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Trent’s NCAAB Best Bets for Saturday – February 17, 2024

Trent’s NCAAB Best Bets for Saturday – February 17, 2024

TRENT’S NCAAB BEST BETS FOR SATURDAY – FEBRUARY 17, 2024 – UConn and Purdue have sat atop the rankings for five consecutive weeks, and no one has dethroned them.

‘Houston, Marquette, and Arizona jumped into the top five this week, while the rest of the AP top 25 is in a constant cycle because of the parity across the nation this year. March Madness seems like it will be chaotic, which is a treat for fans.

I have three picks for you on this Saturday’s slate, including a best bet for the top-five matchup between the number-one team and fourth-ranked Marquette.

Check out the Godzilla Wins Daily Staff Picks page.

Read on for Trent’s NCAAB Best Bets for Saturday – February 17, 2024

Texas Tech at Iowa State

I am starting the day with a pick from a noon Big 12 matchup. Texas Tech played spoiler at home against Kansas in their last game but now has to travel to a hostile arena in Ames. Iowa State has rattled off three straight wins against Texas, TCU, and Cincinnati. Iowa State is ranked third in adjusted defensive efficiency on KenPom and turns teams over. They average 10.8 steals per game and turn them into points.

Opponents average 17.8 turnovers per game against them, which could cause trouble for the Red Raiders, who average 10.2 turnovers and 15.2 assists per game. The Cyclones will be in the passing lanes and affect the timing of the Red Raider’s offense, which thrives in the half-court.

Texas Tech shoots a lot of threes and converts their free throws (77.4%). They will have to knock down their deep balls in this game, or Iowa State will pull away from them and smother them defensively.

Iowa State should be able to limit their three-point attempts and force them inside, where they score 46.2% of their points. The weakness of the Cyclones is free-throw shooting. They shoot 69.5% from the line as a team but grab offensive rebounds at a high clip. The Red Raiders are on a high after thumping Kansas and are in a spot to fade.

The Pick: Iowa State -7.5

Marquette at Connecticut

The Golden Eagles have won eight in a row, and the Huskies are at 13. Both teams have been on a tear in the Big East, but someone must fall tomorrow. UConn is 6-7 ATS as a home favorite this season.

Marquette is 3-0 ATS as an away underdog and 4-0-1 as the underdog. Both teams are top-25 in adjusted efficiency on offense and defense, according to KenPom, so this matchup should be a good one.

The game will boil down to which team forces the other to play at their pace. Marquette likes to push the ball up the floor, and UConn plays slower.

Marquette’s defense should be ready to play in the half-court, as they force opponents to use up most of the shot clock with an average opponent possession length of 19.2 seconds. The Huskies’ defense could have more trouble adjusting to the fast play style than the other way around.

The weakness of Marquette is rebounding. They allow 8.8 offensive rebounds per game, and UConn averages 10 a game. The Golden Eagles need to limit second chances on the glass, especially since UConn will chew the clock on offense.

They can do this by interfering in the passing lanes (8.8 steals per game) and forcing their opponents into turnovers. These teams will face two times in the last stretch of the season, and both games will be thrillers.

The Pick: Marquette +6.5

Kansas at Oklahoma

Bill Self saw an early exit against Texas Tech on Monday, but it may have been an attempt to inspire his team, who lost the game by 29. They were flat the whole game and missed Kevin McCullar, who brings the energy for this team, especially on the defensive end. He will be available for this game as he deals with a knee injury.

They have had a week off to get back on track, but it will be hard, as always, in Norman.

Oklahoma last saw action on Tuesday when they lost by 17 at Baylor. Baylor’s new arena is proving a tough place to win, but the Sooners did not give their best effort.

They had 12 turnovers and allowed Baylor to shoot 52.4% from three. Turnovers have been a problem for them all season, with an average of 11.8 per game. Kansas averages 11.4 on the other end but ranks first in assists per game with 19.9. T

hat is because Dajuan Harris and Hunter Dickinson have been efficient. McCullar also averages 19.5 points and 4.6 assists per game and should add a bump in offensive production.

The Sooners will need a team effort to compete with the Jayhawks and can slow the game by getting to the free-throw line. They shoot 74.3% as a team and draw a foul on 22.5% of plays.

The Jayhawks usually do well not drawing fouls at home but average 15.9 personal fouls on the road. Oklahoma is 8-7 ATS as a home favorite, and Kansas is 1-4 as an away favorite, so the ATS trends are on our side. One of these teams has to get back on track, and I am siding with the home team.

The Pick: Oklahoma +2

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