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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:55 AM

Saturday's Best Bets

There is nothing like a full Saturday slate of college basketball early in the conference play season to get sports bettors primed up for a big weekend in the sports world, and the collegiate game has plenty of spectacular games on tap on Saturday.

The theme of the day does appear to be some tough tests for ranked teams on the road as there are nine ranked teams in hostile territory all tipping off by 2:30 pm EST against unranked foes. There are two other ranked teams in the same boat later on in the day, but it's two of those earlier squads in a tough environment that I'm looking to go against on Saturday afternoon. Let's break down who they are:

Auburn at Florida (CBS, 1:30 p.m. ET)

Best Bet #1: Florida -1.5
Odds provided by DraftKings (IN, NJ & PA only)
Odds Subject to Change

“Bubble burst” scenario for Auburn here, as their undefeated season got halted with a mid-week trip to Alabama earlier in the week. Auburn's first loss came as they really didn't do a whole lot of anything right against the Tide, shooting just 32% overall, 25% from distance, and a rough 57% from the charity stripe. Alabama didn't do anything extraordinary against them, just kept the pressure on and were able to pull away in the 2nd half.

Now, just a few days later, Auburn's got to go into another tough environment in the Swamp, to face a Gators team that's an extra day's rest and arguably even more since their home win over Ole Miss on Tuesday (71-55) wasn't all that taxing as it is. The Gators may not have the overall record that Auburn does, but they are always going to be a tough out at home, and considering they already knocked off Alabama at home – the team that just beat Auburn – backing the Gators on the spread does make a lot of sense here.

Obviously it's not as simple as Team A (Florida) beat Team B (Alabama) and Team B beat Team C (Auburn), so taking Team A over Team C is a must, but given the situational angle of liking to fade college basketball teams off their first loss this deep into the year, backing Florida here does make plenty of sense.

The Gators only true home loss this year came back during the first week of the year where in-state rival Florida State came in and shocked the Gators, and this team has really done nothing but improve since then. In fact, true home games since that game, Florida is a perfect 6-0 SU and 3-3 ATS, with two of those three ATS losses coming when they were laying 17 or more points.

That's clearly not the case here, as the Gators take advantage of an Auburn team that's starting to show some cracks – where taken to the wire against Vanderbilt a few games ago as -15 chalk – and in just a bad situational spot historically off their first loss. Misery loves company, and Auburn falls for the second time this year on Saturday afternoon.

Colorado at Arizona (FOX, 3:00 p.m. ET)

Best Bet #2: Arizona -6
Odds provided by DraftKings (IN, NJ & PA only)
Odds Subject to Change

Colorado got a very impressive win at Arizona State on Thursday night, but sweeping the road trip through the desert is always a monumental task for any visiting Pac-12 team, and it won't be any different for the Buffaloes.

Arizona's off-court issues the past few years has led them to take a step back from the annual powerhouse they once were, but they still are a very talented program and probably aren't getting as much credit as they deserve in the markets because of what happened off the court. It's almost as if many have come to the conclusion that the Wildcats won't be able to get those top recruits anymore thanks to their scandal and are treated like a team that has fallen off the map in that regard. That's just not the case, and in a good situational spot themselves, I expect them to grab their real big win over this year.

Not only is trying to sweep the Arizona series a negative for Colorado here, but the fact that Arizona has gone up against some of the best teams in the country already this year (Baylor, Gonzaga, Oregon), twice in hostile territory should work in the Wildcats favor.

One, Arizona is battle-tested from those three games, and while they all ended in defeat, none were by more then five points. Colorado has some impressive wins themselves on their resume this year with wins over Dayton and Oregon, but it's also those defeats that have probably shaded this line a point or so too much the way of the Buffaloes.

Finally, because I do believe there is a general apathy in the market to wanting to back Arizona these days, they are a team that routinely grades out better for me then what most of their lines suggest. Considering the Wildcats are just 9-8 ATS this year I may be overvaluing them a bit myself, but I'm willing to push that aside given the scenario.

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