College basketball has started to replace football as the Saturday games to watch. One season winds down as the other ramps up. Every week during the college basketball season, we’ll provide the best CBB Saturday odds and picks.
Welcome to On the Docket: CBB Picks and Odds. Here, the Judge gives you his picks for the college basketball season. The number of gavels beside each pick equates to the number of units the Judge decrees. More gavels = more confidence. That means more times you get to scream “BANG!” when the bet hits.
Season Record: 63-64-2 (-14.8 Units)
Texas A&M vs. Alabama, 12:00 PM ET (CBS)
Nobody would have expected a 6-5 start to the season would develop into a second-place regular season for Texas A&M. Buzz Williams has the Aggies playing some tough ball just in time to host the Crimson Tide. Is the external pressure getting to Alabama? They have played in two overtime games in their last three, with the other needing a defensive stand on the last possession to come out victorious. That takes a toll and catches up to Alabama in College Station on Saturday.
The Judge’s Pick: Texas A&M +3 (3 Gavels)
West Virginia vs. Kansas State, 2:00 PM ET
This is a game where you need to remind yourself of what is at stake for these teams. Kansas State is in the tournament. West Virginia? Well, Joe Lunardi says they have work to do. What better an opportunity than hosting the Wildcats? The Mountaineers took Kansas State to overtime earlier this season, so they have the juice to keep up with the Wildcats. West Virginia inches closer to a tournament bid with a win.
The Judge’s Pick: West Virginia -3 (2 Gavels)
Auburn vs. Tennessee, 2:00 PM ET (ESPN)
The Tigers have found themselves in a precarious situation after losing eight of their last eleven and need a solid win to put a stamp on their tournament resume. While things have been bleak in Auburn, six of those eight losses have come by five points or less. Tennessee’s Zakai Zeigler will miss the remainder of the season after tearing his ACL against Arkansas, which may be the reprieve Auburn needs to finally close out a win. Take the Tigers.
The Judge’s Pick: Auburn +3 (2 Gavels)
Texas vs. Kansas, 4:00 PM ET (ESPN)
Kansas takes to the road to finish off a strong stretch of conference play resulting in seven straight Jayhawk victories. Texas won’t be quick to the Jayhawks’ ambitions, as the Longhorns look to respond from their road trip that concluded with two losses. Kansas got the better of Texas when these two met last month and Texas looks to return the favor on their home court, where they haven’t lost since the beginning of January. Longhorns find a way to pull it out at home.
The Judge’s Pick: Texas -2 (2 Gavels)
North Carolina vs. Duke, 6:30 PM ET (ESPN)
While this may be a down year in this rivalry for casual viewers, the Dean Dome will be as intense as ever when the Blue Devils hop over to take on the Tar Heels. North Carolina is one of Lunardi’s first four out of the tournament. There really isn’t much analysis after that. Add that Carolina will be seeking revenge for their loss to Duke earlier this season and this equates to a North Carolina victory.
The Judge’s Pick: North Carolina -2 (4 Gavels)
Villanova vs. UConn, 7:30 PM ET (FOX)
Though Villanova’s chances at an at-large bid are less than bleak, the Wildcats have been on a bit of a tear recently, taking down some of the best in the conference. They’ll get another chance on Saturday with UConn. The Huskies have been taking care of business on their own, as well, and could use a boost to the tournament resume to improve their seeding. We sure like the Huskies to pull it out, but Villanova is getting too many points at home.
The Judge’s Pick: Villanova +5 (1 Gavel)
UCLA vs. Arizona, 10:00 PM ET (ESPN)
No, this game is not for the conference regular season title, but we can’t complain about getting the top two Pac-12 teams on the final Saturday before postseason play. UCLA sits on a nine-game win streak and can push it to ten with a win over Arizona. Arizona just finished taking down USC on the road and look to keep the positive mojo going in LA. There really isn’t much on the line for these two, but it should be a close game. The fact of the matter is Arizona is getting too many points—roll with the Wildcats.
The Judge’s Pick: Arizona +7 (3 Gavels)