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Expert handicapper Dan Canova previews a Saturday full of marquee matchups in college hoops

PICK OF THE DAY: (2u) Auburn -5.5 @ -110

No. 18 LSU @ No. 11 Auburn, 12:00 PM:

  •  Auburn has won 20 of its last 21 Saturday games at Auburn Arena. Stat courtesy of Statschecker.

The reason we’re backing Auburn.

No. 11 Auburn will look to extend its five-game winning streak when it hosts No. 18 LSU on Saturday.

In Auburn’s last game at Arkansas on Tuesday night, Samir Doughty finished with a team-high 23 points, which included draining two free throw attempts in the final seconds of overtime, to help lift the Tigers to a 79-76 win over the Razorbacks.

Arkansas’ Mason Jones led all scorers with a game-high 40 points during the loss.

In that game, Auburn was down by as many as 11 points with six minutes left in the fourth quarter. Auburn then went on a 12-1 run to force extra time during which the Tigers outscored Arkansas 10-7 to pull out the win.

Auburn at home is the pick here. Expect the Tigers of Auburn to get past LSU in the only meeting between the two teams this season.

(1u) Michigan +2.5 @ -115

No. 16 Michigan State @ Michigan, 12:00 PM:

  •  Michigan has won 23 of its last 26 Saturday day games.
  •  The Wolverines have a 15-3 record after a loss when playing as a home team since the 2017-18 college basketball season. Stat courtesy of Statschecker.

The reason we’re backing Michigan.

Michigan will look to rebound after a defeat by Ohio State on Tuesday night. Zavier Simpson finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and Franz Wagner added eight points and 14 boards for the Wolverines in the 61-58 loss.

The Wolverines will host No. 16 Michigan State in what will be a rivalry renewed matchup. Michigan’s defeat by the Buckeyes means it has lost five of its last seven games, while shooting 33 per cent from the field.

Always expect the home team to come to play in games like this. Who knows if the Wolverines get the win here but getting the 2.5 points here is a big plus.

Take Michigan and the points.

(1u) Villanova -2.5 @ -110

No. 12 Seton Hall @ No. 10 Villanova, 2:30 PM:

  •  Villanova has won 12 of its last 13 games at the Wells Fargo Center.
  •  Since the 2017-18 college basketball season, Seton Hall has a 1-4 record against Villanova. Stat courtesy of Statschecker.

The reason we’re backing Villanova.

No. 12 Seton Hall and No. 10 Villanova will square off in a huge Big East matchup on Saturday afternoon.

The Wildcats enter this game on a two-game skid, which features losses to Creighton and Butler.

Saddiq Bey finished with 29 points and six rebounds, and Collin Gillespie contributed 28 points, six assists and two rebounds for Villanova, but Butler came away with a 79-76 victory behind a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer by Kamar Baldwin, who finished with 17 points.

This is a huge game for Villanova. The Wildcats are two games behind the Pirates in the conference, and if they happen to lose this one at home, their chances of winning the Big East will become more unlikely.

For the Wildcats to win this game, they will need to step up on the defensive end of the court. In all five of their losses this season, the Wildcats have given up at least 71 points. In a must-win game, I expect Jay Wright’s bunch to step up to the plate and come out with the win.

Roll with Villanova minus the 2.5 points here.

Article Author

Expert handicapper known for his deep knowledge of all things NBA and his ability to pick winners.


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