College Basketball Odds: Bettors on Alabama In Clash Vs Houston

Alabama Crimson Tide forward Noah Gurley (right) shoots the basketball over South Alabama Jaguars forward Javon Franklin
Image Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

College basketball odds grab center stage Saturday, with practically all of FBS college football on hiatus until bowl games begin late next week. And there are a handful of intriguing contests.

The marquee matchup features the Houston Cougars against the Alabama Crimson Tide. Both teams made noteworthy NCAA Tournament runs last season.

DraftKings provided insights on opening/current lines and action for a few of Saturday’s key matchups in the college basketball odds market. Check back throughout the day for action updates.

Odds via DraftKings and updated as of 11 a.m. ET on Dec. 11.

No. 14 Houston vs. No. 9 Alabama

Alabama Crimson Tide guard JD Davison dunks the ball against South Alabama Jaguars
Image Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Houston, which lost to Baylor in the Final Four last season, is out to an 8-1 SU start this year (6-3 ATS). That includes a solid run in the Maui Invitational, playing three consecutive days. The Cougars opened with a 70-52 win over Butler laying 10 points and finished with a 78-49 pasting of Oregon as a 5-point favorite. In between, Houston narrowly lost to Wisconsin, 65-63 giving 8.5 points.

Alabama (7-1 SU, 6-2 ATS) reached the Sweet 16 last season, taking UCLA to overtime before bowing out of the NCAA Tournament. The Crimson Tide enter Saturday’s showdown off a huge “neutral-site” upset win. Last Saturday, Alabama went to Seattle as a 10-point pup against No. 3 Gonzaga and exited with a 91-82 victory.

The Crimson Tide opened -1.5 against Houston on DraftKings’ college basketball odds board and are up to -3. Ticket count is 2/1 and money 3/1 on ‘Bama. The total shot from 142.5 to 146.5 and is now 146, with ticket count 3/1 on the Over and money 2/1 on the Under.

No. 12 Arkansas at Oklahoma

Arkansas Razorbacks guard Au'Diese Toney gets ready to shoot a free throw during the second half against the Charlotte 49ers
Image Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Arkansas (9-0 SU, 5-4 ATS) puts its perfect record on the line in a nonconference tilt at Oklahoma (7-2 SU, 4-5 ATS). The Razorbacks are coming off four games against lesser-light competition, but last month in the Hall of Fame Classic, they beat Kansas State and Cincinnati on back-to-back nights.

The Sooners will be looking to rebound from Tuesday’s stunning 66-62 overtime loss to Butler, a game in which OU took the court as an 11.5-point home favorite. That setback followed a 74-67 home win over Florida as a 1-point underdog.

Oklahoma opened -2 in DraftKings’ college basketball odds market, but by this morning, this line jumped the fence to Arkansas -1. The Razorbacks are taking 55% of tickets and 73% of money on the spread for this 10 p.m. ET tipoff. The total opened at 144.5, bottomed out at 143 and is now 143.5, with tickets about 3/1 and money 2/1 on the Over.

No. 4 UCLA at Marquette

Dec 1, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Colorado Buffaloes forward Jabari Walker (12) is defended by UCLA Bruins center Myles Johnson (15) in the first half at Pauley Pavilion.
Image Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA is out of the gate at 8-1 SU, but is a nominal 4-4 ATS. The Bruins are coming off a forfeit win at Washington on Sunday, due to COVID issues in the Huskies’ program. Marquette (8-2 SU, 5-5 ATS) enters this 9:30 p.m. ET tipoff following a 64-63 as a 2-point underdog at Kansas State.

UCLA is up to -7 from a -5.5 opener, followed by a brief -5 stint, at DraftKings. Ticket count and money are both in the 3/1 range on the Bruins. After opening 152.5, the total bottomed out at 147.5 this morning, then rebounded to 149.5. The Over is landing 73% of tickets/71% of money.

No. 10 Kentucky at Notre Dame

Kentucky Wildcats forward Keion Brooks Jr. (right) looks to put up a shot as he drives to the basket during the second half against the Southern University Jaguars
Image Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky (7-1 SU, 3-5 ATS) lost to Duke 79-71 catching 2.5 points in a neutral-site season opener Nov. 9. Since then, the Wildcats have loaded up on directional schools and other lightweights, going 7-0 SU. The lowest spread in any of those games was 12 in a 77-59 home win over Ohio; in every other game, Kentucky was favored by at least 22.5 points.

So even though Notre Dame has been mediocre to this point, the Fighting Irish (3-4, 0-6 ATS) represent a significant step up in competition for John Calipari’s squad. That said, Notre Dame doesn’t own a quality wins this season and hasn’t covered against a D-1 team. However, the Irish have played a more challenging schedule than Kentucky, with neutral-site losses to St. Mary’s and Texas A&M, and road setbacks to Illinois and Boston College.

Notre Dame last played on Dec. 3, losing 73-57 at Boston College as a 5-point chalk.

Kentucky moved from -3.5 to -5 at DraftKings, then backed up to -4 this afternoon for a 5:15 p.m. ET start. Still, tickets and money are beyond 7/1 on the Wildcats. The total is down to 142.5 from a 146 opener, though betting splits aren’t available.

No. 11 Arizona at Illinois

Nov 21, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Arizona Wildcats forward Azuolas Tubelis (10) grabs a rebound away from Michigan Wolverines forward Terrance Williams II (5) during the second half at T-Mobile Arena.
Image Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona (8-0 SU, 7-1 ATS) is delivering on the floor and at the betting window this season. Most noteworthy: back-to-back neutral-site wins over Wichita State (in overtime) and Michigan on Nov. 19 and 21 in the Roman Main Event at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena. On Wednesday night, the Wildcats hammered Wyoming 94-65 as 16.5-point home favorites.

Illinois (7-2 SU, 4-5 ATS) is coming off Monday’s upset win at Iowa, 87-83 as a 3.5-point underdog. The Illini have won five in a row SU and three in a row ATS.

DraftKings opened Arizona as a 2-point favorite in this non-conference clash, which tips at this 5 p.m. ET, and the line jumped the fence Friday night to Illinois -1.5. However, by this morning, the number was Arizona -2.5, with ticket count 2/1 and money 4/1 on the Wildcats. The total is up to 155.5 from a 151 opener, with 59% of bets/81% of cash on the Over.