College Basketball Expert Betting Picks: Our Staff’s 4 Favorite Saturday Bets
Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Oregon State Beavers forward Tres Tinkle
- Our experts offer their favorite college basketball betting picks for Saturday's massive slate.
- You'll find a number of intriguing betting angles, including historical trends, matchup analysis and why Oregon State is undervalued.
There are 144 college basketball games to bet on today’s card. One of the toughest tasks on these huge Saturday cards is limiting your wagers to come up with your final card.
In order to assist in that process, a few of our staff members gave their favorite side on Saturday’s slate. Let’s dig in, starting with a Big Ten matchup in the late afternoon.
>> All odds as of 11:30 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and win probabilities on your bets.
Ken Barkley: Penn State -6.5 vs. Rutgers
4:30 p.m. ET on BTN
I’m not sure if Penn State has much left in the ol’ motivational tank, but if there’s anything left, you get it here.
The Nittany Lions have had the roughest conference season imaginable, playing five straight teams ranked in the KenPom top 30. They lost all five of those and also lost by one to Minnesota last Saturday. I swear, they aren’t THAT bad.
And now they get a Rutgers team coming off a season-defining win over Nebraska at home. Rutgers’ home-road splits are abysmal, as the Scarlet Knights have already lost by 35 at Purdue and 18 at Minnesota. They’ve also lost at Fordham, which is just inexcusable no matter the margin.
It would be more fun if the market was totally dead on Penn State and this opened -3.5/-4, but there’s still optimism in the world. Regardless, I think this line holds some value and Penn State finally gets its first conference win in blowout fashion.
Stuckey: Akron -4 vs. Northern Illinois
4:30 p.m. ET on BTN
This is my favorite situational spot of the day, as I’m not sure Northern Illinois shows up after one of its biggest wins in program history over Buffalo (at the buzzer). It was NIU’s first home win over a ranked team since 1972!
The Zips also have major revenge on their mind from a 17-point blowout loss to NIU earlier this season. Akron’s defense is for real and should stifle what I expect to be a very flat Huskies team.
Mike Randle: Mississippi State -1 vs. Auburn
8:30 p.m. ET on SECN
This line is based on Auburn of last year rather than Auburn of this year.
The Tigers will still be without 6-foot-11 center Austin Wiley, who has missed the last two SEC games with a foot injury. In those two contests, the Tigers were dominated for the majority of the game against Kentucky and lost an uninspired game at South Carolina.
And since starting conference play, Auburn’s vaunted defense has been extremely disappointing. The Tigers rank second-to-last in the conference in effective FG percentage and will have a severe interior mismatch without Wiley. Look for 6-foot-10 senior Aric Holman (11.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg) to have a big game for the Bulldogs.
I also think Mississippi State’s 6-foot-4 guard Quinndary Weatherspoon (16.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg) can cause problems for Auburn star Jared Harper.
Bet on head coach Ben Howland and the Bulldogs at home in primetime against a compromised Auburn team.
Steve Petrella: Oregon State -1.5 vs. Washington
4 p.m. ET on PACN
This Oregon State team (12-6) has lost just one game all season by more than six points. The Beavers are just 3-4 in one-possession games, and I think that regresses in a positive way here.
Washington has opened Pac-12 play with six straight wins thanks to excellent defense, but the Huskies aren’t equipped to take advantage of the Beavers’ biggest weaknesses — defending and shooting 3s.
These two teams are a lot closer than people might think, which is creating value on the Beavers.