Colton Iverson. San Diego State has to shoot at a high percentage in order to negate Colorado State’s rebounding edge, but that’s not likely to happen here. Go with the Rams on the betting lines at home.
Pick: Colorado State
UNLV Runnin’ Rebels @ Air Force Falcons
Odds: Rebels -3.5
This is the other really big game in the Mountain West on Wednesday night. Air Force needs this game in a big way, especially after losing at Nevada on Saturday. The Falcons would have needed this game even if they had won at Nevada, but now their task is that much more important in the attempt to snag an at-large NCAA tournament berth. UNLV is coming off a win over New Mexico, one of the co-leaders in the league, but that triumph came in Las Vegas. UNLV has won at San Diego State, but the Rebels have lost their other four Mountain West road games this season. Air Force took UNLV to overtime in Las Vegas earlier this season. The Falcons just need to make a few more plays to beat the Rebels, and they’ll do just that on Wednesday night in Colorado Springs.
Pick: Air Force