College basketball picks, schedule: Predictions for UConn vs. Creighton and more key Top 25 games Saturday

Fluff those cushions, check your pantry to make sure your popcorn stash is fully supplied and prepare yourself both physically and mentally for this weekend. Because Saturday is a day you’ll want to be glued to the tube for college hoops.

There’s a ton of action with 19 ranked teams set to take the court and adding to the drama is the trickle-down effect those games will have on conference races across the country. In the Big East, we have UConn vs. Creighton in the noon window. In the SEC, it’s Alabama-Kentucky at 1 pm ET. In the Big Ten, it’s Wisconsin-Illinois tipping at 1:30 pm ET.

And that’s just a portion of what’s on tap.

I called up our staff to make some picks for some of the doozys on the dial for the slate both straight-up and against the spread. Those picks are below.

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | All times Eastern

Featured Game | Connecticut Huskies vs. Creighton Bluejays

Noon | Fox, fuboTV (Try for free) — UConn is walking wounded into this one having lost its last two games after a 14-0 start while Creighton appears to have finally gotten off the mat with three straight wins after a six-game skid that spanned several weeks from late November to mid-December . I like the one that has momentum right now. The Bluejays are a formidable test for any team and I think they match up quite well with UConn now that Ryan Kalkbrenner is back in the lineup. Pick: Creighton +8 (Boone)

Featured Game | Missouri Tigers vs. Vanderbilt Commodores

12 pm | CBS,, CBS Sports App (Free) — Missouri’s lack of size on the interior could be an issue against Vanderbilt center Liam Robbins, who finished with 22 points, seven rebounds and six blocks in a win over a similarly undersized South Carolina team earlier this week. Robbins is a true 7-footer who will challenge the Tigers’ defense. Missouri should win straight up at home, but it might be closer than expected. Pick: Vanderbilt +9 (Cobb)

Featured Game | Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Kentucky Wildcats

1 p.m. | ESPN, fuboTV (Try for free) — Alabama wins, Kentucky covers in a close one. Hard to see how Kentucky’s slog of an offense can keep pace with Alabama’s well-oiled offensive machine led by Brandon Miller. But UK always seems to find a way to keep things close despite its myriad blemishes. If Oscar Tshiebwe can continue his paint dominance Alabama will get a nice scare but it won’t quite be enough. Pick: Kentucky +6 (Boone)

Featured Game | Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Ole Miss Rebels

2 pm | CBS,, CBS Sports App (Free) —Oddly enough, the last four games between Mississippi State and Ole Miss have been decided by double digits with each team winning two contests. But that trend should come to an end Saturday in a battle between two defensive-oriented squads. The Rebels and Bulldogs both struggle with scoring, and every possession should be a battle as both squads try and avoid an 0-3 start to league play. Look for Ole Miss to cover in a close game. Pick: Ole Miss +5 (Cobb)

Featured Game | Wyoming Cowboys vs. San Diego State Aztecs

4 pm | CBS,, CBS Sports App (Free) — Wyoming is off to a frustrating start after being picked to finish second in the Mountain West behind San Diego State. The Cowboys are missing star big man Graham Ike, who hasn’t played yet this season due to injury, and they will have their hands full with the Aztecs’ sharpshooting tandem of Darrion Trammell and Matt Bradley. San Diego State is a sound defensive squad that can force opponents to go long stretches without scoring. The Aztecs should be able to use that defense to pull away late. Pick: San Diego State -8 (Cobb)

Featured Game | Auburn Tigers vs. Arkansas Razorbacks

8:30 pm | SEC Network, fuboTV (Try for free) — Arkansas being down two studs in Trevon Brazille and Nick Smith Jr. is probably going to push bettors to the Auburn side, especially with this being a home game for the Tigers. But I’m swerving here to roll with the Muss Bus and Arkansas. This team is plenty capable and deep enough to win even not being at full strength. The 1-2 scoring combo of Ricky Council IV and Anthony Black is enough for the Hogs to woo their way to a nice road win. Prediction: Arkansas +1.5 (Boone)

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

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