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College basketball picks and college basketball predictions for the 2020/21 season. Get college basketball expert picks against the spread and totals for every game involving a Power 5 Conference or Top 25 team. We also have you covered for every game of March Madness 2021. Check out our College Basketball Best Bets for our top plays on today’s games.
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Texas Tech (KenPom #25) looks to snap their current three-game losing streak as they host in-state rival Texas (KenPom #22) Saturday afternoon in Lubbock. These two schools previously met back on January 13 in Austin, as Red Raider guard Mac McClung (16.9 ppg) sent the Red Raiders home happy as he drilled a go-ahead three to give Texas Tech a 79-77 road win. In the win, Texas Tech trailed 48-38 at half and proceeded to outscore Texas 41-29 in the latter 20 minutes. Expect a bounce back performance from the Longhorns in the second meeting as they should fare better from two-point range.While Texas shot an impressive 13-of-25 (52 percent) from three-point range on the night, they were held to only 10-of-29 shooting (34.5 percent) from two-point range. In Big 12 conference games this season Texas rates out second in two-point percentage offense (51.9 percent) and clearly had trouble against Texas Tech’s no-middle defense.
Texas is the recommended side in this matchup as it’s tough to back the Red Raiders at the moment. Texas Tech’s offense while “efficient” is pretty tough to watch from the naked eye. Texas Tech lacks floor spacers outside of McClung, and has trouble scoring in the low post as they also lack an elite big man. Texas Tech ranks seventh in Big 12 conference play in three-point shooting percentage (33.6 percent) and two-point shooting percentage (47.4 percent.) Texas is a tough matchup for most programs and has the ability to notch the road win on Saturday.
The under is the recommended side here, as it’s tough to trust Texas Tech’s offense right now. Texas has the personnel and length to disrupt the Red Raiders as Texas rates out as the 33rd most efficient defense in D-1, only allowing opponents to score 93.1 points per 100 offensive possessions. Tech’s inability to consistently beat the Longhorns from three-point range puts immense pressure on Red Raider guards Mac McClung and Terrance Shannon Jr. to penetrate the paint in order to get high percentage looks. Tech’s no-middle defense will keep them in this one and if the Red Raiders are able to dictate the pace this game figures to come down to the last few minutes. While Texas would prefer to push tempo on offense and turn this game into a track meet, Tech prefers to slow things down and limit the number of possessions. Back the under in a defensive oriented matchup.
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Two Big East bottom-feeders will face off as DePaul hosts Georgetown. The Blue Demons have two conference wins and followed up their upset over St. John’s by getting destroyed by Creighton. It is equally hard to back them here because their offense is still overall terrible. DePaul ranks last in efficiency in the Big East, while also ranking last in effective field-goal percentage, last in three-point shooting, and last in two-point shooting. Another area that will hurt them is their inability to get to the free-throw line. The Blue Demons rank last in free-throw rate and they rank last in turnover rate. So, basically in pretty much every way the Blue Demons fail to meet average standards. Do not get too excited, though, because Georgetown is really not that much better. The Hoyas are only slightly more efficient on the offensive side of the ball but overall have better shooting numbers–especially from three-point range, where they rank second in the conference. Georgetown is also going to have the opportunity to dominate on the offensive glass. The Hoyas rank third in offensive rebounding rate in the Big East. DePaul does rank second in this category; however, the difference is DePaul ranks last in allowing offensive rebounds; Georgetown, by comparison, ranks fifth. It is becoming a reality that neither team is going to be playing in March Madness this season–that is unless either of them ends up winning the Big East Tournament. Georgetown probably has a little bit more motivation here in terms of conference seeding, therefore I believe they will get the cover.
It has not been on display recently, but DePaul’s defense should be able to have some success here. The Blue Demons are the sixth most efficient unit in the Big East. They have an effective field-goal defense of 49 percent, good for fourth in the conference. They also defend the three-point line extremely well, which as we know is what the Hoyas are going to be looking to do. Georgetown also has an average defense at best. The Hoyas’ defensive efficiency is 10th in the Big East, but they are sixth in effective field-goal defense, seventh in three-point defense, and fifth in two-point defense. The Hoyas do not force turnovers and do a good job at limiting offensive rebounds. Given just the lack of scoring for DePaul that we saw against Creighton, I believe we will get a low-scoring game and will back the under as a lean.
Syracuse has been absolutely dreadful on the road this season (2-6 straight-up, 2-6 against the spread), and we’re expecting that to continue on Saturday against a tough Georgia Tech squad. The Orange have yet to earn a win this season against a team of Georgia Tech’s caliber, and the Yellow Jackets seem to have the type of personnel that will give Syracuse a hard time. Specifically, talented big men seem to give Syracuse fits, and Moses Wright certainly fits the bill of a dominant big man. The senior forward is leading Georgia Tech in points per game (16.8), rebounds per game (7.7), and blocks per game (1.7). We can expect Wright to match or surpass each of those totals on Saturday night.
Speaking of Georgia Tech, the team seems to have their best results when they reach that 70-point mark; the team is 0-5 when they score fewer than 69 points. Fortunately, the Syracuse defense is allowing 71 points per game this season, and that number jumps to an unsightly 78.88 points per game when they’re playing on the road. Plus, to top is all off, the Yellow Jackets have been especially friendly to bettors in recent weeks, going 9-4 against the spread over their last 13 games and 4-1 against the spread in their last five games. We probably would commit to Georgia Tech regardless of the spread, but that five-point spread has us licking our lips. We’re taking Yellow Jackets against the spread.
Are you ready for some offense? These two teams combine for more than 150 points per game, and the contest will feature six of the ACC’s top 12 scorers: Wright, Jose Alvarado (16.6 points per game), and Michael Devoe (14.6 ppg) for Georgia Tech and Buddy Boeheim (15.5 ppg), Alan Griffin (15.0 ppg), and Quincy Guerrier (14.8 ppg) for Syracuse. Plus, the teams’ home/road splits seem to help our argument for the over; Georgia Tech is scoring four more points per game when playing at home, and Syracuse is barely scoring two fewer points per game when they’re on the road.
While we’ve naturally focused on offense, the two teams’ defenses will also help our cause. The two squads combine to allow more than 140 points per game, and that number jumps to 157 points per game when Syracuse is on the road and Georgia Tech is at home. Thanks to the offensive prowess and lack of defensive ability, Georgia Tech has a 6-4-1 O/U record at home this season, while Syracuse has a 7-1 O/U record when playing on the road. You probably know which way we’re leaning in this one…take the over.
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With Sharife Cooper likely out again for Auburn, the Tigers look like a team that is just ready to be done with the season. Keep in mind that Auburn is ineligible for postseason play, and judging by their six losses in their past seven games, it sure looks like Auburn has waved the white flag. Tennessee is the recommended side in this one. Starting with Tennessee’s defense, they must be beaten from the outside, as the Vols rank 33rd in field goal percentage defense allowed at the rim. Auburn comes into this game as the 222nd ranked three-point shooting team in the country, so it’s hard to like their chances of putting up an outstanding offensive effort. Tennessee should also force plenty of turnovers, as they rank 18th in the country in turnover percentage. This spells doom for Auburn, who ranks 306th in taking care of the ball. Plus as mentioned, they may be without Cooper. On the other end, Tennessee should be able to do some damage inside. Tennessee ranks just 270th in three-point attempt rate, opting for post-ups from Yves Pons and John Fulkerson instead. Auburn is vulnerable inside, as they give up the third-most points inside the arc in SEC play. Look for Tennessee’s defense, with a little help from the offense, to carry them to this cover.
