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Saturday is one of the most action-packed days of the college basketball season, find out who expert handicapper Stephen Rodriguez is backing

BET OF THE DAY: (2u) Baylor Bears -2 @ -110

#3 Kansas Jayhawks @ #1 Baylor Bears, 12:00 PM:

  • Baylor and Kansas have the two best ATS records in the Big 12. The Bears are 17-8 and the Jayhawks 16-10.
  • Baylor has won 23 straight games. Stat courtesy of Statschecker

The reason we’re backing Baylor

The Bears and Jayhawks head into Saturday afternoon as two of the hottest teams in basketball. Baylor has won 23 consecutive games and Kansas is on an 11-game winning streak.

Baylor (24-1) went on the road and kept the wins coming by taking down Oklahoma in a 65-54 victory.

Team-leading scorer Jared Butler bagged a game-high 22 points with five made three-pointers, five rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Kansas (23-3) barely broke a sweat at home as they blew out Iowa State 91-71.

Sophomore Devon Dotson shot 11-of-14 from the field while knocking down six-of-eight three- point attempts for a game-high 29 points.

The Bears defense is ultimately the difference maker in this matchup. Baylor ranks third best in the nation, allowing 58.2 ppg. When these teams met in Kansas back in early January the Bears defense was as good as advertised, holding the Jayhawks to under 40 per cent shooting from the field, and 27 per cent from three-point range during a 67-55 win.

A similar result looks on the cards, especially with Baylor playing at home. Take the Bears to cover.

(1u) Louisville Cardinals -9 @ -110

North Carolina Tarheels @ #11 Louisville Cardinals, 4:00 PM:

  • Louisville has won each of the last nine home games following a home win. Stat courtesy of Statschecker.

The reason we’re backing Louisville

#11 Louisville (22-5) got back on track in a big way, snapping a two-game losing streak with a 90-66 victory against the Syracuse Orange. The Cardinals shot over 45 per cent from the field with five players scoring in double figures.

Junior Jordan Nwora led the way with 17 points and seven rebounds, while fellow junior Malik Williams contributed a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds.

As if things weren’t bad enough, North Carolina (10-16) dropped a sixth straight game after losing 77-76 to Notre Dame right before the buzzer. The Tar Heels led by as many as 15 points in the second half, but watched it slip away.

Freshman Cole Anthony continued to be the workhorse of North Carolina’s offense as he scored a game-high 23 points with six assists. Junior Garrison Brooks added 22 points with seven rebounds and five assists.

North Carolina has all but hit rock bottom this season, and it’s hard to have confidence in the Tar Heels on the road against one of the best teams in the nation. Take Louisville to cover the spread at home.

(1u) Kentucky Wildcats -5 @ -110

Florida Gators @ #10 Kentucky Wildcats, 6:00 PM:

  • Florida has the second worst ATS record in the SEC (11-15)
  • Kentucky has won 40 of the last 41 day games at home. Stat courtesy of Statschecker.

The reason we’re backing Kentucky

#10 Kentucky (21-5) stayed red hot by picking up a fifth straight win in edging out LSU 79-76 on the road. The Wildcats were lights out, shooting 48 per cent from the field and 50 per cent from three-point range with five players scoring in double figures.

Sophomore Immanuel Quickley scored a game-high 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting with five assists, four rebounds and three steals. Junior Nick Richards was a beast in the paint, blocking six shots to add to his 13 points and six rebounds.

Florida (17-9) took care of business at home by taking down Arkansas 73-59 to pick up a third straight win.

Sophomore Keyontae Johnson carried the load by posting a double-double with a game-high 24 points and 10 rebounds. Fellow sophomore Andrew Nembhard added a nice outing of his own, shooting 7-of-10 from the field for 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Florida has had issues on the road this season, as well as struggles against the spread. Kentucky is the more complete team and is looking to extend the two-game first-place lead they have over the Gators in the SEC standings. Take the Wildcats to cover.

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