College Basketball Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Saturday (2/25)

Feb 25, 2023 - 3:24 PM

Since the mid-1990s, the Gonzaga Bulldogs have dominated the West Coast Conference, winning 24 regular season conference titles since 1995-96. However, for over a decade, the Saint Mary’s Gaels have proved to be Gonzaga’s stiffest competition despite the Bulldogs’ dominance. Tonight’s clash between the two WCC rivals highlights a loaded college basketball slate, as the Gaels would earn their first outright regular season title since 2011-12 with a victory.

Here are our best bets for Saturday’s college basketball action.

  • YTD (as of 1/21): 37-28

Also, take a look at our other best bets for Saturday:

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Best College Basketball Bets for Saturday

(Odds courtesy of DraftKings)

Michigan State vs. Iowa Spread

Iowa has furthered the narrative of what we already thought we knew about the Hawkeyes with two losses over the last two games, that they are a much different team away from Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa is coming off consecutive losses at Northwestern and Wisconsin by a combined 32 points but returns home to its friendly confines where it has not lost since December 21. In those seven consecutive wins, the Hawkeyes have averaged 88.1 points per game and scored at least 81 points in each.

Michigan State played inspired in its first home game since the tragic shooting on campus, routing Indiana by 15. However, a road game is a different story, especially in the Big Ten and especially for the Spartans, who have lost four of five away from the Breslin Center.

Iowa has covered the spread in 12 of 15 games as home favorites, and coming home should allow it to right the ship of what has been a bad last seven days.

Bet: Iowa -5.5 (-110 at DraftKings)

Saint Mary’s vs. Gonzaga O/U

Given the familiarity between these teams and head coaches Randy Bennett and Mark Few, many bettors will back the Under in this matchup. But both have been playing so well offensively of late (Saint Mary’s likely could have scored 100 in its last game if it did not take its foot off the gas against Pacific), and we expect a more high-scoring game than usual in what should be a charged-up “Kennel.”

These two teams combined for 148 points in an overtime thriller in their first meeting but just 122 points in regulation. Saint Mary’s masterfully controlled tempo for the first 40 minutes, limiting possessions and out-rebounding the Bulldogs by seven overall. However, controlling tempo (the Gaels play at D-I’s 359th slowest adjusted tempo) is more challenging on the road. In addition, their bottom-five adjusted tempo does not effectively slow most teams down, as the Gaels rank just 156th comparatively in average defensive possession length.

Gonzaga has scored 97+ points in four of the five games since losing to the Gaels. And the narrative that these teams will have tired legs, having each played on Thursday night, can easily be dismissed, as the Over is a combined 11-2 when these two teams have just one day off.

Bet: Saint Mary’s-Gonzaga Over 140.5 (-110 at DraftKings)

San Diego State vs. New Mexico ML

San Diego State had won three consecutive games against New Mexico before falling at home to the Lobos 76-67 on January 14. The Aztecs’ seventh-ranked 3-point defense (28.6% allowed) was on full display in that game, holding the Mountain West’s best 3-point shooting team to just 33.3% (6-for-18). However, the Aggies’ backcourt tandem of Jaelen House and Jamal Mashburn torched the Aztecs for 51 combined points on 15-of-28 shooting inside the arc. Look for San Diego State head coach Brian Dutcher to switch up his ball screen coverage in this game, either making the duo beat it from the perimeter (they combined to shoot 4-of-12 from 3-point range) or funnel them to the rim where the WCC’s second-best shot blocker, Nathan Mensah (1.6 blocks per game), awaits.

San Diego State is 9-5 ATS in conference games, while New Mexico is 5-9-1 ATS against league competition. In addition, the Aztecs are 4-0 SU in true road games decided by six or fewer points, so we know the veteran team is comfortable in close games.

Bet: San Diego State ML (-150 at DraftKings)

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Mike Spector is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeSpector01.

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