The under looks pretty good in this one. To reiterate from the point spread write-up, Sharife Cooper is doubtful to play. Since his insertion into the Auburn lineup, he is not only scoring 20.2 points per game, he leads the country in assist rate. Per HoopLens, Auburn scores 1.08 points per possession when Cooper is on the court, compared to just 0.95 when he is off the court. His impact on the Auburn offense cannot be overstated. Matchup wise, it was also mentioned in the point spread write-up that Tennessee is very good at protecting the rim, ranking 53rd in the country in field goal defense. Auburn will need to hit threes to score on Tennessee, and Auburn shoots just 32.8 percent from distance. Tennessee’s offense is far from a juggernaut as well, as the Vols rank 10th in SEC play in adjusted offensive efficiency. One big reason for that is their insistence on taking mid-range jump shots, the most inefficient shot in the sport. Tennessee ranks 22nd in the country in mid-range attempt rate, and they shoot just 38.3 percent on those shots. Expect Tennessee to slow this game down, further increasing the likelihood of the under cashing. This would also be elevated to a three-star play if and when Cooper is officially ruled out.
Indiana is in real danger of missing out in this year’s NCAA Tournament and is desperate for an upset over third ranked Michigan Saturday afternoon. Indiana enters Saturday’s contest losers in three of their last four games as the Hoosiers are reeling towards the back end of the regular-season. Indiana is fresh off a tough 74-63 road loss to Rutgers in a game where the Hoosiers shot 36.1 percent from the field while allowing Rutgers to shoot 49.2 percent on the night. Things do not get any easier for Indiana as they are projected to be underdogs in their last three regular-season contests (vs. Michigan, @ Michigan State, @ Purdue.) IU realistically needs to win two of their three remaining games if they want a shot at receiving an at-large bid to the tournament. In terms of Saturday’s matchup, Michigan is the recommended side as it’s tough to make a case for the struggling Hoosiers against any team in the Big Ten at the moment.
Michigan has the personnel capable of limiting the Hoosiers offensive attack, as Indiana’s most utilized and highest scorer, Trayce Jackson-Davis (20.3 ppg) will be matched up against freshman sensation Hunter Dickinson. Dickinson is coming off an impressive defensive performance against the soon-to-be National Player of the Year Luka Garza (24.7 ppg), limiting Garza to just 16 points in the Wolverine’s dominating 79-57 victory over Iowa Thursday night. Michigan is certainly capable of cutting down the nets in Indianapolis once everything is said and done this season. They rate out as the sixth most efficient offense and sixth most efficient defense in D-1 and are an impressive 14-4 ATS on the season. Back the more complete Michigan bunch to roll over the struggling Hoosiers.
The under is the recommended side in this matchup, as it’s tough to trust the Indiana offense at the moment. Indiana was without their second leading scorer Aarman Franklin (11.6 ppg) for the second half of their most recent game as Franklin reaggravated an ankle injury that caused him to miss time earlier this season. Franklin’s status is unknown at the moment and if the Hoosiers are in fact without the services of their second leading scorer against the conference’s best defense things do not bode well for the over. This game also figures to be played primarily in the half-court as both offenses average at least 17.5 seconds per offensive possession. Indiana wants to slow Michigan down and attempt to win the game in the high 60’s to low 70’s. Saturday morning tip-offs are tough on most programs, expect to see a defensive slugfest in this one.
Georgia is certainly trying to make a late season push for the tournament, most recently beating a solid LSU team in their last game. There is also reason to be optimistic about the Dawgs here because of how their offense can score. Georgia does only have an offensive efficiency that ranks seventh in the SEC. Although they have an effective field goal percentage that ranks sixth in the conference. The Dawgs do struggle from downtown, shooting 32.3 percent, but their two-point shooting (52.1 percent) more than makes up for their lack of outside shooting. Georgia is also a solid offensive rebounding team, an area where they should excel because of the number of offensive rebounds the Gamecocks are allowing. Further, South Carolina allows their opponents to get to the free-throw line the most often, which should give Georgia an advantage with the amount of scoring they do from inside the arc.
It also helps that South Carolina is probably one of the worst offensive teams in the SEC. They are 12th in efficiency and all their shooting numbers rank 12th or worse in conference play. The Gamecocks have now lost six games in a row and I do not see them having as much success on offense as they did when they beat the Dawgs 83-59 in the first meeting. Actually, with the way the Dawgs are playing, I expect them to play very well at home with a chance to get back on the bubble. Because of their inside presence, I am backing the Dawgs to win and cover at home here.
With a total set this high, the main question you have to ask yourself is whether or not both teams are going to be able to score consistently. In this case, I believe the answer is yes for Georgia, but South Carolina is another story. As already mentioned, the Gamecocks have really struggled as of late, coming off a game where they scored only 48 points. I realize the Bulldogs’ defense is not very good, in fact they are next to last in efficiency. However, the lack of consistent shooting from South Carolina outweighs Georgia’s defensive struggles. The Gamecocks are not that much better defensively, but are actually pretty good at forcing turnovers. In the same sense, the Dawgs have a turnover rate that ranks 11th in the SEC. This should help limit possessions for Georgia’s fast-paced offense. In the first meeting, Georgia could not score to save their lives and as a result this total stayed under easily. This time around, I think it will be the Dawgs that bring the better defensive effort with this game being at home plus, they want to stay in the conversation for an at-large bid. For that reason, I will look to play the under with medium confidence.
LSU is third in the SEC but if they close well they could finish second in the conference. Given their self-imposed sanctions though, that is as far as the program can go this season. This is a talented group so Arkansas better be ready. The Tigers are off a loss to Georgia but before that, they had won and covered in three straight. In each game, it is the same question of whether the defense shows up at all. When it does they can beat anybody.
Arkansas just put the rest of the SEC, and college hoops, on notice with their win over Alabama this week. Yes, it was at home, but the Razorbacks have been heating up throughout February. I am especially impressed with the way that Arkansas played defense against Alabama. They held the Crimson Tide to under 40% shooting for the game, after getting bombed the first time these teams played. That ability to correct and improve is critical this time of year. Their coach is doing a great job.
I am a sucker for LSU’s talent so I am trying to look at this one objectively. This looks like good value with the Razorbacks who are in great form right now. LSU has the offensive talent to hang with anybody but the results on the road are not encouraging. They just gave up 91 points and lost at Georgia, a team that is not nearly as good as Arkansas. The home side looks like great value to me. Even if this one is close they can win the final minute and get the cover.
Super high total here but it has to be with these teams playing. Both of these teams can score 80s points in a game without breaking too much of a sweat. Arkansas is scoring 83ppg at home this season while giving up only 63ppg. I would be shocked if they can hold the Tigers down to a number as low as that. Even holding the Tigers to something in the mid-70s would be kind of surprising. I think the over is the way to go here. Especially if you are giving the Tigers any chance of an upset. There is no way they keep this game close or win a game in the 70s or lower.
Take the over.
Illinois will be playing their second straight game without star guard Ayo Dosunmu (21 ppg) as Dosunmu recovers from a broken nose suffered against Michigan State on Tuesday night. The Fighting Illini were able to defeat Big Ten bottom-feeder Nebraska 86-70 in their first game without Dosunmu on Thursday night. Going into the Kohl Center and defeating Wisconsin is a much different task than facing the Cornhuskers at home, but Illinois is capable of defeating the Badgers on the road. Illinois has one of the better backup point guards in D-1, as freshman Andre Curbelo (7.6 ppg) is a steady lead guard who would be the starting point guard on most teams if he weren’t playing for the orange and blue.
