NCAA Basketball Betting: Saturday Picks

College hoops fans are in for a treat this Saturday. It’s one of the biggest days of the whole season, and of course, it’s the first day in the month of March, which lets you know that college basketball is about to become really, really fun and exciting. Lots of good betting opportunities await at a time of year when Las Vegas and online sportsbooks come alive specifically in response to college basketball.

Syracuse Orange @ Virginia Cavaliers

Saturday, 4:05 PM ET

College Basketball Betting Odds: Virginia -3.5

The Orange and Cavaliers both play great defense, Syracuse in Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone and Virginia in man-to-man. Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim and Virginia coach Tony Bennett are not quite Mike Krzyzewski, but they’re both among the better coaches in the Atlantic Coast Conference. This will be Syracuse’s first trip to Virginia as a member of the ACC after spending many years in the Big East. The Orange know that they must win this game to stay in the running for the ACC’s regular season championship. If Virginia wins, the Cavaliers would clinch the top seed for the upcoming ACC Tournament. Pick Syracuse here. The Orange will bounce back from a tough week last week.

Pick: Syracuse

Kansas Jayhawks @ Oklahoma State Cowboys

Saturday, 10:05 PM ET

College Basketball Betting Odds: Kansas -1.5

This is a game in which the Oklahoma State Cowboys desperately need to win in order to make the NCAA tournament. Oklahoma State has been buried near the bottom of the Big 12 Conference, and while the Cowboys have some good wins on their resume, they have a lot of bad losses as well. Oklahoma State has to be able to beat an elite team such as Kansas in order to minimize all the bad losses it has accumulated over the course of the season and the past six weeks in particular. The Cowboys will have the advantage of a motivated Marcus Smart. The star scorer was suspended for three games earlier in the month of February, but he’s now back in the lineup and can make Oklahoma State’s offense extremely explosive. Yet, Kansas’ balance inside and outside should enable the Jayhawks to win this game on the road.

Pick: Kansas

Louisville Cardinals @ Memphis Tigers

Saturday, 12:05 PM ET

College Basketball Betting Odds: Louisville -4.5

This is a great matchup between two teams that are fighting for positioning in the American Athletic Conference, just a week and a half before the league’s first conference tournament. Memphis actually won on the road in Louisville earlier in the season, so the Cardinals are going to be motivated by revenge while also feeling the need to get a win that will push them to a higher seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament. The thing to realize about this game is that even while Memphis is playing at home, Louisville – under head coach Rick Pitino – often gains momentum late in the season. Pitino gets the most from his players in late February and in the month of March as well. This is Louisville’s time of year, when the players on the Cardinals seem to loosen up and play at their best. You would not want to bet against Louisville in this game, even though it’s basically a toss-up on the betting lines and could just as easily go to Memphis.

Pick: Louisville

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