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Thanksgiving Betting Eve (Weds, Nov. 25) NCAA College Basketball: best tournaments

Author: americangambler | Last Updated: November 19, 2020

If you have ever been to Madison Square Garden on Thanksgiving Eve, I can already tell that you are a NCAA College Basketball junkie.

Fighting the crowds at Penn Station, all trying to get home for Thanksgiving the next day, going in the opposite direction of you (down the escalators and steps instead of up). As you sit in the stands at MSG, your high school friends are all out at the bars around town drinking and eating (except this year, for obvious reasons), amongst other things.

You don’t care though: North Carolina is playing Drexel in the Preseason NIT semifinals, with a hope that you will be back on a NJ Transit train Friday afternoon for another doubleheader in New York City.

For people like that, Wednesday, Nov. 25 is a true holiday this year: it is the opening night of NCAA College Basketball. In addition to the various games going on around the country, there will also be a bunch of tournaments starting, some in locations that you might not be used to (the Maui Invitational will be in Indianapolis, for starters).

Thanksgiving Eve 2020: What to Bet On?

Bookmakers expect this holiday weekend to be one of, if not the, best five-day betting periods in the history of sports betting in America, thanks to the amount of states where betting is now legal.

There are some big time games over the weekend, with many of the finals coming Friday and Saturday. On Thanksgiving Day, top ranked Gonzaga will play sixth ranked Kansas. But on Wednesday, there are plenty of good teams in action: 20 of the 25 ranked teams will open their quest to win a national title.

List of NCAA tournaments starting Wednesday

Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic (replacing Battle 4 Atlantis), Sioux Falls, SD

First round matchups 

  • West Virginia vs. Texas A&M, 2 p.m. (ESPN)
  • Saint Mary’s vs. Memphis, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
  • Creighton vs. South Dakota State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
  • Utah State vs. Wichita State, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

Gulf Coast Showcase, Estero, FL

First round matchups

  • ETSU vs. Abilene Christian, 11 a.m.
  • Akron vs. Middle Tennessee, 2 p.m.
  • Austin Peay vs. Omaha, 5 p.m.
  • Indiana State vs. East Carolina, 8 p.m.

Space Coast Challenge (replacing Cancun Challenge), Melbourne, FL

First round matchups

  • Liberty vs. Purdue, 6 p.m. CBSSN
  • Clemson vs. Mississippi State, 8:30 p.m. CBSSN

2K Empire Classic

First round matchups

  • Villanova vs. Boston College 7 p.m. ESPN
  • Baylor vs. Arizona State, 9:30 p.m. ESPN

Bubbleville Pods One, Two, Three, and Stand Alone, Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT

What teams to bet Wednesday:

While many of the lines for the games next week (November 25) will be posted closer to game time, there are some patterns to take.

Look for your ranked blue blood teams, such as Villanova, North Carolina, or Duke, to win big against the smaller, mid-major teams. Sometimes, though, these teams can take a while to get going early in the season: it is better to take them over the full game than for the first half.

Teams like Rutgers, ranked to start the season for the first time in three decades, will also want to make a statement

NCAA Games National TV schedule for opening day (All times EST)

  • 12 p.m.: George Washington at Navy, CBSSN and
  • 2 p.m.: Drake at Kansas State, ESPNU and
  • 4 p.m.: Oklahoma State at UT Arlington, ESPN2 and
  • 4:30 p.m.: Memphis vs. Saint Mary's, ESPN and
  • 6 p.m.: Liberty vs. Purdue, CBSSN and
  • 7 p.m.: Villanova vs. Boston College, ESPN and
  • 7 p.m.: South Dakota State vs. Creighton, ESPN2 and
  • 7 p.m.: Saint Peter's at St. John's, FS2 and
  • 8:30 p.m.: Clemson vs. Mississippi State, CBSSN and
  • 9 p.m.: Baylor vs. Arizona State, ESPN and
  • 9:30 p.m.: Wichita State at Utah State, ESPN2 and

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