CBB Picks: Take The Over in Kentucky-Auburn SEC Showdown

The Kentucky-Auburn showdown should capture all of our attention on Saturday afternoon.

Auburn was close to becoming the No. 1 team in the country on Monday, but it lost out on that position by a few polling points to Gonzaga.

The Tigers have the look of a national championship contender and they can confirm that status with a win over the long-time power house in the SEC.

Kentucky comes into Auburn Arena on a roll after beating Tennessee and Texas A&M. The Wildcats are Auburn's main contender for the SEC regular-season title.

John Calipari's team can shake up its perception on the national stage with a victory that would definitely place it back in the Top 10 and on track for a high seed in the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

Both SEC programs have a ton of terrific talent and I think we will be in for a high-scoring affair.

Saturday CBB Picks

Overall Record: 106-138-1

Hofstra (-4) at Northeastern (Noon ET)

Hofstra and Northeastern sit in wildly different spots going into Saturday.

Hofstra won three of its last four games and it covered in two of those victories.

Northeastern is on a seven-game losing streak in which it has covered the spread on a single occasion.

I'm more than willing to trust the program in much better form.

Rutgers at Minnesota (-1.5) (Noon ET, BTN)

I'm still not willing to bet on a Rutgers as a road team.

The Scarlet Knights won their first road game at Maryland last weekend, but the Terps aren't in great shape this season.

Rutgers needs to prove to me that it can win back-to-back games on the road before I can trust it with my hard-earned money.

Minnesota is 1-5 in conference play, but it just went through the gauntlet of Michigan State, Illinois, Indiana and Iowa.

Saturday is the perfect time for the Golden Gophers to get back on track with a home victory.

Kentucky at Auburn (Over 148) (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Kentucky-Auburn is the premier game of the Saturday slate.

Auburn has been the class of the SEC for most of the season, but Kentucky comes in with a ton of steam after beating Tennessee and Texas A&M.

Auburn and Kentucky both rank inside the Top 15 in effective field-goal percentage on KenPom and they also sit inside the Top 100 in two-point percentage.

Auburn ranks 57th in adjusted tempo and Kentucky flashed the potential to be a high-scoring team with 92 points against Georgia and 107 points versus Tennessee.

I will gladly take the over in what is expected to be a fascinating basketball game that could decide the SEC regular-season title race if Auburn wins.

Oakland (-8.5) at Green Bay (1 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Oakland resides in a bounce-back spot after losing on the road at Milwaukee on Thursday.

I was on the Golden Grizzlies then and I'm going back to them against a 4-13 Green Bay program.

Oakland possesses the 15th-best three-point defense on KenPom and Green Bay ranks 347th in three-point offense.

That advantage could help the Golden Grizzlies pull away and take some frustration out in the process.

Coastal Carolina (+5) at Georgia State (2 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Georgia State is on a seven-game losing streak and it covered once in the last 10 games.

Coastal Carolina is coming off a four-point road win over Georgia Southern and it ranks in the Top 50 in a handful of defensive metrics.

The Chanticleers might not win outright, but I'm willing to say they will play things close against a struggling team.

Florida State at Miami (-2) (2 p.m. ET, ESPN)

I'm all in on Miami winning the ACC.

The Hurricanes almost beat Florida State 11 days ago, but the Seminoles won a game-winning shot.

Miami is coming off a huge win over North Carolina and it can extend its lead atop the ACC with a regular-season split against the Noles, who helped the Canes with a win over Duke on Tuesday.

Bowling Green at Western Michigan (Over 152.5) (2 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Bowling Green is one of the best over teams in Division 1.

The Falcons are 9-1 to the over in the last 10 games. They face a Western Michigan squad that gives up 77.6 points per game.

Bowling Green scores 82.9 points per game and gives up 78.3 points per contest. Its No. 13 rank in adjusted tempo lends itself to any over bet. That should hit in a matchup against a struggling defensive squad.

Harvard (-1.5) at Cornell (2 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Cornell struggled at the start of its Ivy League campaign with losses to Penn, Princeton and Yale.

Harvard is in the upper tier of the Ivy League along with those three squads, and that leads me to believe the Crimson beat the Big Red.

Harvard holds a much better defense that gives up seven points fewer per game than Cornell and that is the difference-maker for me in this contest.

Baylor (-3.5) at Oklahoma (3 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Baylor got the bad week out of its system by beating West Virginia on the road on Tuesday.

Oklahoma is trending in the wrong direction with four losses in its last five games.

The Sooners have not scored over 65 points in their last three losses, which is a bad sign against Baylor and its tremendous defense. The Bears rank 13th in defensive adjusted efficiency and they only give up 60.3 points per game.

Longwood (-2.5) at Presbyterian (3 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

I've had my eye on these two Big South teams throughout the last week.

I bet on Longwood last Saturday and it covered at the end. I faded Presbyterian against Winthrop and the Blue Hose barely covered in a two-point loss.

Presbyterian is on a four-game losing streak and it put a ton of energy into the Winthrop game on Thursday and that could hurt it against Longwood.

Kansas (-6) at Kansas State (4 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

At some point the Kansas State momentum will wear off.

The Wildcats earned consecutive wins over Texas and Texas Tech, but now they have to rebound against Kansas at home.

The Jayhawks have not been covering a ton of late, but they could take control of the matchup with their offense that averages close to 13 points more per game.

TCU at Iowa State (-6) (4 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

I'm keeping my blind allegiance to Iowa State.

The Cyclones are back at home where they beat Texas and Texas Tech. They face a TCU side that is further down the Big 12 standings.

I think the dynamic of the home game and playing a tough recent schedule helps the Cyclones turn in a strong performance where they take out some of their frustration from a tough stretch.

SIU Edwardsville at Morehead State (-11.5) (4 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Morehead State gained an upper hand in the Ohio Valley Conference standings with a win over Belmont earlier this week.

The Eagles should finish the week strong against one of the worst offensive teams at the mid-major level. SIU-Edwardsville ranks 346th in two-point percentage on KenPom.

Morehead State should have a double-digit win wrapped up well before the game goes final.

Western Carolina at Mercer (-10.5) (5 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Three of Western Carolina's last four losses were by 20 or more points.

Mercer ranks 38th on KenPom in three-point offense and Western Carolina checks in at 284th on three-point defense.

The Bears also play much better defense than Western Carolina. There is a nine point gap in points allowed per contest.

Give me the host Bears with the points.

USC (-5.5) at Utah (6:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network)

USC survived an upset bid by Colorado on Thursday.

The Trojans likely will not face a similar situation versus Utah on Saturday night.

Utah is on a seven-game losing streak and it has not scored more than 70 points in its last six games.

USC averages 74.3 points per game and gives up only 63.2 points per contest. The Trojans defense could smother Utah on the defensive end.

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