College basketball picks, schedule: Predictions, odds for Michigan State vs. Maryland, other key Top 25 games
Our experts pick the winners of Spartans vs. Terrapins, No. 1 Baylor vs. No. 14 West Virginia and other big games
We are still waiting for a blockbuster Saturday in college hoops. It hasn't happened yet, but the past four Saturdays have given us dramatic results, with a reliable dose of upsets.
And yet, as I laid out in my latest power rankings, the narrative that this season lacks dominance has evolved to be a falsehood. Perhaps that changes this weekend, but given how great Kansas, San Diego State, Baylor, Gonzaga, Dayton and Maryland have been -- in addition to five or six other teams ranked in the top 15 riding five-game-or-better winning streaks -- it's unlikely.
Below, we've picked out five of the most interesting games Saturday has to offer and provided picks straight and against the spread, with reasonings written out.
Who wins and covers in every college basketball game? Visit SportsLine now to see projected scores, player stats, best bets and more, all from the model that simulates every game 10,000 times and has returned $2,770 on its top-rated spread picks the last three years.
No. 24 Texas Tech (-4.5) at Oklahoma State
Freshman guard Jahmi'us Ramsey and Texas Tech have been up and down all season. But they are up right now. Ramsey is 16 of 25 from 3-point range over his last five games, and the Red Raiders have won four of those five. The only loss? A close defeat at Kansas. The Red Raiders will be able to win and cover against an Oklahoma State team it beat by 35 last month. Pick: Texas Tech -4.5 (David Cobb)
2 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Kermit Davis' team enters the game fresh off a startling 25-point thumping of rival Mississippi State that extended the team's current streak to three straight wins and four wins in the last six games with the only losses coming to Auburn and LSU. But I wouldn't trust that mojo to continue on the road at Rupp Arena against a Kentucky team that has found its edge on the defensive end in SEC play. If you're picking Ole Miss to cover you do so hoping for the right bounces on free throws and a backdoor cover. Kentucky is the best team in the SEC and I think that shows in a 10+ point win on Saturday. Pick: Kentucky -9.5 (Chip Patterson)
No. 14 West Virginia at No. 1 Baylor (-6)
4 p.m. ET (ESPN+)
The Mountaineers would not seem like the pick here. WVU is riding back-to-back Ls, its Wednesday home defeat to Kansas its worst offensive game of the season. The 'Eers were outscored 13-1 to close out their 58-49 loss to Kansas. Baylor, though, has won its past two games in scrape-the-skin fashion, managing only .84 points per possessions in a 52-45 win Monday against Texas. Baylor is one win away from tying 1996-97 Kansas for the longest win streak in Big 12 history (22 games). It's going to get that win at home but WVU is going to linger and be there in the end because it's the only team in the Big 12 that can match, if not best, Baylor on the boards. That will be the key to Saturday's game. WVU has the superior front court and is capable of punching back in a game that will probably be decided in the low 60s. Pick: West Virginia +6 (Norlander)
Notre Dame at No. 7 Duke (-12)
4 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Notre Dame will have to be firing on all cylinders to keep this one close. Fighting Irish star John Mooney is going to have his hands full with Vernon Carey Jr. in particular. Expect the Irish to hang around for a while, but for Duke's superior talent and depth to wear them down late. Pick: Duke -12 (Jerry Palm)
No. 9 Maryland at Michigan State (-6.5)
6 p.m. ET (ESPN)
I've been as unsure of Michigan State as everybody else, confused by a body of work that's mostly unimpressive for a preseason No. 1 -- specifically the Spartans' 4-7 record in Quadrant 1 opportunities. It's why I (temporarily) removed them from the Top 25 And 1. But, that said, they looked better in Tuesday's win at Illinois, and winning on the road in the Big Ten is tough for almost anybody. MSU is 6-1 at home in Big Ten games; Maryland is just 3-3 on the road in Big Ten games. So I'll lay the points with the Spartans and assume they'll snap Maryland's seven-game winning streak. Pick: Michigan State -6.5 (Gary Parrish)
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