College Basketball Odds & Picks: How to Bet Baylor vs. Gonzaga, Houston vs. South Carolina, More Saturday Games

College Basketball Odds & Picks: How to Bet Baylor vs. Gonzaga, Houston vs. South Carolina, More Saturday Games article feature image
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Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images. Pictured: Houston Cougars guard Marcus Sasser (0).

  • With college football and college basketball on the docket, days like Saturday are unlike anything else.
  • Our staff broke down its favorite college basketball bets of the day, ranging from the 1 vs. 2 matchup between Gonzaga and Baylor to UNC Asheville vs. South Carolina State.
  • Check out where the Saturday hoops betting value is below.

Saturdays may be known for college football during the fall, but No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 2 Baylor would beg to differ. The top two offenses and top two teams in the country face off on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET, which ostensibly tips off a full day of college football and college hoops from noon til long past nightfall.

Our college basketball staff poured through the odds, broke down the matchups and highlighted their top-four betting spots on Saturday — including the aforementioned showdown between the Bulldogs and Bears.

How to Bet Saturday’s College Basketball Slate

Here’s a rundown of our favorite betting spots on Saturday’s slate of games:

Tip Time
Matchup
1 p.m. ET
#1 Gonzaga vs. #2 Baylor
2 p.m. ET
SMU vs. Dayton
2 p.m. ET
UNC Asheville vs. South Carolina State
6 p.m. ET
South Carolina vs. #10 Houston


All listed odds have been updated as of Friday night and via DraftKings unless indicated otherwise. Specific bet recommendations at the end of each matchup breakdown 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.


CLICK THE DROPDOWN ARROW TO EASILY NAVIGATE TO ANY GAME
Tip Time
Matchup
1 p.m. ET
#1 Gonzaga vs. #2 Baylor
2 p.m. ET
SMU vs. Dayton
2 p.m. ET
UNC Asheville vs. South Carolina State
6 p.m. ET
South Carolina vs. #10 Houston

#1 Gonzaga vs. #2 Baylor

by Danny Donahue

Gonzaga Odds -2.5 [BET NOW]
Baylor Odds +2.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -143 / +120 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 159.5 [BET NOW]
Time 1 p.m. ET
TV CBS
(Photo Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images).

Sharp bettors don’t always bet the “big” matchups. They care about a game’s value — not its hype. So, they weren’t drawn to Gonzaga-Baylor because it’s a 1-vs.-2 matchup; they were drawn to it because they simply thought the total was too high, and I’m going to follow their lead.



Both the Sharp Action and Big Money indicators are lit up on our PRO Report, and they’re likely telling the same story: Big bets from professional bettors are the reason this line has dropped almost four points.

Sports Insights Bet Signals have been triggered three times on this game — all on the under — revealing three separate waves of sharp action causing market-wide movement. And the the 58% of bets on the under (as of writing) has generated 86% of the actual money, meaning bigger bets — the ones more likely to come from sharps — are banking on a lower-scoring game than what the market is implying.

It’s also worth noting that this game will be played on a neutral court. Since 2005, neutral-site games with high totals (145 or more) have gone 55% to the under on a sample of more than 2,000 games.

There’s more CBB PRO Report value Saturday…

SMU vs. Dayton

Montana vs. Southern Utah

Oakland vs. Oklahoma State

CLICK THE DROPDOWN ARROW TO EASILY NAVIGATE TO ANY GAME
Tip Time
Matchup
1 p.m. ET
#1 Gonzaga vs. #2 Baylor
2 p.m. ET
SMU vs. Dayton
2 p.m. ET
UNC Asheville vs. South Carolina State
6 p.m. ET
South Carolina vs. #10 Houston

SMU vs. Dayton

by Mike Calabrese

SMU Odds +2.5 [BET NOW]
Dayton Odds -2.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline +120 / -148 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 144.5 [BET NOW]
Time 2 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
(Photo Credit: Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).

Despite the Dayton Flyers’ inspired play over the last few years, UD hasn’t been particularly profitable as a home favorite. In fact, the Flyers are just 22-24-1 ATS at UD Arena since 2017. That’s one reason why this spread surprised me.

The other, and decidedly more meaningful, reason is that SMU can match Dayton’s strength (point guard play) with a dynamic floor general of its own. Kendric Davis is embodying the point “god” role made famous by volume-scoring PGs in the NBA. Davis is averaging an absurd 21.3/9/7/3.3 stat-line on 55.6% shooting from long range and a 93.8% touch from the charity stripe.

The Mustangs were barely in the top 100 in scoring last season and have already eclipsed the 90-point mark three times in three tries this season.

On the Dayton side, now playing without the benefit of NBA lottery pick Obi Toppin, the Flyers limped through their opener, barely beating Eastern Illinois at home. The Flyers’ 66-63 victory was powered by a typical Jalen Crutcher performance that was nearly identical to his career stat-line.

Therein lies the problem for the Flyers: If they want to make another run at an A-10 regular season title, they’ll need Crutcher to not only facilitate offense; they’ll need him to put the entire team on his back at times. I’m skeptical that he can do that — and after attempting only nine shots in the opener, I’m not sure he feels confident that he can be the No. 1 option either.

