Plenty to choose from on Saturday's college basketball betting slate, and at least a few games strike us as very playable. So in search of a big payoff, and in hopes of catching a little luck, we're hooking three picks for a college basketball parlay for Saturday.
Irish Visit Beantown
For our first pick for today we look to Boston, where visiting Notre Dame is favored by a touchdown over BC's Eagles.
The Irish are trying to catch Virginia in the ACC standings, while also trying to stay ahead off Duke. Notre Dame is also chasing a good seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament. The Irish got blown out by the Blue Devils a couple weeks ago, but have won back-to-back games since, winning at Clemson by a bucket and at home over Wake Forest 88-75. Notre Dame gutted out a tough win over the Tigers, then pulled away from the Deacons in the second half, going 27-for-28 from the free-throw line, just sneaking out the cover as a 12-point favorite.
BC, meanwhile, has lost seven games in a row, after falling at Florida State Wednesday night 69-60. At 9-16 overall and 1-12 in the ACC the Eagles are playing out the string on another lost season.
Notre Dame just beat BC two and a half weeks ago 71-63, and if it wins by that margin today it will cover this spread. The way the Irish shoot the ball we can totally see that happening.
Hogs Hit Starkville
For our second pick we go to the SEC, where resurgent Arkansas listed on the NCAA basketball betting odds at -8, pays a visit on second-division Mississippi State.
Arkansas has won five in a row and eight of its last nine, after dispatching of Missouri Wednesday 84-69. The Hogs allowed the Tigers to shoot 50 percent from the floor, but won the turnover battle by a 19-8 margin. Just before that Arkansas won at Ole Miss 71-70, and just before that it won at Auburn 101-87.
At 10-3 in SEC play the Hogs own second place for the moment, and at 21-5 overall it looks like they'll snap a six-season NCAA tournament drought.
Mississippi State, meanwhile, has lost three of its last four and five of its last eight, after falling at home to Ole Miss Thursday night 71-65. At 12-14 overall it looks like the Bulldogs have made some progress over last season, but not much.
Arkansas just beat Mississippi State two weeks ago 61-41, covering as a 15-point favorite at home. The Hogs led that game 30-9 at halftime, and for the game held the Bulldogs to just 14 baskets.
Arkansas has the better team, has more to play for and has shown it can win on the road. The Hogs should win this game, and if they make their free-throws they should cover.
Bears on the Farm
For our third pick we head West, toward Pac-12 country, where Coach Martin's Cal outfit visits rival Stanford.
The Bears had won five games in a row, until last time out, when they lost at Utah 76-61. Cal led that game late in the first half, and only trailed by six early in the second half, until it went cold and missed 10 shots in a row. But the Bears persevered and, to our delight, hung on for the cover as 17-point underdogs.
Cal is a work in progress in its first season under the new coaching regime, but we're expecting better things in the future for this program. Also, at 6-7 in conference play the Bears still have a chance to finish .500 or better, and that would be great, all things considered.
Stanford, meanwhile, has lost four of its last five games, after falling at Colorado last Sunday 64-58. Not too long ago the Cardinal looked like good bets to make the NCAA tournament; unfortunately, as of late they've been playing themselves out.
Stanford beat Cal back in January in Berkeley 69-59, covering as a two-point favorite, but that was a two-point game with seven minutes to go, before the Cardinal ended on a 16-8 run.
After running into a tough Utah squad earlier this week we like the Bears' chances for a bounce-back effort today. So we'll take the points with the underdog.
The best line/price combo we could find from the members of our SBR college basketball odds board came from 5Dimes, where we could hook Notre Dame at -6.5, Arkansas at -8 and Cal at +9.5, for a three-pick payout of 6.4-to-1. And wouldn't this college basketball pick make for a nice addition to our beer fund?