Saturday College Basketball Odds: Two-Way Action On Kentucky Vs North Carolina

Kentucky Wildcats forward Oscar Tshiebwe (34) celebrates during the second half against the Southern University Jaguars at Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center.
Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday college basketball odds are part of a busy sports betting day. Perhaps the most compelling game is one that wasn’t on the original schedule.

The CBS Sports Classic initially featured Ohio State-Kentucky and North Carolina-UCLA at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. But COVID reared up, and Ohio State and UCLA had to bow out. North Carolina and Kentucky picked up the pieces and will square off at 5:30 p.m. ET.

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

Saturday College Basketball Odds And Betting Action

North Carolina vs No. 21 Kentucky

Oscar Tshiebwe #34 of Kentucky Wildcats reacts after making a basket against the Duke Blue Devils during the State Farm Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden on November 09, 2021 in New York City.
Image Credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

UPDATE 4:30 P.M. ET SATURDAY: Kentucky opened -2 Friday night at DraftKings, peaked at -3.5 this morning and has been at -3 all afternoon. Ticket count is 2/1 Wildcats, but money is almost dead even, with a slight lean to the Tar Heels. The total fell from 148 to 144.5, with 75% of tickets on the Over/54% of dollars on the Under.

Previous North Carolina vs Kentucky Odds Updates

UPDATE 11:30 A.M. ET SATURDAY: It’s a neutral-site battle of college basketball bluebloods. North Carolina (8-2 SU, 3-7 ATS) wasn’t good for bettors early on, going 0-6 ATS out of the gate, but the Tar Heels have cashed in three of their last four and also are on a 5-0 SU run. On Tuesday, UNC topped lesser-light Furman 74-61 laying 10.5 points at home.

Kentucky (7-2 SU, 3-6 ATS) has been consistently costly for bettors thus far and enters this game in an 0-3 ATS funk. Last Saturday, the Wildcats went off as 4.5-point favorites at Notre Dame and lost outright, 66-62. The loss halted a seven-game win streak, a solid run that followed a season-opening neutral-site loss to Duke.

The Wildcats are up to -3 from a -2 opener at TwinSpires, while taking 57% of tickets/72% of money.

“Sharp money on Kentucky -2 and -2.5,” TwinSpires trading analyst Zachary Lucas said of activity for this 5:30 p.m. start.

The total dropped to 145.5 from a 148 opener, with 61% of tickets on the Over/76% of cash on the Under.

“Sharp money on the Under,” Lucas said.

Oklahoma State vs No. 14 Houston

Kyler Edwards #11 of the Houston Cougars brings the ball up court during the game against the Oregon Ducks at Michelob ULTRA Arena on November 24, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Image Credit: Michael Hickey/Getty Images

UPDATE 6:30 P.M. ET SATURDAY: This game is very lightly bet at BetMGM Nevada, to the point where the decision is a drop in the bucket. Houston opened -9.5 Friday night, dipped to -8.5 this morning and hasn’t budged at all since then. Tickets and money are modestly in favor of the Cougars.

“Not much action on this game,” BetMGM Nevada’s Jeff Stoneback said. “The book needs Oklahoma State for a very small decision.”

The total hasn’t moved off of 134.5. Stoneback said BetMGM’s Vegas books need the Over, but it’s practically a no-decision.

Previous Oklahoma State vs Houston Odds Updates

UPDATE 11:30 A.M. ET SATURDAY: Houston, which reached the Final Four last season, is taking on another Power Five conference foe. The Cougars have already played Virginia, Wisconsin, Oregon, and Alabama, going 2-2 SU and 3-1 ATS. Last Saturday, Houston (9-2 SU, 7-4 ATS) went to ‘Bama as a 3-point pup and fell just short, 83-82. The Cougars followed that setback with Tuesday’s 71-56 win giving 22 points at home to Louisiana-Lafayette.

Oklahoma State (7-3 SU, 4-6 ATS) will be facing its toughest test so far this season. The Cowboys have taken on just three notable opponents thus far — Wichita State, North Carolina State, and Xavier — going 1-2 SU and ATS. Most recently, OSU outlasted Cleveland State 98-93 on Monday, but never threatened to cover as a 12.5-point home chalk.

Houston dropped from -9.5 to -8.5 at Twinspires. The Cougars are landing 56% of spread tickets and the Cowboys 55% of spread cash for this neutral-site contest, which tips off at 7 p.m. ET in Fort Worth, Texas.

“It’s really good two-way action. Some sharp money on Oklahoma State +9.5,” TwinSpires trading analyst Zachary Lucas said.

The total dipped from 135 to 134, with 67% of tickets/56% of money on the Under.

