NCAA Men’s Basketball Previews, Picks and Predictions for Saturday, Feb. 26

NCAA Men’s Basketball Previews, Picks and Predictions for Saturday, Feb. 26
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Here is tonight's 3-pointer, college basketball betting advice on three NCAA men's college basketball games.

Auburn vs. Tennessee

  • Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, Tennessee
  • 4 p.m. ET Tip

This is a monumental matchup of two SEC and national powerhouse basketball programs when the No. 3 Auburn Tigers travel to Knoxville to face the No. 17 Tennessee Volunteers.

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Tigers’ Big Man Leading the Way

Walker Kessler, Auburn’s 7-foot-1 North Carolina transfer, has greatly improved this season.

Last season, he averaged nine minutes, 4.4 points, 0.9 blocks, and 3.2 rebounds per game. He is averaging 13.9 points, 10.1 boards, and 6.6 blocks per game this season. Plus, he is the only player in the nation with two triple-doubles — in his case, points, rebounds and blocks.

Tennessee Has Big Wins on Resume

Tennessee is a perfect 14-0 in home games, including wins over Kentucky, LSU, and UCLA.

The Volunteers are 8-6 against the spread in those home games and it is rare that any SEC team goes undefeated in home games for the entire season.

Auburn is 14-4 ATS against teams that average 21 or more 3-point shot attempts per game and 14-4 ATS when facing an opponent that has outscored their opponents by at least four points per game.

Vols are 5-17 ATS when facing an elite offensive team averaging 77 or more points per game over the last three seasons.

Auburn comes in as a slight underdog and I'm taking Auburn plus the points.

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Southern Cal vs. Oregon

  • Matthew Knight Arena, Eugene, Oregon
  • 10 p.m. ET Tip

The surging Oregon Ducks will look to make it a sweep over No. 16 Southern California in a PAC-12 matchup tonight.

How USC Comes Into The Matchup

USC enters this contest riding a five-game winning streak after a two overtime win against Oregon State on Thursday.

Bookie Ellis is one of four Trojans averaging in double figures at 12.4 points per game and was a late scratch because of an ankle injury sustained in practice. However, USC has strong depth, and starting in place was Ethan Anderson, who scored 12 points and dished six assists.

Oregon Peaking At the Right Time

The value of Oregon coach Dana Altman cannot be overstated, especially since he always seems to get his teams to peak at the right time.

Two days ago, Oregon completed a sweep of UCLA, and with a win today can sweep USC, which will most assuredly punch their ticket to the Big Dance.

Altman also knows a loss against USC would put them right back on the bubble watch, so I fully expect the Ducks and their fans to be fully prepared in this pivotal game.

What’s the Best Bet?

Oregon is 21-9 ATS when facing elite ball-handling teams, like USC, who are averaging 12 or fewer turnovers per game over the past three seasons.

Oregon has the potential to win this easily by double-digits, so I’m taking the Ducks at -4.5 points on BetMGM Sportsbook.

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Gonzaga vs. St. Mary’s

  • University Credit Union Pavilion, Moraga, California
  • 10 p.m. ET Tip

The No. 23-ranked St Mary's Gaels will get their opportunity to knock off the top team in the nation when the No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs come to their place tonight.

How the Teams Come Into the Matchup

The Gaels dominated West Coast Conference foe San Diego, 62-46 on Thursday. They got out to a 17-point halftime lead that they never relinquished and covered the spread as 12-point favorites.

The Bulldogs come into this huge matchup coming off an 89-73 win over the San Francisco Dons and covered the spread as 10.5-point road favorites.

The Bulldogs are the highest-scoring offense in the nation, averaging 89.5 points per game. They rank second in rebounding nationally, averaging 39.6 rebounds per game.

They rank fourth with a very good 1.6 assist-to-turnover ratio and eighth, averaging 5.8 blocks per game.

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How to Bet This Game

The betting line for this game opened with Gonzaga installed as an 11-point road favorite and has remained static throughout early betting action.

The Total for this game opened at 144 points and has seen a steady flow of bettors liking the Over betting opportunity, forcing the market to reprice the total at 145 points.

I like St. Mary’s in this matchup to cover the spread.

The Gaels are 11-2 ATS when playing only their second game in the past seven days and are on a 13-5 ATS win streak after winning four or five of their last six games.

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