Free College Basketball Picks Saturday 1/25/2020 and Opening Line Report
Saturday's ranked slate features plenty of conference matchups. However,
the Big 12 and the SEC will be taking on the Big12/SEC Challenge and will
take a small break away from conference action. Which conference will win
more games? Here's the early lean for Saturday's heavy action.
(1) Baylor @ Florida 1/25/20 (TBD, TBD)
Here's the first Big 12/SEC matchup between the nation's best team and one of the underachieving SEC teams this season. Baylor has had some close calls recently in Big 12 action, and traveling to Florida outside of conference play could be a challenge of its own. Florida won their last two games at home over Auburn and Ole Miss by double digits and are starting to turn things around as a program. Baylor has won 15 straight games, and this game seems like one where Baylor collapses. Baylor's defense has been great this season, but Florida shoots a higher percentage, and they'll feel it at home and also feed off the energy. Take Florida as the home underdogs.
Key trends: Gators are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Early lean: Florida, Under
Pacific @ (2) Gonzaga (TBD, TBD)
Right now, Gonzaga is the best team in the nation. They just don't play
anyone anymore. Baylor's 15-game win streak has been impressive, and the
Bears absolutely deserve the No. 1 spot. But Gonzaga is better. Gonzaga's
winning by an average of 35.5 points in their last four games. Pacific has
already lost two straight to Santa Clara and BYU. Another 35-point win
Key trends: Bulldogs are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Early lean: Gonzaga, Over
Tennessee @ (3) Kansas (-14.5,123.5)
What can we expect from Kansas after the epic brawl? The brawl has sidelined some key players for Kansas, and they will take on a Tennessee team that has been thriving as of late in the SEC. I'm not sure Tennessee wins, but I do think they keep it close throughout the game. They've played fantastic defense all season, just like Kansas, but actually have their players for this one. Ride the road underdogs. The SEC wins another one, at least against the spread.
Key trends: Volunteers are 19-8-1 ATS in their last 28 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
Early lean: Tennessee, Under
Notre Dame @ (5) Florida State (TBD, TBD)
Florida State hasn't been ranked this high since before I was born. Probably since you've been born, too. The year? 1972. FSU has won nine straight games and will get their chance at 10 against a Notre Dame team that has been far from excellent. I expect this game to be tight, but Florida State will get a couple more looks and shoot a little bit better from the field to win this game. FSU is also very active on defense and could force a couple more turnovers.
Key trends: Fighting Irish are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Early lean: Florida State, Over
Clemson @ (6) Louisville (-12, 128.5)
Clemson's knocked off North Carolina State (also lost later), North Carolina, Duke, and Wake Forest. Can they knock off Louisville? The answer is no. The Cardinals are on a five-game winning streak and are coming off close wins in their last four games. The team is honoring the Final Four team of 1975. Louisville will be amped up for this one and pull away fast.
Key trends: Cardinals are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS loss.
Early lean: Louisville, Over
(7) Dayton @ Richmond (TBD, TBD)
Can we just talk about Dayton's connectivity for a second? The Flyers had 25 assists in their win against St. Bonaventure, while the Bonnies had only 28 rebounds on the night. Dayton has won eight straight and will have another St Bonaventure-like challenge with Richmond. Richmond is without their star Blake Francis but have still won three straight. Richmond is 15-4 and at home. The value stays with Richmond here. Dayton's going to call off soon.
Key trends: Spiders are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 home games.
Early lean: Richmond, Under
(9) Villanova @ Providence (-3, 136)
Earlier in the season, Villanova was washed and not nearly as good as their other teams. Yet, somehow, they're 15-3 and have won five straight in the Big East. Villanova's last win against Butler at home, a 76-61 victory was an absolute beauty. Butler is one of the best defenses in the country, and Nova out-defended them and clearly out-played them. It's been a couple weeks since Villanova has been on the road, but Providence has lost three of their last four games and are struggling shooting the ball. If Nova plays the way they played against Butler defensively, forget it.
Key trends: Friars are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games following a straight up loss.
Early lean: Villanova, Under
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Missouri @ (14) West Virginia (-12, 133)
More Big 12/SEC Challenge! West Virginia is coming off a 97-59 win over Texas in one of the biggest shockers in college basketball this season. It wasn't shocking that WVU won. It was just amazing by how many they won by. Still, WVU can still improve on closing out on shooters. Missouri has lost three straight in SEC play and figures to be a dud against a WVU team coming off a historic win over Texas.
Key trends: Mountaineers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 home games.
Early lean: West Virginia, Over
(15) Kentucky @ (18) Texas Tech (TBD, TBD)
John Calipari might not want to get ejected for this one. Texas Tech has won two of their last three but coming off a loss to TCU on the road. Texas Tech has been inconsistent this season, but we all know they can get on a run with devastating defense and enough scoring to win any game. Kentucky is coming off a road win over Georgia and defeating Arkansas before that on the road. Kentucky should be up for the task in a close finish. Kentucky will out-rebound to win this game.
Key trends: Wildcats are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
Early lean: Kentucky, Over
Iowa State @ (16) Auburn (-8.5, 146)
In the last ranked matchup between the Big 12 and SEC, Auburn, who hasn't been a Top 25 team all season, will get to play another non-top 25 team. Auburn has won 13 consecutive home games, and Iowa State has lost their last two road games against Baylor and Texas Tech. Auburn hasn't been tested all year. However, fortunately for them, Iowa State isn't much of a test. They allow 72 points per game while Auburn averages close to 80 a game. High scoring win for Auburn.
Key trends: Tigers are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400.
Early lean: Auburn, Over
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