College hoops fans have a blockbuster game in front of them on Saturday, with a huge Big Ten game and a significant Mountain West game as well. It’s a big day on the betting lines.
Syracuse Orange @ Duke Blue Devils
Saturday, 7:05 PM ET
College Basketball Betting Odds: Duke -5
The Orange and Blue Devils meet in Cameron Indoor Stadium in one of the main events not just of the week or the month, but of the first season in which Syracuse has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Duke’s visit to Syracuse on Feb. 1 produced a thrilling game won by the Orange in overtime, as a last-second play in the extra period was ruled to have been a clean block by Syracuse and not a foul. Replays showed that some contact appeared on the play, but the officials went with a no-call that the Blue Devils didn’t like.
The past is the past, though. Syracuse is still unbeaten heading into this game, and Duke would love to be the team that knocks the Orange into the loss column. It’s weird to say this, but it’s probable that Syracuse will lose. The Orange have been winning lots of games by close margins, so the odds suggest that luck will run out as long as Duke plays reasonably well.
San Diego State Aztecs @ New Mexico Lobos
Saturday, 10:05 PM ET
College Basketball Betting Odds: New Mexico -3.5
This is a game in which the Mountain West Conference championship will be squarely on the minds of players, coaches and fans. San Diego State has enjoyed a spectacular season by any measurement, while New Mexico has not been able to reach the same standard. However, New Mexico is still in the chase in the Mountain West, just one game behind the Aztecs as this week began. The Lobos are very tough to beat in their home arena, called “The Pit,” and a San Diego State team that has been slightly regressing on defense in recent weeks could buckle under the weight of both pressure and expectations. New Mexico is likely to play this game fearlessly, knowing that it could potentially tie San Diego State for the Mountain West lead. New Mexico must go to San Diego to play the Aztecs in a few weeks, and that will be hard. However, the Lobos are a college basketball betting good choice here on their home floor.
Pick: New Mexico
Wisconsin Badgers @ Iowa Hawkeyes
Saturday, 12:05 PM ET
College Basketball Betting Odds: Iowa -5
This is a great matchup between two teams that are going to get high seeds in the NCAA tournament, possibly as high as a third seed if things break right in the coming weeks. Wisconsin got torn apart in the middle of January, but the Badgers have caught themselves and stopped their losing ways. Wisconsin has won four straight and has had all week to rest and prepare for this game after winning at Michigan this past Sunday. Iowa has moved closer to the top of the Big Ten standings because Michigan State and Michigan have lost multiple games in recent weeks. Wisconsin has pushed its way to fourth, just behind Iowa.
The first meeting between these teams was an emotional one. Iowa got off to a great start in Wisconsin’s own building, but a technical foul on Iowa coach Fran McCaffery – who threw the worst tantrum of the whole college basketball season in a moment of unrestrained rage – turned the tide and gave Wisconsin an opening it took advantage of. Expect Iowa to be focused in gaining revenge on its home floor. The Hawkeyes should win a thriller.