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NCAA Basketball Saturday Betting Guide: Key Road Tests for Several Top 25 Teams in Action

SI Gambling insider Frankie Taddeo shares the latest betting information and updated odds for several of Saturday's high profile college basketball games.

With Selection Sunday only three weeks away, SI Gambling is here to highlight key Top 25 matchups on tap for Saturday. We have a superb Big 12 battle between No. 12 Texas and No. 13 West Virginia, a renewed Big East rivalry between No. 10 Villanova and Connecticut and an ACC showdown between No. 7 Virginia and the Duke Blue Devils.

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Let’s dive right into the games!

No. 13 West Virginia Mountaineers at No. 12 Texas Longhorns

Spread: West Virginia +3 (-110) | Texas -3 (-110)

Total: 147.5– Over (-110) | Under 147.5 (-110)

Venue: Frank C. Erwin Jr. Special Events Center, Austin, Texas

Game Info: Saturday February 19, 2021 3:00pm EST / 12:00pm PST | ESPN+

Editor's Note - Odds are subject to change.

The line has dropped one point from the opening line of a 4-point spread in favor of No. 13 West Virginia (14-6 SU; 10-10 ATS) to now only displaying them as 3-point road underdogs in several shops in Las Vegas against No. 12 Texas (13-5 SU; 7-11 ATS). As always, be sure to visit DraftKings Sportsbook for the latest odds and player proposition wagers on this matchup.

The last time these two teams met back on Jan. 9, the Longhorns came away with a 72-70 win in Morgantown as 1.5-point road underdogs. Since that loss, West Virginia has reeled off five wins in their last seven games - while knocking off ranked teams in Kansas and Texas Tech (twice) during their span. Backing West Virginia at the betting windows has been hit or miss of late as the Mountaineers have only posted a 4-3 ATS record during their last seven games. In addition, as Bob Huggins has his players buying into his system it has translated into strong offensive efficiency as the Big 12 power has cashed six straight to the over - while going over the posted total by oddsmakers in nine of their last 10 games.

On the flip side, since that win over West Virginia, Texas has struggled only winning three of their last seven games. Even more concerning is that the Longhorns are an awful 1-6 ATS over that stretch of games. The matchup between Texas’s Andrew Jones (15.9 points per game) and Greg Brown (11.5 points per game /7.5 rebounds) against West Virginia’s Miles McBride (16.3 points per game) and Derek Culver (15.1 points per game / 10.4 rebounds) is where this game will likely be decided. Jones, who was a thorn in the side of the Mountaineers going 4-7 from beyond the arc, also drained the deciding three-point shot with 1.8 seconds left in regulation to lift Texas to a thrilling win in the first matchup last month.


UConn Huskies at Villanova Wildcats

Spread: UCONN +7.5 (-110) | Villanova -7.5 (-110)

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Total: 137.5– Over (-110) | Under 137.5 (-110)

Venue: Finn Pavilion, Villanova, PA

Game Info: Saturday February 19, 2021 1:00pm EST / 10:00am PST | FOX

Editor's Note - Odds are subject to change.

The line has ticked up since its opening in favor of No. 10 Villanova (13-3 SU; 9-7 ATS) as 7-point home favorites in several shops in Las Vegas over Connecticut (10-5 SU; 11-4 ATS) with the line now displaying the Wildcats as 7.5-point favorites. Check out DraftKings Sportsbook for the latest odds and player proposition wagers on this matchup.

The Wildcats will be looking to rebound on Saturday - playing their first game since last week’s 86-70 loss at Creighton. Villanova will need to rely upon the leadership of point guard Collin Gillespie (14.1 points per game/ 5.1 assists) and Big East Player of the Year Candidate Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (15.6 points per game/ 7.3 rebounds).

Villanova defeated their Big East rival Connecticut 61-55 back last season in Storrs but this will be the first game between the two rivals since the Huskies have made their return to the conference in 2020. The Wildcats, who have posted a 8-2 straight up record in their last 10 games, are only a pedestrian 5-5 ATS mark for their backers over that span.

On the other side, Connecticut is coming off two consecutive impressive wins over Big East foes Providence and Xavier. The Huskies have won six of their last 10 straight up, but more importantly for bettors have posted an impressive 7-3 ATS mark over that stretch. Villanova will need to play well defensively against Connecticut's star forward Tyrese Martin (12.5 points per game, 7.4 rebounds) and guard R.J. Cole (12.2 points per game, 4.3 assists). This game could be decided in the battle down low between Villanova’s Robinson-Earl squaring off with Martin and fellow front-line big man Isaiah Whaley (8.4 points per game / 6.4 rebounds).


No. 7 Virginia Cavaliers at Duke Blue Devils

Spread: Virginia +1 (-110) | Duke -1 (-110)

Total: 131.5– Over (-110) | Under 131.5 (-110)

Venue: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, North Carolina

Game Info: Saturday February 19, 2021 8:00pm EST / 5:00pm PST | ESPN

Editor's Note - Odds are subject to change.

The line has flipped since its opening - fading No. 7 Virginia (15-4 SU; 10-8-1 ATS) as 2-point road favorites now displaying them as a 1-point road underdog in several shops in Las Vegas against Duke (9-8 SU; 5-12 ATS) with the line displaying the Cavaliers as 6-point favorites. Don't forget to visit DraftKings Sportsbook for the latest odds and player proposition wagers on this matchup.

This game has lost some of its luster this season thanks to a shockingly down year for the Blue Devils. The Cavaliers, who have won 11 of 13 - including four of their last five, continue to have a balanced scoring attack led by senior forward transfer Sam Hauser (14.8 points per game/ 7.0 rebounds) who leads the team with 45 three-pointers in 19 games. During their last six games, Virginia has burned bettors at the windows going 2-3-1 against the spread (ATS), including a 21-point loss (81-60) earlier in the week at the hands of Florida State as 2-point road underdogs.

Duke has strung together two consecutive straight-up and ATS wins after dropping six of their previous eight games. Duke has only covered the spread in four of their last 10 games but more alarming have posted a tremendous negative ROI for bettors going 5-12 ATS on the season. The Blue Devils are led by sophomore forward Matthew Hurt (18.3 points per game/ 6.5 rebounds). Historically, Duke has posted a slight edge in the series winning six of the last 10 meetings between these ACC foes. However, we need to highlight that Virginia has been the team to back at the betting counters going 7-3 ATS over that stretch.