4 NCAAB Best Bets for Saturday

4 NCAAB Best Bets for Saturday article feature image
Credit:

Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Mika Adams-Woods (St. Bonaventure)

  • Ready for Championship Saturday? We have a plethora of best bets for your card.
  • So, here's four spots to target, including one in the Atlantic 10.

Welcome to Championship Saturday, as 13 auto bids to the NCAA tournament will be given out today.

Beyond that, we have plenty of semifinal conference tournament action. That's where we'll focus our attention for today's best bets file.

So, here's NCAAB best bets and predictions, including four expert picks for Saturday's games on March 16.


College Basketball Best Bets

The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our college basketball betting staff is targeting from today'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
1 p.m.
1 p.m.
3 p.m.
3:30 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.

Wisconsin vs. Purdue (Big Ten)

Saturday, March 16
1 p.m. ET
CBS
Over 144.5

By D.J. James

The Wisconsin Badgers have one of the worst defenses in the Big Ten when it comes to guarding the 3. Purdue ranks second in 3-point percentage on offense, so Braden Smith and company should get as many open looks as they want.

The Boilermakers also have the advantage of getting to the free-throw line early and often. And even though Wisconsin’s interior defense is decent, the Badgers have a tendency to rack up fouls. That means Zach Edey should be at the line plenty in this game.

Now, on the other side of the floor, the Badgers shoot relatively well inside and out, but they utilize the post-up heavily. Shockingly, Purdue is horrible at guarding the block even with Edey. Simply put, Steven Crowl, Tyler Wahl and others should see plenty of open looks down low.

Finally, both of these teams allow their opponents to play quickly, opening up the over in this game.

Take it to 147.

Pick: Over 144.5 (Play to 147)


Mississippi State vs. Auburn (SEC)

Saturday, March 16
1 p.m. ET
ESPN
Under 143.5

By Charlie DiSturco

Mississippi State shocked the basketball world with its dispatching of No. 1 seed Tennessee.

But what went under the radar was Auburn’s blowout of South Carolina.

Personally, I was worried about how Auburn would play away from home. This is a team that had struggled away from Neville Arena. But against SC, the Tigers dominated defensively.

While this semifinal line has already shot up toward Auburn — it’s now an eight-point favorite — the under is more intriguing.

The Tigers’ inconsistent guard play — paired with their dominant defense — is a cause for concern. As a result, we’ve seen the under begin to move.

This is also Mississippi State’s third game in as many days. Tired legs should begin to set in, and the Bulldogs secured an at-large bid already thanks to that Tennessee win. This is a perfect emotional letdown spot if anything is.

I lean toward the under here in this matchup. Auburn’s defense remains elite, and a Mississippi State team that often struggles from deep should fail to break down this Auburn frontcourt of Johni Broome and Jaylin Williams.

This should be a low-scoring dogfight, as we saw Tennessee really struggle to attack inside against Mississippi State.

In both games prior, this total fell below 143.5, and I expect the same here — especially with a chance for an SEC title looming large.

Pick: Under 143.5

Phone With the Action App Open
The must-have app for college basketball bettors
The best NCAAB betting scoreboard
Free picks from proven pros
Live win probabilities for your bets

UAB vs. USF (AAC)

Saturday, March 16
3 p.m. ET
ESPN2
USF TT Over 73.5

By Brett Pund

In the first of two semifinal games in the AAC tournament, I believe this could be a contest where the regular-season champion racks up points.

For starters, this is a South Florida team that's torched teams in conference play from beyond the arc. The Bulls rank first in AAC action in 3-point percentage at 38.1%, and they trail only UTSA in the most attempts per game.

These numbers are also backed by Haslametrics, which has USF ranked in the top 50 in the country in 3-point shooting against an average opponent.

This isn't good for a UAB squad that ranks in the bottom four in the AAC opponent 3-point percentage in league play. The Blazers are also outside the top 250 defensively in 3-point percentage allowed against average foes, per Haslametrics.

Yes, South Florida did fail to reach this number in the regular-season meeting in Birmingham. However, the UAB defense isn't the same away from home.

In AAC road games, the Blazers are ranked in the bottom half of the league by Bart Torvik in multiple categories, including Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, effective field-goal percentage and PPP.

This is the same defensive unit that allowed UTSA, Florida Atlantic, Charlotte, North Texas and Memphis to all top this number away from home.

I like the Bulls to stay hot on the offensive end here.

Pick: USF TT Over 73.5 (Play to 74.5)

Everything you need to bet like a PRO!

Eye-popping betting model edges

Sharp action signals for every slate

Player prop picks bursting with value

St. Bonaventure vs. Duquesne (Atlantic 10)

Saturday, March 16
3:30 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
St. Bonaventure +1

By Kevin Rogers

The Atlantic 10 tournament was flipped on its head with each of the top four seeds getting bounced in the quarterfinal round. Dayton was favored to win the tournament, but the Flyers were tripped up by Duquesne, which avenged a pair of regular-season losses with Thursday’s upset.

Duquesne battles St. Bonaventure to keep its dreams alive for an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The Bonnies overcame a 15-point deficit to shock second-seeded Loyola Chicago in double-overtime, 75-74.

The Dukes defeated the Bonnies twice this season, including their most recent win as six-point road underdogs. In the first matchup in Pittsburgh, Duquesne entered at 0-5 in Atlantic 10 play before holding on for a 54-50 win to turn their season around.

The last six against-the-spread losses for St. Bonaventure came as a favorite of six points or more. Since the end of January, the Bonnies have defeated Loyola Chicago and UMass twice each, VCU and Saint Joseph’s.

Duquesne doesn’t own great offensive numbers in A-10 play, ranking 12th in 3-point shooting and ninth in 2-point shooting.

There’s no questioning the motivation on Duquesne’s side, but after coming off a huge win over Dayton, it now has to face a team it’s beaten twice. I wonder if the Dukes can keep up that intensity in the semifinals.

Let’s back the Bonnies here to advance to the Atlantic 10 Championship.

Pick: St. Bonaventure +1 (Play to PK)

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.

Sportsbook Promos
See All
Legal Online Sports Betting

bet365 Bonus Code TOPACTION: Pick Between a $1K First Bet and $150 Guaranteed in NC, NJ, Ohio, 7 Other States

Nick Sterling
Jul 14, 2024 UTC