Top College Basketball Picks for Saturday, February 13th, 2021

Top College Basketball Picks for Saturday, February 13th, 2021
Sat 13th February 2021

Indiana vs Ohio State 

Another heavily loaded college basketball Saturday starts with the Big Ten Conference showdown at Value City Arena in Columbus where the #4 Ohio State Buckeyes welcome the Indiana Hoosiers.

The hosts will search for their sixth straight victory, and if they want to beat the Hoosiers, the Buckeyes will have to slow down Trayce Jackson-Davis (19.4 PPG, 9.4 RPG). 

Although they are not an elite defensive team, the Buckeyes have enough strong bodies to put on the 6-foot-9 sophomore forward. Ohio State allows 95.4 points per 100 possessions (64th in the country) on 41.3% shooting from the field (87th), but the Buckeyes score 121.0 points in a return (4th), leaning heavily on their prolific offense. 

During their winning streak, the Buckeyes covered the spread four times. They are 8-1 straight up and 7-2 ATS over the last nine games overall. The Buckeyes have won 15 of their previous 16 home contests, covering the spread 12 times in the process. 

Ohio State is 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS in its last six encounters with Indiana. The Hoosiers have won two straight games, outlasting #8 Iowa 67-65 and Northwestern 79-76 in double overtime, so they certainly possess enough quality to keep it close against the Buckeyes. Indiana tallies 110.7 points per 100 possessions (50th) and surrenders 91.4 in a return (20th). 

Anyway, Ohio State is arguably a better team in this matchup. The hosts have played very well over the last few weeks, so we’re backing them to extend their winning streak. Ohio State is just half a game behind the top spot in the Big Ten and three games ahead of Indiana. 

College basketball pick – Ohio State by 6. 

Wake Forest vs Florida State 

The Florida State Seminoles return to action from a two-week absence caused by the COVID-19. They are No. 17 in this week’s AP Top 25 Poll, as the Seminoles have won five of their last six games overall. Florida State will look to get back on the winning path following a 76-65 loss at Georgia Tech, and the home clash against Wake Forest is a perfect opportunity for the Seminoles. 

The Demon Deacons have won three of their previous five contests, coming off a 69-65 victory at Boston College. However, Wake Forest hasn’t recorded two straight wins since December, and the Demon deacons are only 2-11 SU and 3-10 ATS in their last 13 encounters with the Seminoles. 

The hosts will need some time to shake off the rust, but they shouldn’t have any problems defeating the Demon Deacons while covering the spread along the way. The Seminoles possess way more talent than Wake Forest who rank outside of the top 100 in both offensive and defensive efficiency. 

On the other side, Florida State is 16th in the country in points scored per 100 possessions (115.2) and 39th in points allowed per 100 possessions (93.3). The Seminoles shoot 47.3% from the field (43rd) and 37.9% from beyond the arc (37th). 

College basketball pick – Florida State by 13.

Loyola Chicago vs Drake 

The Missouri Valley Conference showdown from The Knapp Center in Des Moines will see the #22 Loyola Chicago Ramblers battling the Drake Bulldogs for the top spot in the conference. The Ramblers are 12-1 in the MVC play, one game ahead of the 10-1 Bulldogs who fell out of the AP Poll just two weeks ago. 

The clash between the Ramblers and Bulldogs will be a joy to watch, but betting on it is a very tough job. Simply put, this game can easily go either way. Still, we think the Ramblers’ defense will make the difference. 

Loyola Chicago allows only 88.9 points per 100 possessions (8th). The Ramblers rank 39th in opponent field goal percentage (40.2%) and fourth in opponent free-throw attempts per contest (12.4). On the other side, Drake yields 96.1 points per 100 possessions (75th) on 39.8% shooting from the field (30th), but the Bulldogs allow 17.4 attempts at the line per game (146th). 

Both teams execute well offensively and rank in the top 10 in field goal percentage. The Bulldogs make 37.9% of their 3-pointers (36th), while the Ramblers shoot 37.4% from downtown (43rd). Drake scores 111.1 points per 100 possessions (44th), while Loyola tallies 111.6 (38th). 

Loyola’s senior center Cameron Krutwig could be a key factor, too. He’s averaging 15.5 points and 6.1 rebounds on the season, and the Bulldogs will struggle to cope with Krutwig in the paint. The Ramblers are 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS in their last seven matchups with Drake, and the under is 5-2 in that span. 

College basketball pick – Loyola Chicago by 3.

