Week 15 College Basketball Picks by KY


First off, it’s Super Bowl weekend and I am obligated to say go Chiefs!! We are somehow fifteen weeks into the college basketball season with our first conference tournaments beginning February 27th, just eighteen days away. I will soon transition to conference winner picks to change up this article a little bit but until then please look at some upcoming games I liked for this next week.

Akron -2 @ Ohio 2/10 6:30pm CST

I would have been much more hesitant for this game had Akron not just lost to Toledo a couple days ago, but now this game now becomes a “bounce back” spot. Ohio has been incredibly good at home this year only losing to Kent State in MAC play, but for them to win that would mean Akron would drop two straight. They are currently co-leaders in the conference with Toledo and Kent State at 9-2 and I don’t think they’re going to fault here.

Akron is led by two key players in guard Xavier Castaneda and forward Enrique Freeman. Castaneda is their leading scorer with 21.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.1 steals per game all while shooting 83.1% from the charity stripe and 40% from deep on 8.6 attempts per game, that’s bolded for a reason. Enrique Freeman is no slouch and is their double-double machine down low averaging 15.1 points and 11 rebounds per game.

I’ve set this spread at Akron -2 and would take it to -3 against the Bobcats


Saint Louis @ Dayton -6 2/10 7:00pm CST

Dayton is 5-1 at home in conference with an average margin of victory of 13.6 points per game. Just looking at Saint Louis’ schedule you’d see they’ve won seven of their last nine which is impressive with any schedule but there is a caveat. The issue I have with this is when they played VCU (9-3) they lost and when they played Fordham (7-4) they also lost. Their only two wins against above .500 teams in conference were St. Bonaventure at home and George Washington on the road during this streak, this is not the same as playing Dayton on the road.

Dayton is the opposite of what you’d expect for a 2023 basketball team, their top three scorers all being forwards at an average height of 6’9” and combined they average less than seven three-point attempts per game. Although this is their downside, their scoring and rebounding is definitely not.

DaRon Holmes II is their leading scorer with 17.6 points per game while adding on 7.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks (32nd in the country). Toumani Camara brings 13.9 points and 9.2 rebounds per game and Mustapha Amzil averages 9.8 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Between the three of them they are averaging twenty-two rebounds a game, which is incredible. This team is also top ten in defending the three-point line at 28.4% on the year and 26.7% at home, which is always a something I take into consideration.

I’ve got Dayton -6 and would take it to -8.


Bryant @ UMBC -1 2/11 12:00 pm CST

Fairly easy assessment for this game: UMBC is 6-1 at home in conference with their one loss coming to 8-2 Vermont while Bryant is 2-3 away in the America East. UMBC can shoot you out of the gym, especially at home where they’re shooting 37.3% from beyond the arc and 75.9% from the free throw line. Bryant ranks 179th at defending three-point shooting this year.

Another thing I’m looking at for this game is the tempo. UMBC ranks 144th in adjusted tempo according to Kenpom and I think they control this at home. Bryant likes to play fast, ranking 7th in the country in this same category. I see two problems with them facing UMBC; First off, UMBC doesn’t turn the ball over. They’re currently 17th in the nation at 10.5 turnovers per game and even better at home coming in with 9.4 per contest. Another stat I like to see is that their defensive rebounding ranks 122nd in the country, keeping Bryant from getting multiple possessions each time down the court.

I have UMBC -1 and would take this to -3 at home.


Rice @ FIU -1 2/11 6:00pm CST

FIU continues to be a threat at home where they’ve covered their past five games against the spread and have three outright wins as underdogs against UAB +12, Middle Tennessee State +4, and Western Kentucky +1. Rice hasn’t been terrible this year, sitting at 6-6 in Conference USA in 5th place and they’ve actually been better at home than away at 4-1 which is a surprise, but I am betting on regression to the mean here.

If you were to just look at team statistics for FIU it is VERY ugly. Fortunately sometimes stats don’t tell the whole story and this is a game in which I’m just following the trend at home. Denver Jones is the leader of this team averaging 19.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.9 steals per game while shooting an impressive 38.8% from three on 5.5 attempts per game…all as a sophomore (can you say transfer candidate?).

He’s supported by Arturo Dean, a 5’11” freshman guard who, get this, leads the team in rebounding at 4.2 rebounds per game. Dean also helps the team with 11.8 points and 3.4 assister per game.

I’ve set this at FIU -1 and would only take this to -2 as I think this could land as a pick em’ as well.


Goodluck to all your sports gambling this weekend and as always please bet responsibly.