Saturday Basketball Betting Preview

Saturday Basketball Betting Preview

This Saturday kicks off the final weekend of the 2013-14 college basketball regular season. Conference titles are up for grabs and intense rivals have scores to settle. Six of the nation’s Top 10 teams will be in action, including top-ranked Florida, No. 3 Arizona, No. 4 Duke, and No.8 Kansas. In addition to college hoops, the NBA schedule features a pair of the Western Conference’s elite tipping off as San Antonio hosts Orlando and the Hawks travel to LA to face the red hot Clippers. Here’s a preview.

NCAA

Arizona at Oregon (+3.5) – The Wildcats are almost assured of receiving a No. 1 seed in the West region once the Field of 68 is announced. However, tripping up at Oregon in the season finale might raise some eyebrows among the selection committee. Arizona has managed to overcome the loss of forward Brandon Ashley, whose season ended in early February after suffering a foot injury. The team has won seven of eight since his departure, including a two-point victory against Oregon. Ashley replacement Rondae-Hollis Jefferson was huge that night with 14 points and 10 rebounds. The outisde-inside combo of Nick Johnson and Aaron Gordon has been lethal all season; the former has totaled 20 or more points in three of his last five starts. The Ducks have reeled off six in a row since losing eight of ten, led by senior Mike Mosier who is averaging 19 points and 12 rebounds in his last five. Oregon is 0-2 versus ranked opponents and 2-7-1 ATS in their last ten home tilts. Arizona is 6-4 ATS on the road. This smells like an upset. 

Bet Oregon +3.5

North Carolina at Duke (-8.5) – The Blue Devils fell victim to the dreaded “trap game” on Wednesday night, losing on the road to Wake Forest following a week off. It’s senior night at Cameron Indoor Stadium and the hated Tar Heels are coming to town, winners of 12 straight, including a 74-66 triumph over Duke on February 20th. With the ACC title wrapped up by Virginia, this one is all about the rivalry. UNC has looked shaky in their last three and if not for Marcus Paige’s heroics, would’ve lost at NC State two weeks ago. Duke freshman phenom Jabari Parker has notched five consecutive double-doubles and totaled 17/11 in the first meeting. Blue Devils need more consistency from point guard Quinn Cook, who had just one assist to go with four turnovers in the defeat to the Demon Deacons. North Carolina is 6-6 ATS on the road. Duke is unbeaten at home and 12-7-1 ATS. Way too many points here. Devils win, but fail to cover. 

Bet North Carolina +8.5

New Mexico at San Diego State (-4.5) – The Mountain West championship is on the line tonight when No. 21 New Mexico pays a visit to Viejas Arena to face No. 10 San Diego State. A stifling Lobos’ defense punished the Aztecs in late February, holding them to 32.3% shooting and only three free-throw attempts. Leading-scorer Cameron Bairstow dropped 26 and point guard Kendall Williams added 10 points and seven assists. Lobos have won 12 of 13 and have lost just once on the road. San Diego State’s lone home defeat came to Arizona back in November. Senior Xavier Thames snapped out of a recent mini slump by totaling 41 points in his last two games; he shot 3-15 in the first meeting. Aztecs won last year at home by 21 and have covered four of their last five this season. New Mexico is 6-0 ATS in its last six road trips and 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings. 

Bet New Mexico +4.5

NBA

Orlando at San Antonio (-16) – The Magic put up a solid effort versus the Rockets on Wednesday before falling apart in the third quarter. Arron Affalo returned to the lineup after missing five games with a sprained ankle and scored a team-high 18. However, promising rookie Victor Oladipo will sit out due to a bum ankle of his own. The Spurs are rolling, winners of five straight and fresh off a sound thrashing of the Heat on Thursday night. They are finally healthy and appear poised to make a run at the top seed in the West. San Antonio is 2-5 ATS in their last seven home games, but 5-0 ATS in the last five versus the Magic.

Bet San Antonio -16

Atlanta at LA Clippers (-15) – Paul Millsap was back in the lineup for Atlanta on Friday, but it hardly mattered. The Hawks lost their fifth straight and looked tired doing so. Meanwhile, the Clippers demolished the Lakers on Thursday, winning by 48 (!!!). They have won six in a row and are 16-14 ATS at home. Atlanta is 11-20-1 ATS on the road, but have won seven of nine in the series, including a 107-97 victory in December. Jamal Crawford may be back for the Clipps, but they’ve been just fine using Darren Collison in his absence.

Bet the LA Clippers -15