Championship Saturday is here as 13 leagues will crown a postseason champion by the end of the day.
But there are still other conferences in action outside of the scheduled title games.
Our staff finds the five best bets from five non-major leagues on Saturday.
So, dive in below for the best NCAAB odds, picks and best bets for Saturday’s game, including Tulane vs. Memphis and more.
Saturday’s Top 5 College Basketball Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups our basketball staff is targeting on Saturday’s slate of games. Click on the team logos for one of the matches below to access the specific bet discussed in this article.
Ohio State vs. Purdue (Big Ten)
Per Shane McNichol
At this point, we might as well all hop on the Ohio State train and ride this Buckeye magic while we still can.
Typically, when a team wins one of 15 part-way through the season, it’s left for dead, with all players thinking about their next stop in the pros or transfer portal.
Kudos to Chris Holtmann — his Buckeyes did the opposite.
After that slump, Ohio State picked up two good wins before the conference tournament, and now they’ve ripped off three wins in three days in Chicago. In total, the Buckeyes have covered six straight against the spread.
Clearly, this team is better than its 5-15 Big Ten record would suggest. Nine of those 15 losses came by seven points or less, suggesting that there was some luck in the Buckeyes’ comeback.
It’s a big deal this week, which could spell trouble for No. 1 seed Purdue.
The Boilermakers have become a popular team to go, after going 2-7 ATS down the stretch. An all-freshman backfield looks set to hit the proverbial “freshman wall,” and Rutgers’ full-court pressure nearly crushed Purdue on Friday.
Since the Boilers had to survive that level of defensive intensity yesterday, I’m less worried about Ohio State’s legs, as the Buckeyes play their fourth game in four days.
Brice Sensabaugh missed Friday’s win over Michigan State with knee soreness. If he can go Saturday, Ohio State’s money line is also worth a look.
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QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their betting slip into FanDuel Sportsbook.
Penn vs. Princeton (Ivy League)
Per Shane McNichol
Ivy Madness has usually been good to the home team. Three times in the tournament’s short history, the event’s host school has qualified for the NCAA Tournament, and two of those three have come down as champions, both as 2-seeds.
Princeton looks to continue that trend, but will still have its hands full with rival Penn.
At the end of the season, the Quakers had won seven in a row. That streak ended with a loss at Princeton, but the Quakers showed they are quite capable of winning that game.
Penn led that game by as many as 19 points, but the oil was slowly leaking. After scoring just nine points in the final 10 minutes of the game, Penn found itself in overtime, where the collapse continued.
The first meeting between these teams wasn’t as dramatic, but it also suggested that Penn has the goods to compete with the Tigers. Princeton won on the road in Philadelphia by double digits, but Penn missed all 12 of its attempts from beyond the arc.
Overall this season, Penn went 7 of 34 from deep against Princeton, and Quakers leading scorer Jordan Dingle was 4 of 19 against the Tigers.
Both Dingle and the Quakers are ready for a revenge game. At worst, this is a figurative coin toss, so taking points here makes sense.
Vanderbilt vs. Texas A&M (SEC)
Per Doug Ziefel
The old saying goes, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” After our Razorbacks blew a double-digit lead last night, it’s time to root for the team that beat them.
Texas A&M will face an upset team in the quarterfinals, as Vanderbilt defeated Kentucky, 80-73, as an 8.5-point underdog. Although the outcome of that match is surprising, it is the result that will have the most impact on this match.
Vanderbilt is a team that usually likes to slow things down, so 80-point performances have been rare this season. Then add that this will be his third game in three days and you have a recipe for tired legs.
If the Commodores are indeed tired, it will only amplify their deficiencies on the defensive end of the floor. Texas A&M is not an efficient shooting club, but it is great at doing the dirty work and outscoring opponents.
This is evident through his seventh-ranked offensive rebounding rate despite his lack of size.
The Aggies are also adept at getting to the line, ranking second in free throw attempts to field goal attempts ratio.
On the other hand, the Aggies have strengths at all three levels. The Commodores are a team that ranks 218th in effective field goal percentage, while getting most of their offense from the perimeter. Those tendencies fall right into the hands of what the Aggies like to do.
All signs point to Texas A&M making the SEC Finals.
Fordham vs. Dayton (Atlantic 10)
Author: Scott Schaeffer
In conference tournament play, teams often seem rejuvenated with a chance to erase an otherwise disappointing season.
Fordham has truly been one of the worst programs in Division I over the past few years, so earning the No. 3 seed in the A-10 was an uptick that most college basketball followers didn’t see coming.
In contrast, Dayton was projected to contend for an at-large bid before the start of the regular season.
The Flyers know their play throughout the season has kept them far from the bubble — as it currently stands. Dayton’s only option to win its way to the NCAA Tournament is to win on Saturday and Sunday.
The Flyers are a much more talented team than Fordham on paper. Motivation for coach Anthony Grant’s team should also undoubtedly be as high as it has been all year.
Dayton’s coaching, leadership and communication remain the only question marks.
My belief is that the question marks are more likely to hurt Dayton in the A-10 finals, if they win their way into that game with a win over Fordham.
Saint Louis and VCU have enough talent to match up well with the Flyers, so the questionable aspects of this year’s version of Dayton are more likely to be important in that hypothetical matchup.
Today, however, I believe Dayton — and the likes of DaRon Holmes II and Malachi Smith — will end Fordham’s surprise season.
Fordham’s worst regular season performance was a 24-point blowout at home on Jan. 10. Any guesses as to who might have used that punch on the Rams? Unfortunately for Fordham, the answer is the same team they’ll see today in the semifinals of the A-10 Tournament: Dayton.
Trust Dayton’s talent combined with his motivation and focus today to propel him to the A-10 Championship tomorrow.
Take Dayton to cover six points and potentially win this time on the road.
Tulane vs. Memphis (AAC)
Per Brett Pound
I don’t usually like to bet overs with this number, but I really don’t think you can put a high enough total on any game between Memphis and Tulane.
On the season, both teams are in the top 20 in pace via KenPom, and both are inside the top 75 in field goals made per game.
Meanwhile, both programs are also in the top 75 in multiple offensive categories, according to Bart Torvik, including AdjO, EFG% and 2-point shooting.
You can also watch how the regular season games played out. In the first meeting, the two programs combined for 185 points, then followed that up with a 90-89 contest in Memphis.
This was also a profitable bet in conference play when the Green Wave were introduced, over-cashing in 16 of their 19 AAC games.
The total has been going down since the beginning, so maybe you can wait for a better number as we get closer to the tip. However, I still like the total to jump to the current figure at the time of writing.