Illinois did already defeat Wisconsin 75-60 back on February 6 in Champaign. Dosunmu was instrumental in the Fighting Illini’s win as he recorded a triple-double scoring 21 points, dishing out 12 assists and grabbing 12 rebounds. His loss certainly stings but the Fighting Illini have a supporting cast that can pick up the slack lost by Dosunmu. Sophomore center Kofi Cockburn (17.4 ppg) and senior guard Trent Frazier (10.8 ppg) can pick up the lost production as both players figure to see an uptick in utilization. Wisconsin has been an overvalued team all season and looks to be on the decline as the regular-season nears a close. The Badgers did notch a 68-51 road win over Northwestern last Sunday but have been inconsistent all conference season. Even without Dosunmu, back the Fighting Illini to secure the road win inside the Kohl Center.
Dosunmu’s absence figures to hurt the over/under more than the spread as Illinois will need to spread the wealth more so on offense with Curbelo manning the point. Dosunmu’s ability to take over any game down the stretch and get a bucket when the Fighting Illini need it most is diminished. The under is the recommendation here as both schools employ top 15 rated defenses. Wisconsin is the slightly more efficient offense as they only allow opponents to score 89.1 points per 100 possessions (seventh in D-1.) Illinois is not far behind as they allow opponents to score 91 points per 100 possessions (15th in D-1.) This game also figures to be played primarily in the half-court as Wisconsin plays at one of the slowest paces in D-1, averaging 18.7 seconds per offensive possession (310th in D-1.) Back the under in a typical Big Ten defensive slugfest.
The Clemson Tigers have won four games in a row heading into Saturday’s home date with the Miami Hurricanes. Miami, on the other hand, has lost four in a row. However, that is the main reason why you are getting almost two touchdowns with the Hurricanes. It is quite clear that Clemson is going to win this contest; but winning by more than 13 points is a different proposition. In 13 games against ACC competition this season, the Tigers have won by at least 13 points only three times. They just don’t play a game style that is conducive to blowing teams out. Clemson is one of the best defensive squads in the nation, but it has only one guy scoring in double-figures (Aamir Simms) and even he is only at 13.3 points per game.
Although Miami has dropped four straight, one of those setbacks came in overtime against Virginia Tech. The ‘Canes knocked off Duke earlier this month and that result is looking better and better thanks to the Blue Devils’ recent hot streak. The Hurricanes are 7-2 ATS in their last nine against opponents with winning records, 5-2 in their last seven against opponents with winning percentages over .600, and 4-1 in their last five on Saturdays. It is also worth noting that the underdog is 16-7-1 ATS in the last 24 meetings between the two teams. Take Miami and the boatload of points.
The Tigers rank second in the ACC in scoring defense, allowing just 61.8 points per game. They have to be stingy on that end of the floor, too, because Nick Honor is their second-leading scorer and he is only averaging 9.3 ppg. In its most recent outing, Clemson limited Wake Forest to an embarrassing 39 points. Miami’s three most recent point totals are 61, 60, and 71. The ‘Canes are shooting a horrendous 29.4 percent from three-point range this season. The under is 4-0 in the in the Hurricanes’ last four on the road and 4-0 in their last four on the road against opponents with winning home records. It is also 10-4 in the Tigers’ last 14 against opponents with winning percentages under .400. Lean toward the under.
This is a nice spot to fade Marquette after two straight road games, the latest coming at North Carolina. In fact, this will be Marquette’s fifth straight game on the road, and it’s time for a lackluster performance. UConn is still a bit undervalued now that James Bouknight is healthy, so they’re the recommended side in this game. Taking a quick look at the Marquette-North Carolina game again, Marquette went 20/32 inside the arc. That won’t happen against UConn, who ranks fifth in the country in field goal defense at the rim. If Marquette is unable to replicate that 62.5 percent two-point shooting in this game, they’ll be forced to hit threes, which is not one of their strengths. In Big East play, Marquette is shooting just 32.5 percent from beyond the arc.
On the offensive end for UConn, offensive rebounds are likely their path to a solid offensive showing. The Huskies are seventh in the country in offensive rebounding rate, which is good news against Marquette’s 186th ranked defensive rebounding rate. Getting second-chance opportunities is always important, but especially covering as a decent-sized favorite, as it puts less pressure on shooting percentage. Expect a close game throughout, but for UConn to pull away to cover at the end of the game.
This game sets up really well for the under. Starting with the tempo of the game, we should see a slower-paced game. Marquette ranks 286th in average offensive possession length, and UConn is even slower at 326th. The first meeting between these two played to only 60 possessions, and yet Kenpom is projecting this game for 65. From a matchup perspective, it will be hard pressed for either team to score in the paint. As mentioned in the point spread write-up, UConn is fifth in field goal defense allowed at the rim. Marquette is not too shabby either, ranking 17th in the same category. The box score from the first matchup certainly is indicative of these rankings, as UConn shot 38.1 percent on two’s, and Marquette shot 43.6 percent. There’s not much to suggest that this will change this time around. A final nail in the coffin taken from game one’s box score is that UConn shot 50 percent from three on their 16 attempts. The Huskies’ season average is just 34.1 percent, so it’s likely we won’t see a repeat of the hot shooting from back in January. This game might be ugly, but not if you’re holding an under ticket.
It’s SEC action as the Vanderbilt Commodores host the Ole Miss Rebels. Ole Miss has picked up a little bit of steam recently by winning five of their past six, but I’m not really buying it. Four of those wins were really close games that they could have lost, and I think this spread has been a bit inflated by their victories. Vanderbilt, on the other hand, has been getting extremely unlucky, losing a brutal series of close games. Just two games ago they lost on the road to an elite Alabama team by only four points. All of their four losses before that were by seven points or fewer, too. Perhaps not surprisingly then, they rank 354th out of only 357 D1 teams in KenPom’s ‘luck’ factor, showing just how unfortunate they have been. Their last win was by 21 points against a Mississippi State team that just beat Ole Miss by 10. Don’t let Vanderbilt’s 6-13 record fool you; they are 5-0-3 against the spread in their last eight games. Take the Commodores and sprinkle a little on the money line, too.
I also think the over makes some sense here. Vanderbilt likes to play fast, and they’ve shown that they can score with the best of them even when they’re losing. As such, the over is 11-4 in their last 15 games. Ole Miss’ offense is on a heater right now, as they’ve scored at least 80 points in three of their last five games, so a total in the mid 130s seems pretty conservative. Between Dylan Disu and Scotty Pippen Jr. (20.5 ppg), the Commodores have two elite scoring threats who can put up points in a hurry. Vanderbilt has scored at least 70 points in 11 of their past 14 games, so if they’re a sizable underdog in a game with a total of 135. I think you have to like the over.
The Oregon Ducks are staring to pick up steam, and they’ll look to keep it going here as they take a trip to visit the Cal Golden Bears. Oregon has won six of its last seven games, and it is peaking at the right time. When you dig into it, it becomes clear the Ducks were always being slept on. Due to injuries, they pretty much never had their full team together the whole season. Starting guard Will Richardson has returned for his first eight games of the season now, and it’s not a coincidence that his return lined up with their recent hot stretch. Their only recent loss in that span was on the road against USC, the top team in the conference. Cal, on the other hand, is just 3-16 in Pac-12 play. Considering they just lost to bad Washington and Washington State teams by a combined 42 points recently, I’m not too concerned with laying nearly double-digits. Cal has pretty much one real scoring threat in Matt Bradley, and that’s not cutting it.
