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College Basketball Betting Picks: Our Staff’s 4 Favorite Saturday Bets (January 11, 2020)

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David K Purdy/Getty Images. Pictured: Iowa State’s Michael Jacobson

While you gear up for three straight days of quality football, don’t neglect college hoops.

Conference play is in full swing on Saturday with a 145-game slate, and our experts have been hard at work boiling down their cards to one favorite play.

Saturday College Basketball Picks


College basketball odds as of Saturday morning and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150). No strings attached. No rollover required.


Mike Randle

  • Odds: St. Bonaventure -12 vs. Fordham
  • Over/Under: 119.5
  • Time: 2 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN+

The Bonnies are one of the hottest teams in the country, having won nine of their last 10 games.

St. Bonaventure has a dynamic backcourt tandem of Kyle Lofton (14.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 6.6 apg) and Dominick Welch (11.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 39% 3P), and have been hitting their stride with the return of 6-foot-10 center Osun Osunniyi (9.8 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1.8 bpg). In their most recent win at George Mason, Osunniyi grabbed 18 rebounds and tallied five blocks.

Head coach Mark Schmidt’s team returns home after four consecutive road games to face a Fordham team that is among the worst offensive groups in the country.

The Rams rank 336th in adjusted offensive efficiency, 326th in 2P%, while shooting an abysmal 61.2% from the free throw line. Fordham has also been fortunate to have opponents only shoot an average of 69.3% from the charity stripe, certainly due for some regression.

Fordham has played only one true road game, and that was an 18 point loss to VCU. I’m not going to overthink it and lay the 12 points with a St. Bonaventure team that is home, hot, and healthy

Pick: St. Bonaventure -12

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Michael Calabrese

  • Odds: Saint Louis at Richmond -6
  • Over/Under: 134
  • Time: 5 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN+

Saint Louis has won five of six straight up, and is 4-2 ATS as an underdog this season with a pair of upsets over Belmont and Boston College to their credit. At 13-3 on the year, residing in the A-10, they’re firmly on the NCAA Tournament bubble and need quality wins like this one to hold out hope for an at-large bid come mid-March.

SLU has four starters who average double figures, headlined by Jordan Goodwin. The 6-foot-3 star is one of just three guards averaging a double-double (15.4 ppg, 10.6 rpg). When Goodwin is locked in and scoring more than 15 points, SLU is an incredibly tough out. In fact, SLU hasn’t lost a game in which he’s scored more than 15 points since Feb. 2 of last season.

Goodwin is joined by Hasahn French, a throwback big who is averaging 13 and 10 with nearly three rejections per game. French’s maturation has gone a long way in solidifying both the Billikens’ rebounding and interior defense here in 2020. Thanks to French, SLU averages 12.1 offensive rebounds (9th) and swats 4.5 shots per game (45th).

A final reason to believe in SLU is that they’re comfortable in close games. In contests decided by five points or fewer, SLU is 3-0 SU, including back-to-back wins over UMass and GW heading into this road game at Richmond.

Under Chris Mooney, Richmond has underperformed as a single-digit home dog, covering spreads in just 42% of games. This season, in particular, has been unkind to Spider-backers. Richmond is 3-6 as a home team favorite of eight points or less.

Pick: Saint Louis +6

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Eli Hershkovich

  • Odds: Iowa State -3 vs. Oklahoma
  • Over/Under: 150.5
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN2

Betting on bad teams is a must in order to be profitable, regardless of the sport. The Cyclones (7-7 against the spread) fit that mold.

Iowa State has lost four of its past five games straight-up, including a blowout defeat to the hands of Big 12 rival Kansas on Thursday. Its lone win during that stretch came against Purdue Fort Wayne. You do the math.

Steve Prohm’s bunch will square off against a Sooners’ team that’s off to a 2-0 start in Big 12 play and ripe for a loss. Despite Oklahoma’s size edge, they lack a wing that can matchup with Cyclones’ Tyrese Haliburton, who struggled mightily in their loss to the Jayhawks (5 points, 2-of-7 shooting, 5:3 assist-to-turnover ratio).

The 6-foot-5 Haliburton is one of the premiere playmakers in college basketball (15th-highest assist rate), and I’m expecting a bounce-back performance from Iowa State’s star and his teammates.

The Sooners have relied on getting to the line in many of their games, accounting for 20.7% of their scoring — the 82nd-highest rate across Division I.

The Cyclones tend to limit their opponents’ free-throw attempts, and with a highly-motivated squad, look for get back to having success pushing the tempo in transition against a limited Oklahoma offense.

Pick: Iowa State -3

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Stuckey

  • Odds: Iowa State -3 vs. Oklahoma
  • Over/Under: 150.5
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN2

I agree with Eli that this feels like a great opportunity to back an Iowa State team no one wants to back, coming off a blowout loss to Kansas.

It’s a good buy low spot on the Cyclones at home after a dreadful stretch that also included a home loss to Florida A&M.

Meanwhile, this is an awful situational spot for Oklahoma which is coming off a big upset win at Texas with Kansas on deck. The Sooners could be flat in a major sandwich spot.

Pick: Iowa State -3

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