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3 College Basketball Best Bets for Saturday, February 17: Can Kolek Help Marquette Upset UConn?

Earnest Horn
Written by Earnest Horn
February 16, 2024
3 College Basketball Best Bets for Saturday, February 17

Despite celebrating Valentine’s Day this week, many bettors weren’t feeling the love after multiple college basketball upsets helped oddsmakers cash in on the action. Bettors can make those losses up with this weekend’s marquee matchups.

What are the main attractions for the Saturday, February 17 college basketball slate? Below, we’ll reveal our best bets for feature contests with Marquette at UConn, Kansas at Oklahoma, and Kentucky at Auburn.

No. 4 Marquette Golden Eagles at No. 1 Connecticut Huskies

Marquette (19-5) is on an eight-game winning streak, having not lost a game since a January 10 setback by Butler. The Golden Eagles are second in the Big East, trailing only their opponent on Saturday.

Marquette is led by senior guard Tyler Kolek, a Rhode Island native that is recording 16.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 7.4 assists each outing.

UConn (23-2) is the top team in the country, having won 13 straight games this year. Their lone loss in Big East action came December 20 against Seton Hall.

Led by a pair of senior guards in Cam Spencer and Tristen Newton, the Huskies can score in bunches against any team in the country.

Best Bet: OVER 147.5 Points

Coming into this game, these two teams average a combined 162 points per game. Offense will not be at a premium Saturday as neither team has scored under 70 points in their past five outings.

Play the Over and expect a large day for Mr. Kolek in the scoring department! This will be a fun one to watch!

No. 6 Kansas Jayhawks at No. 25 Oklahoma Sooners

Kansas (19-6) has fallen on hard times, dropping five of their six road games in the Big 12 play. The Jayhawks now travel to face the Sooners Saturday, perhaps for the last time as conference rivals.

Senior Hunter Dickinson has led Kansas’ scoring in three of the past four outings, including a 24-point, 14-rebound effort in these teams’ first matchup in January.

Oklahoma (18-7) is as inconsistent as their opponent lately. The Sooners are just 6-6 in Big 12 Conference play, falling 79-62 at Baylor in their last outing.

Oklahoma has a pair of guards that do most of their damage as junior Javian McCollum is scoring 14 points and dishing 3.4 assists per game while Otega Oweh is averaging 12.3 points and 4.2 rebound each outing.

Best Bet: Kansas (-1.5)

Betting Kansas on the road is always a crapshoot in Big 12 play. However, this Jayhawks team will be fired up after Monday’s game witnessed coach Bill Self’s first ejection at Kansas.

Expect Self to light a fire under his team and spur them on to a convincing victory Saturday in Oklahoma. This is a good spot to buy KU at a low. Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk!

No. 22 Kentucky Wildcats at No. 13 Auburn Tigers

After jumping out to a 14-3 start to the season, Kentucky (17-7) has been even in its last eight games. The Wildcats’ schedule has been brutal lately, featuring losses to Florida, Tennessee and Gonzaga in their past five games.

Senior guard Antonio Reeves leads Kentucky, averaging 19.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per contest.

Auburn (20-5) has won four of its last five games, including wins over No. 16 Alabama and No. 11 South Carolina. The Tigers are second in the SEC, trailing only Alabama in the standings.

Auburn is led by junior Johni Broome, a forward averaging 16.0 points and 8.6 rebounds per outing this year.

Best Bet: Auburn (-9.5)

Auburn will benefit from Kentucky’s uneven play. The Tigers’ roster is filled with upper classmen as 10 players are either juniors or seniors. Head coach Bruce Pearl has this Auburn squad focused and hungry.

The Wildcats are a younger team – composed of a dozen freshmen or sophomores – and have struggled away from Rupp Arena in conference play. Expect Auburn to win this game convincingly Saturday evening. Lay the points!

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