Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jamion Christian
- Our experts lay out their favorite bets for the Saturday, Feb. 23 college basketball slate.
- The games covered below include: Texas-Oklahoma (noon ET), Marquette-Providence (noon ET), George Washington-VCU (2 p.m. ET), Loyola Marymount-Pacific (3:30 p.m. ET), St. Mary's-San Diego (9 p.m. ET)
There are many, many games on Saturday’s college basketball card — 143 to be precise. Fortunately, our experts have combed through ’em all, from Providence-Marquette to Pacific-Loyola Marymount, to find their favorites.
Below you’ll find our staff’s five favorite bets for Saturday, starting at noon ET. Let’s get to it.
Ken Barkley: Texas +4 at Oklahoma
12 p.m. ET, ESPNU
Editor’s note: This pick and the analysis below was made before Texas’ leading scorer, Kerwin Roach II, was suspended indefinitely.
Texas is one of the more enigmatic teams in the country this season — the Horns get a lot of respect, and more often than not, they don’t deserve it. But the fact remains that when looking at their raw numbers in conference play compared to Oklahoma’s, this number is incorrect, although only by a couple points.
Texas should be about +1 by my numbers, and also has had some pretty strong road performances in Big 12 play. The Longhorns won in Manhattan by 20 and only lost by a possession to Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse. Two other conference road losses — TCU and Oklahoma State — were one-possession games.
The point is, Texas isn’t a team with extremely polarizing splits, and that makes a number like this incredibly appealing. I don’t know if you can ever fully trust the Horns, but they deserve a bet here at this price, and have had a full week off to prepare.
Barkley: Louisville +5
12 p.m. ET, ACC Network
OK, I’m going to try not to jinx any other teams by getting their best players suspended, so lets go to Louisville, where the Cardinals are coming off their absolute biggest clunker of the season, a 20-point loss to Syracuse earlier this week.
That type of awful performance can sometimes create a little recency bias in this game, and I think that’s what’s happening here, as I have this Louisville +3.5 when factoring in their home-court and the very low-scoring possibilities in this game (total in the mid 120’s).
Obviously as the total points go down, points in the spread become more valuable. As incredible as Virginia has been, they are on back-to-back travel and their 3rd road game in 12 days, so a small letdown is possible.