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College basketball best bets.
College basketball best bets.

Seven AP top-25 teams are in action on a loaded Saturday college basketball slate, with three beginning conference play. We have highlighted the odds, movements, and our college basketball best bets for Saturday.

Two ACC contenders, No. 3 Virginia and No. 17 Duke, begin conference play against Florida State and Boston College, respectively. The Cavaliers and the No. 1 Houston Cougars look to avoid being the second top-four team to lose this week after the No. 4 Arizona Wildcats lost by 15 points at Utah on the 10th anniversary of legendary Utes coach Rick Majerus’ death.

Here are our best bets for Saturday’s college basketball slate (odds via Caesars Sportsbook, PointsBet, and DraftKings Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Saturday’s College Basketball Schedule and Odds

(odds via DraftKings)

  • St. Francis (PA) vs. Ohio State (No Moneyline, -27.5)
  • Florida State (+1300) vs. Virginia (-4000)
  • Indiana (-165) vs. Rutgers (+140)
  • San Jose State (+1300) vs. Arkansas (-4000)
  • Boston College (+1100) vs. Duke (-2500)
  • South Dakota State (+1800) vs. Alabama (-10000)
  • Saint Mary’s (+430) vs. Houston (-560)

Saturday’s College Basketball Best Bets

  • Moneyline: Indiana (-150 via PointsBet)
  • Spread: Notre Dame -6.5 (-110 via DraftKings)
  • Total: Oklahoma-Villanova Under 126.5 (-110 via PointsBet)
  • Upset: Buffalo (+110 via Caesars)

Top College Basketball Picks for Saturday

Moneyline: Indiana (-150) ★★★★

The magic of the RAC (now Jersey Mike’s Arena) is real, as the Scarlet Knights beat five top 25 opponents at home last year, including then-No. 1 Purdue. However, last year’s team had two outstanding senior leaders in Geo Baker and Ron Harper Jr., while this year’s team has not fully had a chance to gel because of injuries.

Defensive stopper Caleb McConnell has just two games under his belt while starting point guard Paul Mulcahy remains out with a shoulder injury. Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell suggested Mulcahy is still some time away, as he has not yet practiced with full contact since the injury.

Rutgers hung with a talented Miami team on the road last Wednesday but benefitted from a plus-10 rebounding advantage, including a 19-8 edge on the offensive glass and a 15-8 advantage in second-chance points. Unfortunately, Rutgers will not be able to bully the bigger Hoosiers on the boards.

Race Thompson and Trayce Jackson-Davis are one of the best frontcourt duos in the country and are largely responsible for limiting opponents to 40.9% shooting inside the arc.

Grab this number at PointsBet for $10 more worth of value than any competing sportsbooks, and before this number rises with the news of Mulcahy being out.

Spread: Notre Dame -6.5 (-110) ★★★★

With Syracuse having lost three consecutive games to St. John’s, Bryant, and Illinois - the latter by 29 points - it is fair to wonder if it is destined for an ACC-basement-dweller type of season.

Meanwhile, the Fighting Irish overcame their first loss of the season in grand style in an 18-point rout of Michigan State. Notre Dame shot 11-for-26 (42.3%) from 3-point range and 50% overall from the floor. The Fighting Irish had five players make multiple 3-point attempts against the Spartans, and that versatility will help their chances of dissecting Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone.

The Orange have not covered the spread in any of their last four games, and we expect them to go a fifth straight without a cover.

Total: Oklahoma-Villanova Under 126.5 (-110) ★★★

Not many would have predicted that Villanova would have walked out of the Phil Knight Invitational with an 0-3 record, but all of its weaknesses with two starters out (Justin Moore and Cam Whitmore) were exposed by a talented field. Efficiency-wise, Villanova’s offensive numbers are strong (23rd in adjusted offensive efficiency) thanks to elite free-throw shooting (fifth-best in the country) and an ability to not turn the ball over at an elite rate (top-16).

However, Porter Moses is one of the best man-to-man defensive-minded coaches in the game, as the Sooners rank 14th in points allowed per game (56.9). Thus, a Sooners defense that allows opponents to shoot just 25.6% from 3-point range (19th-best) will be a thorn in the side for a Wildcats offense that shoots the 11th-highest percentage of its field-goal attempts from beyond the arc.

PointsBet is offering the only 126.5 out there, as BetMGM, Caesars, and FanDuel are all a point lower at 125.5.

Upset: Buffalo (+110) ★★★

St. Bonaventure has looked impressive amid a four-game winning streak. The Bonnies have won by an average of 14 points (all by double-digits), punctuated by an impressive 12-point victory on a neutral court against Notre Dame.

However, the Bonnies have faced only one team all season in the top 90 in adjusted tempo, and that team (Southern Indiana plays at the 24th-fastest pace) forced 17 turnovers (SBU has had more than 15 turnovers in just one other game).

Thus, the Bulls’ third-quickest pace should pose issues in this matchup, especially against a team that opened the season with an impressive home victory over Patriot League favorite Colgate.

This line has moved in Buffalo’s favor since it opened as a +130 ‘dog, so jump on the plus-odds while you still can.

Where to Bet on College Basketball

Here are our top-rated sportsbooks:

College basketball best bets from 12/3/2022 at 8:00 a.m. ET.