College Basketball Odds & Best Bets: Top Saturday Regular-Season Picks, Featuring Villanova vs. UConn, Auburn vs. Tennessee
Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images. Pictured: Brandon Slater, Eric Dixon and Chris Arcidiacono (Villanova)
- Saturday's college basketball slate is loaded with both regular-season and conference tournament games.
- Our staff has three best bets for today's regular-season games, including picks for Villanova vs. UConn and Auburn vs. Tennessee.
- Check out all three of our best regular-season bets for Saturday's college hoops slate below.
While the conference tournaments take center stage for the mid-majors, there’s still regular season basketball to be played for the major leagues.
Our staff is diving into Saturday’s slate to offer up three best bets, including one for UConn vs. Villanova.
So, read below to get the top college basketball odds and picks for the second-to-last day of the regular season.
Saturday’s 3 Regular-Season 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.|
Alabama vs. Texas A&M
Reed Arena will be on fire for this one as the Aggies look to put an exclamation point on a very impressive conference campaign.
Due to Alabama’s comeback on Wednesday night over Auburn, this matchup no longer has regular season title implications — that victory locked things up for the Tide.
While a regular season title would’ve meant a lot for the Aggies, beating Alabama and improving their NCAA tournament positioning provides plenty of motivation.
Alabama hasn’t been the same team since the Brandon Miller controversy escalated. Yes the Tide are 3-0 in that stretch, but they’re 0-3 ATS and could’ve easily lost all three games to South Carolina, Auburn and Arkansas.
Texas A&M is one of the best rebounding teams in the entire country and should be able to use the offensive glass as a real weapon in this matchup.
Ultimately, I think A&M will be the much more motivated team in this game, and it’s probably the most athletic and physical squad Bama has seen in conference play all year.
The only other team that could compare would be Tennessee, which happens to be the only team that took down the Tide in league play.
I believe a second conference loss for Bama comes in College Station to a hungry and battle-tested Aggies unit.
Pick: Texas A&M +1.5 (Play to PK)
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Tennessee vs. Auburn
Situationally, this is a great spot for Auburn. The Tigers are coming off back-to-back road losses, including dropping the second game to Alabama in overtime. Now they’re coming home in a bounce-back spot.
Moreover, the conference tournament seeding implications for this game are monumental. At 9-8 in league play, Auburn is within one game of five other SEC teams entering the league’s final day.
Auburn could find itself in the fifth seed with a win or the 10th seed with a loss.
Talk about motivation.
While Tennessee has similar seeding motivations, the Vols are due for a letdown game after back-to-back blowout wins over South Carolina and Arkansas.
Meanwhile, lead guard Zakai Zeigler, unfortunately, suffered a season-ending injury against Arkansas, meaning Tennessee will be shorthanded here.
I won’t lie, this isn’t the best on-court matchup for Auburn, and it’s very difficult to back the Wendell Green Jr.-K.D. Johnson backcourt right now.
However, there’s also no reason to trust Tennessee. The Vols only scored 46 points at home in the early-season matchup against Auburn, and now they have to try and score more in The Jungle without their point guard.
Ultimately, Bruce Pearl and Auburn should find a way to win at home on Saturday, even if I’m unsure who or what leads the winning effort.
Pick: Auburn -115 (Play to -130)
UConn vs. Villanova
Connecticut is red hot right now — it just beat DePaul by 29 points and at one point in the first half, it was up 42-8.
But Villanova is starting to catch fire as well, winning its last three games over Xavier, Creighton and Seton Hall.
Connecticut won the previous meeting by eight in Hartford, but Villanova led at one point in the second half and had a pretty off shooting night, going only 5-for-22 from behind the arc.
The Wildcats also did one thing incredibly well in that game: they kept UConn off the offensive glass. Connecticut only had eight offensive rebounds, and this is the No. 1 team in the country in offensive rebounding percentage we’re talking about here.
During conference play, Villanova is second in defensive rebounding percentage, so this wasn’t some fluke game for Nova.
Connecticut shoots a high volume of 3-pointers, as it’s third in the Big East in 3-point rate. More specifically, catch-and-shoot 3-pointers are the Huskies’ bread and butter, as they’re a top-25 efficiency team on those.
Villanova is No. 1 in the conference in defending catch-and-shoot 3-pointers.
It’s going to be difficult for Villanova to get open looks offensively because UConn is outstanding at defending the 3-point line, allowing the fourth-lowest 3-point rate in the country.
However, Villanova does get to the free-throw line at the third-highest rate in the Big East and is the best free-throw shooting team in the country. The Wildcats are hitting 83.2% of their free throws, while UConn is 332nd in the nation in free-throw rate allowed.
In the Big East Tournament, the top five seeds get a bye. UConn has already locked up a top-five seed, and let’s just say it’s pretty likely it’ll be facing Providence because Creighton just has to beat lowly DePaul to lock up the three seed.
Villanova needs to win this game to lock up the six seed, as well.
So, I like the value on Villanova at +3, and I would play it down to +2.
Pick: Villanova +3 (Play to +2)
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