Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:00 AM
Saturday's Tip Sheet
The upcoming Christmas Holiday sets the stage for some great tournament action in men’s college basketball as the nonconference portion of the schedule draws to a close. Two of the best matchups on the board this Saturday in the CBS Sports Classic at the United Center in Chicago starts with UCLA taking on Ohio State in a Pac-12/Big Ten clash. Later in the afternoon, Kentucky faces North Carolina in this SEC/ACC tilt.
As a betting bonus for Saturday night, No. 1 Kansas will try and avenge last season’s loss to Arizona State at home in a trip to Tempe this time around.
Opening Odds per [...]
UCLA Bruins vs. No. 15 Ohio State Buckeyes (CBS, 3:00 p.m. ET)
Opening Odds: Ohio State -5 ½, Total 142
UCLA is coming off back-to-back losses both straight-up and against the spread to Belmont as a 6 ½-point home favorite and to Cincinnati by 29 points as a nine-point underdog on the road. The Bruins’ entire body of work stands at 7-4 SU with a 4-7 record ATS. The total went OVER 134 ½ points in Wednesday’s loss to the Bearcats after staying UNDER in seven of UCLA’s previous eight games.
The Buckeyes continue to make their way up the national rankings with a SU 10-1 start, but they have not been nearly as steady ATS at 6-5. They failed to cover as heavy double-digit home favorites in recent wins against Bucknell and Youngstown State combined with an earlier 72-62 loss to Syracuse closing as 4 ½-point favorites. Ohio State has been one of the better defensive teams in the nation with a point-allowed average of 61.4 points.
-- The Bruins are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games against the Big Ten, but they have failed to cover in their last four neutral-site games. The total has stayed UNDER in six of their last eight games coming off an ATS loss.
-- The Buckeyes have failed to cover in 23 of their last 29 games played at a neutral site and they are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games against a team with a SU winning record. The total has stayed UNDER in five of their last seven games against the Pac-12.
No. 19 Kentucky Wildcats vs. No. 9 North Carolina Tar Heels (CBS, 5:15 p.m. ET)
Opening Odds: North Carolina -5 ½, Total 165
The Wildcats started their season with a loss to the ACC; falling to Duke 111-84 as two-point favorites. Their only other straight-up loss in 10 games came on Dec. 8 in a tight 84-83 setback against Seton Hall as seven-point favorites. Kentucky closed as a double-digit favorite in the other eight games and its overall record against the spread stands at 4-6. Over that run, it has averaged 84.6 points per game led by freshman guard Keldon Johnson (16.1 PPG).
Coming off last Saturday’s impressive 103-90 victory against Gonzaga as a three-point home favorite, North Carolina is also 8-2 SU. Its two losses came against Texas as a nine-point favorite and against Michigan as a 3 ½-point underdog. The Tar Heels are 5-3-2 ATS with the total going OVER in eight of the 10 games behind a scoring average of 94.3 PPG. This roster boasts four players averaging as least 12 points.
-- The Wildcats have gone 4-1 ATS in their last five Saturday games and they are 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight games against the ACC. The total has gone OVER in six of their last seven games played at a neutral site.
-- The Tar Heels are 1-4 ATS in their last five neutral-site games, but they have a 20-7-2 record ATS in their last 29 games against the SEC. The total has gone OVER in seven of their last eight Saturday games.
-- The favorite in the matchup has gone 3-0-1 ATS in the last four meetings and North Carolina has an overall edge of 9-3-2 in the last 14 games between the two.
No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks at No. 18 Arizona State Sun Devils (ESPN2, 9:00 p.m. ET)
Opening Odds: Kansas -4, Total 150 ½
Kansas started the season as the top team in the nation in both major polls and 10 SU victories in 10 previous outings has them back on top heading into this game. It has not always been an easy ride at 5-5 ATS with close calls against Stanford and Villanova, but the end result has always been the same. Senior forward Dedric Lawson has been a big part of the early success with 19.7 points per game.
The Sun Devils made national headlines last season with their 95-85 upset of Kansas on Dec. 10 as four-point road underdogs. After an encouraging 7-0 SU (5-2 ATS) start this season, they are scrambling a bit with recent losses to Nevada and Vanderbilt as slight underdogs on the road. The total stayed UNDER in both of those defeats and it has stayed UNDER in Arizona State’s last four outings.
-- The Jayhawks are 0-5 ATS in their last five games on Saturday and they are 1-5 ATS in their last five games against the Pac-12. The total has gone OVER or ended as a PUSH in five of their last Saturday games.
-- The Sun Devils have a 4-1-1 record ATS in their last six home games and they have covered the spread in their last six games against the Big 12. The total has gone OVER in four of their last five Big 12 matchups.