You are going to find plenty of interesting college basketball betting games to choose from this Wednesday night. Three games on the docket have different meanings for the teams involved.
Vanderbilt Commodores @ Kentucky Wildcats
Odds: Kentucky -15
This game has acquired a new level of significance because it is the first Kentucky home game of the season in which the Wildcats will not have the services of big man Nerlens Noel, who was lost for the remainder of this college basketball campaign with a torn ACL suffered on Feb. 12 against Florida. Kentucky beat Vanderbilt by two points in the first meeting between these two teams in 2013, and that was with Noel on the floor. Vanderbilt has a losing record in the Southeastern Conference, but with Noel out of the game, the Commodores might be able to steal a win. Kentucky has to play well without Noel in order to reach the NCAA tournament, and the Wildcats don’t have quality wins on their resume at this point. Vanderbilt has an excellent chance at pulling off the upset against a shorthanded opponent, but the urgency of the occasion should give Kentucky just enough of a lift to win a close contest.
Pick: Vanderbilt +15
Minnesota Golden Gophers @ Ohio State Buckeyes
Odds: Ohio State -5
This is a matchup of two Big Ten teams that have disappointed their fan bases. Five weeks ago, neither Minnesota nor Ohio State looked like a team that would fall to the middle of the conference standings. Both squads seemed to have the offensive firepower needed to become top-tier teams in America’s toughest college basketball conference. However, subsequent weeks have shown that these teams are not as formidable as first thought. Minnesota struggles whenever Andre Hollins does not play well, and the Gophers’ halfcourt offense has been abysmal over the course of the past month. Ohio State has simply not found a second scorer to help DeShaun Thomas, who is being asked to carry too much of the workload for the Buckeyes, similar to Hollins of Minnesota. Ultimately, Minnesota’s lack of a steady ballhandler is going to cause the Gophers problems on the road. Ohio State should get healthy here and win on the betting lines.
Pick: Ohio State-5
Kansas Jayhawks @ Oklahoma State Cowboys
Odds: Oklahoma State -1
This is a game with Big 12 championship implications. Kansas has won eight straight Big 12 titles, but that streak is very much on the line thanks to a shocking three-game losing streak at the beginning of February, a streak that began with a loss at home to Oklahoma State. The Cowboys broke the Jayhawks’ 33-game home winning streak, forcing Kansas to win this rematch in Stillwater, Okla., in order to remain in control in the Big 12. Kansas has swept Kansas State, so Oklahoma State is the team that could pluck the Big 12 away from the Jayhawks. Kansas has shrugged off that three-game losing skid, returning to the level that is expected of coach Bill Self’s team. The smart money says that Kansas will re-establish itself as the best team in the Big 12 in this game.
Pick: Kansas +1