There are more than 150 college basketball games scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 4. We were able to take that massive list and widdle it down to four college basketball predictions and best bets at DraftKings Sportsbook. This should be a fun slate as teams jockey for position and momentum with a few weeks to go before conference tournaments start. In other words, your remote is in for quite a workout. Let’s get to the picks!
College Basketball Predictions & Best Bets: Saturday, Feb. 4
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Pick #1: Auburn (+9.5) at Tennessee
Game Info: Auburn at Tennessee | 2 pm ET | ESPN
No. 2 Tennessee came crashing back down to earth with a humbling 67-54 loss at Florida on Tuesday. I fully recognize that the Volunteers will have motivated energy to avenge that loss in front of their home crowd. Having said that, I still believe this is too many points.
Truth be told, Auburn hasn’t played many top-tier teams this season, so this game will serve as a measuring stick for Bruce Pearl’s squad. There’s room for optimism though, as Auburn has a good enough defense (ranked No. 21 in adjusted defensive efficiency) and rebound rate to hold its own in a game like this.
Tennesse’s last two losses (vs. Kentucky, at Florida) happened because of poor shooting, especially from distance. Auburn currently ranks fifth in opponent three-point percentage, so there’s a chance the Tigers can limit the Vols’ scoring potential to keep it close.
The Pick: Auburn +9.5 | -110 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Pick #2: Iowa-Illinois Over 155.5 Total Points | 2:30 pm ET
Game Info: Illinois at Iowa | 2:30 pm ET | FOX
This should be a fun game. Iowa ranks No. 6 in adjusted offensive efficiency while Illinois is No. 58 in that metric. Both teams play relatively fast, as the Hawkeyes rank 45th in tempo and Illinois is 65th. The Hawkeyes love to score in bunches, especially at home. Illinois can get out on the break as well, and it should fall into Iowa’s high-scoring mentality on the road.
On top of that, at least one team has scored 80+ points in nine of Iowa’s last 12 games. That includes some back-and-forth score-fests at home like 91-89 vs. Indiana, 93-84 vs. Michigan, and 93-82 vs. Rutgers. It feels like Saturday’s game between two capable offenses will follow that script, warranting a bet over 155.5 total points. That’s an implied score of 79-76 either way, and both teams are capable of scoring 80+ in this game.
The Pick: Iowa-Illinois Over 155.5 | -110 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Pick #3: Purdue (-1.5) at Indiana | 4 pm ET
Game Info: Purdue at Indiana | 3 pm ET | ESPN
I like betting on talent, and Purdue has that in spades. Yes, it’s difficult playing as the No. 1 team on the road. You’re going to get top-notch effort from every team. Indiana is hardly a slouch either, winning three straight home games by 13+ points. However, the Hoosiers are coming off a humbling 66-55 loss at Maryland on Tuesday. On top of that, they haven’t played a team like Purdue this season.
The Boilermakers are humming at the moment, beating Michigan State by 16 and Penn State by 20 in the last week. Purdue has played some close conference games on the road this season, but it currently owns a 5-0 record in that regard. Big man Zach Edey is playing fantastic basketball, and I’m not sure Indiana has an answer for him. This one could be close, but Purdue should come away with another conference victory on the road. There’s also a chance the Boilermakers continue to play excellent basketball and keep the Hoosiers at arm’s length throughout most of this game. Ultimately, I feel like Purdue has plenty of avenues to win by at least two points.
The Pick: Purdue -1.5 | -110 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Pick #4: Florida-Kentucky Under 136.5 Total Points | 8:30 pm ET
Game Info: Florida at Kentucky | 8:30 pm ET | ESPN
Florida needs to win with defense this season, and the Gators are starting to embrace that approach. As a result, Florida makes for a natural “under team” while ranking No. 8 in adjusted defensive efficiency. Meanwhile, Kentucky has an efficient offensive, but it doesn’t exactly push the pace while ranking No. 267 in tempo.
The Gators just played back-to-back games against top-notch offenses, holding Kansas State to 64 points and Tennessee to 54. In fact, Florida has not allowed an opponent to score more than 64 points in seven straight games. You better believe the Gators will look to enact that defensive-minded strategy on the road, and it’s not like Florida’s 49.4% effective field goal rate (ranked No. 232) will push this game over the total.
The Pick: Florida-Kentucky Under 136.5 | -110 at DraftKings Sportsbook