As we inch closer and closer to March, college basketball becomes more and more intriguing from a national perspective — and a betting perspective.
We have another loaded Saturday slate, and our staff has four best bets to help you formulate your college hoops betting card.
So, dive in now and get the top college basketball odds and picks for Saturday.
Saturday’s 4 College Basketball Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matches that our college basketball staff is targeting from Saturday’s slate games. Click the team logos for one of the matches below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
Davidson vs. George Mason
George Mason has to be one of the unluckiest teams in the country to date. The Patriots keep dropping games on the road by a possession or two after holding late leads.
You can blame their horrendous free throw shooting for part of those issues. On the season, they are shooting just 63.2% from the charity stripe, which ranks 345th in Division I.
That will continue to be a struggle.
However, they have also shot 10-of-46 on the front end of one-and-one’s this season. That’s 21.8%, and just downright unlucky.
After another heartbreaking loss at Saint Louis, this team remains undervalued in the market against what I think is an overrated Davidson club.
As far as this matchup is concerned, Davidson doesn’t really foul and won’t turn teams over, which are the two glaring weaknesses for a George Mason club that ranks 36th and 65th in Effective Field Goal% on offense and defense, respectively.
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Providence vs. Creighton
Providence will look to keep its nine-game winning streak alive, as it takes on a Creighton team that returns home after dropping two in a row to Connecticut and Xavier.
Although this is a great bounce-back spot for the Bluejays, I believe Providence will have some defensive advantages to keep itself within the number.
Offensively, Creighton has relied on its outside shooting to prove its offense, scoring 35% of its points from the 3-point range, the 86th-highest rate in the country.
Defensively, Providence has been successful at defending the perimeter, only allowing its opponents to score 27% of their points from long distance (301st nationally).
Additionally, Creighton has thrived since running back Ryan Kalkbrenner, who leads the team with 14.8 points per game this season. Although on paper Providence will be out-sized in this matchup, it has gotten consistent production from center Ed Croswell on both ends of the floor.
On defense, Croswell has generated a 4.4% block percentage and a 3.3% steal percentage, resulting in the Providence defense ranking within the top 75 in both categories.
This is an undeniably good spot for a Creighton team coming off back-to-back losses, but I still have faith in a Providence team that has not lost since November to keep this game close throughout.
Pick: Providence +6.5 (Play to +5)
Kansas State vs. TCU
When it comes to situational spots, there are few better than backing TCU at home against Kansas State on Saturday.
The Horned Frogs are a legit Big 12 team, but they’ve fallen just short in back-to-back games to Iowa State and Texas.
Kansas State, meanwhile, is off to a scorching 15-1 start and has yet to lose in Big 12 play.
Kansas State has yet to face a defense of TCU’s caliber. The Horned Frogs rank 31st in eFG% and 22nd in turnover rate. They’re extremely disruptive and deadly in transition. While their aggression can sometimes lead to second-chance opportunities, their 2-point defense is 61st.
The Wildcats have been running high on hot shooting, and Markquis Nowell has been an unbelievable facilitator. He’s second in the country in assist rate and is used on 26% of possessions. Florida transfer Keyontae Johnson has starred since joining the team and is 46th in true-shooting%.
But these are tough matches for the two — and all of Kansas State, frankly.
TCU is 71st in the country in average height, a number that sits in the 300s for the Wildcats. Kansas State is also 329th in bench minutes, and given TCU’s defensive pressure and deep bench — 15th in the country — it should tire out KSU over time.
While the Horned Frogs won’t beat you from the perimeter, they are 71st in 2-point offense. They are top-25 in offensive rebounding rate, get to the line at the 53rd-highest rate and do not turn the ball over.
Eddie Lampkin Jr. has been a huge bright spot on the offensive glass and Mike Miles Jr. has been a star in his junior season. Miles averages a team-best 19.5 points per game.
This is a well-rounded team with enough athletic pieces to compete and break down Kansas State.
After a couple of losses, it’s time to buy low on the Horned Frogs and sell high on Kansas State. It’s only a matter of time before the Wildcats fall down to earth, and this is the perfect opportunity to fade them.
Texas A&M vs. South Carolina
By Brett Pund
Everybody is talking about Tennessee and Alabama in the SEC, but Texas A&M is quietly playing some of the best basketball recently.
The Aggies have won five straight, including a perfect 3-0 mark in the league, with wins over Florida, LSU and No. 1 in the league. 20 Missouri. Coach Buzz Williams’ team has also covered the spread in all three conference games by an average of 10 points per game.
On defense, A&M likes to pressure teams into turnovers (35th TO%) and force them to hit outside shots (35th 2P%). These are two of the weakest areas for South Carolina, which ranks outside the top 250 in both categories, according to Bart Torvik.
The Gamecocks are 6-1 at home, but those wins have mostly come against bad opposition (South Carolina State, USC Upstate, Presbyterian, Western Kentucky and Eastern Michigan).
They are also coming off their first victory at Kentucky since the 2009 season, and I don’t see them stringing together another great performance.
I would back the visitors to -9.5 on the spread in a game where I expect the Aggies to win by double digits.