Top College Basketball Picks for Saturday, February 19th (2022)

Feb 19, 2022 - 2:20 PM

Compare odds from all major sportsbooks for College Basketball >>

No. 25 Alabama vs. No. 4 Kentucky O/U 154. 5(-6.5) (Tip 1 p.m.)

As they are coming off an underwhelming performance in the 76-63 loss to Tennessee, Kentucky will try to regroup as they still have a slight chance at claiming the SEC regular-season title. The Wildcats shooting was off in that game, and with them coughing up 14 turnovers, it was over quickly in Knoxville. In that game, the one standout was Oscar Tshiebwe with another double-double (his 20th, which is the second-most in the country) of 13 points and 15 rebounds and is the nation’s leading rebounder. The question is the status of guard TyTy Washington—he has left the last two games early due to injury, and coach John Calipari said he regrets putting Washington in the game against Tennessee. He could get some time off to get healthy before the tournament.

It was only a matter of time before the Crimson Tide made it to the Top 25. According to KenPom, they have the toughest schedule, and they’ve proven themselves with wins over Gonzaga, Houston, Tennessee, LSU, Arkansas, and Baylor. They’ve also been known to play down to their competition and have losses against Iona, a streaky Memphis team, Davidson, Missouri, and Georgia. The SEC tournament will truly show if this team can make it far into March. A big reason for their big swing is due to their style of play—47% of their shots are from behind the arc, but they’re hitting just 30.8% has them 12th in the SEC.

That will play into one of Kentucky’s strengths as they are very good at defending the three, allowing opponents to shoot 29.6% (22nd in the nation). In the last matchup, Alabama went just 3-for-30 from three, and that should be expected again. Even if Washington is out for Kentucky, they still have enough depth, and Tshiebwe will continue to be a force in the paint.

Pick: Kentucky -6.5

Xavier vs. No. 24 UConn O/U 140 (-6.5) (Tip: 12 p.m.)

UConn played uncharacteristically bad in their previous matchup against Xavier, and that caused the six-point loss. Xavier forward Jack Nunge was a problem in the paint, and UConn’s Adama Sanogo could not adjust, causing him to get into foul trouble early. Isaiah Whaley is a good contributor in the frontcourt, but he doesn’t possess the same physicality and could not contain Nunge either. Guards R.J. Cole and Tyrese Martin could not make up for the loss of the Sonogo and did not play well either, going a combined 13-for-31 from the field. They should be able to adjust and play a much better game this time around.

As mentioned earlier, forward Jack Nunge was a force against the Huskies with 22 points and nine rebounds. In that game, he dominated the paint but also sank a couple of three’s, and he even went 8-for-10 from the stripe. He comes into this game scoring 22 points in three straight, but unfortunately, the Musketeers have only beaten UConn in that span. If Sanogo keeps the fouls in the check, it should limit Nunge.

UConn should be better prepared this time around as they host Xavier. They know the key to winning is holding down Nunge, and as long as Sanogo stays on the court and they get better performances from Cole and Martin, they have the more talented roster to pull away with a win.

Pick: UConn -6.5

No. 2 Auburn (-3.5)  vs. Florida O/U 139.5 (Tip 2 p.m.)

In what many believe to be the toughest division in the country, Auburn holds a two-game lead over Kentucky and is in the driver’s seat to be the SEC divisional champs. This season, the Tigers have dominated at home with just one win not coming by double-digits, but on the road is a different story. Their one conference loss was at Arkansas, and recently they’ve sneaked away with a two-point road win against last-place Georgia and a one-point victory against third to last Missouri.

With forward Colin Castleton back in the lineup, although they’ve lost two straight, the Gators have played much better recently. Florida played Auburn tough in their last matchup and kept this a one-point game until about seven minutes until the Tigers got hot and pulled away. Although in that game, Castleton got the better of Walker Kessler with 22 points and ten rebounds while Kessler when just six and eight respectively. Florida defends the interior pretty well, but they’re weaker at holding down perimeter shooting, and it could mean big games for K.D. Johnson and Jabari Smith

As they sit on the bubble, Florida needs this game, and a win would be a resume booster. In the last matchup, Auburn shot 44.4% from three, well above their average of 31.9%. As we’ve seen, Auburn crumbles when they’re on the road, and this will be one of the toughest road games they’ve had in a while. This is a much smaller spread than it probably should be, so the total is the better bet. Florida’s total has been under in seven of their last nine games, and Auburn has gone under in two of their previous road games, so the under is the best bet in this situation.

Pick: Under 139.5

Join the BettingPros Discord Chat for Live Betting Advice >>

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | RadioPublic | Breaker | Castbox | Pocket Casts

Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our Sports Betting Strategy and Advice page is for you. You can get started with our 101 section — including 10 Sports Betting Tips for Beginners — or head to more advanced strategy — like Key Numbers When Betting Against the Spread — to learn more.

The post Top College Basketball Picks for Saturday, February 19th (2022) appeared first on BettingPros.

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!