College basketball picks, schedule: Spread predictions, odds for SEC-Big 12 Challenge 2023

Saturday features as one of the busiest rosters of the college basketball season to date with the annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge, the weekend’s major event in which nine of the 20 ranked teams are in action. . The action will continue early and continue well into the night, culminating in a Kansas No. 9 matchup against Kentucky at 8 p.m. ET to polish the slate.

The Big 12 was ranked as the best conference in college hoops this season after being ranked No. 1 last season, but the SEC has bragging rights this weekend after winning each of the last two challenges after having forced a tie in the series in 2019-20. The Big 12 still have a 4-3 advantage to win the event since its inception in 2013-14 (there were two years when the leagues were tied) as well as an overall record of 48-41. But the SEC rose to the challenge in this event and has favorable matchups to potentially be the first three-round league since the Big 12 did the first three years.

Our experts have picks and predictions for the biggest matches of the day here.

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | All times Eastern

Featured game | West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Auburn Tigers

12 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — Kick off the predictions with an upset choice! Auburn is a feisty bunch that can play both inside and out thanks to Wendell Green and Johni Broome. West Virginia is tough, especially in Morgantown, but talent for talent, I think I kinda like the Tigers to get close and possibly pull off an upset in the first game of the day. Prediction: Auburn +4 — Boone

Featured game | Oklahoma Sooners vs. Alabama Crimson Tide

2 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — Alabama has blown up some really good teams in the sport this season — including Kentucky, Missouri, and Michigan State — but I think the OU is keeping this one close. This Crimson Tide team hasn’t lost since mid-December but has flirted with defeat several times in its recent outings. The Sooners and their home depth will keep it tight and in numbers. Prediction: Oklahoma +6 — Boone

Featured game | LSU Tigers vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders

2 p.m. | ESPNU, fuboTV (Try for free) — LSU has lost seven straight and Texas Tech has lost eight straight, so this one on paper looks like a pretty even matchup of struggling teams. But in that span the Red Raiders have at least been competitive while the Tigers have blown themselves by an average of 24.8 points per game in their last four. I fade LSU until he shows he’s not worth fading. Prediction: Texas Tech -3 — Boone

Featured game | Missouri Tigers vs. Iowa State Cyclones

2 p.m. | ESPN2, fuboTV (Try for free) — Fairly even game here between ISU and Mizzou – very good Cyclones defense against very good Tigers offense – so I’m just going to tip the home team. The only losses Missouri suffered at home this season were against eventual No. 1 seeds Kansas and Alabama, so if I get points for the home team, I’ll take them. Prediction: Missouri +1.5 — Boone

Featured game | Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. TCU Horned Frogs

4 p.m. | ESPN2, fuboTV (Try for free) — This TCU team is on fire after picking up double-digit wins over Kansas and OU, so I like that they keep rolling on the road against a lower-tier SEC club. The Bulldogs have remained competitive even though their 11-0 start has slipped to a 12-8 record, so I expect this one to be close, but he has a hot hand here with the Horned Frogs. Prediction: TCU -2 — Boone

Featured game | Baylor Bears vs. Arkansas Razorbacks

4 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — Davonte Davis has emerged as a difference maker for Arkansas lately with Ricky Council IV slumping a bit and No. 1 rookie Nick Smith Jr. still sidelined with a knee injury, but that backcourt of the Arkansas will be outmatched by Baylor and its three-led backcourt trio of Keyonte George, LJ Cryer and Adam Flagler in Waco. These two teams are going in opposite directions so I’m going to take the one that’s been surging lately. Prediction: Baylor -6 — Boone

Featured game | Tennessee Volunteers vs. Texas Longhorns

6:00 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — Another upset choice. Think it has a chance to be the best game of the weekend. Texas has a top-notch offense and it continues on the road to face a Tennessee team built around its No. 1-ranked defense. My concern is whether or not the Vols have the horses to keep up with the Horns. Tennessee hasn’t had that problem lately, but this Texas team is built in such a way that they could pull off that win even on the road. Prediction: Texas +7.5 — Boone

Featured game | Kansas State Wildcats vs. Florida Gators

6:00 p.m. | ESPN2, fuboTV (Try for free) — Kansas State is yet to lose at home all season under freshman coach Jerome Tang and that streak won’t end this weekend with Florida entering the Octagon of Doom. The Wildcats are also 8-3 ATS at home this season, so I like to work out the number with them there. Prediction: Kansas State -5 — Boone

No. 9 Kansas at Kentucky

Featured game | Kentucky Wildcats vs. Kansas Jayhawks

8 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — One of the most fascinating elements of the Kentucky-Kansas game is how KU’s undersized approach in the front court will fare against Britain’s inside monster Oscar Tshiebwe. While the UK have become more flexible and versatile defensively amid a reduced role for undersized point guard Sahvir Wheeler, the Wildcats haven’t played as dynamic an offense as Kansas’ since they took over. burned down by Alabama on January 7. If the Jayhawks can use their undersized groups to keep Tshiebwe off the basket and force Kentucky to keep players like Jalen Wilson, Gradey Dick and Kevin McCullar 1-on-1 out of the dribble, it could be a long night for the UK. Prediction: Kansas +1 — David Cobb

Featured game | Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Ole Miss Rebels

8 p.m. | ESPN2, fuboTV (Try for free) — This Oklahoma State team has some guts and looks like a sneaky second-weekend team with the way they can play inside and out with a veteran guard game and a pair of greats that make the difference to Kalib Boone and Moussa Cisse. I like that the Pokes pull this one off close. Prediction: Ole Miss +10 — Boone

Who will win and cover in every college basketball game? Visit SportsLine to get picks from the model, which simulates every game 10,000 times and is up more than $1,200 for $100 players on its top broadcast picks over the past six years.

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