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Bettor's Guide to Handicapping NCAA Basketball This Weekend

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Bettor's Guide to Handicapping NCAA Basketball This Weekend
Rollie Worster #24 of the Utah State Aggies on January 27, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

With pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, that means the college basketball regular season is winding down. That also means the importance of games played is on the rise for those trying to reach the Big Dance. Here are key matchups this weekend.

If you are watching and following college basketball these days, you know what time of year it is. Skip your phone, you could set the time on your watch to the words – Last Four In, First Four Out. That’s right, the postseason is fast approaching and many teams are looking to put on their dancing shoes.

With this in mind, we head into the weekend looking to cover important hoops action that has current and future implications. Also, we are not doing all the normal televised games with the same old teams (though we do have one such game like that this week sadly), instead, we intend to prepare you for March Madness and we have meaningful battles from the Mountain West and the Pac-12.

Please note again, we don’t have all the college basketball odds for all the games from the betting sites, but we have good power ratings to generate useful spreads.

Utah State Aggies vs. Boise State Broncos

Friday, February 19, 2021 – 10:00 PM ET at ExtraMile Arena

Boise State won the opener in this confrontation of top Mountain West squads 79-70 as 1.5-point home favorites on Wednesday. Game 2 opened with the same closing odds as the last skirmish that was primarily determined by the Broncos draining five more shots behind the arc.

Utah State is not likely to only make three treys again when they average seven. But we were thinking the spread would be closer to three and with the Aggies 0-7 ATS in road games after playing a game as an underdog, we’ll ride the short number on the Broncos.

College Basketball Pick: (visit our Sportsbook Review)

Forward Marcus Santos-Silva #14 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders handles the ball. John E. Moore III/Getty Images/AFP

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Kansas Jayhawks

Saturday, February 20, 2021 - 2:00 PM ET at Allen Fieldhouse

This Big 12 battle is more than just about two ranked teams in a tough conference. It’s evident Texas Tech and Kansas have weaknesses. However, here is why this game matters. Each team has five conference losses and if one or both ends up in the middle or just below the middle in the standings, that could mean a date with Baylor in the quarterfinals and an early exit that would impact their seeding for the NCAA Tournament.

The Jayhawks are only 5-5 ATS at home, with the Red Raiders 5-1 SU on the road. Let’s snag the points for college basketball picks.

College Basketball Pick: (visit our Sportsbook Review)

Kofi Cockburn #21 of the Illinois Fighting Illini shoots the ball. Michael Hickey/Getty Images/AFP

Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers

Saturday, February 20, 2021 - 3:30 PM ET at Williams Arena

Minnesota is 13-1 and 11-3 ATS at home, so their Jekyll and Hyde routine is going full bore, as they are deplorable on the road. Illinois is more than capable of winning and covering against the Golden Gophers but has to avoid those mental dull spots they too often have.

Watch for the Fighting Illini defense to come through late and they make free throws as they barely slide by the number over Minnesota.

College Basketball Pick: (visit our Sportsbook Review)

Arizona Wildcats
James Akinjo #13, Bennedict Mathurin #0 and Jemarl Baker Jr. #3 of the Arizona Wildcats. Photo by Christian Petersen / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

Arizona Wildcats vs. USC Trojans

Saturday, February 20, 2021 - 6:00 PM ET at Galen Center

For this USC team, this could be a historic season. The last time the Trojans won an outright conference basketball regular-season championship was 1960-61 when it was known as the Pac-8. (Not kidding)

This team is good enough to get it done, since they shoot 47 percent and they are excellent in offensive rebounding at 12.4 a game. They are 11-2 in conference play since 2021 commenced and they have covered five in a row.

Arizona has talent, however, they are just as likely to win as to lose and are not cohesive. The Men of Troy won 87-73 in Tucson last month and we could see that happening again.

College Basketball Pick: (visit our Sportsbook Review)

Reece Beekman #2 of the Virginia Cavaliers dribbles downcourt. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images/AFP

Virginia Cavaliers vs. Duke Blue Devils

Saturday, February 20, 2021 - 8:00 PM ET at Cameron Indoor Stadium

We only choose this matchup only because it is the prime-time game on ESPN. Duke has won and covered two straight on the road after dropping their previous three contests. Virginia is back in action after being blown out at Florida State by 21.

The Cavaliers have an older, more mature team that will bounce back and their defense will frustrate the young Blue Devils. Whatever the NCAAB odds are at GTbets, it’s Virginia by double digits in Durham.

College Basketball Pick: (visit our Sportsbook Review)

Michigan Wolverines vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

Sunday, February 21, 2021 - 1:00 PM ET at Value City Arena

This is the game of the weekend in college buckets. Michigan wins, they can claim they are the best team in the best conference. Ohio State emerges victorious, they prove their high ranking is correct and themselves, Illinois and the Wolverines battle it out till season’s end.

Ohio State is 7th in offensive efficiency and Michigan is 14th. With offenses that good, defense decides the outcome and the Wolverines are 39th in defensive efficiency with Buckeyes at 151st. Enough said.

College Basketball Pick: (visit our Sportsbook Review)

*The picks reflect the lines at the moment the writer made the plays, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.