Saturday Betting Tips: College Hoops

Reggie Bullock and the North Carolina will look to upset rivals NC State in Saturday's primetime matchup.

This college basketball season is turning into one of the most unpredictable campaigns in recent memory. The revolving door that is the #1 spot looks set to change again this weekend after top-ranked Duke was handed a punishing loss by Miami on Wednesday. Syracuse, Kansas, and Michigan will all be in with a shot at the top spot, pending this weekend’s results of course. But the way things have gone so far this season, expect one of the high-flyers to find itself on the wrong end of an upset this weekend.

To get you started on another exciting weekend of action, Casino Review has picked out three games worth keeping your eye on, starting with a Big East clash that has some serious upset appeal.


#5 Louisville @ Georgetown

12:00 PM ET

Louisville (16-3, 4-2 Big East) followed up an AP top ranking with two straight losses, meaning the Cardinals really need to win on Saturday if they’re to remain in consideration. A loss to Georgetown (13-4, 3-3 Big East) would have everybody questioning the side’s mettle.

A loss to Georgetown could be a very realistic possibility also. Whilst the Hoyas have fallen out of the AP rankings themselves, John Thompson III’s side has had its moments this season. You only need to look at Monday night’s 16-point drubbing of #24 Notre Dame to see that. The Hoyas have won three of the last four.

Whilst Georgetown might not be that flashy on offense, the side ranks 10th in the nation in scoring defense, giving up just 55.8 points per game, on 38.3 percent shooting (27th). Louisville can score but will the Georgetown defense prove too much?

Last Season: Georgetown scored a 71-68 victory over Louisville in the only game between the sides last season.

Odds: Louisville is the favorite. The spread is 5. The total is 121½.

Take: GEORGETOWN – This is one tough S.O.B. to pick, that’s for sure. Whichever team wins, it won’t be that big a surprise. Take the Hoyas to successfully defend home court with its superior defense, but mainly because you’ll make more money here. Take the total to over.


Maryland @ #1 Duke

1:00 PM ET

Losers of two of the last three, Duke (16-2, 3-2 ACC) has all of a sudden become an unknown commodity. Ryan Kelly’s injury has impacted the team, but even his presence wouldn’t have made up for the 27 points that Miami (FL) took Wednesday’s game by. Now Duke looks to score a much-needed conference win over the Terrapins.

Maryland (15-4, 3-3 ACC) is having a mixed season and will be looking to build on Tuesday’s win over Boston College. A win over NC State on Jan. 16 suggested that the Terrapins might be a tough out this season, but losses to Florida State, Miami (FL), and North Carolina has Mark Turgeon’s side looking up at all of those sides. If Duke needs to win on Saturday, then Maryland really needs to win.

Duke’s offense has undoubtedly taken a hit since Kelly went out injured, but the side still ranks in the top 20 in scoring. Scoring could be at a premium on Saturday though as the Terrapins are second in the nation when it comes to opponent’s field goal percentage.

Duke will hope that history continues to play its part. The Blue Devils have defeated Maryland in five straight games, and 11 of 12.

Last Season: Duke scored a pair of wins over the Terrapins last season; a 74-61 win at Maryland and a 73-55 win at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Odds: Duke is the favorite. The spread is 12½. The total is 137.

Take: DUKE – If this game was played in College Park, Maryland would be the pick of the day. But the Terrapins are not good on the road and Duke is 10-0 at home this season. Add that to the long list of trends that you associate with the Blue Devils at home, and you have an advantage that clearly favors Duke. However, even though Maryland (5-7-0 ATS) has been poor against the spread, take the school to cover on Saturday as Duke looks to find consistency. Take the total to go under.


North Carolina @ #18 North Carolina State

7:00 PM ET

North Carolina State (15-4, 4-2 ACC) will get an opportunity to prove that its position in the AP rankings and early season expectations are all rooted in reality. Up until this point, the Wolfpack has won precisely one big game; two weeks ago against Duke. A primetime game against the rival Tar Heels – regardless of how Roy Williams’ side is playing – should be considered a big game.

Since beating the Blue Devils, NC State has lost two of three, including a big upset by Wake Forest on Tuesday. North Carolina (13-5, 3-2 ACC) will be looking to win a fourth straight game as it makes the trip to PNC Arena.

While the Tar Heels have been somewhat underwhelming so far this season, another win will put the side right back in the ACC hunt. A win on Saturday coupled with a win at Virginia on Tuesday would make next week’s game against the conference-leading Hurricanes a big one indeed.

The Wolfpack ranks nationally in the top 10 in points scored (79.2 PPG) and field goal percentage (.510). The Tar Heels are not much further behind in points (78.7 PPG) and whilst their percentage may be lower (.445), this is the third best rebounding team in the country which could make a huge difference on Saturday.

Last Season: The Tar Heels scored a trio of victories over the Wolfpack, including a 69-67 win in the semifinals of the ACC tournament.

Odds: NC State is the favorite. The spread is 5. The total is 153.

Take: NORTH CAROLINA – The surging Tar Heels are one big win from being right back in the thick of things, whilst the Wolfpack is yet to prove to be anything but a pretender. Take UNC to score the upset victory, even in a hostile environment. Take the total to go under; although these sides aren’t great on the defensive end, 153 seems too high.


This Weekend’s AP Top 25 Schedule


Maryland @ #1 Duke

#3 Syracuse @ Villanova

Oklahoma @ #3 Kansas

#5 Louisville @ Georgetown

USC @ #6 Arizona

Temple @ #9 Butler

San Francisco @ #10 Gonzaga

#11 Kansas State @ Iowa State

#12 Minnesota @ Wisconsin

#14 Ohio State @ Penn State

#15 New Mexico @ San Diego State

Washington @ #16 Oregon

North Carolina @ #18 North Carolina State

La Salle @ #19 Virginia Commonwealth

Bradley @ #20 Wichita State

Vanderbilt @ #22 Missouri

#23 Ole Miss @ Auburn

#24 Notre Dame @ South Florida


#2 Michigan @ Illinois

#13 Michigan State @ #7 Indiana

#17 Creighton @ Southern Illinois

Florida State @ #25 Miami (FL)