Saturday College Basketball Betting Picks: Our Staff’s 4 Favorite Bets
David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Trey Landers
While football may take center stage on Saturday, there’s wall-to-wall college basketball to tide you over in between.
Our staff has been hard at work breaking down the 116-game card and came up with their three favorite bets.
Let’s get to it.
Saturday College Basketball Odds & Picks
Odds as of Saturday at 9 a.m. ET 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.
- Odds: Providence PK vs. Texas
- Over/Under: 133.5
- Time: 2 p.m. ET
- TV: FOX
- Location: Providence, R.I.
The Friars have lost seven straight matchups against the spread, including a 32-point outright loss against Florida on Tuesday. But Ed Cooley’s team returns home in a prime bounceback spot versus the Longhorns (3-7 ATS).
Expect Providence’s improvement to show up defensively, as it’s generated the 17th-highest opponents’ turnover rate in college basketball. Texas is bottom-120 in turnover percentage, so the Friars should be able to speed up the tempo to their liking if they’re more locked-in at that end of the floor — while the Longhorns have more success at a slower pace.
Plus, the motivated Friars (41st-highest offensive rebounding rate) will generate second-chance opportunities against a Texas unit that struggles on the glass. Look for Kalif Young, Alpha Diallo and Nate Watson to assert themselves around the rim early on, especially vs. Shaka Smart’s struggling interior defense.
The Longhorns covered — and won straight-up — in their lone road contest at Purdue on Nov. 9, but they haven’t been tested of late. Take advantage of the Friars’ buy-low price.
Pick: Providence PK
- Odds: Alabama PK vs. Belmont
- Over/Under: 159.5
- Time: 3:30 pm
- TV: SECN
- Location: Huntsville, Ala.
This line jumped off the page immediately. An Alabama team (5-5) is a PK straight up against a Belmont team (8-3) with a much better record. To the casual bettor, this will seem like a great opportunity to side with Belmont, but a deeper dive reveals otherwise.
While this is not “technically” a home game in Huntsville, it certainly favors Alabama players John Petty, Jr. (from Huntsville) and Kira Lewis, Jr. (from nearby Meridianville.) The Crimson Tide are playing a de facto home game.
Head coach Nate Oats’ Crimson Tide have also been playing very well of late, winning three of their past four games with a two-point loss at Penn State as the lone hiccup.
Alabama brings a lightning fast pace, ranking seventh overall in tempo via KenPom. The Tide are coming off a big 105-87 win at in-state rival Samford, in which Petty tallied 39 points on 10 of 13 shooting from 3P.
Belmont has played well this season, but struggled on the road against higher-ranked KenPom teams such as St. Louis (95th) and Eastern Washington (127th). Alabama (75th) is the best team the Bruins have faced all season.
Belmont relies heavily on efficiency from deep, generating 38.6% of their points from beyond the arc (38th most). The Bruins also struggle from the free throw line, ranking 200th with a 69.1% team percentage.
I’m siding with an Alabama team that is finally clicking for coach Oats, and will play a semi-home game in state against a Belmont team taking a huge step-up in talent.
Bruins’ head coach Casey Alexander has done a nice job in his first season, but look for Petty and Lewis to be at their best against a Belmont team that will struggle to contain their dribble penetration.
Pick: Alabama PK
- Odds: Dayton -5 vs. Colorado
- Over/Under: 139.5
- Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
- TV: CBSSN
- Location: Chicago
The Flyers are undefeated in regulation and have achieved the program’s highest ranking (13th) since February of 2016. Dayton is winning with a sustainable brand of basketball.
Anthony Grant’s squad is a bucket away from being the nation’s highest scoring team and they’re doing it by sharing the basketball — their 20.1 assists per game leads the nation. They can hurt you both inside and outside the 3-point arc and they rarely beat themselves by turning the ball over.
As a result, UD’s efficiency numbers are off the charts, which explains their 9-1 SU and 7-3 ATS start. There’s also something to be said for Dayton’s work away from UD Arena. The Flyers are 3-1 at neutral site venues this year, which includes their OT defeat to Kansas in Maui.
On Saturday night the Flyers will be facing off against Colorado in Chicago at the United Center. Dayton is battle tested, confident and has a potential All-American (Obi Toppin) to turn to in pivotal moments. This explains why the public is all over UD, with 92% of bets of 95% of the money on the Flyers overnight.
The Flyers are not going to take the Buffaloes lightly. Colorado is off to a 9-2 start for the second straight season and it begins and ends with Tyler Bey.
The junior wing is averaging a double-double while shooting over 41.7% from long range. They’ll need him to be a bit more aggressive in this game, if they hope to upset the highly-ranked Flyers.
In CU’s nine wins this season, Bey has averaged 13.3 ppg and taken nearly eight foul shots per contest. In their two losses, those stats dip to 9.5 ppg and 5.5 FTAs. Neither team starts a player over 6-foot-9 so Dayton will try to keep Bey out of the lane and off the glass with their two bigs Toppin and Ryan Mikesell.
Dayton’s efficiency and star power should win the day (night).
Pick: Dayton -5
- Odds: Eastern Illinois at Grand Canyon (-3.5)
- Over/Under: 142
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- Location: Phoenix
Bettors seem to be interested in Grand Canyon today: The Antelopes are getting 65% of the money and just 29% of the spread bets, which indicates some potential bigger bets on them.
Outside of having a famous coach in Dan Majerle, I’m struggling to find why bettors would be bullish on them. The line has moved from Grand Canyon -1 to -3.5 currently.
The Antelopes are just 4-9 on the season, and while they’ve had a tough schedule, they haven’t exactly been competitive. They have zero wins against any team inside the top-200 of KenPom AdjEM, which Eastern Illinois currently is. The Panthers don’t have a ton of great wins either, but we can look at the betting market for a sense of how these teams have performed against expectations.
Grand Canyon is just 2-8 ATS this season, failing to cover by 6.45 points on average. Eastern Illinois, meanwhile, is 5-2 ATS, covering by 15.07 points on average.
And Bet Labs’ historical data shows it has been profitable to keep riding teams coming off good ATS showings, especially against bad teams and as a dog.
On the floor, Grand Canyon has been atrocious defensively this season, ranking 300th in efficiency. The Antelopes have been especially bad in the paint and rank nearly last in the nation in block rate. The Panthers prefer to not take 3s, instead opting to get inside the arc and hit the glass. Further, their defense has been very solid this season.
I’ll take the better team with more experience now that the line has ballooned up to +3.5.