Trent’s NCAAB Best Bets for Saturday – January 20, 2024
The Connecticut Huskies are the number one team in the AP polls, deservingly. They beat Creighton by 14 and have rattled off six straight conference victories. There are over 140 college basketball games tomorrow, and I will help you find the best bets to make.
Read on for Trent’s NCAAB Best Bets for Saturday – January 20, 2024
Baylor at Texas
Texas has hit some turbulence recently. They lost to West Virginia by three on the road and UCF at home by six. They are 1-3 in conference play, which is only better than Oklahoma State, which has not won a conference game. This game has become a near must-win game for the Longhorns.
The Big 12 has many talented teams, and every team must go through a gauntlet. Texas has made getting into the tournament much more difficult by losing to lesser teams from the conference.
Baylor is 3-1 in conference play, suffering their first conference in their last game at Kansas State. They did not shoot the ball well in any facet. They made 32.9% of their field goals, only five of their 28 three-point attempts, and missed 10 free throws. The Bears have been the third-best team from behind the arc, making 40.4%. T
he defense of Texas could give them problems again, as they hold opponents to 46.9% effective field goal percentage.
The Longhorns are led by Max Abmas, with 17.8 points per game, followed by Dylan Disu with 14.1. They have talented players who can make shots but have been plagued by turnovers this season.
They average 12.2 turnovers per game and have three players that average more than two per game. Those three players are Abmas, Disu, and Tyrese Hunter. The leaders on this team must take care of the ball moving forward, which head coach Rodney Terry stressed after the loss on Wednesday.
Trent’s Pick: Texas (-1.5)
Oklahoma at Cincinnati
Oklahoma is 15 in the AP Top 25 after being in the top 10 last week. They lost to TCU and Kansas and fell six spots. The Sooners beat West Virginia at home on Wednesday to get things back on track.
They average 79.9 points per game and shoot 48.9% from the field. The offense is efficient but is plagued by turnovers. They average 12.6 turnovers per game. In both conference losses, they lost the turnover battle by a wide margin.
Cincinnati lost two games last week to Texas and Baylor but came back and beat TCU in overtime on Tuesday. They are 2-2 in conference play and 11-1 at home. Their strength is rebounding, and they average 38.8 rebounds per game. That includes the offensive glass, where they average 11.9 per game.
The key to beating Oklahoma is creating turnovers and limiting your own. Cincinnati limits turnovers but is not great at forcing them. They should benefit from playing at home this weekend, as the Sooners have to travel to snowy Cincinnati.
The Bearcats should be able to get enough turnovers to get ahead in that column and get multiple second chances on the offensive glass. They have three guys that average over 10 points per game, but Day Day Thomas has had the hot hand lately. Look for him to make his mark on this game, starting with his defense, where he leads the team with 1.6 steals per game.
Trent’s Pick: Cincinnati (-4)
BYU at Texas Tech
Obviously, I am targeting Big 12 games. BYU is a newcomer to the Big 12 but has fared well thus far. They are 2-2 in the conference, with their losses coming against Cincinnati and Baylor.
They have won two consecutive against UCF and Iowa State. BYU is an offensive-minded team. They make the second most threes (12.4) per game and average 85.7 points. They are also the number-one team in assists (21) and tenth in rebounds (38.6) per game.
Texas Tech is leading the Big 12 despite being ranked 25th in the AP poll. They are 3-1 in conference play, with wins over Texas, Oklahoma State and Kansas State. Their lone loss came on Wednesday on the road against Houston, the furthest thing from a bad loss.
They have a slow pace and average 18.6 seconds per possession, which ranks 309th in the nation. They are also efficient with their possessions, with a true shooting percentage of 57.7%.
The difference in this game is which team succumbs to the playstyle of the other. Texas Tech wants to play a slow, half-court style, while the Cougars like to get out and run. BYU averages 15.9 seconds per possession, which ranks 39th in the nation.
They also rank 359th in free throws attempted per field goals attempted and BYU does not get the free throw line, which makes sense because they shoot a lot from behind the arc. The Red Raiders need to slow the game down and get to the free-throw line, which is possible at home.