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Three Free Picks for College Basketball Saturday

Scott Morris | March 8, 2024
Three free picks college basketball March 9, 2024

#14 KANSAS @ #1 HOUSTON

The Cougars are the No. 1 team in the country for a reason – defense. Houston ranks first in points allowed – 57.1 ppg – per game. They are even better at home where they have allowed an average of just 51 points per game. Guess which Big 12 power struggles on the road this season? That’s right. It’s Kansas. 

The Jayhawks are just 4-6 SU and 3-7 ATS in 10 road games this season. In their last six away from home, Kansas is just 1-5 SU. It is possible the Jayhawks play on Saturday without leading Kevin McCullar (19.1 ppg) who tweaked a knee injury again. He is listed as questionable. 

On the road at Kansas earlier this season, Houston was a 1-point favorite. At home, expect the number to be in the -3 to -6 range, depending on how the books feel about McCullar. Houston has won its last eight straight since losing to Kansas on Feb. 3. The Cougars are 16-0 at home this season and they are 10-5-1 ATS in those 16 games. With a ridiculous average home scoring margin of +27.6, look for the Cougars to continue playing for that NCAA tournament top seed. Play Houston up to -6.

HOUSTON TO COVER (UP TO -6)  – Bet it Now at SportsBetting.ag and get a 50%

 

#15 KENTUCKY @ #4 TENNESSEE

Kentucky vs Tennessee free pick for March 9, 2024Tennessee is a likely 7- to 7.5-point favorite at home against No. 15 Kentucky on Saturday. The Vols have won seven straight and nine of their last ten. Tennessee is 6-1 ATS in those seven games and only failed to cover a double-digit spread against Missouri. 

Kentucky has been on a tear recently. The Wildcats have ripped off four straight wins and have done so with offense. Kentucky went Over 100 twice and scored 91 and 93 in the others. The first time these two met this season at Kentucky, they produced 195 points in a 103-92 Tennessee victory. Call that an outlier.

Tennessee is seventh in the country in Defensive Efficiency rating. The Vols allow 67.1 points per game and they tighten up even more at home where opponents have averaged 61.8 per game. Taking out that last Kentucky-Tennessee game earlier this season, the last four head-to-head meetings have produced exactly one team that scored more than 69 points. Those four games averaged a total of 127.5 points per game. 

The Volunteers will slow this game down and take away Kentucky’s transition game. That will help push this total to the Under. Five of Tennessee’s last six games have gone Under the total. Six of the last seven UK-UT games played at Tennessee have also gone Under. Expect this total in the 158 to 160 range, maybe higher considering Kentucky’s recent offensive explosion and the previous matchup this season.

UNDER (DOWN TO 158.5) – Bet it Now at BetUS.com and get a 125% total bonus and bet insurance

 

#7 NORTH CAROLINA @ #9 DUKE

Duke vs UNC free pick for March 9, 2024In the first meeting between these two teams, Duke shot just 26 percent from three-point range. That is one of the Blue Devils’ strengths. Duke ranks No. 11 in the nation in 3-PT shooting percentage (38 percent). Jeremy Roach and Jared McCain each shoot over 41 percent from deep. That is going to be huge on Saturday, since North Carolina’s perimeter defense seems to be failing as of late.

In its last three games, the Tar Heels have allowed opponents to shoot 41.2 percent from behind the arc. UNC ranks 178th in opponent 3-PT shooting percentage and they struggled in their last two games against NC State and Miami. The thing that North Carolina likes to do – get out and run – is also an issue. Duke ranks in the Top 20 in the nation in transition defense. 

The Blue Devils are 8-1 SU and ATS in their last nine games. Duke plays exceptionally well at home, winning 15 of 17 home games this year. The Blue Devils sport an average scoring margin of +13.6 for the season. That number is +17.9 at home. They won’t beat their in-state rival by 18, but they’ll do enough to cover in their final regular season game.

DUKE -4.5 (PLAY TO -5.5)  – Bet it Now at SportsBetting.ag and get a 50%

 

 

 

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