College Basketball Betting Picks for Saturday 1/6/24
The college basketball season always provides a flurry of twists and turns that few saw coming -- especially when March Madness comes around. This can make college basketball one of the most challenging sports to bet on.
Fortunately, we have plenty of tools available that can aid our chances of taking the most favorable college basketball bets. Bart Torvik and KenPom are excellent sources that give insights into team-level efficiency, and Sports Reference provides a wide range of useful team stats, as well.
Let's check out FanDuel Sportsbook's college basketball odds and select some of the best bets of the day by utilizing the mentioned tools.
Please note lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published.
College Basketball Best Bets
No. 8 North Carolina at No. 16 Clemson
As one of only two meetings between AP Top-25 teams this Saturday, North Carolina-Clemson is likely to be the best bit of college basketball on the slate.
The ACC foes in this one are rivals from opposite Carolinas, as the campuses straddle Uptown Charlotte at roughly equidistance. Entering their first head-to-head clash of the season, Clemson (11-2) shows as a 1.5-point favorite at FanDuel Sportsbook against UNC (10-3).
Led by head coach Brad Brownell, the Tigers score the basketball quite well, showing 82.2 PPG to this point. Senior big man P.J. Hall has been the hub of the offense; he's produced 20.2 PPG and 6.5 RPG in 13 contests. Look for Hall and Tar Heel senior Armando Bacot to bang around on the block.
For North Carolina (in head coach Hubert Davis' third season), R.J. Davis has been the most dynamic player on the floor. Standing at only 6-foot and 160 pounds, Davis will get into his bag both inside and outside the paint.
In this early conference meeting, I'd prefer to take the home team straight up. At numberFire, the game projections yield a Clemson-winning score of 77.41-76.02. For a contest that should be tight, I like the Tigers to emerge victorious at Littlejohn Coliseum -- especially since they are coming off a loss at Miami (FL).
Stanford at USC
A battle between the Golden State's most prominent private universities, Stanford (7-6) and USC (7-7) will meet at Galen Center for the first of two meetings. Keep in mind, 2023-24 is the final academic year that the Cardinal and Trojans will battle as conference foes. Southern Cal is headed for the Big Ten next season while Stanford will join the ACC.
No time to wallow for lost traditions; the Pac-12 still has one final schedule to deliver, and it should be an adversarial year. Notably, the Cardinal have turned heads this past week, notching back-to-back wins over conference powerhouses Arizona and UCLA. For Stanford, they scored 100 points against the former while utilizing just 59 points to defeat the latter. In both bids, Kanaan Carlyle and Andrej Stojakovic (son of Peja) lit it up off the bench.
Of course, the Trojans built substantial hype entering the current campaign; put a dollar in the jar if you have heard that line before. Under head coach Andy Enfield, USC brought on LeBron James' son, Bronny James. After a health scare prior to the season, the freshman James is settling into a nice rotation role. Still, senior guard Boogie Ellis has been SC's best player, averaging 18.5 PPG.
Head coach Jerod Haase has this group from Palo Alto playing invigorated at the moment. The Cardinal are still less than a week removed from trouncing the reigning conference champion Wildcats by 18 points. Then on Wednesday, Stanford won at Westwood's historic Pauley Pavilion. I believe they win in Los Angeles -- or at least keep it close enough while getting 2.5 points -- for a second consecutive game.
No. 22 Ole Miss at No. 5 Tennessee
In head coach Chris Beard's first season running the men's basketball program in Oxford, Ole Miss (13-0) has blazed out of the gates with a winning streak that has tied the school record. However, they will see their first real test of the season when travelling up to Knoxville to play Tennessee (10-3). This will be Saturday's only other men's basketball game between top-25 programs.
The Volunteers are in their ninth campaign with Rick Barnes as head coach, showing a combined 185-95 (.661) record with the program. Tennessee's three losses this year came consecutively back in November (to powerhouses Purdue, Kansas and UNC), but the Vols have done well to snap off six straight wins since then. They are powered by a backcourt duo of seniors in Dalton Knecht and Josiah-Jordan James -- both solid two-way players that averaged double digits in the scoring department.
Currently, the Rebels have three players averaging better than 14.0 PPG; that would be guards Matthew Murrell, Allen Flanigan and Jaylen Murray. Flanigan is the most well-rounded of the bunch while Murrell is Mississippi's best pure scorer.
The backcourt play in this SEC clash will be fierce, and it is tough to see the Rebels upsetting Tennessee in their own gym. However, strong as the Vols are this season, they have played to a dismal 5-7-1 record against the spread. That steers me into a play on Rebels +12.5; hey, Ole Miss is undefeated straight up after all.
The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.