I'm going to win a bet at some point in the college basketball season .
All I'm asking for is one victory, not multiple, but that would be nice since I've lost at such a high volume over the last two weeks.
Let's hope my picks are as good on Saturday as the slate is because oh buddy do we have a day of basketball ahead.
There are so many intriguing nonconference games out there, including the Syracuse-Georgetown showdown of old Big East rivals and Arkansas' trip to Oklahoma. Those games might even be considered appetizers for a slate that finishes with Houston-Alabama.
Below are my picks for the first few afternoon windows. I'm going to hop back into the lab and add more picks for the 4 p.m. tipoffs and beyond in a bit.
Saturday CBB Picks
Overall Record: 42-58
Nebraska vs. Auburn (Under 149.5) (11:30 a.m. ET, ESPN2)
Nebraska and Auburn are both good over teams.
However, there are a lot of factors going against a high-scoring game in Saturday's first game to tip off.
The early start is the first red flag, but the bigger one is playing on a neutral court in Atlanta. A before noon tip combined with an unfamiliar arena has the potential to give us a sloppy first half and one that the over can't recover from since the total is set so high.
Louisiana at Louisiana Tech (Over 149.5) (Noon ET, ESPNU)
Louisiana Tech is one of three teams with a 7-0 record to the over.
The Bulldogs rank 42nd in two-point percentage and in the Top 60 in offensive adjusted efficiency and effective field-goal percentage on KenPom.
Louisiana ranks 10th in adjusted tempo and it is 179th in two-point defense. That should aid the over in this cross-state battle.
Syracuse (-4) at Georgetown (Noon ET, Fox)
Syracuse resides in the prototypical bounce-back spot.
The Orange lost to one former Big East rival in Villanova on Tuesday. They have a chance to rebound from that loss against another former Big East foe in Georgetown. Let's be honest, it's an easier matchup for the Orange against the Hoyas.
Georgetown is 4-4 and boasts similar offensive metrics to Syracuse, but it lost all of its games against programs from the power conferences and top-tier mid-major leagues.
Syracuse has played a much tougher schedule and it has some nice wins over Arizona State, Indiana and Florida State. The experience from those games should help the Orange power past the Hoyas.
Arkansas at Oklahoma (Over 143.5) (1:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
Arkansas' first major test of the season comes in the form of a trip to the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman.
The Razorbacks have one significant win over Cincinnati, but the rest of their victories have come against mid-major foes.
Eric Musselman's team has ranks 20th in adjusted tempo and sits 20th in offensive two-point percentage. Oklahoma ranks second in two-point percentage.
Arkansas has not shot the three very well early on and Oklahoma defends the arc well, so the game could be won inside the painted area with a ton of efficient shots being taken. That approach should lead to a decent amount of points and both teams hovering around the 70-point mark.
Maine at Quinnipiac (-13.5) (2 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
Maine's offensive numbers are flat out atrocious.
The Black Bears average 57.1 points per game and they rank near, or at, the bottom in a handful of offensive metrics on KenPom.
Quinnipiac is much more competent on the offensive side of the floor and it averages over 18 more points per game than its Saturday opponent.
Eastern Washington (-4.5) at North Dakota (2 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
North Dakota falls into the same boat as Maine.
The Fighting Hawks have struggled to score on a consistent basis and they have some really awful defensive metrics. They rank 330th or worse in effective field-goal, two-point and three-point percentage on defense.
Eastern Washington is scoring 12.5 more points per game and it is 5-1 against the spread in its last six games. North Dakota has not covered in its last six trips to the hardwood.
UNC Asheville at Western Carolina (-106) (2 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
Rarely do you see a home underdog in an even matchup and this is a weird spot for UNC Asheville to be favored, even by a slight margin.
UNC Asheville is 0-3 away from home this season and it failed to reach the 60-point mark in two of those losses. Western Carolina is 3-0 at home and won five of its last six games.
American vs. Mount St. Mary's (Over 129.5) (4 p.m. ET)
I have no clue why the total is set so low for the American-Mount St. Mary's clash.
American gives up 80.5 points per game, while MSM allows 74.2 points per contest. The Over is 5-1 in the last five American games.
This is a matchup with comparable talent and it should allow both teams to score freer than their nonconference contests against power-five foes.
Eastern Illinois at Butler (-21.5) (4 p.m. ET, FS1)
I'm following the same approach with fading Eastern Illinois as the one I'm using with fading Maine and North Dakota.
Eastern Illinois ranks 330th or worse in a handful of offensive metrics on KenPom and it scored 60 points once in its last five games.
Butler is coming off the emotional high of beating Oklahoma on the road on Tuesday night in the Big 12-Big East Battle. The Bulldogs should have a double-digit win wrapped up by halftime.
Boston College at Saint Louis (Over 134.5) (5 p.m. ET)
Saint Louis is 4-1 to the over in the last five games.
The Billikens average 83 points per game and they averaged 72 points per game in their seven victories over Division 1 opponents.
Boston College produced 73 points in two of its last three wins and it will have to score to keep up with the Billikens if it wants to pull off the road upset.
Arizona at Illinois (Over 156.5) (5 p.m. ET, Fox)
Arizona is 6-1 to the over in its last seven games.
Illinois is 5-0 to the over in its last five trips to the hardwood.
The Wildcats and Fighting Illini have the potential to go back and forth in Champaign and Arizona's effectiveness should not be hurt by their awkward travel. Arizona had to fly into Indianapolis and Uber into the Illinois campus on Friday night, but the team arrived at its destination on Friday night.
Arizona ranks third on KenPom in two-point percentage and both teams are inside the top 20 of offensive efficiency. It should be a fun showcase game for both sides.
Kentucky (-4.5) at Notre Dame (5:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Kentucky could kill Notre Dame on the glass.
Oscar Tshiebwe is the best rebounder in the country and that is why the Wildcats average 14.8 more rebounds per game than the Fighting Irish.
The Wildcats could use Saturday's trip to South Bend as a bit of a statement since they played a bunch of weaker opponents since losing to Duke in the Champions Classic.
LSU at Georgia Tech (Under 140.5) (6 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
LSU is one of the best under teams in the country.
The Tigers are 7-1 to the under and have one of the best defenses in the country. They rank in the top 10 in a handful of defensive metrics on KenPom.
Georgia Tech put up 66 points versus Wisconsin and 62 points against North Carolina in its two clashes with power-conference teams lately.