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College Basketball Picks & Odds: Keg’s Top Mid-Major Bets, Including Seattle vs. Utah Valley

College Basketball Picks & Odds: Keg’s Top Mid-Major Bets, Including Seattle vs. Utah Valley article feature image
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  • A full Saturday college basketball slate means there are plenty of mid-major bets to make.
  • Keg broke down three of his favorite mid-major games for Saturday, including Seattle vs. Utah Valley.
  • Check out all three of Keg's top mid-major college basketball bets for Saturday below.

Bottom of the Barrel Picks for Saturday, January 14

Saturday’s slate is stacked with over 100 games, many of which are important conference matchups.

With only 58 days until Selection Sunday, let’s take a look at three matchups that could carry serious weight in deciding conferences that will likely get just one bid.


Bottom of the Barrel College Basketball Best Bets

The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that Keg is targeting from Saturday’s slate of games. Click the team logos for one the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.

Game
Time
Pick
2 p.m. ET
North Texas +3 or Better
3 p.m. ET
Over 158 or Better
8 p.m. ET
Utah Valley -10 or Better
Specific bet recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NCAAB Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.

North Texas vs. Florida Atlantic

Saturday, Jan. 14
2 p.m. ET
ESPN+
North Texas +3 or Better

It’s round two at the top of the Conference USA standings as Florida Atlantic will face off with the North Texas Mean Green once again.

Earlier this season in Texas, the Owls came back late to edge out a win over the Mean Green. I’m not so sure the story will be the same this time around despite being at home in Boca Raton.

Florida Atlantic has been elite at both ends of the court, ranking in the top 75 when it comes to both offensive and defensive efficiency. But North Texas has been a force on defense for years, and nothing has changed this time around.

The Mean Green’s ability to bring the game to a grinding halt and shut teams down — both at the rim and on the perimeter — has been a pain in the side for every C-USA team year in and year out.

Now, with even more motivation after losing to the Owls at home earlier this year, I think the Mean Green defense will perform at its highest level.

North Texas could be the team that finally ends the Owls’ 14-game win streak. Back the Mean Green to get their revenge at +3 or better.

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Stetson vs. Eastern Kentucky

Saturday, Jan. 14
3 p.m. ET
ESPN+
Over 158 or Better

The Hatters finished non-conference play below .500, posting a record of just 5-6. However, they did show promise, winning outright against Florida State and South Florida to start the season.

They did fall short in close games against solid opponents like Charleston and Niagara, though.

Since conference play began, the Hatters have been unconscious, rolling right along to a 5-0 record against some of the top teams in the ASUN like Lipscomb and Jacksonville.

On Saturday, they’ll try to remain undefeated against another surprise ASUN contender in EKU.

The Colonels are 4-1 in conference play, which includes a massive win over top dog and multi-time conference champion Liberty.

Stetson‘s 5-0 start in conference play is its best since joining the ASUN.

Last time out against Bellarmine, the Hatters were automatic from 3-point range, cashing in on 19-of-40 (47.5%) 3-pointers. This has been their M.O. for a majority of the season. The Hatters rank 14th nationally in 3-point percentage and are fifth when it comes to points via the 3.

This Stetson squad is stacked with talent. Luke Brown and Wheza Panzo are two of the top five 3-point shooters in the conference. Meanwhile, Josh Smith is fourth in the conference in rebounds while also coming in at fifth in field goal percentage.

And while this team is good, Eastern Kentucky will be anything but an easy win. The Colonels literally brand themselves as “the most exciting 40 minutes in sports.”

Their goal is to lead the country in scoring, 3s, assists and forced turnovers. EKU has been on fire as of late, hitting 45% from both the field and beyond the arc.

This matchup with Stetson should not only be a high-scoring affair, but one of the most enjoyable games to watch on Saturday — even with such a massive slate.

Both teams rank top-10 in the nation in made 3s per game, and while EKU ranks 36th in forced turnovers, the Hatters are 10th in least amount of turnovers per game.

One thing that does set it apart is Stetson has been much worse when it comes to defending the 3.

Rather than backing either of these teams to come out on top, I’ll stick with a much more likely bet in this top-of-the-conference showdown: 3s to rain consistently.

No line is out quite yet on this game, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see it as one of the biggest totals of the day. I’d feel comfortable backing these teams to go over the total of 158 or better.

Pick: Over 158 or Better

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Seattle vs. Utah Valley

Saturday, Jan. 14
8 p.m. ET
ESPN+
Utah Valley -10 or Better

You’ve heard of MACtion, but if you’re late to the party due to focusing on bowl season, let me be the first to introduce you to WACtion.

The WAC is the 12th-ranked conference (per KenPom) in college basketball, highlighted by four teams who earned wins over power-conference squads in the non-conference.

Saturday night provides us with a showdown between two of the best teams in the WAC, both of which looking to remain undefeated in league play.

The Utah Valley Wolverines are 14-4 on the season, 5-0 in conference and their 11-game winning streak is the nation’s fourth-longest active streak.

No team in the nation is better than the Wolverines when it comes to blocking shots (6.7 per game).

Utah Valley is led by one of the most versatile players in the country in Aziz Bandaogo. He ranks among the top 20 in all of college basketball in rebounds, blocks, double doubles, rebounds per game and blocks per game.

The Wolverines’ defense will need to be on point against a Seattle team that has been impressive in its own right.

Seattle finished its non-conference schedule at 9-4, with wins over Cal State Fullerton and Portland. The Redhawks have since surged out to a 4-0 start in conference play.

However, there is one thing that can’t be ignored when it comes to the Redhawks’ schedule. They have seen three of their four wins come against the bottom-three teams in the WAC.

Their luck likely runs out here against a proven Wolverines team at home in the UCCU Center, which I fully expect to be packed to the brim.


Keg’s Drink of the Week

It’s been a tough week of wagering for me to say the least. And when the bets aren’t cashing, that top-shelf Bourbon doesn’t feel right at the check out.

When it comes to being thrifty, one Bourbon in particular has always stood tall above the rest.

Old Forester 86 Proof

I usually talk about taste and notes and flavors and all those good things here.

Let me tell you two things about Old Forester 86 proof:

  1. It’s going to run you about $25 after tax depending on where you’re at.
  2. It’s going to get you where you want to go.

But truly, at this price point, you’re not going to get a better tasting Bourbon. It’s not low enough to be a well, and it’s not high enough to be among those big-name, high-dollar Bourbons.

Old Forester 86 is the mid-major of Bourbon, and that’s what I love about it.

Cheers and good luck.

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