HomeBasketballCollege Basketball Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Saturday (3/4) - BettingPros

College Basketball Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Saturday (3/4) – BettingPros

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“March Madness” is hitting a fever pitch, with the first ticket to “the Big Dance” being punched by day’s end. Tennessee Tech battles Southeast Missouri State for the Ohio Valley Conference tournament title, and 31 more automatic bids will be claimed over the next eight days. However, conference tournament action should not detract from what is left of the regular season, highlighted by two AP top ten matchups today between Kansas and Texas and Arizona and UCLA.

Here are our best bets for Saturday’s college basketball action.

Also, take a look at our other best bets for Saturday:

View 5-star bets and historical prop performance by players with our Prop Bet Analyzer >>

Best College Basketball Bets for Saturday

(Odds courtesy of DraftKings)

Iowa State vs. Baylor Spread

Things have gone from bad to worse for Iowa State. The Cyclones have not only lost four straight games but just dismissed its third-leading scorer, Caleb Grill (9.4 points). However, Grill’s impact was on more than just the offensive end, as Evan Miyakawa explained on Twitter.

Not only has Iowa State lost four straight games, but it also has not won a road game since a two-point victory over TCU on January 7. Now it faces a Baylor team that has won seven straight home games by an average of 11.9 points per game, including victories over two of the Big 12’s top four teams (Kansas and Texas).

Grill was one of the only Cyclones capable of consistently stretching a defense, as he was the team’s leading 3-point shooter (36.8%). In the first meeting against Baylor, he shot 5-of-9 from 3-point range, while only one other Cyclones player made a 3-point basket. That will help a Big 12-worst Baylor defense (per KenPom’s adjusted efficiency) to make the Cyclones one-dimensional and help pack the paint to mask the fact that it allows the worst 2-point shooting percentage (56.6%) in league play.

Baylor is a profitable 10-6 ATS as a home favorite, while Iowa State has covered just three of nine games as a road ‘dog. Thus, we expect the Bears to win comfortably and cover the number against the short-handed Cyclones.

Bet: Baylor -8 (-110 at DraftKings)


Tennessee vs. Auburn ML

The biggest question entering this game is whether or not Auburn can rebound from a devastating loss to rival Alabama, which it was firmly in control of. The Tigers squandered a 17-point lead with less than ten minutes remaining. For perspective on the excruciating loss, consider that the Crimson Tide had a win probability as low as 7.3%, per KenPom.

Playing Tennessee this year is akin to getting a root canal, as the Volunteers are Division I’s top-ranked defense per adjusted efficiency, effective field goal percentage, and 3-point percentage allowed (25.1%).

Auburn is not as invincible at home in “The Jungle” as in other years under Bruce Pearl. The Tigers are 3-2 in their last five at home, with the two losses by a combined 24 points to the league’s top two teams (Alabama and Texas A&M). The season-ending injury to point guard Zakai Ziegler will hurt the Volunteers going forward. Still, Tennessee becomes slightly better defensively in the short term, with Santiago Vescovi taking his place in the starting lineup. We look for Tennessee to take advantage of its size inside and pound the Tigers, who allow free throws at the SEC’s highest rate.

Tennessee has had one extra day’s rest over Auburn, having last played on Tuesday, and the Volunteers have covered four of six games when they have had the rest advantage. Meanwhile, the Tigers are 6-9 ATS at home, which has us looking the other way that they have covered two of their three games against ranked opponents this year.

Bet: Tennessee ML (+115 at DraftKings)


UConn vs. Villanova O/U

Since Dan Hurley took over as Connecticut’s coach in 2019, the following are the combined point totals of the Huskies’ seven meetings with Villanova: 139, 116, 128, 159, 140, 123, 140. Thus, the two teams have combined for fewer than 129 points on three occasions, and we should once again be in for a rock fight considering this is the worst 3-point shooting Villanova team of the bunch.

The Wildcats still are not shy to launch from the perimeter, shooting threes at the eighth-highest rate in the country despite ranking 208th (33.6%) from 3-point range. Now they face a UConn team that is elite at running teams off the 3-point line, allowing the fourth-fewest percentage of 3-point attempts per field goal attempt in the country. Therefore, Villanova will be forced to make tough twos, which it has yet to show it can do consistently enough this year.

The Over is 18-12 in UConn’s 30 games, but it tends to play lower-scoring games in other teams’ buildings, as the Under is 6-4 in its ten road games. The Under is also 11-8 in Villanova’s 19 league games, which has us confident backing a low-scoring affair.

Bet: UConn-Villanova Under 138.5 (-110 at DraftKings)

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Mike Spector is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeSpector01.

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