Saturday’s Early Tips

The final Saturday of college basketball betting action in the month of February should be a good one highlighted by a tough test on the road for the top team in the Big East and a big showdown in the Big 12 for first place in the conference standings.

No. 2 Villanova Wildcats at Creighton Bluejays (FOX, 2:30 p.m. ET)

Betting Matchup

The Wildcats followed up a huge 95-79 road win against Xavier as slight one-point favorites with Wednesday’s 93-62 romp over DePaul to cover as heavy 18.5-point favorites at home. The total went OVER in both of those games and it has gone OVER in eight of their last nine contests. Villanova is now 12-3 straight-up in the Big East with a 9-6 record against the spread. It is 6-4 ATS in 10 previous road games this season.

Junior guard Mikal Bridges scored 27 points in Wednesday’s win after putting up 25 points against Xavier. He has now surpassed his 17.1-point scoring average in each of his last three starts. Another junior guard, Phil Booth added 14 points against DePaul after missing his previous seven starts due to injury. The Wildcats’ top scorer this season has been a third junior guard Jalen Brunson with 19.2 points per game. He has been held to 11 points in each of his last two games. Villanova is averaging 87.6 points a game, which is ranked first in the nation.

Creighton has slid to 8-7 SU in Big East play with losses to Xavier and Marquette as favorites at home ahead of Tuesday’s 93-70 road loss to Butler as a six-point underdog. The Bluejays are 5-10 ATS and the total has stayed UNDER in nine of their 15 conference games. They failed to cover as 13 ½-point road underdogs in a 98-78 loss to Villanova on Feb. 1 and they are 0-5 ATS in their last five games closing as underdogs and 1-7 ATS as underdogs this season.

In that first meeting against the Wildcats, senior guard Marcus Foster went 8-for-16 from the field to score a team-high 20 points. He continues to lead the Bluejays in scoring with an average of 19.8 PPG. He is shooting 49.5 percent from the field and 44.1 percent from three-point range. Creighton has four players averaging at least nine points a game as part of an 84.9-point scoring average that is ranked 10th in the nation. It is giving up an average of 74.2 points at the other end of the court.

Betting Trends

-- The Wildcats are 16-6 ATS in their last 22 Saturday games and the total has gone OVER in six of their last seven games following a SU win.

-- The Bluejays have failed to cover the spread in their last five games on a Saturday and the total has stayed UNDER in five of their last seven home games.

-- The home team in this Big East tilt has covered ATS in four of the last five meetings and the total has stayed UNDER or ended as a PUSH in five of the last six games between the two.

No. 8 Kansas Jayhawks at No. 6 Texas Tech Red Raiders (ESPN, 4:15 p.m. ET)

Betting Matchup

Kansas leads the Red Raiders by one game atop the Big 12 standings at 11-4 SU, but it has already lost to Texas Tech 85-73 as a 7 ½-point home favorite on Jan. 2. More recently, the Jayhawks have won their last three games SU including Monday’s 104-74 romp over Oklahoma as 8 ½-point favorites at home. This was just the second time in their last six games they covered the closing spread. The total went OVER the closing 165 ½-point line against the Sooners after staying UNDER in eight of their previous 11 contests.

All five of Kansas’s starters ended Monday’s game in double figures with Silvio De Sousa adding another 10 points off the bench. Senior guard Devonte’ Graham has been the team’s leading scorer all season long with an average of 17.6 PPG and he led the way in that big win with 23 points. This was the third time in his last five starts he crossed the 20-point mark. The Jayhawks are five deep with players averaging at least 12 PPG as part of their 82.4-point scoring average.

Texas Tech blew its chance to hold the lead in the Big 12 with back-to-back road losses to Baylor and Oklahoma State as a road favorite in its last two games. This was on the heels of a SU seven-game winning streak. The Red Raiders are 10-5 SU in conference play, but they have been a tough team to bet on at times with an 8-7 record ATS. They are 2-3 ATS in their last five home games with the total going OVER in three of those games.

Freshman guard Zhaire Smith led Texas Tech in scoring with 18 points in Wednesday’s 79-71 loss to Oklahoma State as a four-point favorite. He is the second-leading scorer this season with 11.1 PPG. Senior guard Keenan Evans is the Red Raiders’ leading scorer with 17.6 points, but he has been held to a combined six points in his last two games. This loss was just the second time this season Texas Tech gave up more than 78 points. It is ranked seventh in the nation in points allowed (63.1).

Betting Trends

-- The Jayhawks are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games on the road and the total has stayed UNDER in seven of their last 10 Saturday games.

-- The Red Raiders have failed to cover in their last four games coming off a SU loss and the total has stayed UNDER in 10 of their last 11 games played on Saturday.

-- The home team in this matchup has gone 20-8 ATS over the past 28 meetings and the total has stayed UNDER in five of the last six meetings at Texas Tech.