How to Bet Saturday's Top-25 NCAAB Matchups

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by Spencer Burr

#8 Texas @ #9 Baylor

Following losses to #5 Kansas and #14 Kansas State on the road, the Baylor Bears are at back at home for arguably their most important game remaining this season. With a win, they prove that they belong in the upper seeds of the tournament. With a Texas win however, Baylor likely falls and Texas takes the aforementioned upper spot. Texas is coming off of a tough home win in overtime against Texas Tech, and what can only be described as a statement game against Iowa State, where they won by 18. The spread is currently at -4 in favor of Texas, with an O/U line at 148.5 points. Baylor is 3-2 ATS in their last five, while also being 3-2 outright in that span. Texas on the other hand is 2-3 ATS and 3-2 outright in their last five. Texas has averaged 79.6 points-per-game in their last 5, up slightly from their season average of 79.4 PPG. Baylor however has hit a bit of a slump late in the year, averaging 73.8 PPG in their last five, down from their season average of 78. Defensively, the Longhorns are giving up 71.8 points each game over their last five. Baylor is averaging 73.8 points-against-per-game in their last five. With all those stats in mind, I think Texas takes the lead earlier, and keeps it to the end in what’ll end up being a shootout.

Pick 1: Texas -4

Pick 2: Over 148.5

Pick 3: Texas 1H -2.5

#17 Indiana @ #5 Purdue

In this Big Ten matchup, Indiana is traveling to West Lafayette to take on #2 Purdue. Purdue is looking to continue their three-point excellence as they overcome the slump that saw them averaging 30.4% from beyond the line in their last five games. In their most recent game against Ohio State, they had a three point accuracy of 43.8%. Indiana has been strong in defending three-pointers however, only allowing one of their last five opponents over 35%, which unfortunately was their game on Tuesday at Michigan State, where they lost by 15. The spread is currently Purdue -8, and the O/U line is set at 140.5. Both teams are middle-of-the-pack when it comes to ATS record and O/U in conference games, which makes it difficult to pick one or the other. With that being said, Purdue is 13-4 in conference play, but with an average margin of victory of 8.1, I like the idea of taking Illinois +8 here since. Purdue is up to 3 straight unders, and Indiana is also 1-4 in their last 5 hitting the over, so I’ll take the Under here as well. For our last pick, I’m taking Zack Edey over 20 points. If Purdue wants to keep their top 10 rank going into the tournament, they need to rely on his shots in the paint.

Pick 1: Indiana +8

Pick 2: Under 140.5

Pick 3: Zack Edey 20+ points

#15 Saint Mary's @ #12 Gonzaga

Lastly, we’ll take a look at #15 Saint Mary’s at #12 Gonzaga. Frankly speaking, this game is made for an over bet. Gonzaga has gone 20+ points over the O/U line 6 times this year, and Saint Mary’s game against Loyola Marymount earlier this month went 23 points over. With an O/U line set at 143, it might get a bit sweaty in the second half, but I still like the over. The spread is -3 in Gonzaga’s favor, which seems low to me given some of their margins of victory, but I understand given these teams’ first meeting earlier this year, where Saint Mary’s won by 8 in an upset. Given Saint Mary’s record of 7-5 on the road, and the result of the first meeting, I’m taking Saint Mary’s +3. For our last pick, I’m taking the face of Gonzaga basketball, Drew Timme, to go over 25 points. He put up 23 in the first meeting, and he is going to be their key to avoiding a repeat of last time.

Pick 1: Over 143

Pick 2: Saint Mary’s +3

Pick 3: Drew Timme 25+ points

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