CBB Betting: Saturday Best Bets

CBB Betting: Saturday Best Bets

This article is part of our CBB Best Bets series.

Purdue -5 at North Carolina

KenPom forecastes a nine-point victory for the Boilermakers, and I tend to agree. This is mostly because Purdue's offense, ranked second in the nation per KenPom's adj. efficiency ratings, has a massive advantage against a North Carolina defense that's ranked No. 108, lower than any Big Ten team. If Purdue's offense lives up to expectations, then covering five points shouldn't be a problem. On the other side of the ball, the matchup is nearly even, with Purdue's No. 19 defense squaring up against Carolina's No. 17 offense. It's possible the Tar Heels shoot themselves into a tight ball game, but I'll take my chance with Matt Painter's defense, which ranks among the best in the country year after year. Purdue's defense has finished top-35 in KenPom's adj. efficiency ratings each of the last six years, proving the defensive fortitude is no coincidence. Most key Boilmakers returned from last season, so Purdue should be ready to go, full steam ahead.

Utah at Boston College +6½

Both Utah and Boston College opened the season with significant uncertainty, entering with new head coaches and major roster turnover. Boston College recently faced a solid test in the form of Rhode Island, and while the Eagles didn't emerge victoriously, we at least have a clearer sense of where Boston College compares to its peers. Utah, on the other hand, is 3-0 but hasn't played anyone noteworthy, so I'm not sure I'm buying it just yet.  KenPom projects a four-point win for Utah, and I believe this game will be tight as well. I'll take the points on the neutral court.

San Jose St. at Texas Over 131

The Longhorns' offensive attack has been potent this season, ranking No. 14  in efficiency per KenPom. Texas shouldn't have a problem scoring against one of the worst defenses in the country — San Jose State ranks 333rd in the nation. Texas was in a similar matchup in the season opener against Houston Baptist and won 92-48. That would certainly get the job done in this situation. On the other side of the court, the Spartans face an incredibly difficult defense but should score just enough. They've scored at least 62 points in every game this season, giving us a rough baseline for offensive proficiency. The Spartans have proven to be an excellent shooting team, making 40.5 percent from three-point range, impressive considering they attempt them at a well-above-average rate. The Longhorns should cruise to victory with both teams knocking down plenty of shots, making this pick a winner in the process.

UT Arlington at San Diego State Under 129

Here we have one of the lowest-scoring teams in the country going against one of the best defensive teams in the country. How bad are the Mavericks? Well, they only scored 45 points at Oklahoma State in the season opener and then recently only scored 36 points at North Texas. San Diego State, to no one's surprise, enters with the eighth-highest defensive efficiency rating, so I'm not sure I can imagine Arlington cracking 50 points at Viejas Arena. On the other side of the ball, the Aztecs' offense doesn't give us much to brag about, ranking No. 81 in terms of adj. efficiency. The Aztecs have yet to top 66 points in a game this season, and they struggle shooting the ball, making 20.4 percent on three-pointers this season, close to last in the country. Coincidentally,  Arlington's percentage is nearly just as bad, coming in a hair better at 20.5 percent. With teams that struggle to score, and one a defensive juggernaut, this game has a chance at getting ugly, which is a good thing for under bettors.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steve Peralta
Graduated from USC in 2012 while interning for ESPN and FOX Sports. Following graduation, I started working full-time for FOX Sports and been there ever since. Been an avid fantasy player for over fifteen years. In addition to my fantasy teams, you'll also find me rooting for the USC Trojans and New York Yankees.
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