The under also makes some sense here, because I don’t see Cal scoring much at all. As I just alluded to, the Golden Bears have only one player averaging more than 10.4 points per game and they also play at a snail’s pace. Oregon doesn’t play fast, either, and I think they’ll be content to methodically wear Cal down. Oregon’s defense has really picked up since the lengthy Richardson came back, and the under is 5-1 in their last six games as a result. Cal has been held to 57 points or fewer in three straight games, so we could very easily cash the under here while Oregon still wins by double-digits. Cal has no elite shooters and they connect on only 32 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc as a team.
Wake Forest is one of the worst programs in the ACC right now. In their last game, against Clemson, they not only lost by 21 points but they scored only 39. Yes, the Tigers are one of the best defensive teams in the country but that is still pretty pathetic. Virginia Tech might feel like a breath of fresh air but not by much. Wake Forest has somehow been covering a fair number of spreads this season, they are over .500 ATS. I think they may have hit a wall though. In their last three games, they have not been any closer than 18 points.
Full disclosure, I was fading the Hokies in their last game, a home loss to Georgia Tech. The Hokies were in a bad spot coming off a pause and they really showed rust in scoring only 53 points. Virginia Tech is a team that really needs to have everything go right for them to succeed because they do not have overwhelming talent. Tyrece Radford was back from suspension in the last game and was solid, even though they lost. They were not supposed to have him though so losing like they did was even worse.
This is a tough one to call. Before their COVID pause, it would have made all the sense in the world for Virginia Tech to be heavy favorites. They have looked bad of late though. The problem is that Wake Forest has looked even worse. They are hitting the road and it seems like they have lost the ability to score with any consistency. That makes them a really hard team to back in a place like Blacksburg, where they value defense. I think the home side has to be the play.
Take Virginia Tech.
Wake Forest does not score much. They are averaging 67ppg and that number doesn’t move up or down much at home or away. That consistency is probably one of the reasons why their O/U splits are pretty even. One thing that does change is that they are a much worse defensive team on the road. That is going to be music to the ears of the Hokies who need to get their offense going. I am going to lean into that and expect Virginia Tech to find some things that work in this game that should feel more like a scrimmage for them. These teams played to an under the last time they met but VT needs a game that they can feel good about and are not likely to cover unless they score a fair amount.
Take the over.
The Kentucky Wildcats will be trying to win four games in a row for the first time this season when they host the Florida Gators on Saturday. Even though the Wildcats have won three straight, they cannot exactly be trusted. They are still 8-13 overall this season and obviously have to win the SEC Tournament to get into the Big Dance. Their sample size of failure is much larger than their recent sample size of success, it has to be said. One of Kentucky’s victories during this stretch has come via an 82-78 decision against Vanderbilt, which is obviously less than impressive. The ‘Cats are just 3-6 at home in 2020-21 and one of the three wins is a 77-74 defeat of the Commodores–also less than impressive. There just isn’t much of a home-court advantage this season.
Florida is coming off consecutive wins over Georgia and Auburn, the latter by 17 points. It wasn’t even that close, either. Tre Mann scored 16 points of his 19 points in the first half and UF was up by 22 points at halftime. Scottie Lewis finished with 16. The Wildcats are 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven overall, 1-7 ATS in their last eight at home, and 1-5 ATS in their last six against opponents with winning records. It is also worth noting that the road team is 4-1 ATS in the last five head-to-head matchups. Go with the Gators, and don’t both with the couple of points.
Only 134 points were scored in the previous meeting between the two rivals this season and it’s hard to see at least nine more being posted on Saturday. Florida has shot worse than 45 percent from the field in four consecutive contests. Fortunately for the Gators, they have been playing great defense. Against Auburn, they forced a ridiculous 21 turnovers and Lewis had five steals. Kentucky doesn’t have anyone averaging more than 11.9 ppg (Brandon Boston Jr.). The under is 4-0 in the Gators’ last four overall. It is also 4-1 in the Wildcats’ last five against opponents with winning records. Lean toward the under.
Florida State is off an easy win over Miami. With Virginia sliding, it looks nearly automatic that the Seminoles will win the regular season ACC title for the second season in a row. Of their final three games, this one looks to be the most challenging. Top scorer M.J. Walker is questionable for this one but they can survive without him. FSU is that rare team that does not really feature a scorer too heavily. Walker is very good but they play to the situation more than any top program.
North Carolina recently scheduled a game against Marquette to get an extra result. That could not have gone any worse as the Golden Eagles came to Chapel Hill and beat the Tar Heels by 13. That Marquette team is not very good so that is going to hurt UNC’s resume. North Carolina is not going to get as much of a boost from a potential win against Duke to close the season so there is even more urgency for this one. North Carolina has been up and down all season but they have good depth and size to match up in this one.
I can’t imagine there are too many times, if any, that Florida State has been favored in Chapel Hill. You don’t want to miss this one though I might wait until closer to tip-off to see if some public money comes in on UNC, just for being UNC and for being at home. The gap between these teams is pretty large and whatever momentum the Tar Heels might have had has been cut after that loss to Marquette. FSU plays great defense and has great size so they can beat North Carolina in a lot of different ways. If Walker plays this is the play of the day, but even without him I like the Seminoles. As a favorite FSU is 12-2 this season.
Take Florida State.
The total has this one being played at a pretty good pace. Florida State can play and win at a variety of paces while North Carolina prefers to get the ball humming, even after a made field goal by the opposition. Florida State is a perfect 5-0 O/U in road games this season and when these teams met earlier this season that game went over pretty easily in Tallahassee. Not having Walker is not going to impact the way they play, that is not the way that Florida State does things. They know how they want to play and just go to it. They have lots of interchangeable pieces.
Take the over.
Bedlam is not as much of a thing for hoops as it is for football. Oklahoma State might have the best player in the nation in Cade Cunningham, and they should be feeling confident after a second win over Texas Tech this season. These teams are neck and neck in the Big 12 standings thanks to a recent hot streak that has seen the Cowboys win four of their last five. Finishing strong will be a challenge as their final four games are all against teams ahead of them in the standings, including back-to-back games against Oklahoma.
After a really good run of play to start 2021, the Sooners posted their worst game of the season the last time we saw them. Oklahoma just lost at Kansas State as a 10 point favourite. That does not look good and it might be an indicator of the true ceiling for this team. They can be very good but they are lacking that star-level player and that is sometimes what you need when nothing else is working. A visit from a rival is probably a pretty good way to get the energy back into the program after the bad loss.
This is an exciting tilt with these teams playing back-to-back games coming up. Oklahoma deserves to be the favourite for sure, but at the same time, it is hard to make a case for the Sooners in this spot. The Cowboys are in better form and Cunningham is the best player on either side. As good as he has been I am still waiting for that game that says he is the best player in the country, not just the one with the most potential. This could be a spot for that, and even if it doesn’t happen the Pokes have proven they can compete. Back the underdog.
Take Oklahoma State.
The relatively low total for this one also speaks to giving Oklahoma State more of a chance. If there is going to be less scoring and fewer possessions then having a player like Cunningham, who can create his own shot, becomes even more valuable. Oklahoma home games are going under most of the time, 72%, as they are only giving up an average of 62ppg. That is a really low number and I have to think the Cowboys can get there, win or lose. I am liking this one to have a fair number of points late as both teams might be fouling in the end game. The total is very fair but I think we get the over.
