NCAA basketball betting fans will get quite the treat when the two of the top three teams in the rankings meet up. We’ve got that game circled as well as a few others for our Saturday four-game parlay.
Michigan Wolverines @ Indiana Hoosiers
Odds: Hoosiers -4.5
It will be a five-star showdown and one of the most anticipated games of the entire season when No. 1 Michigan comes into Assembly Hall to face No. 3 Indiana. Michigan is 20-1 while Indiana is 19-2. Both teams sit atop the Big Ten with 7-1 records in the league. Michigan guard Trey Burke and Indiana wing Victor Oladipo are two of the elite players in the country. They will command center stage but the decisive battle is likely to be the one between Indiana big man Cody Zeller and Michigan’s “big-man-by-committee” collection of no-name post players.
Michigan doesn’t need scoring from its big men but it does need defense and rebounding. The Wolverines’ lack of low-post production under head coach John Beilein is precisely what is likely to doom them in this game. Indiana is extremely tough to beat on its home floor; Michigan will be fighting the odds even though it is the No. 1 team in the land. Being ranked No. 1 hasn’t meant much this season, since the ranking has been passed around like a hot potato.
Ole Miss Running Rebels @ Florida Gators
Odds: Gators -17
This is a very important game because it will test Ole Miss’ staying power at the top of the SEC. The Rebels were exposed this past Tuesday in a home-court loss to a desperate Kentucky side that needed a win for its NCAA tournament hopes. Ole Miss is still extremely likely to make the NCAA’s, but the loss to Kentucky could be the start of a major slide for the Rebels if they’re not careful.
The college basketball betting community does not expect anything from Mississippi in this game against Florida, the best team in the SEC (with a one-game lead over Ole Miss in the standings). This is especially the case since the Gators will be playing on their home floor. If Ole Miss can merely push Florida for all 40 minutes, many pundits will be impressed with the Rebels. Most people in the college basketball world are predicting a romp for Florida on Saturday.
Kansas State Wildcats @ Oklahoma Sooners
Odds: Oklahoma -3
Since Oklahoma has a few really bad losses on its resume, especially a baffling home-court setback against Stephen F. Austin back in December, it desperately needs a high-quality win to shore up its portfolio for March. The Sooners will get their shot at home against a Kansas State squad that has been very solid this season. The Wildcats are an NCAA tournament lock, having defeated Florida while suffering none of the bad losses that litter the resumes of various other teams across the country. Oklahoma, though, has to give the NCAA Selection Committee something good to look at. Otherwise, the Stephen F. Austin loss will haunt the Sooners on Selection Sunday, as will OU’s loss to Arkansas.
Miami Hurricanes @ North Carolina State Wolfpack
Odds: Miami -1
This is a game that did not figure to be such a high-profile collision before the season began and it certainly did not seem to be a game in which the visitors from Miami were wearing the bulls-eye.
Miami is the undisputed leader of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Duke is probably still the best team, but Miami has a two-game lead over Duke for the for the conference lead. North Carolina State is three games behind the Hurricanes in the ACC, meaning that the Wolfpack must win this game – that’s not an exaggeration or embellishment – in order to stay in the league race. North Carolina State should have the advantage, playing at home, but Miami is going to be full of confidence when tip-off time arrives in Raleigh, N.C.