College Basketball Odds & Best Bets: Our Top Picks for Indiana vs. Rutgers, Wisconsin vs. Marquette & More
Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images. Pictured: Tyler Wahl (Wisconsin)
- Saturday's college basketball slate brings with it a number of solid games.
- Our staff came through with four best bets for Saturday's college basketball slate, including picks for Indiana vs. Rutgers and Wisconsin vs. Marquette.
- Check out all four of our college basketball best bets for Saturday below.
It’s college football championship weekend, and while that will take center stage from a national perspective, we shouldn’t discount the value on the board for college hoops.
We have a full slate of games on Saturday, including league play for the ACC and Big Ten. And don’t forget about the Big East-Big 12 Battle.
With that in mind, our staff has four best bets for you to dive into for Saturday’s college basketball slate.
Saturday’s 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.|
Syracuse vs. Notre Dame
By D.J. James
The Syracuse Orange are not what they used to be. They are now 2-5 against the spread and have dropped three straight games this season. Illinois beat them by 29 points.
On Saturday, they will face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who are defying some expectations.
The Irish landed a punch to Michigan State, beating the Spartans by 18 points. Yes, MSU was without Malik Hall and Jaden Akins, but even still, the Irish can shoot, even if they have a tight rotation of only six or seven players.
The Irish have a great offense. They are shooting nearly 58% on 2-pointers and 36.5% from 3. Nate Laszewski and Dane Goodwin are both above the 42% mark from outside, while Trey Wertz and Cormac Ryan are above 34%.
Since this encapsulates 2/3 of their lineup, those are decent odds when shooting the ball.
The kicker is Syracuse is awful at defending the 3-ball. On the season, the opposition is shooting over 34% from 3-point range on the Orange.
In addition, Syracuse has struggled to defend against teams who have rotated the ball in-and-out. There’s a reason Illinois, Bryant and Colgate had such success against the Orange, as all three of those teams can shoot from the outside and work the ball against the zone defense.
On the offensive end, Syracuse is not very efficient, either. Judah Mintz is an NBA prospect, but gets sloppy at times. The same goes for Joseph Girard III.
Notre Dame cannot really defend outside shots in its own right, but Syracuse is only shooting 32.5% from distance.
The issue for Notre Dame may come from Jesse Edwards, who is shooting over 60% on 2s. Meanwhile, ND is giving up around 50% inside the arc.
Edwards is an issue, but the Irish can zero in on him when needed. Laszewski may have his hands full, but the rest of the cast should bombard the Orange with 3s.
What is QuickSlip?
QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Princeton vs. Drexel
Princeton entered the season — as it often does — as one of the teams expected to compete for the Ivy League crown.
So far, it has mostly backed up that reputation.
The Tigers have four wins against teams outside of KenPom’s top-250 teams and lost to the two best squads on their schedule so far (Hofstra and Navy — it hasn’t been a murderer’s row on Princeton’s schedule).
Drexel is certainly more in line with the solid teams that Princeton has lost to than the lighter fare that the Tigers have beaten.
Head coach Zach Spiker has his Dragons playing better than a 3-4 record (against D-I opponents) would leave you to believe. Drexel went 0-2 at the Gulf Coast Showcase, but was within four points in the final minutes in losses to Indiana State and Florida Gulf Coast.
At home in West Philadelphia, Drexel has mostly taken care of business, going 2-1 SU and ATS. The Dragons only lost to a Penn team that could conceivably live closer to the Dragons’ home Daskalakis Center than the Drexel players themselves do.
Take a spin around the world of analytics and this line seems odd. Both KenPom and Bart Torvik set Drexel as one-point favorites. I’ll gladly take the 2.5.
Indiana vs. Rutgers
The Hoosiers are coming off of an emotional 77-65 win against North Carolina on Wednesday.
Indiana must now go on the road against a Rutgers team that ranks 12th nationally in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (89.3). The Scarlet Knights have been exceptional at causing problems for their opponents so far this season, ranking 11th nationally in turnover% at 26.4%.
This type of defensive mentality will be crucial in neutralizing a Hoosiers team that has relied on their offense to remain undefeated this season. The Hoosiers have scored 80+ points in all but one game so far this year.
Additionally, Rutgers has been the victim of poor shooting from deep that is bound to see some progression as the season continues. The Scarlet Knights rank 234th in 3P% at just 31.7%.
Look for Rutgers, which is a perfect 5-0 in its home building to get some much needed shooting progression.
Lastly, Indiana’s offense starts with superstar Trayce Jackson-Davis. Rutgers will be able to utilize 6-foot-11 Clifford Omoruyi to neutralize the Hoosiers’ MVP. So far this season, Omoruyi has a 6.6% block%, which is good for 96th among all D-I players.
Omoruyi will be able to match Jackson-Davis on the glass, as he ranks inside the top-170 nationally in both offensive and defensive rebounding percentages, averaging 9.9 per game.
Lastly, Omoruyi has been extremely disciplined so far this season, averaging only 2.6 fouls per contest while drawing an impressive 5.2. Jackson-Davis being in any sort of foul trouble is far from ideal for Indiana, which uses him on 27.2% of possessions (185th among D-I players).
Look for Rutgers’ defense — led by Omoruyi — to play spoiler against Indiana on Saturday.
Wisconsin vs. Marquette
Wisconsin has played to the level of its competition all season, and I expect that to be the case once again Saturday afternoon in Milwaukee.
The Badgers looked fantastic in the Bahamas, racking up victories over Dayton and USC, and nearly upsetting Kansas if not for a wild buzzer beater as time expired.
Following that trip to Atlantis, Wisconsin was upset on its home floor by Wake Forest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
That same night, Marquette played the best game of its season by far, absolutely annihilating Baylor, 96-70, at home in the Big East-Big 12 Battle.
Tuesday night’s results are why I think this is a great opportunity to buy low on the Badgers and sell high on Marquette.
Tyler Wahl is one of the more efficient back-to-the basket scorers in the country, and he should be able to go to work on the interior in this one.
On the other end, Greg Gard’s compact defense should take away easy layups from the Golden Eagles and make Marquette’s guards beat it from the outside.
Shaka Smart has an unbelievable ATS record as an underdog, but it’s a different story as a home favorite against Power Five opponents.
5.5 points is too many here in a game that likely comes down to the wire. Give me the Badgers to hang inside the number on the road in this in-state battle.