I’m more bullish on SMU this season than most, but Kendric Davis has more than rewarded my early-season optimism. In a traditional season, UD’s home court would carry a bit of disruptive value, and a wager on SMU would have been a small play on my board. But, without the benefit of a raucous student section and questions about where their points will come, I’m happy fading the Flyers in a major way to start my Saturday.

Pick: SMU +3 or better


[Bet SMU +3 now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]

CLICK THE DROPDOWN ARROW TO EASILY NAVIGATE TO ANY GAME
Tip Time
Matchup
1 p.m. ET
#1 Gonzaga vs. #2 Baylor
2 p.m. ET
SMU vs. Dayton
2 p.m. ET
UNC Asheville vs. South Carolina State
6 p.m. ET
South Carolina vs. #10 Houston

UNC Asheville vs. South Carolina State

by BJ Cunningham

South Carolina State Odds +10.5 [BET NOW]
UNC Asheville Odds -10.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline +500 / -700 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 144.5 [BET NOW]
Time 2 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
(Photo Credit: Darrell Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).
Odds via FanDuel.

UNC Asheville brought back its entire starting five from last season. Each of the Bulldogs’ starters averaged double-figures last season, which is a rare feat in college basketball these days. The Bulldogs offense was top-65 in almost every offensive category in 2019.

They are projected to finish second in a weak Big South conference, but having a ton of experience could propel them to a conference championship and a trip to the Big Dance. The Bulldogs opened the year with back-to-back losses but only lost by 2 to a good Western Carolina team last weekend.

However, it’s not all good news: UNC Asheville finished the season with a KenPom ranking of 302. The main issue was the team’s defense, which was near the bottom of college basketball in effective field goal percentage (eFG%) allowed, two point percentage (2P%) allowed, and 3-point percentage allowed. However, the Bulldogs were top-25 in turnover percentage, which will come in handy on Saturday against a turnover-prone South Carolina State team.

There is no way of sugar-coating it: South Carolina State is one of the worst teams in the country. It is projected to be in the bottom 50 of college basketball in both offensive and defensive efficiency, per KenPom. South Carolina State started off its season with three straight blowout losses and didn’t even come within 20 points. In fact, in its last game, South Carolina State only managed to score 38 points against Clemson.

I think UNC Asheville is severely undervalued in this game, as I have them projected at -18.66 points. So, I would bet them at -10.5 and would play them up to -14.5.

Pick: UNC-Asheville -10.5 or better (Play up to -14.5)


[Bet UNC-Asheville -10.5 now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]

CLICK THE DROPDOWN ARROW TO EASILY NAVIGATE TO ANY GAME
Tip Time
Matchup
1 p.m. ET
#1 Gonzaga vs. #2 Baylor
2 p.m. ET
SMU vs. Dayton
2 p.m. ET
UNC Asheville vs. South Carolina State
6 p.m. ET
South Carolina vs. #10 Houston

South Carolina vs. #10 Houston

by Pat McMahon

South Carolina Odds +9.5 [BET NOW]
Houston Odds -9.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline +390 / -530 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 139.5 [BET NOW]
Time 6 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
(Photo Credit: Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).

Head coach Frank Martin and the South Carolina Gamecocks hit the road on Saturday to face Kelvin Sampson and the Houston Cougars. Both teams are led by experienced backcourts and play very hard on both ends of the floor.

Houston is off to a 3-0 start that includes a pair of blowout wins and a wire-to-wire 64-53 victory over Texas Tech last Sunday. The Cougars’ win was arguably the most impressive performance by any team so far in this young season. Houston never trailed and led by as many as 20 points in the second half. The Cougars defense was stifling, shutting down the talented Texas Tech guards all game and holding the Red Raiders to 22% from 3-point range.

Through three games, Houston has only allowed 52 points per game and has held opponents under 36% shooting from the field. While it’s still early, there’s strong reason to believe that the Cougars can keep up their defensive effort. Houston held opponents to38.3% shooting last season — the eighth-best mark in the country.

The one concern for the Cougars coming out of that victory was how their offense finished the game. After a strong shooting performance in the first half, the Cougars went ice cold in the second half, shooting 24% from the floor and failing to make a field goal over the game’s final seven-plus minutes.


South Carolina has a solid team that starts and ends with its guard play. Jermaine Cousinard, AJ Lawson, and Keyshawn Bryant return to form one of the SEC’s most underrated backcourts. The Gamecocks lost their season opener to a tough Liberty team but bounced back with a 69-58 at Tulsa last Sunday. South Carolina impressed on defense in the victory, forcing 24 turnovers and holding Tulsa to 40% shooting from the floor — including just 33% in the second half.

One of the trademarks of a Frank Martin-coached team is playing tenacious defense. This year’s version of the Gamecocks will be no different. Like Houston, South Carolina also made life difficult for opposing offenses last season, finishing in the top 20 in opponent field goal percentage.

Neither team gets much scoring out of their frontcourt, but both frontcourts play strong defense and clean up the glass. There will be a lot of pressure on the guards from both squads to light up the scoreboard. You will see plenty of in-your-face pressure defense all night, and there won’t be many clean looks on the perimeter. Expect a dog fight in this game, and for the total to stay under comfortably.

Pick: Under 140 or better


[Bet the Houston-South Carolina Under now at William Hill and get a $500 free bet]

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