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Best college basketball bets for February 25: Welcome to the new season!

It’s the start of the 2020-21 campaign. Let’s find some winners amongst today’s opening day games.

Cade Cunningham of Montverde Academy in action against Sanford School during the City of Palms Classic Day 2 at Suncoast Credit Union Arena on December 19, 2019 in Fort Myers, Florida. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Welcome back to college basketball! In case you missed it in the chaos of 2020, there are 44 games on the schedule for today, the first allowable date by the NCAA. There’s probably more unknowns than any season ever, and it’s possible some of these games get canceled before they tip-off.

We’re leaning towards safety here, looking for teams with no known Covid-19 issues and a good chance of actually playing. Let’s find a few spots to make a few bucks against the openers.

Oklahoma State -6.5 vs. UTSA

There’s no reason for Oklahoma State to not play their best basketball from the jump this year, and that’s because they won’t be a part of the 2021 postseason due to NCAA infractions. None of those infractions are due to Cade Cunningham, who is likely an NBA lottery pick and will be spending only one season in Stillwater.

Every game is of equal value for the Cowboys in 2020, and although this is a better UTSA team, they don’t have the horses to run with a good Big 12 team, which might be the best league in the nation.

Cunningham has a limited window to show his skills to the NBA, and we think he’s the best player on the floor as soon as the ball goes up in 2020.

UCLA -3.5 vs. San Diego State

This should be a really good one. No more Malachi Flynn for SDSU, and UCLA returns all five starters from last year’s team that improved significantly as the season progressed. Chris Smith and Jalen Hill are back for the Bruins, and they’ll lead a team that can defend and get easy buckets in transition.

Normally The Show plays in front of some raucous crowds, but that won’t happen tonight as although the Aztecs are hosting, there won’t be any fans in Viejas Arena. And that should be the difference in what will be an empty gym SoCal scrimmage, where we think the line is just providing too much value to a home team that will be playing in front of empty chairs.

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