College Basketball Odds, Picks: Stuckey’s 5 Saturday Spots

College Basketball Odds, Picks: Stuckey’s 5 Saturday Spots article feature image
Credit:

Nic Antaya/Getty Images. Pictured: Michigan’s Dug McDaniel.

Just like last year, each week for the remainder of the college basketball season, I will share my favorite spots for the Saturday slate.

In addition to my raw projection, I will focus on matchups, situational spots, injuries, potential regression and other ancillary factors.

This week, I will highlight my five favorite spots on Saturday's slate.

For reference, I write these up early on Friday evening after the openers come out. The market will obviously move overnight, so I always will list the price at which I'd play each game.

  • 2022-23: 33-22 (60.0%) +9.24 units
  • 2023-24: 19-19-1 (50.0%) -1.54 units
  • Overall: 52-41-1 (55.9%) +7.7 units

Stuckey's Top College Basketball Betting Spots

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

GameTime (ET)Pick
12 p.m.
6 p.m.
6:30 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
8 p.m.
Specific betting 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.

TCU vs. Kansas State

Saturday, Feb. 17
12 p.m. ET
ESPNU
Kansas State -1

With Kansas State's bubble chances basically on life support, it almost needs this win in the Octagon of Doom. Fortunately for the Wildcats, they've been as good as any team over the past two seasons against quality competition at home.

They've also had a week off since a close loss at BYU last Saturday, which was their only game played since beating Kansas two Mondays ago. That's important late in the season for a team that doesn't have a ton of depth.

From a matchup perspective, Kansas State can defend at the rim (90th percentile efficiency) and in transition at a high level. That's critical against a TCU team that looks to attack the rim relentlessly (93rd percentile frequency with a 97th percentile efficiency, per Synergy) and get out on the fast break (97th percentile frequency) as much as possible.

I do worry a bit about Kansas State's incessant turnover issues, but it does at least take better care of the rock at home.

Plus, the Wildcat defense is operating on all cylinders as a top-15 unit right now, which should be enough to get this potential season-saving win at home against a TCU team that could be caught in a bit of a sleepy spot in the Little Apple.

Pick: Kansas State -1 (Play to -2)

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Baylor vs. West Virginia

Saturday, Feb. 17
6 p.m. ET
ESPN2
West Virginia +7.5

This is my favorite buy-low, sell-high spot on Saturday's card.

Baylor has won four of its last five with BYU and Houston looming on deck, which makes this a bit of a tricky situational spot.

Meanwhile, West Virginia has lost three straight but has at least been a much better team in Morgantown, where it still has one of the best home-court advantages in the country. While the Mountaineers have gone 0-9 on the road, they have home wins over Kansas, Texas, Cincinnati, Toledo and Drexel.

And for what it's worth, Baylor ranks 353rd in Haslametrics' "Away From Home" metric, so it's not like the Bears have been road warriors.

From a matchup perspective, Baylor is not looking to run, ranking in the ninth percentile in transition frequency, which should provide relief for West Virginia's horrific transition defense that ranks in the 16th percentile, per Synergy.

Additionally, Baylor still has major holes on the defensive end that West Virginia can exploit.

Ultimately, I think the Mountaineers find themselves in a prime situational spot and are a bit undervalued after dealing with an extremely shorthanded roster due to injuries and transfer eligibility issues earlier this season.

They are now finally fully healthy, while Baylor could be without critical sixth man Langston Love once again.

Pick: West Virginia +7.5 (Play to +6.5)


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Louisville vs. Pitt

Saturday, Feb. 17
6:30 p.m. ET
ACC Network
Louisville +12.5

I think it's time to sell Pittsburgh after four straight wins that were certainly assisted by 3-point variance. The Panthers shot 38% from deep in those four victories, while their opponents connected on only 28%.

Louisville has been close to unbettable for the better part of the past two seasons, but the Cardinals have actually looked more competent of late with their freshmen playing much better. Look no further than their ranking of 17th in "Momentum," per Haslametrics.

Louisville tries to run way too frequently despite operating much more efficiently in the half-court. That's a positive against a Pitt defense that doesn't allow anything in transition.

Additionally, Pitt doesn't look to run often and isn't great in transition when it does. That should provide another boost to Louisville, which has one of the worst transition defenses in the country (359th in points per possession allowed).

Plus, Pitt is not a rim-attacking offense, which also helps Louisville. Lastly, the Panthers struggle at the free-throw line, which could come into play with such a big spread.

I think Pitt could be a bit fat and happy at home against an inferior opponent. I wouldn't be shocked if it comes out semi-sleepy and this stays relatively close throughout.

Pick: Louisville +12.5 (Play to +12)



Fresno State vs. Boise State

Saturday, Feb. 17
7:30 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
Boise State -14.5

After a full week off following consecutive double-digit defeats, I expect a fully focused and engaged Broncos squad at ExtraMile Arena on Saturday night.

More importantly, this is a fade of a Fresno State team that will likely be down to only five scholarship players after recently losing three key rotational pieces to injury. That has left the Bulldogs with no rim protection, inside presence or depth.

With any sort of foul trouble against a very physical Broncos bunch, this could get ugly in a hurry.

Current available Bulldogs who average 4+ minutes per game:

Isaiah Hill
Xavier DuSell
Jalen Weaver
Isaiah Pope
Leo Colimerio

That's the list.

Injury report:
Eduardo Andre (knee)
Donavan Yap (hand)
Enoch Boakye (left game with injury)
Isaac Taveras (absent)
Chuks Isitua (out)

— Jackson Moore (@JacksonMoore247) February 15, 2024

Fresno will have to rely on hitting outside shots in this matchup, which spells doom against an extremely stout Boise State perimeter defense that ranks 17th in 3-point percentage allowed.

And if those aren't falling at a high clip, I'm not sure I see a path for the Bulldogs to keep this close since they likely won't get any second-chance points. On the season, they rank 294th in offensive rebounding percentage. Now, they have multiple injuries inside and will face a Boise State defense that ranks 17th in that department.

Boise State owns a big rest, prep and depth advantage in a game that has "blowout" written all over it.

Pick: Boise State -14.5 (Play to -15)


Use our BetMGM bonus code for bonus bets before making your college basketball picks.



Michigan State vs. Michigan

Saturday, Feb. 17
8 p.m. ET
FOX
Michigan +6.5

This looks like a good spot to sell high on Michigan State after a recent surge while buying low on Michigan at home in a rivalry game that becomes its Super Bowl of sorts after a disastrous season.

More importantly, the Wolverines will have Dug McDaniel for this one since he can only play in Ann Arbor at the moment. In five road games without him, the offense has fallen off a cliff with a steep drop-off in efficiency at the rim and from beyond the arc — especially in the corner since they really miss his dribble drive creation.

About two weeks ago, Michigan closed at around a 12-point underdog in East Lansing without McDaniel. Now, I can get 6.5 at home with its best player back in the lineup. That's a bargain, in my humble opinion.

Plus, Sparty has a bit of looming negative shooting regression, as they're shooting north of 40% in league play.

Pick: Michigan +6.5 (Play to +5)

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