Take the over.
Don’t look now, but Kansas State is playing some good ball. The Wildcats have covered six of their last seven games, including winning the last two outright as an underdog. Health is the main reason why, as Kansas State has dealt with injuries all year. They’re also one of the youngest teams in the country, ranking 335th in the country in experience per Kenpom. Take Kansas State to turn in another solid effort and cover this spread. Much of Kansas State’s season long metrics don’t look great, which is a byproduct of the injuries and youth mentioned above. However if you look at the last three weeks of play, their defense ranks 44th in defensive efficiency. If they continue to perform well at that end, there’s a great chance they cover this spread.
Matchup wise, Kansas State ranks second in Big 12 play in defensive rebounding rate, which will need to hold true against West Virginia. The Mountaineers are 14th in the country in offensive rebounding rate, which is a big reason as to why they are so consistent on offense. Their two-point percentage is only 289th in the country, so getting second-chances via offensive rebounds (plus three-point shooting obviously) is the main way they score effectively. If Kansas State can limit the second-chance opportunities, they will be able to keep this within the number.
There’s a lot to like about the under in this matchup. As mentioned in the point spread write-up, Kansas State’s defense has actually been very good recently. Coupled with West Virginia’s struggles inside the arc and at the free-throw line (West Virginia is last in each category in Big 12 play), this game could turn into a rock fight. It was also discussed that Kansas State is second in Big 12 play in defensive rebounding rate, which severely limits West Virginia’s ability to put up a lot of points. On the other end of the court, Kansas State plays at one of the slowest tempos in the country, ranking 313th in average offensive possession length. This obviously runs time off the clock and keeps the possession count low, which is also conducive to the under. Another bonus is that their offense is simply bad. They rank 213th in the country in offensive efficiency, and rank last in Big 12 play in turnover percentage, three-point percentage, and effective field goal percentage. There’s a very real possibility that they struggle to score much at all, again which helps the under. Given that Kansas State’s defense could slow down West Virginia, or Kansas State could have a dud of an offensive game, the under is the play in this one.
Let’s start by issuing apologies to anyone that had a Boise bet on Thursday night. The Broncos made a furious comeback to force overtime, only to not cover the 6.5/7 point spread. Going back to the well with Boise State is the recommendation in this rematch. Looking at the box score from Thursday, nothing in particular stands out as a fluky result. Both teams shot the ball with predictable percentages, and each team was able to turn over the opposition with regularity. Boise State likely found new ways to attack San Diego State’s tough defense with some half-time adjustments, so perhaps they are able to sustain that for the full 40 minutes this time around. Unsurprisingly Boise State was forced into 40 three-point attempts, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. They went just 12/40 in game one, but the Broncos season average is at 34.5 percent, so they potentially might hit a few more this time around. Depending on your angle, another encouraging sign from the first game is that essentially no Boise State player played well besides Derrick Alston. Alston had 29 of Boise State’s 66 points, so if he is able to get some help, Boise State has an excellent chance of covering. Boise State also is first in Mountain West play in taking care of the ball, so there’s a decent chance they improve upon their 16 turnovers from game one, especially since they will be seeing the Aztec defense for the second time. As the right side in game one, take Boise State to finish the job this time.
The under was also busted up in overtime, and in brutal fashion. The total in game one closed at 138, and regulation finished with 126 total points. Overtime is always tough on unders, but 18 points scored in the extra frame to push the total over is a brutal way to go down. The first area of notice that lends itself to the under cashing this time around is the way both teams rebounded on the defensive end. There were only 18 combined offensive rebounds allowed between the two squads, and it’s reasonable to assume that will happen again. Boise State ranks 29th nationally in defensive rebounding rate, while San Diego State ranks 33rd. Limiting the opponent to one shot on each possession is an excellent sign for an under bet. Turnovers was another area that helped that game stay way under (in regulation at least). There were 33 combined turnovers in the Thursday night game, which is nice to see since those are empty possessions. Even more important, there were only 22 combined fast break points. Sometimes turnovers can lead to quick baskets in transition, which can actually hurt the under, but that was not the case in this game. Pray for no overtime this time around, and take the under.
The Creighton Bluejays will be bidding for their fifth consecutive win when they visit the Xavier Musketeers on Saturday. Creighton has improved to 17-5 overall and 13-4 in the Big East. It is getting the job done on both ends of the floor this season. The Bluejays are known for being an offensive team, but they have allowed an average of just 57.0 points over the past three games. They hosted Xavier on Dec. 23 and took care of business via a 66-61 decision, once again showcasing some defensive mettle.
Things have not gotten much better for the Musketeers. They are just 4-4 since that loss and have been plagued by coronavirus postponements. Their most recent result is a 15-point setback against Providence on Wednesday. Xavier guard Nate Johnson (11.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg) is questionable with a left-knee injury. If it is determined that he cannot go on Saturday and you can still get this spread close to where it is right now, this immediately becomes a more confident play. Creighton is 17-8 ATS in its last 25 against opponents with winning records. The Musketeers are 1-4 ATS in their last five against opponents with winning records and 9-19-1 ATS in their last 29 against opponents with winning percentages over .600. Go with the Bluejays.
Only 127 points were scored in the previous head-to-head matchup this season and there is no real reason to think that at least 22 more points will be posted in the rematch. After all, Creighton’s defense has only improved over the past two months. Xavier head coach Travis Steele said following the loss to Providence that he is going to try to find a rotation of players that is better on defense as opposed to the best offensive combination. The under is 20-7 in the Bluejays’ last 27 on the road and 6-0-1 in their last seven against opponents with winning records. It is also 9-1-1 in the Musketeers’ last 11 against opponents with winning records. Look for this one to stay under the total.
Loyola-Chicago will look to close out their regular season with a rematch against Southern Illinois. The Ramblers are heavily favored here once again, though there is reason to doubt their ability to cover for a second consecutive meeting with the Salukis. Sure, the Ramblers are the second most efficient offense in the Missouri Valley Conference, and they shoot the highest effective field goal percentage in the MVC, but their last couple of games have been far from dominant. Take Friday night for example, where the Ramblers beat the Salukis by just eight points. Note that Southern Illinois kept it this close and only shot two free throws the entire game. Where the Salukis are going to find success is from beyond the arc. This is the one area where they are better offensively than the Ramblers. Southern Illinois shoots 35.7 percent from long range, ranking as the fourth best mark in the conference. Loyola-Chicago does defend the three-point line the best in the conference, but that did not stop Southern Illinois from having success from downtown in the first meeting. In fact, the Salukis shot an impressive 60 percent from deep on Friday, making 12 of their 20 three-point attempts. While this seems unlikely to happen again, it is still worth mentioning that the three-pointer makes up for 39.2 percent of the Salukis points in conference play. I do believe that the Ramblers are going to play better than they did on Friday and maybe even win by double-digits, but with this being the last game of the regular season, there is reason to believe they will take their foot off the gas in the final minutes if they are already up big. For that reason and because of the Salukis’ three-point shooting, I will back them as a lean to keep this game close enough.
