College Basketball Best Bets: Our Staff’s 3 Top Picks for Saturday
Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images. Pictured: Johni Broome (Auburn)
With the CFP National Championship coming on Monday, it’s time for college basketball to own the weekend.
Saturday features another loaded slate, so our staff is diving in with three best bets.
Jump in immediately and get the top college basketball odds and picks for Saturday.
Saturday’s 3 College Basketball Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our college basketball staff 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.
|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.|
Clemson vs. Pitt
By D.J. James
The Clemson Tigers will play in Pittsburgh on Saturday to match up with the Panthers.
Clemson doesn’t run at one of the slowest paces in college hoops, but it does force opponents to use up 18.2 seconds per possession (313th nationally).
Pitt also launches a ton of 3s. It ranks 42nd in 3-point attempt percentage and manufactures around 35% of its total point distribution from 3-pointers.
Clemson holds opponents to a reasonable 32.3% from deep, so expect this to be mitigated a bit.
On the other side, the Tigers only are shooting 51.8% from 2-point range, so a lot of their production comes from beyond the arc and the free-throw line. They are shooting 38.8% from 3-point land, which ranks 14th in the country.
However, Pitt holds opponents to less than 30% on 3s. The Panthers also foul less often than Clemson does, so they should win this specific battle at home.
Building off of that, Clemson holds opponents to the 312th-lowest 3-point attempt percentage. Pitt will not get as many deep balls as it’s used to.
The kicker here is Clemson holds opponents to 24.2% on the offensive glass, which ranks 31st in the nation.
Pitt usually has an edge here, hauling in 33% of offensive boards.
In addition, the Panthers hold the opposition to 26.7% on the offensive glass, while Clemson is abysmal in this regard (22.9%). Look for each team to only get about one shot.
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LSU vs. Texas A&M
Texas A&M avoided overtime against Florida to pick up its first win of the season over an opponent inside the top 100. The Aggies must now turn around to face an LSU offense that has made a living at creating mismatches on the offensive end.
These mismatches will start with center KJ Williams, who is one of the most dynamic players in the country. Williams ranks second on the team in 3-point percentage with 29 made 3s on the year.
This outside shooting from LSU (35.8% as a team) will be a problem for a Texas A&M team that has struggled to defend the perimeter so far this season. The Aggies rank 286th nationally, allowing their opponents to shoot 36.1% from beyond the arc.
In addition, this Texas A&M offense will not be able to rely on the free-throw line against an LSU offense that has been exceptional at defending without fouling this season.
A&M has scored 25.9% of its points from the free-throw line, which is the third-highest rate in the country. LSU has allowed its opponents to score just 15.7% of their points from the charity stripe, which is 295th nationally.
Overall, I think this is a perfect buy-low spot for an LSU team coming off a loss, as it faces a Texas A&M team that barely survived in Gainesville.
I like the Tigers’ offense to keep LSU in this game throughout, and even give it a chance to get back in the win column.
Arkansas vs. Auburn
The Tigers enter this game fresh off of a disappointing road loss to Georgia in which Bruce Pearl’s team trailed from start to finish.
Meanwhile, the Razorbacks check into this contest winners of eight of their last nine and firing on all cylinders.
Auburn has been a different team at home over the last few seasons, and you actually have to go all the way back to Feb. 23, 2021, to find the last time the Tigers dropped one at Auburn Arena.
Auburn has been very sound defensively all year, with Memphis being the only opponent able to score to 80-plus against it.
Johni Broome and Jaylin Williams will be able to make life difficult at the rim for Arkansas’ playmakers, and they should be able to hold their own on the glass, as well.
On the other end, I trust guards Wendell Green Jr. and K.D. Johnson to be able to make enough plays in the half-court to help the Tigers outpace the Hogs.
The home winning streak lives to see another day. War Eagle.