As the third Saturday of the new year rolls around, college basketball fanatics can once again relish the opportunity to watch some conference hoops. With over 150 division one games on the docket, finding the right ones to get action on can be a challenge. Look no further, as here are three games I see worth wagering on.
(All odds as of Friday evening via VegasInsider.com)
#21 Ohio State @ Penn State
12:00 p.m. ET ESPNU
Opening Spread: Penn State PK
Current Spread: Penn State +1.5
Projected Spread: Penn State +2.5
Chris Holtmann and the Buckeyes travel to Happy Valley following an 80-68 victory over Big Ten bottom-feeder Nebraska Tuesday night. When these two squads met a little over a month ago the Buckeyes put up 106 points on 57% shooting. While the Buckeyes aren’t likely to replicate the offensive performance they had back in December, they still have what it takes to grind out a W on the road.
Pick: Ohio State -1.5
#5 Butler @ DePaul
12:00 p.m. ET FSN
Opening Spread: DePaul +3.5
Current Spread: DePaul +3.5
Projected Spread: DePaul +5.5
#5 Butler looks to rebound after suffering their first loss in over a month with a trip to the Windy City to face DePaul. The Blue Demons are still in search of their first Big East win, making Saturday in essence, a must-win if the Blue Demons have any aspirations of securing a bid to the big dance. Unfortunately for the Blue Demons, their Big East schedule doesn’t get any easier. The Bulldog frontcourt of Derek Smits, Bryce Golden, and Bryce Nze should have their way against DePaul’s frontline. Don’t count the Blue Demons completely out but Butler is a matchup nightmare for most teams in the country and DePaul qualifies.
Pick: Butler -3.5
#10 Kentucky @ Arkansas
4:00 p.m. ET ESPN
Opening Spread: Arkansas -1
Current Spread: Arkansas -1.5
Projected Spread: Arkansas +3
Saturday presents a perfect opportunity for Eric Mussleman and the Arkansas Razorbacks to show the nation their 14-2 record isn’t a fluke. Bud Walton will be rocking all afternoon, but do the Razorbacks have enough firepower to outlast Kentucky? The Wildcats just dropped a heartbreaker to South Carolina on Wednesday and playing back to back conference road games is never easy, but I think Nick Richards, Nate Sestina and EJ Montgomery outman the undersized Razorback frontcourt and secure a big road win.
Pick: Kentucky ML
Baylor/Oklahoma State OVER 125.5