No. 1 Baylor at Oregon

James Akinjo #11 of the Baylor Bears drives inside to score as Justin Moore #5 of the Villanova Wildcats defends in the second half at the Ferrell Center on December 12, 2021 in Waco, Texas.
Image Credit: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

UPDATE 8:15 P.M. ET SATURDAY: Baylor opened as a 7.5-point road favorite Friday night at BetMGM Nevada, dipped to -6.5 and is now back at the -7.5 opener. “Tickets and money all Baylor pretty much, tickets 10/1 and money 4/1,” BetMGM Nevada’s Scott Shelton said, noting sharp play on Oregon +7.5. The total dropped from 137.5 to 134.5 on sharp action, with tickets 2/1 and money 8/1 on the Under.

Previous Baylor at Oregon Odds Updates

UPDATE 11:30 A.M. ET SATURDAY: Defending national champion Baylor (9-0 SU, 6-2-1 ATS) heads to the Pacific Northwest for one of Saturday’s final games, a 10 p.m. ET start. On Sunday, the Bears impressively stifled Villanova 57-36 as 5-point home favorites, a victory that pushed Baylor to No. 1 in the Top 25.

Oregon (6-5 SU, 3-7 ATS) was ranked 13th in the AP preseason poll and now isn’t even among the “others receiving votes.” The Ducks rolled over lightweight Portland 96-71 as 17.5-point home favorites Wednesday.

TwinSpires opened Baylor an 8-point chalk and is down to -7. Ticket count is 3/1 Bears, but money is much closer, with a modest majority on Baylor.

“It’s Pros vs Joes, with the Pros on Oregon,” TwinSpires trading analyst Zachary Lucas said.

The total inched from 137.5 to 137, with 57% of tickets/64% of money on the Under.

No. 25 Texas Tech vs No. 5 Gonzaga

Chet Holmgren #34 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs is seen during the game against the UCLA Bruins at T-Mobile Arena on November 23, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Image Credit: Michael Hickey/Getty Images

UPDATE 11:30 A.M. ET SATURDAY: It’s another neutral-site clash, with these two ranked teams meeting at the Jerry Colangelo Classic in Phoenix. On Dec. 4, Gonzaga (8-2 SU, 4-6 ATS) tumbled to Alabama 91-82 as a 10-point “neutral-site” chalk — the game was in Seattle. The Bulldogs rebounded last Saturday with an 80-55 rout of Northeast League unknown Merrimack, failing to cover as 32.5-point home favorite. The Zags are in an 0-4 ATS rut entering this 1 p.m. ET tilt.

Texas Tech (8-1 SU, 5-4 ATS) has been solid all season. Most notably, on Dec. 7, the Red Raiders were 4-point ‘dogs to Tennessee at Madison Square Garden and won 57-52 in overtime. On Tuesday, Texas Tech beat Arkansas State 75-62, but fell well short of covering as a 23.5-point fave.

Gonzaga moved from -8 straight to -9 and is now -9.5 at TwinSpires. The Zags, favored to win the national championship, are drawing 56% of bets/74% of money on the spread for this 1 p.m. ET tipoff.

“It’s a mix of public and sharp money on the Zags. We’ll need the ‘dog,” TwinSpires trading analyst Zachary Lucas said.

The total is up to 148 from a 145.5 opener, with tickets beyond 3/1 and money 5/1 on the Over.

“Lopsided action on the Over,” Lucas said.

No. 3 Purdue vs Butler

Jaden Ivey #23 of the Purdue Boilermakers on the court in the game against the Wright State Raiders at Mackey Arena on November 16, 2021 in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Image Credit: Justin Casterline/Getty Images

UPDATE 11:30 A.M ET SATURDAY: Purdue had a cup of coffee at No. 1 — its first journey to the top of the rankings in school history — then lost at Rutgers 70-68 giving 13.5 points Dec. 9. The Boilermakers (9-1 SU, 6-4 ATS) rebounded from that last-second defeat with Sunday’s 82-72 overtime against North Carolina State, but came up short as a 14.5-point neutral-site favorite.

Butler (7-3 SU, 2-6 ATS) notched a noteworthy overtime win at Oklahoma, 66-62 catching 11.5 points Dec. 7. The Bulldogs followed with a more lackluster 66-54 home win laying 21.5 points against Eastern Illinois.

Saturday’s noon ET contest is a neutral-site game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, home of the Indiana Pacers. Purdue hasn’t moved off -15.5 on TwinSpires’ Saturday college basketball odds board. Butler is grabbing 63% of tickets, while 56% of money is on the Boilermakers.

“The public is on the ‘dog. But it’s a low-handle game, so no real need on the side or total,” TwinSpires trading analyst Zachary Lucas said.

The total nudged from 132.5 to 132 and back, with 65% of tickets/58% of money on the Over.