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College basketball best bets.
College basketball best bets.

Rivalries are the day's theme in college basketball on Saturday. Read on for our college basketball best bets for Saturday based on the top NCAAB odds.

Many argue that Duke vs. North Carolina is the best rivalry in all of sports. The Blue Devils and Tar Heels have split their last 100 meetings, and each looks for the upper hand on Saturday.

Elsewhere, in-state rivals Purdue and Indiana meet in Bloomington, Virginia Tech hosts Virginia, and the West Coast Conference's best two teams do battle when Gonzaga faces Saint Mary's.

Here are our college basketball best bets for Friday (odds via Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook, and FanDuel Sportsbook; Pick confidence is based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Check out our top college basketball picks and our best March Madness betting sites.

Saturday’s college basketball schedule and odds

(odds via DraftKings Sportsbook)

  • Kansas (-2.5) vs. Iowa State
  • Auburn vs. Tennessee (-9.5)
  • Purdue (PK) vs. Indiana
  • Texas (-1) vs. Kansas State

Check out our best March Madness odds and Wooden Award odds.

College basketball best bets for Saturday

  • Spread: Michigan State +4.5 vs. Rutgers (-110 via Caesars) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Moneyline: Oklahoma State ML vs. TCU (-145 via Draftkings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Total: Florida-Kentucky Under 136.5 (-115 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Upset: Indiana ML vs. Purdue (-105 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐

College basketball top picks

Spread: Michigan State +4.5 vs. Rutgers (-110) ⭐⭐⭐

Rutgers loses out on what would have been a much more hostile home environment at Jersey Mike's Arena while playing this game at Madison Square Garden. Michigan State couldn't miss a shot during the first meeting between these teams in 2022-23, going 12-for-22 from 3-point range during a 70-57 Spartans win. Meanwhile, Rutgers couldn't get one to fall while shooting 2-for-17 from deep.

While we expect those numbers to regress, this is still too many points to lay against a Tom Izzo-coached team. Point guard AJ Hoggard leads the way while ranking in the top five nationally in assist rate (39.5%). 

The last team to beat Rutgers on the road was Iowa on Jan. 8, which ShotQuality graded as a Hawkeyes loss. But Iowa won by the same 11-point margin in the rematch, which is what we expect in this second meeting between Michigan State and Rutgers. 

Michigan State is wrongfully being penalized for three losses over its last five games, as two were against the No. 1 team in the country (Purdue). Take the points and expect Izzo's bunch to keep it close.

Check out our best sports-betting sites for Michigan.

Moneyline: Oklahoma State ML vs. TCU (-172) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Are the Cowboys in a letdown spot after a huge 10-point victory in the Bedlam rivalry against Oklahoma? We dismiss that notion with a four-star moneyline play, as the Cowboys are one of the country's best under-the-radar defensive teams.

Oklahoma State guards the perimeter and protects the rim well. It's the Big 12's best team in adjusted defensive efficiency, effective field-goal percentage defense, and 2-point percentage defense (43.6%). Additionally, the Cowboys lead the Big 12 in blocks per game (5.5), rebounds (37.2), and points per contest allowed (63.0).

No team has topped 60 points against them in Stillwater since Oklahoma State's season opener. TCU will be hard-pressed to do so without Mike Miles, the conference's third-leading scorer (18.1 points per game) who remains out indefinitely with a knee injury. TCU uses Miles on a team-high 26.7% of its possessions, and it's a big ask for others to step up in his absence.

Total:  Florida-Kentucky Under 136.5 (-115) ⭐⭐⭐

Florida head coach Todd Golden earned his most signature win during his first year, knocking off No. 2 Tennessee in the last game. The Gators held Tennessee to 28% shooting and improved to eighth in KenPom's adjusted defensive efficiency ranking.

Meanwhile, Kentucky held Florida to an average of 60 points over two wins in 2021-22, despite center Colin Castleton scoring 41 points. Tennessee went away from its typical defensive principles and chose to double-team Castleton in the post, which freed up open shooters. Look for Kentucky to play Castleton straight up with center Oscar Tshiebwe and stay at home on Florida's shooters, who rank 256th (32.4%) from 3-point range.

The slight extra juice is worth it at FanDuel, the only sportsbook offering a total this high.

Upset: Indiana ML vs. Purdue (-105) ⭐⭐⭐

Purdue has owned this rivalry while earning 10 wins in the previous 11 meetings, but the Boilermakers suffered a three-point loss in Bloomington last year. That defeat came with Trayce Jackson-Davis scoring just four points over 11 minutes while dealing with foul trouble, and with the Hoosiers shooting 14-of-24 from the free-throw line and posting a worse 3-point percentage than Purdue.

The key to Indiana's victory was winning the turnover battle (12 to three). Now the Hoosiers will look to attack Purdue's freshman backcourt of Fletcher Loyer and Braden Smith, the latter of whom has posted multiple turnovers in four of his last six games.

College basketball best bets made 2/4/2023 at 7:09 a.m. ET.

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