After a 1-1 Friday, marred by a tough loss with Gonzaga, we go looking for better things from Saturday's college basketball betting board.
Betting: Three for Saturday
Here's a quick look at three games that strike our interest, and three free
picks, for what they're worth.
This Week's Hoops Picks Record: 1-1
Xavier at Tennessee
(6 pm ET, ESPNU)
The 7-4 Musketeers take on the 7-3 Vols in Knoxville.
Xavier started 6-1 this season, with victories over Butler,
Drexel and Purdue, but has lost three of its last four, and its last two in a
row. The Musketeers first fell by a bucket to Vanderbilt, then at Cincinnati,
and last Saturday, as nine-point home favorites, they lost to Wofford 56-55.
Including an earlier 70-67 loss to Pacific, three of
Xavier's four defeats have come by a total of six points.
Tennessee started 4-3 this season, with ugly losses to
Oklahoma State, Georgetown and Virginia. The Vols scored 45 points against the
Cowboys, 36 against the Hoyas and 38 against the Cavaliers. Yikes.
But since then Tennessee has scored 69 in beating a ranked
Wichita State team, 78 in beating Presbyterian and, last Friday, 66 in beating
On the season Xavier is shooting 49 percent from the floor
and 36 percent from the 3-point line; the Vols are shooting just 42 percent
from the floor and less than 30 percent from long range.
The Musketeers might be going through some growing pains, as
they try to replace three key players from last season. But by March Xavier
should once again qualify as an NCAA tournament team.
expecting a bounce-back effort after two straight defeats we like Xavier at
+6.5 points at BetOnline.
George Mason at South
Florida (7 pm ET, ESPN3)
The 7-4 Patriots catch some nice seasonal scheduling as they
visit Tampa to play 7-3 South Florida.
George Mason owns victories so far over, among others,
Virginia, Mercer and Richmond. Last time out, one week ago, the Patriots shot
50 percent from the floor in beating the Spiders 67-64.
Also, George Mason's four losses have come by five points to
Bucknell, one point to New Mexico, seven points to Maryland and five points to
The Bulls, meanwhile, have beaten Bradley and Georgia, among
others, and have won their last two games, over Youngstown State and, last
Friday, Bowling Green. USF's three losses have come against Central Florida,
Western Michigan and Oklahoma State.
By the numbers these two teams are very similar; the
Patriots are shooting 43 percent from the floor, holding opponents to 40
percent shooting, and out-rebounding foes by about two boards per game, while
the Bulls are shooting 43 percent, holding foes to 39 percent and winning the
battle on the boards by about one per game.
George Mason has played a tougher schedule than South
Florida, and has been in every game.They should be right in this one, too.
Get the best picks right here at our NCAAB picks page!
Pick: We'll take
the Patriots at the +3 points offered at 5Dimes.
Butler at Vanderbilt
(8 pm ET, ESPNU)
The 9-2 Bulldogs head to Nashville to play the 5-5
Butler started 3-2 this season, with wins over Marquette and
North Carolina and losses to Xavier and Illinois. The 'Dogs have since won
their last seven games, including victories over Northwestern and No. 1
Indiana. Last Saturday Butler beat Evansville 75-67, shooting 49 percent from
the floor and making 23 of 27 free-throws.
Vandy, meanwhile, has gone through some ups and downs
already this season. They lost three in a row, to Oregon, Davidson and Marist,
back in November, then recently won three in a row, including a victory over
Xavier. Last time out, though, the Commodores blew a nine-point second-half
lead and lost to Middle Tennessee 56-52.
Statistically speaking a couple of things stand out to us
for this game; Vandy is shooting just 61 percent from the free-throw line, and
getting out-rebounded by about a board per game. The Bulldogs are winning their
battles on the boards by about five per game.
When it comes down to the nitty-gritty Butler is just one of
those teams that, while they may not impress on the stats sheets, does the
little things that help win games.
College Basketball Picks:
We'll take the Bulldogs at -5.5 points at Bookmaker.