College Basketball Picks: Saturday, January 30

Matt Wiesenfeld

Sat Jan 30 2021

College Basketball Picks: Saturday, January 30

Saturday might be one of the best days we have this season before the NCAA Tournament. There are so many ranked teams in action that we just can’t cover them all. Sorry, Gonzaga, I love you, but we are cutting your likely blowout against Pepperdine. Ditto for Creighton vs. DePaul. Even though Florida State is one of the hottest teams in the country, their trip to Georgia Tech should be another easy win, and Texas’ battle vs. Kentucky doesn’t look as good on the schedule as it did 3 months ago, so it has to go.

Now let's dive in…

Odds via Fanduel as of Saturday, January 30 (9:40 am ET)

Alabama Crimson Tide (#9) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (#24), ESPN, 12:00 PM ET

Spread: Alabama +1.5 (-124), Oklahoma -1.5 (+102)
Total: Over 154.5 (-108), Under 154.5 (-112)
Money Line: Alabama +108, Oklahoma -108

These are two teams playing really great ball right now. Alabama is on a 10-0 run, posting an 8-2 ATS mark over that stretch. That includes all of their SEC games to date. Only one of those has finished within five points so getting the Tide as the underdog is very intriguing. They have just been so good at getting the game to go the way they want. The Sooners have been almost as hot. They just beat Kansas by a point and they have covered in five straight and 7 of 8. Two hot teams always make for a tough call. I am leaning to Alabama. They have been so good on the road this season.

Betting Advice: Alabama ML

Texas Tech Red Raiders (#10) vs. LSU Tigers, ESPN2, 2:00 PM ET

Spread: Texas Tech -3.5 (-110), LSU +3.5 (-110)
Total: Over 150.5 (-114), Under 150.5 (-106)
Money Line: Texas Tech -174, LSU +146

This one is a fascinating contrast in styles. From the totals line, it looks like oddsmakers think LSU’s lack of defense is going to make this a high-scoring affair. The Tigers have offensive talent but I am not sure that is enough to beat Texas Tech. They struggled against Kentucky, who is only slightly committed to defense. How are they going to do against a team that makes you earn every inch on the court? According to Alabama, their homecourt is not much of an advantage either.

Betting Advice: Take Texas Tech.

Florida Gators vs West Virginia Mountaineers (#11), ESPN, 2:00 PM ET

Spread: Florida +4.5 (-110), West Virginia -4.5 (-110)
Total: Over 145.5 (-114), Under 145.5 (-106)
Money Line: Florida +168, West Virginia -200

West Virginia is a team I can’t quite figure out this season. At times they look ordinary but in their last game, they somehow scored 88 points against Texas Tech, in a win. They have played in lots of close games, losing by 2 against Texas and by 4 at Oklahoma. If they got even one of those we are talking about a Top Ten team. I think the challenge is they are playing differently than they have in recent seasons. The offense is better and the defense not as intense. Florida should push the Mountaineers, but they get the win. We are deep enough into the season that maybe they are pretty good.

Take West Virginia.

Villanova Wildcats (#3) vs. Seton Hall Pirates, FOX, 3:00 PM ET

Spread: Villanova -5.5 (-110), Seton Hall +5.5 (-110)
Total: Over 142.5 (-110), Under 142.5 (-110)
Money Line: Villanova -250, Seton Hall +185

Villanova was off for a while and their first game back was against Seton Hall at home. That one finished as a 2 point win for the Wildcats. They looked better beating Providence during the week but now they are facing Seton Hall again. Even though the Pirates did not get that win this is a talented group. With the number rising since its open the Pirates are a nice team to back at home. They have as much NBA talent as the Wildcats and they can lose and still cover again.

Betting Advice: Take Seton Hall

Auburn Tigers vs Baylor Bears (#2), ESPN, 4:00 PM ET

Spread: Auburn -14.5 (-112), Baylor +14.5 (-108)
Total: Over 153.5 (-114), Under 153.5 (-106)
Money Line: Auburn +980, Baylor -1800

This one is interesting primarily because of the Tigers' exciting guard Sharife Cooper. Since he got eligible Auburn has been much more exciting, and they have been winning and covering too. Perhaps, he could be the kind of player who makes that Baylor defense look ordinary. That is a big perhaps though, and if not the Tigers will fall just like all the other Bears’ opponents have this season.

Betting Advice: Take Baylor.

Virginia Cavaliers (#8) vs. Virginia Tech Hokies (#20), ACC Network, 6:00 PM ET

Spread: Virginia -4.5 (-114), Virginia Tech +4.5 (-106)
Total: Over 124.5 (-106), Under 124.5 (-114)
Money Line: Virginia -215, Virginia Tech +108

Virginia was written off early after losing to San Francisco and then getting blitzed by Gonzaga. Since that game, they have not lost and they have had some of the most dominating performances in college hoops, like rolling Clemson 85-50. Virginia Tech has a nice record too with just three losses but they have not been very impressive in doing so. Last year they played UVA tight at home but still lost and failed to cover. They have not covered in four straight against the Cavaliers.

Betting Advice: Take Virginia.

Kansas Jayhawks (#15) vs Tennessee Volunteers (#18), ESPN, 6:00 PM ET

Spread: Kansas +3.5 (-115), Tennessee -3.5 (-105)
Total: Over 130.5 (-110), Under 130.5 (-110)
Money Line: Kansas +138, Tennessee -164

For two teams that are ranked as high as they are there have not been a lot of great games for either of these two this season. Tennessee needs this one more as they have been showing lots of vulnerability of late. Maybe a high profile visitor is what they need to get the juices flowing. I still like their talent more than Kansas and have all season even though the Jayhawks have held a higher ranking throughout. Look for a low scoring tilt.

Betting Advice: Take Tennessee (Best Bet)

Minnesota Golden Gophers (#21) vs. Purdue Boilermakers, Big Ten Network, 7:30 PM

Spread: Minnesota +1.5 (-102), Purdue -1.5 (-120)
Total: Over 141.5 (-112), Under 141.5 (-108)
Money Line: Minnesota +114, Purdue -134

Minnesota is a different team on the road this season. At home they can and have competed with anyone, bringing down the giants of the Big Ten like Iowa and Michigan. On the road, they are much less daunting and today they will try and bring down giant Trevion Williams. Purdue is all about making you uncomfortable and hanging around to get the win. They know who to control to get a win and cover in this spot.

Betting Advice: Take Purdue.

Matt Wiesenfeld
Matt Wiesenfeld

Matt has been an active sports betting content contributor on the web for more than a decade, though new to the Betting News team. His favorite sports to bet are college hoops, college football, and MLB.