Kansas State vs Oklahoma State 

The Kansas State Wildcats head to Gallagher-Iba Arena as massive double-digit underdogs, and that’s no strange considering their current form. The Wildcats have dropped 11 straight contests and are 1-11 in the Big 12 Conference play. 

During that awful run, Kansas State has covered the spread four times, and the Wildcats have suffered a few heavy losses including a 107-59 defeat at #2 Baylor. Also, they lost to Oklahoma State 70-54 as 9-point home dogs on January 9. 

The #23 Cowboys, on the other side, have dropped two of their previous three games and desperately need a victory over Kansas State. They are 3-1 SU and ATS in the last four outings on the home court and 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS in the previous three encounters with the Wildcats. 

In that comfortable road win in January, the Cowboys tortured Kansas State on both sides of the ball, shooting 56.3% from the field and holding the Wildcats to just 36.2%. Oklahoma State is No. 39 in the latest KenPom rankings, while Kansas State is No. 198. The Wildcats score only 102.0 points per 100 possessions (176th) and surrender 105.3 to their rivals (245th). 

College basketball pick – Oklahoma State by 15. 

Oklahoma vs West Virginia 

Here’s another Big 12 showdown, as the #12 Oklahoma Sooners take on the #14 West Virginia Mountaineers. They meet for the second time this season, as Oklahoma outlasted West Virginia 75-71 as a 1.5-point home fave on January 2. The Sooners nearly blew an 18-point lead but managed to escape with a narrow victory. They are 4-1 SU and ATS in the last five games against West Virginia. 

Both teams have won four of their last five games, and the Mountaineers are riding a three-game win streak following an impressive 82-71 road victory over #7 Texas Tech. Interestingly, the Sooners’ previous defeat came at Texas Tech, 57-52, so we’re backing the Mountaineers to get revenge here. 

West Virginia relies on its offense, scoring 116.4 points per 100 possessions (10th) and making 37.3% of their 3-pointers (45th). Four players average points in double figures, and sophomore guard Miles McBride leads the way with 16.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per contest. 

Junior forward Derek Culver adds 14.3 points and 10.2 boards a night, so the Mountaineers look like a well-rounded team capable of getting revenge. They will have to slow down Austin Reaves, as the 6-foot-5 senior guard is racking up 15.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 5.3 dimes per contest. 

The Sooners rank 28th in the nation in both offensive and defensive efficiency. They’ve improved a lot over the last few weeks, especially on the defensive end, but this road challenge against the Mountaineers could be too much for Lon Kruger’s boys. 

College basketball pick – West Virginia by 4.

TCU vs Texas 

The #13 Texas Longhorns have just put an end to a three-game losing streak, barely outlasting Kansas State as 14-point road favorites, 80-77. They are in serious crisis, going 0-6 ATS in the last six outings, so it’s no strange that Texas dropped to No. 21 in the latest NCAA NET Rankings. 

The TCU Horned Frogs are No. 100 in the NCAA NET Rankings. After five consecutive defeats in January, the Frogs bounced back and won their first two games in February, outlasting Oklahoma State 81-78 and Iowa State 79-76. 

The Longhorns are arguably a better team in this matchup and should not allow another upset. However, considering their poor form, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Horned Frogs keep it tight. The visitors have to play solid defense, as Texas is struggling to shoot the ball well, making just 44.5% of its field goals (161st) and 34.3% of its triples (144th). 

The Horned Frogs score 107.9 points per 100 possessions (75th) and have better shot percentages than Texas, but they surrender 100.6 points per 100 possessions (143rd) on 44.4% shooting from the field (227th). TCU has nothing to lose here, so we’re expecting them to put on a fight and make this clash interesting to watch. 

College basketball pick – TCU by 14.  

Tennessee vs LSU 

Will the Tigers’ offense make enough damage to help the team cover against the #16 Tennessee Volunteers? We certainly hope so, as LSU scores 119.2 points per 100 possessions (6th) while yielding a whopping 101.0 points in a return (146th). 

On the other side, the Volunteers allow only 86.5 points per 100 possessions (2nd) but score just 109.4 in a return (61st). Tennessee is one of the best defensive teams in the country, no doubt. But their offense is a big issue even though the Vols scored 80 or more points in three of their last four outings. 

Anyway, the Tigers are 4-1 SU and ATS in their last five meetings with the Vols. They’ve dropped two straight home games to Alabama and Texas Tech, so the Tigers will be fired up for Saturday’s matchup with Tennessee. Last time out, LSU thrashed Mississippi State 94-80 as a slight road underdog, and the Bulldogs rank 61st in defensive efficiency. 

