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College Basketball Betting Odds, Picks: Calabrese & McGrath’s Pick & Roll for Saturday (Jan. 29)

College Basketball Betting Odds, Picks: Calabrese & McGrath’s Pick & Roll for Saturday (Jan. 29) article feature image
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  • A college basketball Saturday means another edition of the Pick & Roll from Mike Calabrese and Tanner McGrath.
  • They broke down and bet four total games, including Oklahoma vs. Auburn and Indiana vs. Maryland.
  • Check out all four of their top bets below.

Following a 3-1 day last Saturday — in which the two-man weave was one Delaware melt away from a perfect day — The Action Network’s pick-and-roll column has moved to a cool 23-13 on the season.

Our process has been consistently profitable through January, and we’re excited for the profits our advanced knowledge will bring us in February and — dare I say it — March.

For this Saturday, Tanner McGrath has targeted two power conference underdogs while Mike Calabrese will be taking a Summit League favorite and a huge ML underdog.

So, let’s walk the ball up the court, set up the pick-and-roll and win four more bets on Saturday.


McGrath’s Top 2 Saturday Picks

Missouri vs. Iowa State

Saturday, Jan. 29
2 p.m. ET
ESPNU

After a stretch of inspired efforts by Mizzou, I hate to back the Tigers again. However, I can’t stay away from this spot.

Iowa State is coming off of a Wednesday overtime home win against Oklahoma State and has a home game against Kansas looming on Tuesday. It’s not the biggest sandwich spot in the world, but a good spot to catch the Cyclones sleeping.

It’s also smart to try and catch these Cyclones sleeping. This year’s version of ISU is just 4-6 ATS as a favorite.

And while it’s potentially a buy-high opportunity on Mizzou, let’s not pretend the Tigers haven’t played better. BartTorvik has a game-score formula that tracks how teams perform in individual games, and here’s the graph for Mizzou’s game scores this season:

BartTorvik

As you can see, it’s trending directly upwards.

Plus, there are some basketball-related reasons to back Missouri. The Tigers have several lengthy wings they can throw at Izaiah Brockington (the heart and soul of ISU).

And in a game between two teams that are sub-200 in tempo, I’ll happily grab a double-digit underdog.

So, after a 4-0 ATS stretch, I’ll be backing Mizzou to cover one more time.

Pick: Missouri +12.5


Indiana vs. Maryland

Saturday, Jan. 29
2:30 p.m. ET
FOX

Maryland has seen some success recently. The Terps just picked up back-to-back wins over Illinois and Rutgers after starting Big Ten play 1-6.

Moreover, Maryland may have found something offensively during this stretch, particularly in the backcourt, which has been totally underwhelming this season.

On the year, Fatts Russell and Eric Ayala have a combined 101 ORtg, or basically D-I average. Given this was supposed to be one of the best backcourt tandems in the conference, that’s not good.

However, the two have combined for 69 points during the two-game win streak. Russell has looked especially good recently, showcasing the speed we’ve all been missing.

Fatts Russell more like Fatts Hustle pic.twitter.com/U2iJnRTw70

— Maryland Men’s Basketball (@TerrapinHoops) January 22, 2022

The Terps now run into Indiana, which is fresh off of an upset win over Purdue and a blowout of Penn State.

The Indiana guards have played out of their minds recently. Xavier Johnson and Rob Phinisee were transcendent against Purdue and similarly good against Penn State.

However, that doesn’t mean the Hoosiers suddenly have a top-10 backcourt. And this might be a good letdown spot for the two.

Why? Because Indiana has been pathetic away from Bloomington. The Hoosiers are 12-8 ATS this season, but just 1-5 ATS on the road. Moreover, they’ve now failed to cover in 10 straight Big Ten road opportunities dating back to last February.

The Hoosiers will take this run straight into Danny Manning, who has covered in five straight as a home dog (all with Wake Forest, but the point remains).

I believe this will be a good backcourt battle between four guards that are all trending up. However, this cap might come down to Qudus Wahab’s ability to cover Trayce Jackson-Davis.

Wahab has been above average in defending post-up opportunities this season (.786 PPP allowed), and I bet the 6-foot-11 big man gets the job done in a must-win situation.

Maryland needs this win if it ever wants to get back into bubble contention. Give me the hungry Terps in a favorable situation.

Pick: Maryland +1.5

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Calabrese’s Top 2 Saturday Picks

Oklahoma vs. Auburn

Saturday, Jan. 29
2 p.m. ET
ESPN

Porter Moser has an excellent track record when it comes to slaying giants. His deep NCAA Tournament runs at Loyola Chicago (F4, S16) illustrate that he is rarely out of his depth. He also has a road upset of the nation’s fifth-ranked team back in 2017 on his resume.

His transition to life in Oklahoma, however, has been a bit bumpy. The Sooners’ four-game losing streak this month has taken the wind out of their sails.

This team is far from lost, though. For all of its in-conference struggles, OU still has five wins over teams in the KenPom top-60, and a one-possession loss to Kansas (KenPom No. 8).

The Sooners’ defensive acumen and slower tempo gives me hope that they can frustrate Auburn in the same way Missouri did earlier this week.

The Sooners check in at 20th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency and limit teams from 3-point range (6.1 3PM, 52nd) while turning them over at a high rate (15 TO, 52nd).

One of Auburn’s few flaws is that it can fall in love with the 3, even when they’re not falling. The Tigers shot 6-for-28 from deep against Mizzou, and nearly paid the price in an extremely low-scoring affair.

They saved themselves by nabbing 23 (!) offensive rebounds. And that’s where I believe this matchup will be decided.

Oklahoma is a good, not great, defensive rebounding team (DReb 76%, 85th). What that means is the Sooners need Tanner Groves and Jalen Hill to turn in great games while avoiding foul trouble.

The pair accounts for 37% of the Sooners’ rebounds, and when either has found early foul trouble lately, that has spelled disaster for OU on the glass.

I like the Sooners’ formula to slow down Auburn from a pace perspective (258th) and I think, at this price, it’s worth a shot taking a flyer on them to knock down enough big shots (EFG% 10th) of their own to shock the nation’s top team.

Pick: Oklahoma ML (+360)


Oral Roberts vs. Denver

Saturday, Jan. 29
4 p.m. ET
Pioneers All-Access

Last season’s Cinderella spent the first few months of the year stuck in neutral. A lackluster 6-6 start SU for ORU, has given way to a 7-1 SU run fueled by a resurgent offensive attack.

The Golden Eagles have averaged 86 points per game since December 30th, and it hasn’t just been Max Abmas doing it all. Issac McBride and Kareem Thompson have provided ORU with consistent second and third options, helping ORU cover big numbers (-15, -17.5) in recent weeks.

One of those blowout wins came against Denver at home, a 17-point laugher that didn’t require a heat-check performance from Abmas. Since that game, Abmas has averaged 26 points per game, including three performances where he’s connected on six treys.

While Oral Roberts has been hitting its stride, Denver has fallen to 8-15 on the season as the Summit League’s second-lowest scoring team. If you remove a recent triumph over Omaha, one of the nation’s worst teams, Denver has failed to reach 64 points in its last three contests.

Diving deeper into the Pioneers’ shortcomings, it’s easy to see why this is such a bad matchup for them. Denver likes to play at a slower pace, prefers 2s over 3s and can’t grab an offensive rebound to save its life (6.1 OReb, 329th).

To keep pace with ORU, the Pioneers will need to make 3s, find second-chance opportunities on the glass or turn the Golden Eagles over more frequently.

I don’t see any of those things happening, and I would play this all the way up to -17.

Pick: Oral Roberts -7.5

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