College basketball picks, schedule: Kansas vs. Indiana predictions and more Saturday’s top 25 games

Get ready for the best Saturday we’ve had and probably will have for the rest of this college basketball season. That’s right, with five games where both teams are ranked in the AP Top 25, we’re in for December madness as teams prepare for a hiatus over the holidays.

Put on your best Jesse Katsopolis voice and say those two magic words along Me: Haaa, merciful. Because Saturday’s college basketball chalkboard totally deserved it.

We have #8 Kansas welcoming us to #14 Indiana at Allen Fieldhouse early in the day. We have no. 2 Virginia, the No. 5 welcomes Houston in the middle of the afternoon. By the way, the CBS Sports Classic doubleheader between No. 23 Ohio State and North Carolina, followed first by No. 13 Kentucky and No. 16 UCLA, all also in Madison Square Garden. For the night owls, there’s some real nighttime fun, too, when No. 6 Tennessee — armed with America’s No. 1 defense — takes on No. 9 Arizona — armed with America’s No. 1 offense — inside the McKale Center.

So yes, have mercy as a matter of fact.

Our experts have tips and predictions for the biggest games of the day right here.

Odds on Caesars Sportsbook | All times Easter

Featured Game | Kansas Jayhawks versus Indiana Hoosiers

12 p.m. | ESPN2, fuboTV (try for free) — Indiana hasn’t quite been the same side in their last three games, with star freshman Jalen Hood-Schifino sitting on the shelf with an injury. The offense lacks pop and playmaking. Even if he returns, it’s reasonable to expect some rust. That’s one reason I like KU minus the dots here. Another reason is more obvious: KU is at home under Bill Self. It’s won 11 straight at Allen Fieldhouse and is 297-16(!) at the venue under Self. Winning on the money line is almost an automatic bet for KU, but I also like laying the points. Prediction: Kansas -6 (Boone)

Featured Game | Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. Alabama Crimson Tide

1 p.m. | CBS, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App (Free) — Alabama defeated Gonzaga 91-82 in Seattle last season. This Crimson Tide team was less talented and far more unpredictable than this year’s version. Gonzaga is still trying to figure out his collective identity beyond the fame of Drew Timme. With this year’s game being played in Birmingham, the Crimson Tide should have the edge in terms of fan support. Though young, this Alabama side proved they can handle pressure in an away win against Houston last week. Prediction: Alabama -1.5 (cob)

Featured Game | Virginia Cavaliers vs. Houston Cougars

2 p.m. | ESPN2, fuboTV (try for free) — You can reconsider matchups like this by trying to factor in venue, home field advantage, and street performance – but I’ll keep it simple. I choose the best team. This is Houston. So I’ll take the cougars. They’ll enjoy the offensive glass and I expect Marcus Sasser to find his all-American form after a couple of patchy games lately. Prediction: Houston -2 (Boone)

Featured Game | North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

3 p.m. | CBS, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App (Free) — This is a pretty even matchup on paper, but I like the Tar Heels by a touch. Armando Bacot’s size in color and production on the glass will give Ohio State fits. The Buckeyes don’t really have anyone in the mail to slow him down. If UNC is doing what it’s supposed to be doing — namely feeding bacot and attacking in the paint — then I think preseason No. 1 Tar Heels can squeak that out in a close call. Prediction: UNC Pick’em (Boone)

Featured Game | Kentucky Wildcats vs. UCLA Bruins

5:15 p.m. | CBS, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App (Free) — The Kentucky star’s big man Oscar Tshiebwe will be a problem for UCLA. Though five-star rookie center Adem Bona showed promise for the Bruins, Tshiebwe should drool at the chance to bully a young player on the block. Assuming UCLA brings in some doubles teams, this play could be due to Kentucky’s ability to put down perimeter shots. The Wildcats have been solid in that regard so far this season, shooting 39.2% from the beyond. Even in an unfamiliar setting in London a few weeks ago, Kentucky hit 9 of 15 attempts from deep, with four different players getting into the action during a big win over Michigan. Make sure the British offensive stays balanced enough here to claim victory. Prognosis: Kentucky +1.5 (Cobb)

Featured Game | Arizona Wildcats vs. Tennessee Volunteers

10:30 p.m. | ESPN2, fuboTV (try for free) — This is a difficult question. It pits the #1 offensive (Arizona) against the #1 defense (Tennessee) at the McKale Center. Which side wins? Vegas seems to like the vols a little bit in this one, but I really like the wildcats in this one, so give me the wildcats to win and cover. Tennessee has guns all over the place to slow Arizona’s prolific goal attack, but between Oumar Ballo, Azuolas Tubelis, Courtney Ramey, Kerr Krissa and Pelle Larson, there are just too many scorers to stumble completely. Forecast: Arizona -2.5 (Boone)

Who will win and cover in every college basketball game? Visit SportsLine to get tips from the model that has simulated every game 10,000 times and has made more than $1,200 for $100 players on its top spread picks over the past six years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *