The final Saturday before March Madness is here, and with 15 conference championships up for grabs, the March 13 CBB lines are as interesting as ever. With roughly 24 hours until Selection Sunday, there are still some bid thieves still in play, and a top seed still up for grabs.
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Rob Dauster, a longtime national college basketball writer, and co-founder of the Field of 68 Podcast Network breaks down the best bets to make on Saturday of Championship Week, the last opportunity to wager on college hoops before the NCAA Tournament begins.
COLLEGE HOOPS SPECIAL: Saturday is also the penultimate day to take part in our March Mayhem buildup where you can earn extra cash for The Big Dance.
RELATED: How to bet on or against Gonzaga
SATURDAY, MARCH 13 CBB LINES
#1 MICHIGAN (20-3, 14-3) vs. #5 OHIO STATE (20-8, 12-8), 1:00 p.m. ET
MONEYLINE: Michigan -265, Ohio State +215
SPREAD: Michigan -6
OVER/UNDER: 142.5 points
Click here for the full list of Michigan-Ohio State Big Ten Semifinal odds.
Keep an eye on the status of Isaiah Livers in this one. He did not play for the final 15 minutes yesterday, and if he is not healthy, it completely changes the calculus for this Michigan team. He’s floor-spacing four that makes some of the mismatches they can create so effective.
UPDATE: Livers has been sidelined indefinitely and will not play today.
Even if he does play today, I think I like the Buckeyes in this spot. I know it’s bitten us a couple of times, but I will continue to fade teams that are capable of pulling Hunter Dickinson away from the basketball, and getting six points seems like a number that factors in Duane Washington doing something dumb in the final minutes to blow a win while still covering.
So we’ve got that on our side.
#2 ILLINOIS (21-6, 16-4) vs. #3 IOWA (21-7, 14-6), 3:30 p.m. ET
MONEYLINE: Illinois -165, Iowa +138
SPREAD: Illinois -3.5
OVER/UNDER: 154 points
Click here for the full list of Illinois-Iowa Big Ten Semifinal Odds.
I love Illinois in this spot.
The biggest reason why is the most obvious: The Illini have been arguably the best team in college basketball over the course of the last three weeks. Their backcourt has been dominant, Andre Curbelo is playing like a guy that is going to be an All-American next season and Brad Underwood has found a way to hide Kofi Cockburn’s defensive frailties.
They’ve lost one game in the last two months.
But there is more to it than that.
The way that they matchup with this Iowa team is very promising.
For starters, Kofi is oe of the few players in college basketball that is capable of defending Luka Garza 1-on-1, and that is so important when it comes to slowing down Iowa’s offense. So much of what they do revolves around getting the ball to Luka on the block and forcing you to double-him. Then, when you rotate, they swing the ball quickly, find an open shooter and BANG you’re dead.
Well, Illinois won’t have to do that, not if Kofi can stay out of foul trouble.
But it goes beyond that. Right now, with Curbelo and Ayo Dosunmu playing together, Illinios has the best backcourt in the Big Ten and one of the top three backcourts in the country. Iowa struggles at guarding on the perimeter, both in individual matchups and when Luka is put into ball-screens. I struggle to see how the HAwks are going to keep the Illinois guards from getting wherever they want today.
So get on the Illinois bandwagon while you still can.
#3 COLORADO (22-7, 14-6) vs. #5 OREGON STATE (16-12, 10-10), 10:30 p.m. ET
MONEYLINE: Colorado -455, Oregon State +360
SPREAD: Colorado -9
OVER/UNDER: 132 points
Click here for the full list of Colorado-Oregon State Pac-12 Finals odds.
Oregon State has been one of the better teams in college basktball that no one is talking about over the last month or so. They’ve won five of their last six games with wins over UCLA and Oregon so far in the PAc-12 tournament. They finished fifth in the Pac-12. And they’ve been an absolute cover machine of late. In the last 17 games, they’ve covered 14 times.
And tonight, they’ll do it again.
Wayne Tinkle, American Hero.
MARCH 13 CBB LINES: SATURDAY SCHEDULE
11:00 a.m.: #4 Hartford vs. #6 UMass-Lowell (A-East Final)
1:00 p.m.: #1 Michigan vs. #5 Ohio State (Big Ten Semifinal)
1:00 p.m.: #1 Alabama vs. #4 Tennessee (SEC Semifinal)
1:00 p.m.:#2N Norfolk State vs. #3N Morgan State (MEAC Final)
3:00 p.m.: #1 Wichita State vs. #5 Cininnati (AAC Semifinal)
3:30 p.m.: #2 Arkansas vs. #3 LSU (SEC Semifinal)
3:30 p.m.: #2 Illinois vs. #3 Iowa (Big Ten Semifinal)
4:00 p.m.:#7 Fairfield vs. #9 Iona (MAAC Final)
5:30 p.m.: #2 Houston vs. #3 Memphis (AAC Semifinal)
6:00 p.m.: #3 Texas vs. #5 Oklahoma State (Big 12 Final)
6:00 p.m.: #1 San Diego State vs. #2 Utah State (MWC Final)
6:00 p.m.: #1 Prairie View A&M vs. #3 Texas Southern (SWAC Final)
6:30 p.m.: #2 Creighton vs. #8 Georgetown (Big East Final)
7:30 p.m.: #2 Buffalo vs. #5 Ohio (MAC Final)
8:00 p.m.: #E2 Eastern Washington vs. #5 Montana State (Big Sky Final)
8:30 p.m.: #2 Florida State vs. #4 Georgia Tech (ACC Final)
9:00 p.m.: #1E Western Kentucky vs. #3W North Texas (C-USA Final)
9:30 p.m.: #1 Nicholls vs. #2 Abilene Christian (Southland Final)
10:00 p.m.: #1 Grand Canyon vs. #3 New Mexico State (WAC Final)
10:30 p.m.: #3 Colorado vs. #5 Oregon St. (Pac-12 Final)
11:30 p.m.: #1 UC-Santa Barbara vs. UC-Irvine (Big West Final)