The bookies expect to see a hard-fought battle between LSU and Tennessee, setting the Vols as 2-point favorites. It’s a tricky wager, but we think the Tigers can pull off an upset on the back of their tremendous offense. 

College basketball pick – LSU by 2. 

Iowa vs Michigan State 

Michigan State has dominated Iowa over the last ten years, winning 16 of their previous 20 encounters and going 12-8 ATS in the process. However, the Spartans are having a nightmare season, recording four wins and seven losses in the conference play, so they opened as 5-point dogs for Saturday’s game against the Hawkeyes. 

On the other side, Iowa (14-6, 8-5 Conf.) has dropped three of its last five contests. The Hawkeyes still have the best offensive rating in the country, racking up 126.2 points per 100 possessions, but their defense has been terrible thus far, yielding 99.3 points per 100 possessions (120th). 

Despite their defensive woes, the Hawkeyes should have enough offensive firepower to outlast the Spartans. Luka Garza (25.3 PPG, 8.5 RPG) will dominate Michigan State in the paint, while Iowa’s 3-point shooting could be another key factor. 

The Hawkeyes make 38.9% of their 3-pointers (18th), tallying 10.0 treys per contest (also 18th). The Spartans have won two straight games, limiting their opponents below 60 points, but this time, they’ll have a much taller task to slow down the best offense in the nation. 

Just 11 days ago, Iowa beat Michigan State 84-78 as 9.5-point home favorites. Luka Garza had a double-double of 27 points and 12 rebounds, while the Hawkeyes shot 50.0% from the field. 

College basketball pick – Iowa by 5. 

Georgia vs Alabama 

The Georgia Bulldogs have been playing well recently, going 3-1 SU and ATS over their previous four showings. They are coming off an 89-81 defeat at Tennessee, covering a 13-point spread, and the Bulldogs will be 13-point dogs once more this Saturday. 

Georgia loves to play at a very fast pace, as well as the Crimson Tide. While the Bulldogs average 72.9 possessions per 40 minutes (17th), Alabama records 74.1 (8th). The Tide have the best defensive rating in the country, allowing 86.5 points per 100 possessions, so we’re backing the hosts to cover a double-digit spread here. 

Alabama scores 111.8 points per 100 possessions (36th) and makes 10.6 triples per game (9th), so the Tide’s offense will be too much for Georgia’s D that surrenders 99.5 points per 100 possessions (122nd) on 44.9% shooting from the field (244th) and 32.6% from beyond the arc (144th). 

Alabama is winless in two straight matchups with Georgia, but the Tide are 6-3 ATS in their previous nine encounters with the Bulldogs. This should be a proper high-scoring affair, and the previous duel between Bama and Georgia produced a ridiculous 207 points in total. The over is 5-2 in their last seven head-to-head duels. 

College basketball pick – Alabama by 13. 

Arkansas vs Missouri 

The #10 Missouri Tigers are coming off a heavy 80-59 defeat at Ole Miss, snapping a three-game win streak. They will look to bounce back on the home court where the Tigers have won nine of their last ten contests. Mizzou is 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS in its previous four home tilts and 4-0 SU and ATS in its last four home games against Arkansas. 

Back on January 2, the Tigers smashed the Razorbacks as 6.5-point road underdogs. They hold Arkansas to 26.8% shooting from the field while making 47.1% of their field goals. The Tigers also had a whopping 21 turnovers, so they’ll have to take better care of the ball this time, as Arkansas will certainly have a better shooting night than that one in January. 

The Razorbacks have won five of their last six games overall. They are tied for the second spot in the SEC, just half a game ahead of Missouri. We should see a great battle at Mizzou Arena with so much on the table for each team, so sticking with the trends and backing the hosts seems like a reasonable choice. 

College basketball pick – Missouri by 2. 

Villanova vs Creighton 

The #5 Villanova Wildcats head to CHI Health Center Omaha for the Big East showdown against the #19 Creighton Bluejays, so buckle up and get your popcorns ready. When it comes to betting, you should avoid this clash and just enjoy watching two super talented teams going against each other for the first time this term. 

On paper, Villanova is a better team than Creighton, but you can throw it out of the window when the game tips off. The Wildcats score 120.8 points per 100 possessions (8th) but surrender 95.2 in a return (30th). On the other side, the Bluejays tally 114.4 points per 100 possessions (17th) and allow 93.5 (40th). 