The under tends to cash left and right when Loyola-Chicago is involved in the game, which is where we will look again on Saturday evening. As mentioned, the Ramblers allowed the Salukis to make 12 three pointers on Friday and still held this team to under 60 points. The fact that they rank first in the MVC in limiting free-throw trips showed up too, which I think we could see in the rematch as well. As expected, both teams were looking to play at a very slow pace on Friday, given the Salukis are eighth in tempo and the Ramblers are ninth. Offensive rebounding is still a glaring issue for the Salukis as well, so if they are not knocking down the three, they are probably not getting many second chance opportunities. Loyola-Chicago is not a great three-point shooting team like Southern Illinois, so I expect their game plan will be to work the clock and pound the ball inside to their best player. Be careful because this number is still very low and with it being the second game of a back to back, the defenses might not be as sharp. Regardless, Loyola-Chicago has one more chance in the regular season to grind out a win and I believe their defense will keep this game under the total.
Iowa State’s losing streak is getting a little ridiculous at this point, now having lost 13 games in a row. We did back Iowa State to cover against Baylor earlier this week, but that was because of the massive spread the oddsmakers gave us. As a side note, the Cyclones played probably their best game of the season against the Bears and nearly pulled off a monumental upset. However, they did not, so there is reason to believe that they will be deflated coming into the game against TCU. There is also the fact that this game is basically a pick em’ and I am not sure we can trust Iowa State against anybody in the Big 12. The Cyclones are the ninth most efficient offense in the Big 12 and have an effective field goal percentage of 47.7. The only area they might have success, is from downtown. Iowa State shoots the fourth best percentage in the Big 12 from deep.
On the other side, is another bad team in TCU. The Horned Frogs have lost three games in a row themselves, but have the tools to hand another loss to Iowa State. TCU is slightly more efficient offensively, though their shooting numbers are still below average. One of the key factors for TCU will be getting to the free-throw line. They have a free-throw rate that ranks fourth in the Big 12, while Iowa State is last in the conference in allowing trips to the line. The Horned Frogs also defend the three-point line very well, which should make it much harder for Iowa State to score. This game is between two horrible teams, but I am expecting a lesser effort from Iowa State after their near upset. Because of that, I will lean to TCU.
The total is tricky because as bad as these teams have been offensively, they are equally bad defensively. As mentioned before, they do both have solid three-point defenses, but they both are not good defending inside the arc. It is also important to note that TCU plays at the eighth ranked pace in the Big 12. Iowa State does play at the second fastest tempo, but we already know how much their offense struggles almost every game. Another area that will not help the over is the fact that TCU rarely forces turnovers. The Horned Frogs force turnovers on only 14.7 percent of their defensive possessions. This should allow there to be longer possessions. We should also expect Iowa State to have plenty of one-shot possessions. The Cyclones ranks last in the Big 12 in offensive rebounding rate. The over did cash in the first meeting, but given the current losing streaks for both sides, I expect the offense to be much more sluggish. For that reason, I will back the under as a lean.
Alabama can clinch the SEC regular season title for the first time since 2002 with a victory on Saturday night, but that might end up being easier said than done. That partly has to do with their opponent, Mississippi State. The Bulldogs have been playing some improved basketball recently, and that uptick in production has been a blessing for bettors, as the team is 6-3 against the spread in their last nine games. However, we’re mostly touting Mississippi State because of their overall dominance against Alabama at home. The Crimson Tide haven’t won a game at Humphrey Coliseum since 2017, dropping three-straight road contests. Well, how do the two teams match up when they’re not playing in Mississippi? Alabama won their last showdown earlier this season, but that was a narrow eight-point victory that saw Mississippi State pull within a bucket with only a minute remaining.
We’re not only high on Mississippi State…we’re also relatively low on Alabama. The Crimson Tide are obviously a top-six squad for a reason, but that doesn’t mean they’ve been friendly to bettors, as they’re only 1-4 against the spread in their last five games. Plus, Alabama is winless (0-5) when they score fewer than 66 points. The Bulldogs are allowing 65.63 points per game this season, and they’ve allowed an opponent to score 66 or more points in only three of their last 10 games. Alabama could easily win this game, but we’re not optimistic about their ability to cover. We’re taking Mississippi State against the spread.
The Bulldogs seem to prefer playing low-scoring affairs where they can let their defense pull off the victory, but that might be more due to necessity than design. Mississippi State has three players averaging more than double figures – D.J. Stewart Jr. (16.6 points per game), Iverson Molinar (16.5 ppg), and Tolu Smith (12.6 ppg). Otherwise, the team doesn’t have another player who’s averaging more than six points per game. If any of those three players have an off night offensively, the Bulldogs are going to struggle to score. As a result of this roster composition, the team has the seen the total go under in five of their last six games.
Alabama has one of the top offenses in all of college basketball, but they still deal with plenty of inconsistency. The Crimson Tide have scored more than their season average (80.25 points per game) in only three of their last eight games, and that doesn’t account for the fact that they’re averaging almost two fewer points on the road. Further, the total has been trending toward the under recently for Alabama, with the total going under in five of their last eight games. We’re taking the under on Saturday.
It’s been almost a month since Duke last lost to an ACC squad, and we expect their winning ways to continue on Saturday night. This mostly has to do with the turnaround that we’ve seen from the Blue Devils. They’ve done more than win their last four contests; they’ve also covered each of those four games. Further, while Louisville is certainly a talented team, some of their deficiencies fall right into Duke’s hands. Specifically, the Blue Devils are undefeated this season (8-0) when they hold opponents to 68 points or fewer. Well, Louisville is averaging 68.53 points per game this season, and that number drops to 63 points per game when they’re on the road. Louisville’s success is predicated on their defense, and that doesn’t play as well against an equally defensive-minded team like Duke.
Speaking of Louisville, the team has lacked consistency for more than a month now, going 3-4 straight-up in their last seven contests. Their play on the road has been especially suspect, and they’re now an ugly 3-8 against the spread in their last 11 road games (a stretch that dates back to last season). Plus, while guard David Johnson (who ranks second on the squad with 12.7 points per game) has been upgraded to probable for Saturday’s game, he’s still only played in one contest since the start of February. Even if he is on the court, it’s unlikely he’ll be playing with his normal energy. This will certainly be a competitive, entertaining game, but we think there are just too many things working against Louisville in this one. We’re taking Duke against the spread.
Louisville has recently seen the total hit the under more often than not, as the total has gone under in four of their past five games. It’s not going to get any easier on the road against Duke. Louisville is scoring four fewer points on the road (63 points per game) than their season-long numbers (68.53 points per game), and that doesn’t account for the fact that the Cardinals have struggled to score recently…they’re averaging only 61.75 points per game over their last four contests.
Duke has seen the total go over more often than not this season, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to ride that trend on Saturday. Their active four-game winning streak has seen them average 76 points per game, which is right on par with their season average. However, the main reason for their turnaround is their defense; while they’re allowing 71.16 points per game this season, they’ve limited opponents to only 62.25 points per game over their last four. We’re taking the under in this one.
Pac-12 action here as Oregon State takes on Stanford, where the Beavers should be able to keep things close. Oregon State has lost four of their last six games but looked good last time against California, where they earned a narrow victory. The Beavers made a strong start to the second half in that game and never looked back, with Roman Silva providing some sharp shooting and finishing with 15 points. The Beavers don’t have the most talented offense but they do have a steady defense which should enable them to keep things close. They rank 119th in adjusted offensive efficiency per Kenpom, while the Cardinal rank 113th in that category. Stanford does tend to score well, however, and their defense ranks 28th in the nation in adjusted efficiency, but they have dropped their last two games and rarely do they truly blow teams away. Only once in the past three weeks have they beaten a team by more than seven points, and that was against a Washington team that has been poor all season long. Oregon State is a much better match for Stanford and given how slowly the Beavers tend to play, that should lead to fewer possessions and give them a greater chance of keeping things close. Take the Beavers.
