Home | News | Top NCAAB Betting Picks of the Week – November 20th, 2023

Top NCAAB Betting Picks of the Week – November 20th, 2023

By Hank Blaine

The Thanksgiving holiday is often the last time that college basketball fans will see some excellent non-conference matchups with conference action right around the corner so enjoy. Here’s a look at two intriguing early-week matchups we know about this early but most are TBA depending on what happens in a tournament/event.

Top NCAAB Betting Picks of the Week (November 20th, 2023)

La Salle Explorers vs. Duke Blue Devils

  • When: Tuesday, November 21st, 2023, 7:00 PM ET
  • Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, NC
  • TV: ACCN
  • Radio: The Buzz 96.5 FM (La Salle) // The Buzz 96.5 FM (Duke)
  • Live Stream: WatchESPN
  • NCAAB Betting Odds: La Salle (+26.5) // Duke (-26.5)

This is a true home game for Duke on the ACC Network but is part of the Blue Devil Challenge that also includes Bucknell and Southern Indiana.

La Salle is not going to be easy for Duke as the Explorers are a good Atlantic 10 program at 4-0 for the first time since the 2014-15 season. They enter off a 79-78 win over Southern Indiana on Saturday. Khalil Brantley went off for a career-high 30 points on 10-for-16 shooting as well as going 7-for-8 from the charity stripe to go along with five rebounds.

Daeshon Shepherd continued his strong start to the season, dropping 17 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the field and 3-for-5 from deep as well as grabbing eight rebounds. Shepherd knocked down a career-high three three-point field goals and has averaged 20.0 points per game over his last two outings, shooting 65.2 percent from the floor. Andres Marrero didn’t make a basket the entire game but nailed two pairs of clutch free throws at the end of the game to give him seven points on 7-for-7 foul shooting.

Here is what Coach Fran Dunphy said of playing at Duke: “We’ll go to shootaround that morning and walk around and get a sense of how important Duke is to the whole fabric of College Basketball and how important Coach K is. Any coach would say to you that you’re in charge of memories and experiences, and so this is a memory that will be a great experience, with that being said we got to be very tough mentally and focused on every possession, it’s obviously a phenomenal basketball program.” Dunphy is sitting at 599 career wins in his 32nd season as a head coach overall.

Duke (3-1) beat Bucknell 90-60 on Friday in its last game. Duke’s defense held Bucknell to 60 points, three below its season scoring average. The Blue Devils have now held each of their four opponents below their respective scoring average. Duke finished with 23 assists and just seven turnovers, a 3.2 assist-turnover ratio – the best ratio for the Blue Devils so far this season. Duke connected on 13 three-pointers, the most by the team so far this season and the first time the Blue Devils have hit double-digit shots from deep. The final tally for second-chance points was 23-0, in favor of Duke.

Jared McCain tallied the first double-double by a Blue Devil this season, finishing with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Mark Mitchell scored a game-high 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting while also going a perfect 3-for-3 from the charity stripe and grabbing six rebounds. Duke is now 17-1 all-time when Mitchell scores at least 10 points.

Duke has won each of the four games contested between the two schools, with the last of those contests coming during the 1982-83 season — nearly 40 years ago.

NCAAB Betting Pick: La Salle

Northern Iowa Panthers vs. North Carolina Tar Heels

  • When: Wednesday, November 22nd, 2023, 12:00 PM ET
  • Where: Imperial Arena, Nassau, Bahamas
  • TV: ESPN
  • Radio: 1540 KXEL (Northern Iowa) // 97.9 The Hill WCHL (North Carolina)
  • Live Stream: WatchESPN
  • NCAAB Betting Odds: TBA

Tipoff at noon ET from the Bahamas on ESPN as part of the Battle 4 Atlantis. Arkansas, Memphis, Michigan, Stanford, Texas Tech and Villanova round out the eight-team, 12-game event.

Northern Iowa is usually a pretty good team but struggled to a 14-18 campaign in 2022-23 with a 9-11 record in Missouri Valley Conference play. Guard Bowen Born earned Second Team All-MVC honors, while Tytan Anderson was voted captain of the league’s Most Improved Team. Michael Duax earned MVC All-Freshman Team recognition, as Landon Wolf earned a spot on the MVC All-Bench Team. UNI returns 12 members of last season’s roster and adds four new faces with three new freshmen and one transfer. It was picked to finish second in the MVC. Born returns for his fourth season after leading UNI with a career-best 573 points last year, tenth most in a single-season in program history (17.9 PPG).

Northern Iowa (1-2) is a Missouri Valley team that comes off a 74-65 loss at South Florida on Sunday. USF shot 12-of-30 in the first 20 minutes of play, taking a 32-22 lead into the halftime break, and really the game was never much in doubt. USF outscored UNI 14-4 in the paint in the first half before the Panthers established their interior game in the second period. UNI finished the game outscoring the Bulls 32-24 in the paint.

Jacob Hutson led the Panthers with a season-high 14 points, while Michael Duax tallied 11 points and a game-high seven rebounds. Tytan Anderson finished with 11 points and five boards, as Nate Heise recorded a 10-point, five-rebound performance. UNI didn’t reach 80 points in that one but is 79-10 when scoring 80 points or more under head coach Ben Jacobson. The Panthers have won 17 of their last 20 games when passing the 80-point threshold.

This year marks UNI’s third time participating in the multi-team event in the Bahamas. The Panthers made their Battle 4 Atlantis debut in 2012 with an eighth place finish, and made the 2017 championship game after wins over SMU and North Carolina State. The Panthers have previously faced six members of this year’s Battle 4 Atlantis, including North Carolina, who UNI upset in November 2015 at home when the Tar Heels were ranked No. 1 in the nation.

The Heels (3-0) trounced UC Riverside last Friday in its most recent game. North Carolina went on a 28-5 run in the first half and a 19-0 run to start the second, cruising to a 77-52 win. UNC’s defense limited the Highlanders to just 28.1 percent shooting in the second half and 30.6 percent in the game.

After leading by as many 21 points early, the Tar Heels missed nine of their final 10 shots in the first half to allow UCR to pull within 37-26 at the break. Carolina then put things away quickly by holding the Highlanders scoreless for over nine minutes while starting the second half with a 19-0 blitz. Armando Bacot led Carolina with 21 points on 7 of 11 shooting, adding seven rebounds and his second career three-point bucket.

The fifth-year grad student passed Walter Davis for 10th all-time in UNC history. Bacot has 1,877 career points, Davis, who passed way several weeks ago, scored 1,863 from 1973-77. Bacot led the Tar Heels in points for the third time in as many games this season and the 40th time in his career. Carolina is 24-5 when Bacot scores 20 or more points. Bacot passed Phil Ford for fifth all-time in free throws attempted at UNC. Ford finished with 693 attempts, Bacot has attempted 696. Bacot’s two blocks moved him past Brice Johnson for seventh all-time at UNC. Bacot has 165 career blocks, two more than Johnson.

Jalen Washington tallied 11 points and five rebounds, while Harrison Ingram had 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Seth Trimble tied his career high with 11 points. UNC had 34 bench points to 19 by the Highlanders and held advantages of 34-20 in points in the paint and 16-2 in second-chance points. UC Riverside out-rebounded the Tar Heels, 38-37.

Guard RJ Davis is Carolina’s all-time leader in free throw percentage (.851). He led the ACC at 88.1% last season, the third highest in a season by a Tar Heel behind Shammond Williams (.911 in 1997-98) and Joel Berry II (.893 in 2017-18).

NCAAB Betting Pick: North Carolina

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