Saturday brings us a college hoops bonanza of games. We have a massive 131-game slate with college basketball parlay pick opportunities all across the hardwood.
We start in the Missouri Valley Conference, where Indiana State is a live home underdog against the conference leader, Loyola Chicago. Next, we travel to Logan, Utah, for a great Mountain West battle between Utah State and a vastly improved Wyoming team. Finally, we look in on a Pac-12 rivalry between Oregon and USC.
Which dogs will bite? Which favorite will find a way to cover the spread?
Here are my top college basketball parlay picks for Saturday’s college basketball matchups (odds via DraftKings Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).
Top College Basketball Parlay Picks
Loyola Chicago vs. Indiana State +8.5 (-112) ★★★★
Wyoming vs. Utah State -5.5 (-110) ★★★
Oregon +6.5 (-107) vs. USC ★★★★
Top College Basketball Parlay Predictions
Indiana State +8.5 (-112)
Indiana State is coming off a frustrating 80-74 OT loss at Northern Iowa. The Sycamores actually led 55-38 with 12:35 left in the second half, before a furious Panthers comeback. The final result masked a very impressive road performance by the Sycamores.
New head coach Josh Schertz has Indiana State playing at a much higher pace, ranking 58th in the country in adjusted tempo, per KenPom. The Sycamores are strong on the offensive interior, ranking 25th-best in the country at 55.9% efficiency. They also make their free throws at a 74.6% rate, top 70 in the country.
Loyola Chicago is clearly the class of the Missouri Valley Conference and has shown no signs of slowing down under first-year head coach Drew Valentine. The Ramblers (12-2) are on an eight-game winning streak and are 3-0 in conference play. However, Loyola-Chicago has escaped overtime in each of the past two games, narrowly defeating Bradley and needing two OTs to dispose of an inferior Valparaiso team at home.
Indiana State actually upset Loyola Chicago last year, 76-71 at home. In their first matchup this year, the Sycamores actually led the Ramblers 35-28 on the road, before falling victim to another late-game rally by their opponents.
It will be a fantastic atmosphere at Hulman Center and I will gladly take the extra 8.5 points in my college basketball parlay picks for an Indiana State team that always plays a close game with Loyola Chicago.
Utah State -5.5 (-110)
Wyoming (11-2) is off to a fantastic start under Jeff Linder, but now must play its first Mountain West Conference game after a three-week hiatus. Due to multiple cancellations and COVID protocols, the Cowboys' last game was a Christmas Day win against South Florida. They will face a Utah State team that is a formidable foe.
The Aggies (10-6) are just 1-2 in conference play, but are coming off an impressive 77-72 loss at Colorado State. Despite playing without sharpshooter Brock Miller (8.8 points per game), the Aggies battled one of the best teams in the conference in a tough road environment. I expect a strong performance from a Utah State team that cannot afford to fall to 1-3 in the Mountain West.
The inside duo of Justin Bean (19.6 PPG, 10.2 RPG) and Brandon Horvath (13.1 PPG, 6.3 RPG) will stretch the Wyoming bigs away from the basket with their strong perimeter shooting. On offense, Wyoming prefers to score on the interior, shooting an impressive 57.8% from 2-point range. But having not played since Christmas, the Cowboys will really need their best effort of the season to keep this game within reach.
This line opened at Utah State -4.5 and has climbed to the Aggies -5.5. This hints at a return for Miller, which would be a huge boost against the Cowboys. I like this Wyoming team, but not in this spot against a tough conference opponent off a long layoff.
Oregon +6.5 (-107)
I’m buying the Ducks after their huge road overtime upset of UCLA on Thursday Night. Oregon beat the Bruins, 84-81, posting its fourth consecutive win. Oregon is now 3-2 in Pac-12 play after starting the season a disappointing 0-2.
The senior backcourt of Will Richardson (13.6 PPG) and Jacob Young (11.3 PPG) has started to play much better, combining for 39 points in the win over the Bruins. Oregon can match USC’s interior size with 6-foot-11 junior center N’Faly Dante, who has averaged 12 points and nine rebounds in Oregon's past two games.
USC does not bring excessive ball pressure, ranking just 337th in defensive turnover efficiency, per KenPom. Their 14-1 record is greatly boosted by a soft non-conference schedule. This is too many points to lay to a Ducks team that is playing much better than their record would indicate.
Oregon matches USC on the boards and provides matchup problems similar to a Stanford team that just beat the Trojans. This is a buy-low spot in our college basketball parlay picks on a Ducks team that was predicted second in the Pac-12 preseason poll.
Combined Odds: Indiana State +8.5 (-112), Utah State -5.5 (-110), Oregon +6.5 (-107): +600
College basketball parlay picks made 1/15/2022 at 11:08 a.m. ET