As mentioned above, Oregon State tends to play at a really slow pace and that is a strong reason why the under looks a good bet. The Beavers actually rank 308th in the nation in adjusted tempo (out of 357 teams), and absolutely love to take their time. That has led to the under cashing in five of their last six games. Granted, they can sometimes get drawn into high-scoring games, but that only tends to happen when facing one of the league’s better offenses, which does not apply to Stanford. Further, the Cardinal actually ranks 28th in adjusted defensive efficiency, so it’s not like they’ll be giving up points easily. Stanford likes to play basketball at a decent speed but it is usually the slower team that can dictate the pace, and Oregon State will be aware that bringing the Cardinal down to their level could throw them off their rhythm. It’s hard to see either team scoring more than 65 points in this one. Take the under.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will be trying to make a late push for an NCAA Tournament berth when they visit the Boston College Eagles on Saturday. If Notre Dame can win its last three games to reach .500 in both the ACC and overall before a decent run in the conference tournament, it could sneak into the field of 68. The Fighting Irish are 6-4 in their last 10 games and this stretch includes a win over Duke–a result that is looking better and better given the Blue Devils’ recent resurgence.
Of course, almost everything about this bet has to do with Boston College. The Eagles are in complete disarray, having fired head coach Jim Christian earlier this month while losing both Wynston Tabbs and Rich Kelly to the transfer portal (Tabbs was suspended for violating Covid-19 protocols before he decided to transfer). Combine a four-game losing streak with a whole bunch of postponements and this team has not won a game since Jan. 12. Notre Dame won the previous head-to-head matchup by 10 points on Jan. 16 and that was before everything went haywire for B.C. The Fighting Irish are 5-2 ATS in their last seven overall, 4-0 ATS in their last four on the road, and 4-0 ATS in their last four against opponents with losing records. Boston College is 1-4 ATS in its last five overall, 1-8 ATS in its last nine at home, and 1-6 ATS in its last seven against opponents with losing records. Back Notre Dame and do so with confidence.
Tabbs and Kelly were Boston College’s second a third-leading scorers, respectively, at 13.3 ppg and 11.0 ppg. With those two guys gone, only Jay Heath and CJ Felder remain in double-figures. Heath is leading the team and even he is at a modest 14.3 ppg. It’s just hard to see how the Eagles are going to score a lot of points–if they even care at this point. Interim coach Scott Spinelli’s squad has been kept in the mid-60s in each of the past three contests. It has not exceeded the 70-point mark since its last victory on Jan. 12. Notre Dame doesn’t have anyone scoring more than 14.3 ppg, either (Nate Laszewski is right on that number), so neither team has a real go-to guy on offense. ND in all likelihood can’t score enough to make up the difference to get over 149 considering B.C.’s expected woes on offense. The under is 7-2 in the Fighting Irish’s last nine overall. Look for this one to stay under the total.
Once firmly sitting on the bubble was Minnesota. However, now they are in deep danger of missing the tournament all together. The Golden Gophers have lost four games in a row, most recently losing to Northwestern at home. This is obviously not a good look, but there is reason to believe they can bounce back here against the Cornhuskers. After several poor offensive performances, the Gophers now have an offensive efficiency that ranks 10th in the Big Ten. They are last in effective field goal percentage, last in three-point shooting and 12th from two-point range. That sure does not make a compelling argument for Minnesota, but two areas they do excel in are taking care of the ball and forcing turnovers at a high rate. The Gophers are third in both of these categories, so it should allow their offense to ease into this game.
As bad as the Gophers may look, the Cornhuskers are even worse. Nebraska ranks last in the Big Ten in offensive efficiency. They are 13th in effective field goal percentage, 10th from downtown and 13th from inside the arc. It also does not help that they rank last in free-throw shooting too. Going off the Gophers being able to turn teams over, the Cornhuskers have the highest turnover rate. Clearly the Gophers are desperate for a win to try to get back into the tournament conversation. Because of the rate they turn teams over, I think Minnesota will finally get back into the win column with a win and cover.
The total also feels a bit high given how inefficient these offenses are playing. As mentioned plenty already, these teams are likely going to struggle to score. That is even knowing that Nebraska is playing at the fastest tempo in the conference. Though it does not matter the speed at which you play when you cannot knock down shots consistently. It should be noted that neither team is very efficient defensively either, though Nebraska does have the second best three-point defense in the conference. Minnesota creating turnovers should help take away possessions from Nebraska, which will help limit the pace that they want to play at. The Gophers have not scored more than 75 points in a game since January 16th, and even against a poor Cornhuskers squad, I expect their struggles will continue. Because the Nebraska offense has been just as bad this season, I will back the under as a lean.
USC was doing really well but has had a couple of slips in the last week. They were road underdogs this week and then lost at Colorado. Technically that was not an upset, but they did not look good at all on offense or defense. Evan Mobley did play in the game but did not have much impact. This is a game where they should be able to get an easy win and feel better heading into the PAC 12 Tournament in Las Vegas.
Utah has lost their last four games and it is looking like they might not get another win this season with their schedule. The talent has been light this season but usually, the coach gets them to compete hard. Branden Carlson gives them some length inside but matching up with the Trojans size is going to be tough. Their game at USC earlier in the year was one of their worst of the season, they scored only 46 points in the loss.
Having to win by a couple of buckets might not look like a sweet line but we are still getting some value with USC here. The Trojans are not a very public team in hoops and a lot are just going to see that they have lost two of their last three coming into this one. I would have made this number closer to double digits and think it might creep up that way so feel free to hit it when you see it on the board. USC is just better in every area and their defense can be suffocating.
Trojans games are going over in nearly every situation. The exception is when USC is a road favorite like they are in this one, they are just 3-3 O/U in these situations. Those games are showing an average of 132ppg which is why I am leaning to the under here. This is the last regular-season game for the Trojans so we will get a solid effort but it is also the second of two at altitude on the road. I think they show some tired legs in the second half and more hold off the Utes than dominate. That keeps this under the number. When they played at USC the Utes only scored 46 points in an 18 point loss that came in well under the number. They will get more this time but not much.
Take the under.
Baylor needs three more wins in order to finish their regular-season with an unblemished record, but will first need to go into Allen Fieldhouse and defeat the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday afternoon. After enduring their second pause of the season due to covid issues within the program, Baylor returned to play Tuesday night and defeated Big 12 bottom-feeder Iowa State 77-72. Baylor failed to cover as 20+ point favorites but given it was their first game in three weeks it’s tough to take away much from Tuesday night’s performance. The Bears defeated Kansas 77-69 back on January 18 in the first meeting between these schools and have the ability to sweep the Jayhawks in the regular-season series. Baylor is the recommended side in this game as they are more complete on both ends of the court.
Kansas is fresh off a tough 75-72 overtime victory against Texas in a game where the Jayhawks held a 36-22 lead with 3:06 remaining in the first half. Kansas’ inability to close down the stretch due to lacking a “closer” is a problem that can be exploited by a Baylor bunch that has multiple go-to players. Baylor’s elite backcourt consisting of guards Jared Butler (17.1 ppg), Davion Mitchell (13.4 ppg), MaCio Teague (14.7 ppg), and Adam Flagler (10.9 ppg) poses a massive threat against an average Jayhawk backcourt. Kansas’ most utilized player forward David McCormack (13.0 ppg) can be slowed down by the Bears elite low-post defense. Baylor forward Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua (7.8 ppg) can neutralize McCormack, setting the Bears up for the road win and cover.
