College Basketball Best Bets – 2/18/23

Santa Clara @ Portland

Santa Clara is currently third in the West Coast Conference. Credit: Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The Santa Clara Broncos head to Portland to take on the Pilots in this West Coast Conference matchup. Despite sitting near the bottom of the standings and having lost their last 13 meetings against Santa Clara, Portland is a small dog at home tonight.

There are no injuries of note in this one, so your guess is as good as mine as to why Santa Clara is such a short favorite. The Broncos have won four games in a row and have looked great in conference play. Outside of their meetings with Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s, they only have one other West Coast L.

As for Portland, they have stumbled their way through this year. Opening the season with three straight wins was their high point, and it has been downhill from there. They have been decent at home, so if it were a larger spread, there would be a chance they cover, but this is a smash spot, with Santa Clara only needing a bucket to cover.

Santa Clara -1.5 (-110)
Over 154.5 (-110)

Auburn @Vanderbilt

Auburn is 4-5 on the road this season. Credit: Jake Crandall / USA TODAY NETWORK

Auburn is a slight favorite heading to Nashville to take on the Commodores. The Tigers have won their last five games against Vanderbilt, but the Commodores will try to end that streak tonight at home.

Both squads have done a great job of holding their own in what has become a very competitive basketball conference. Once upon a time, the SEC only sent three or four schools to the big dance, but they have been well-represented in recent years. There is a chance they will break their conference record and send nine teams to the NCAA Tournament this March.

Auburn should be there, but Vanderbilt is still working on their resume, and a win against the Tigers would give them a nice bump.

When Auburn’s offense is working, they are unbeatable, but their inconsistency will ultimately be their downfall. If Vanderbilt can keep them to less than 75, they should be able to win.

Vanderbilt +3 (-110)
Over 144.5 (-110)

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