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CBB weekend best bets: Dickinson's Jayhawks host defending champs

Jamie Squire / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Conference play is officially underway throughout the country's top leagues. Along with marquee matchups, some of the best nonconference games are happening this weekend.

November - particularly Feast Week - was an incredible month in the college basketball world. December should be no different. Here are our best bets for Friday and Saturday.


Maryland @ Indiana (-3, O/U 138)

Indiana's only loss this season was a double-digit defeat to UConn. Its best win was a hard-fought battle over a struggling Louisville. Indiana, despite being projected as one of the better Big Ten teams, isn't much of a threat in the Big Ten. But neither is Maryland.

The Terps have serious difficulties scoring, as they rely on a heavy workload from two freshmen, one of whom is their best shooter. Maryland's shooting 23.8% from three.

It can lock down defensively, but a team has to make shots to win on the road, especially in an atmosphere as difficult as Assembly Hall. Maryland won just one conference road game last season. This should be an ugly showing for both teams, but it's hard to trust Maryland's offense to show up.

Pick: Indiana -3 and Under 138

UConn @ Kansas (-3, O/U 148.5)

This is the game of the college basketball season so far. Kansas' only loss this campaign was to Marquette. The Jayhawks have played a gauntlet of a nonconference schedule, earning wins over the likes of Tennessee and Kentucky.

Kansas is battle-tested, while the Huskies have coasted through a relaxed early-season schedule. Their most impressive win was against Texas, but there's not much else to boast about.

UConn did return many key pieces from its national title team, so it's worthy of its No. 5 ranking. However, it hasn't faced a nonconference opponent as talented as Kansas in quite some time. Hunter Dickinson's impact on Kansas has been tremendous. The offense runs through him, and UConn simply doesn't have the personnel to slow him down.

Pick: Kansas -3

Purdue @ Northwestern (-5.5, O/U 136)

Purdue went 3-3 in its final six Big Ten regular-season games last year, including a road loss to Northwestern. This year is all about redemption for the Boilermakers after their Round of 64 loss as a No. 1 seed.

They're off to a dominant 7-0 start with wins over Tennessee, Gonzaga, Xavier, and Marquette. Zach Edey is unguardable in the paint, and Purdue's offense is shining.

Northwestern took a step back after a third-place finish in the Big Ten last season. It'll still be competitive in the conference, but this is the perfect revenge spot for Purdue after it lost on Northwestern's court in February.

Pick: Purdue -5.5

Fresno State @ BYU (-14.5, O/U 142.5)

BYU is a perfect 6-0 against the spread this season. It's racked up wins over San Diego State, NC State, and Arizona State. That impressive resume has led to a top-10 ranking, per KenPom.

Fresno State, on the other hand, is 3-3. It has some resounding defeats to some relatively mediocre competition. BYU should easily handle Fresno State and continue its cover streak.

Pick: BYU -14.5


Marquette @ Wisconsin (+2.5, O/U 139.5)

Despite its three-point loss to Purdue, Marquette is still one of the country's best teams. It defeated Kansas, Illinois, and UCLA this season.

Shaka Smart has the Golden Eagles playing a physical brand of basketball on both ends of the floor. They're currently the favorites to win the Big East.

Wisconsin's 5-2 with losses against Providence and Tennessee. Its best win is a blowout over Virginia. This line is puzzling. Marquette is better coached, more talented, and has played a much more difficult schedule. Oddsmakers are putting stock in Wisconsin's home-court advantage, but that won't be enough to upset Marquette.

Pick: Marquette -2.5

Sam Oshtry is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, @soshtry for more betting coverage.

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