The over is the recommendation here. Both Baylor and Kansas prefer to play this game at a fast pace, setting this game up to potentially become a track-meet. Kansas ranks third in the Big 12 in average possession length on offense (16.8 seconds per possession) with Baylor coming in right behind at fourth (17.2 seconds per offensive possession.) While Kansas’ defense is the strength of their team, Baylor’s offense is a matchup problem for the Jayhawks. Baylor rates out as the most efficient in Big 12 play as they score 117.4 points per 100 offensive possessions. Baylor’s number one offensive efficiency rating is mainly derived from their ability to score anywhere on the floor. Baylor rates first in the Big 12 in two-point and three-point shooting percentage, and rebounds their misses at a 35.4 percent clip. Back the over in a game where the Bears offense has the potential to light fire once again.
Gonzaga heads into their final game of the season as the clear number one team in the country. However, with what we know about the West Coast Conference, there is always a hesitance when making a case to bet on this Bulldogs team. That is because they can win pretty much every game by 30, at least in their conference which tends to offer no resistance. Note that they are coming off only a 14-point win against Santa Clara, so I fear there is a good chance they will just try to coast through this game as well. The Bulldogs are still by far the most efficient offense in the WCC. They have an effective field-goal percentage of 60.7, a three-point percentage of 36.2 and a two-point percentage of 63.6. I could list off plenty of other stats where Gonzaga dominates, but just know they are no worse than third in any offensive stat compared to the rest of their conference.
On the other side of this matchup is Loyola-Marymount. The Lions are actually not terrible for being in the WCC and have a conference record of 7-4. For the most part, they have only beat up on the lesser teams in the WCC, but lost to BYU by 17. The Lions have not played the Bulldogs yet this season, so I fully expect a decent game here. Loyola-Marymount has the third most efficient offense in the conference. The one area where they are better than the Bulldogs is offensive rebounding. The Lions have the highest offensive rebounding rate in the conference, which should give them a slight edge in keeping this game close enough. In the same sense, the Lions allow the least number of offensive rebounds, so they should have success on the boards. There is little doubt that Gonzaga will win this game. However, being the last game in the regular season, I think the Lions will do just enough to cover.
Gonzaga also has the most efficient defense in the WCC, yet they still have had plenty of games where their opponents had offensive success. Probably because of the fast pace that they play at. The Bulldogs have the fastest tempo in the WCC and the fifth fastest in the entire country. Their field goal defense ranks first from two-point range, but fourth from downtown. The Lions have the opportunity to take advantage because they shoot 36.8 percent from behind the arc and rank second in the conference. Loyola-Marymount also shoots 51.6 percent from inside the arc, so even with a lockdown Gonzaga defense, they should be able to score relatively easily. The only issue is that the Lions play at the ninth slowest pace in the conference, which could limit their possessions. Although, they may not be able to even slow the pace because of how quick the Bulldogs play. I fully expect Gonzaga to score at least 85 points or so. That leaves the Lions needing about 72. Their three-point shooting success is going to help with this, so I will back the over as a small lean.
It’s Pac-12 action here as the Colorado Buffaloes host the UCLA Bruins. UCLA has been coasting on a lot of luck this season, and I think it finally runs out here. Incredibly, nine of their last 12 wins have come by six points or fewer. That simply isn’t sustainable–certainly not on the road against arguably the best team in the conference in Colorado. The Bruins won by three when these teams first met earlier this season in Los Angeles, and the Buffs have surely had this one circled ever since. The last time UCLA had to face a top team they lost by 18 to USC and only scored 48 points. Almost all of their recent wins have come against the conference’s weakest teams, and this test in the altitude is going to come as a shock to their system. Colorado, on the other hand, has all the momentum in the world after blowing out USC in their last game–allowing them to claim the mantle of best team in the conference. McKinley Wright, fresh off a game with 14 assists, leads them to a comfortable victory here.
I also think the under makes some sense here. UCLA plays at one of the slowest tempos in all of college basketball, and things will really grind to a halt with the altitude causing fatigue. Like I mentioned above, the Bruins only scored 48 points the last time they were tested like this, and Colorado also plays at a very slow pace. Wright is the only Colorado player averaging more than 11.5 points per game, and he isn’t particularly efficient. The last time these teams played each other we only saw 127 points scored, and I think we see something similar here–so a total in the mid 130s presents some value. The under is also 5-1 in Colorado’s last six games.
College basketball picks and college basketball predictions for the 2020/21 season. Our experts crunch the numbers, betting trends, injury reports, and much more to produce the best free college basketball picks and predictions every day.
Unlike many places, here at Pickswise, we have you covered all season long, not just for March Madness. Whether it’s non-conference play, conference play, championship week or March Madness itself, our NCAA basketball predictions have you covered.
With 353 Division I college basketball teams there are plenty of opportunities to find a good value college basketball picks. With so many games happening every day it is impossible for sportsbooks to get the lines correct for each game. As sports bettors, this gives us a great opportunity to research the games, and find those edges to better serve our chances of long term success. That’s precisely what we do here at Picksiwse. Our dedicated college basketball team covers every morsel of NCAAB action, leaving no stone unturned in the search for the best value bets today, all of which is provided daily, for free, here at Pickswise.
Because we are the home of free college basketball expert picks, we have a team dedicated to finding gems on college basketball games today. This means you don’t have to do the research yourself. You can trust our experts to give out the best college basketball predictions for today. Our predictions for today’s college basketball games are always well-researched and detailed with analysis and a breakdown of our predictions.
Want a select few bets rather than all of our college basketball picks today, be sure to also check out our College Basketball Best Bets page for all of today’s top plays.
One of the more popular college basketball wagers is betting against the spread (ATS). Against the spread betting isn’t about picking a winner of the basketball game, it’s about picking the team who will cover the spread.
Let’s say you bet your money that Team A covers the spread (wins by a certain amount of points), Duke -6.5 for example. Or that Team B will cover the spread (keep the game closer than oddsmakers expect), Kentucky +6.5. If Duke beat Kentucky 64-60, then Kentucky would cover the spread and underdog backers will cash their tickets on Kentucky +6.5 points.
The disparity is a big thing in many college basketball matchups and as such Moneyline betting will often see small odds about a favorite. Betting against the spread is very common, for this reason. It allows bettors to wager on the big favorites, who are expected to win, at better odds, but also the opportunity to bet the underdog. These are the main reasons why college basketball against the spread picks is one of our most popular college basketball predictions on Pickswise.
The other main NCAAB wager is the totals which is simply betting over or under a set number of points in a game. This market is seen to be one of the easier markets to beat the book if you can get to grips with some of the most important statistics which contribute to how many points will be scored in a ball game.
Some of the most important factors to consider when handicapping totals in basketball are the number of possessions per team in a game and the pace of play. Our experts at Pickswise consider these key angles as well as matchups, injuries and betting trends to determine which side of the line has the best chance of hitting.
The culmination of the college basketball season is a unique and extraordinary phenomenon, March Madness. An aptly named college basketball competition as the madness, quite literally, sweeps the nation. Even those who paid little to no interest in the regular-season find themselves filling brackets and tuning in for the three-week-long tournament.
A 68 team single-elimination tournament which holds 67 games over 21 days. Here at Pickswise, we will have March Madness 2021 predictions for every game of the tournament, alongside our pre-tournament analysis and best bets, all of the latest news stories including those big upsets, so you won’t miss a game without a pick.
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