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College basketball best bets.
College basketball best bets.

The college basketball action ramps back up to start the weekend after a small Friday slate. Read on for our college basketball best bets for Saturday based on the top NCAAB odds.

College basketball fans are treated to a rare slew of high-profile non-conference games in late January, as the SEC/Big 12 Challenge provides a nice respite from league games.

Of the most high-profile matchups, No. 4 Tennessee hosts No. 10 Texas, and two of the sport’s most iconic teams face off when No. 9 Kansas visits Rupp Arena to face Kentucky.

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

Check out our college basketball best bets.

Saturday’s college basketball schedule and odds

(odds via DraftKings)

  • Xavier vs. Creighton (-5)
  • Arkansas vs. Baylor (-6.5)
  • Texas vs. Tennessee (-5.5)
  • Kansas vs. Kentucky (-2.5)

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

College basketball best bets for Saturday

  • Spread: Tennessee -5.5 (-110 via FanDuel) vs. Texas ⭐⭐⭐
  • Moneyline: Creighton (-205 via DraftKings) vs. Xavier ⭐⭐⭐
  • Total: Ohio State-Indiana Over 144.5 (-115 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Upset: Arizona State (+145 via PointsBet) vs. Washington State ⭐⭐

College basketball top picks

Spread: Tennessee -5.5 vs. Texas (-110) ⭐⭐⭐

At first glance, this seems like a massive number to lay in a top-10 matchup, but this is a sign of the respect we have for Rick Barnes’ program while also believing Texas is playing over its head under interim head coach Rodney Terry.

Since Terry took over, the Longhorns are 10-2, but those two losses are by a combined 24 points, and they have beaten just one team in the top six of the Big 12 in that stretch. Texas is about to receive a wake-up call when facing a Volunteers team that just held an opponent in the 40s for the eighth time in 20 games.

This is a three-star play, as Texas’s shooting woes (33.4% from 3-point range ranks 199th) will be exposed against a Tennessee defense that holds opponents to a Division 1-best 21.6% from beyond the arc.

Many sportsbooks are at -6.5, so be sure to grab one of the -5.5s if you are a Tennessee backer.

Moneyline: Creighton ML vs. Xavier (-205) ⭐⭐⭐

There is no denying Xavier has a Final Four ceiling, as UTEP transfer Souley Boom has solidified the backcourt and led the team to a Big East-best 84.0 points per game.

However, despite these teams being separated by 2.5 games in the Big East standings (and 4.5 games overall), the Bluejays are the 11th-ranked team, per KenPom, while Xavier is 19th. A big reason is that Creighton lost the three games that Ryan Kalkbrenner did not play. Since his return, the Bluejays are 5-0 at home, with those wins by an average of 18.6 points.

Creighton is the only Big East team with two players in the top four (Kalkbrenner and Baylor Scheierman) in Evan Miyakawa’s conference player ratings. Those two should lead the Bluejays to a big home victory and get the team right back into the race for a regular-season league title.

DraftKings is the only sportsbook that has Moneyline odds lower than the original line of -225.

Total: Ohio State vs. Indiana Over 144.5 (-115) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Are Indiana’s defensive issues suddenly solved? The Hoosiers had a stretch of five games from mid-December to mid-January during which they allowed at least 84 points to major conference opponents. Since then, Indiana has allowed 59 points per game during a four-game winning streak.

However, we are not getting too excited about this recent success, as the four teams it played ranked seventh, ninth, 12th, and 14th in adjusted offensive efficiency in league play. The Hoosiers will be tested much more by Ohio State and its ninth-ranked adjusted offensive efficiency overall.

The Buckeyes are in a tremendous buy-low spot after being held to 64 points or fewer in their last three conference games, making this a solid four-star play on a compromised total.

This number is as high as 146.5 elsewhere, so we are getting maximum value at DraftKings despite having to pay slightly extra in juice.

Upset: Arizona State ML vs. Washington State (+145) ⭐⭐

Arizona State enters on a three-game losing streak and is coming off a tough overtime loss at Washington. The Sun Devils started the game on a 12-0 run but could not mount the comeback from a subsequent 32-6 stretch by the Huskies.

Arizona State has not been swept on the Washington-Washington State road trip since 2012. While the Huskies' zone walled off the paint and limited the Sun Devils to 32.6% shooting (14-for-43) inside the arc, Bobby Hurley’s talented guards will have more room to create off the dribble and expose a Cougars defense that is allowing opponents to shoot 50.8% (ninth-best) in Pac-12 play.

College basketball best bets made 1/28/2023 at 8:11 a.m. ET.

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* Bonuses not applicable in Ontario.

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