So, both teams have some defensive issues. They are 4-1 SU over the last five outings each. Therefore, we’ll stick with the H2H betting trends. Creighton won its last duel with Villanova 76-61 as a 6.5-point road dog, but the Bluejays are 2-11 SU and 4-9 ATS over their previous 13 encounters with the Wildcats. 

College basketball pick – Villanova by 1. 

Northwestern vs Rutgers 

We have mentioned the Northwestern Wildcats a few times during this article. They will have a mountain to climb this Saturday, visiting the #25 Rutgers Scarlet Knights who want to bounce back from a 79-66 loss at Iowa this past Wednesday. 

Rutgers put an end to a four-game win streak, and the Scarlet Knights will look to improve defensively which should be a key factor against Northwestern. They are 19th in the nation in points allowed per 100 possessions (91.2). 

Two weeks ago, the Scarlet Knights outlasted Northwestern 64-56 as 3.5-point road favorites. They led by as many as 20 points, dominating the Wildcats for all 40 minutes. It was Rutgers’ third straight win over Northwestern, and the Knights are 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS over their previous five matchups with the Wildcats. 

Northwestern is on a horrible ten-game losing streak. The Wildcats covered the spread just twice in that stretch. 

College basketball pick – Rutgers by 8. 

Gonzaga vs San Francisco 

The Zags (19-0, 10-0 Conf.) are still topping the AP Top 25 Poll while occupying the second spot in the NCAA NET Rankings behind only Baylor. They meet San Francisco (10-9, 4-5 Conf.) for the second time this season after routing the Dons 85-62 as 19-point favorites on January 2. 

This Gonzaga team is loaded with top-notch players, so don’t overthink their Saturday’s clash against San Francisco. The Dons are 90th in offensive efficiency and 87th in defensive efficiency. They’ve lost three of their last four games overall, going 1-3 ATS in the process, and the Dons are only 3-9 ATS in their previous 12 outings. 

San Francisco is winless in 20 consecutive games against Gonzaga. The Dons are 2-5 ATS in their previous seven encounters with the Zags, so we are backing the visitors to win by 16 or more points even though Gonzaga is only 1-6-1 ATS in its last eight showings on the road. 

College basketball pick – Gonzaga by 16. 

North Carolina vs Virginia 

The North Carolina Tar Heels prefer to play at a fast pace and average 70.5 possessions per 40 minutes (71st), so they’ll struggle mightily against the #9 Virginia Cavaliers who play at the slowest pace in the country, recording 59.9 possessions per 40 minutes. 

Virginia possesses the 13th-best offensive rating (116.0) and the 16th-best defensive rating (90.6). The Cavaliers are on a three-game win streak, and last time out, they limited Georgia Tech to 49 points on 36.0% shooting from the field and 19.0% from beyond the 3-point line. 

The Tar Heels are coming off a 91-87 victory at Duke, posting their fourth win in the last five outings. However, North Carolina is 5-10 ATS in its last 15 games overall, and the Tar Heels continue to struggle offensively making just 44.0% of their field goals (187th) and 32.0% of their 3-pointers (254th). 

This season, Duke is a bad team, but Virginia is a legitimate Final Four contender. The Cavaliers are 6-0 SU and ATS in their last six meetings with the Tar Heels, so we’re looking for more of the same this Saturday. 

College basketball pick – Virginia by 5. 

USC vs Washington State 

The Pac-12 Conference showdown at Friel Court at Beasley Coliseum in Pullman, Washington, will see the #20 USC Trojans searching for their tenth straight victory over the Washington State Cougars. During that span, the Trojans went 7-2 ATS, so we’re backing them to cover once again, as USC is a much better team than Washington State at the moment. 

USC is No. 16 in the NCAA NET Rankings and No. 13 in the latest KenPom rankings. The Trojans score 112.5 points per 100 possessions (27th) and surrender only 89.4 in a return (10th). They will torture the Cougars who tally just 100.7 points per 100 possessions (201st) while yielding 93.6 (41st). 

Washington State will struggle to cope with the Mobley brothers who combine for 25.8 points and 16.5 rebounds a night, so we’re not worried about the Cougars’ solid D. USC ranks 69th in field goal percentage (46.5%) and sixth in opponent field goal percentage (38.1%), so the Trojans should win this one easily. 

The visitors are rolling on a five-game win streak. They’ve lost only one of their last 12 games overall and are 13-4 ATS over their previous 17 outings away from home. 

College basketball pick – USC by 7.

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