Top College Basketball Parlay Picks for Saturday: Targeting Two Conference Tournament Finales
Championship Weekend is upon us, with over 15 automatic bids being decided in the next two days. Selection Sunday comes in 24 hours, revealing the 68 teams that will battle to be this year’s national champion. We give you our college basketball parlay picks ahead of that development.
Saturday's college basketball parlay picks feature two conference tournament finals - in the Big 12 and ACC - and an AAC semifinal contest.
Here are my top parlay picks for Saturday’s college basketball action (odds via FanDuel Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).
Saturday's College Basketball Parlay Picks
Kansas -2.5 vs. Texas Tech(-110)?????SMU +4.5 vs. Memphis (-108) ????Virginia Tech +6 vs. Duke (-109)???
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College Basketball Parlay Predictions
Kansas -2.5 (-110)
Conference tournament games tend to slow down and become possession battles. The importance of each possession is magnified, and offensive execution in the halfcourt is paramount.
That's exactly why I’m backing the Jayhawks to get past the Red Raiders and earn this year’s Big 12 tournament title.
These two teams split their regular-season matchups, with the second game decided in double overtime. First-year head coach Mark Adams has guided Texas Tech to the No. 1 overall ranking in adjusted defensive efficiency, according to KenPom. The Red Raiders are also No. 1 in conference play in 2-point interior defense, allowing a microscopic 43.4% against Big 12 opponents.
However, Kansas also brings a top-30 defense to this matchup, and has held its Big 12 opponents to an incredible 27.5% from beyond the arc. Texas Tech will need to do the majority of its scoring on the interior, while the Jayhawks have multiple players who can also score on the perimeter. Big 12 Player of the Year Ochai Agbaji (19.8 points per game, 40.3% 3-point shooting) and Christian Braun (14.6 points per game, 38.4% 3-point) are better offensive players than anyone on Texas Tech.
Kansas head coach Bill Self is 10-3 (76.9%) against the spread in the Big 12 tournament as a favorite of one to six points, according to BetLabs. Kansas wins these exact types of games, and I’m backing them against a first-year head coach and limited offensive Texas Tech team for the first leg of our college basketball parlay picks.
SMU +4.5 (-108)
The Mustangs are playing their best basketball of the season and go for the season sweep against Memphis on Saturday.
SMU defeated the Tigers twice this year, covering both times as the betting underdog. The Mustangs' defense is statistically solid, ranking 11th in the country in effective field-goal percentage allowed. However, SMU doesn't force many turnovers, ranking last in the AAC in turnover percentage forced. However, head coach Tim Jankovich’s team has benefitted from a very generous Memphis offense that has provided an average of 15 turnovers per game in their prior two meetings.
Memphis will also be without five-star prospect Emoni Bates, who's recovering from a back injury. Bates played in the Tigers' first loss to SMU (70-62) but missed their second matchup, a 73-57 blowout win. Memphis shoots 36.2% from beyond the arc, which could be helpful against the strong interior defense of the Mustangs, but SMU holds its opponents to just 30.1% (top-25) from beyond the arc.
Look for SMU point guard Kendric Davis (19.7 points per game, 4.6 assists per game, 37.5% 3-point percentage) to again carve up the Tigers' pressure defense. Davis has produced 47 total points and eight steals in the two matchups and is a critical weapon against the Tigers' on-ball defense.
This is just a bad matchup for Memphis, and we're getting a couple of extra points of value because of the Tigers' impressive 85-69 blowout win over UCF on Friday. The Tigers opened as 3-point favorites and have now risen to 4.5 points, according to Pregame. I'll grab the points with an SMU team that's still undervalued by the market for the second leg of our college basketball parlay picks.
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Virginia Tech +6 (-109)
Virginia Tech head coach Mike Young has his Hokies playing their best basketball of the year at precisely the right time. The Hokies ended the regular season by winning nine of their last 11 games, and have won three games in three nights to reach the ACC final.
They face a Duke team that they played only once this season, a 76-65 loss on Dec. 22. This Hokies team is completely different and is coming off an impressive defensive performance against North Carolina. Virginia Tech held the Tar Heels to their lowest offensive output since Jan. 26.
Virginia Tech is the fourth-best 3-point-shooting team in the country, averaging 39.1% from deep. The Hokies also rank second in ACC play at free-throw shooting, averaging 76.9% from the charity stripe. They're also due for some positive regression, as the Hokies’ ACC opponents are shooting 75.9% against them this season.
Duke is a tremendous metric team but is always overvalued by the market. The Blue Devils are just 11-11 ATS in the conference this season, including just 4-7 in their last 11 games. Duke doesn’t bring a ton of defensive pressure, ranking last in the ACC in defensive turnover efficiency, according to KenPom. The Blue Devils are also shaky from the free-throw line, averaging just 71.6% in conference play.
The Hokies have covered their last two games and barely missed a cover earlier in the season against Duke when they weren’t playing nearly as well as they are now. The Blue Devils are receiving 59% of the bets but only 22% of the money, according to Pregame. That means Virginia Tech is receiving sharp action.
I’m grabbing the six points with Virginia Tech to ruin Mike Krzyzewski's last ACC Tournament game with the Blue Devils.
Combined Odds: Kansas -2.5 (-110) + SMU +4.5 (-108) + Virginia Tech +6 (-109) = +608
Where to Bet on College Basketball Parlay Picks
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College basketball parlay picks made 3/12/2022 at 1:38 p.m. ET.