The Saturday, February 20 CBB lines are live on BetRivers.com, and with less than four weeks until Selection Sunday, teams are looking to solidify their tournament resumes and separate themselves from the March Madness bubble. The slate of Saturday, February 20 CBB lines presents a great opportunity for bettors to find an edge, with a litany of unique games and matchups to choose from.
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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 February 20 CBB lines.
Saturday, February 20 CBB Lines & Predictions
UCONN (10-5, 7-5) at #10 VILLANOVA (13-3, 8-2), 1:00 p.m.
MONEYLINE: Villanova -286, UConn +235
SPREAD: Villanova -6.5
OVER/UNDER: 137 points
Click here for the full list of Villanova-UConn odds.
Having spent the last month playing without James Bouknight, six weeks without Andre Jackson, and the entire season without a fully recovered Akok Akok, UConn has finally gotten to a point where they are, essentially, at full strength.
On Tuesday night, the Huskies got 18 points and three assists in 24 minutes from Bouknight off the bench in a win over Providence that also saw Jackson play 21 minutes. Suddenly, UConn looks like the most athletic team in the Big East, with a trio of Tyrese Martin, Jackson, and Bouknight that are as explosive as anyone trio of wings in the country. This is a problem for Villanova, who thrive on their ability to create mismatches with their perimeter weapons.
Now, some of this is still possible. I think Isaiah Whaley should be able to chase Jeremiah Robinson-Earl around the perimeter, but any time that Adama Sanogo or Josh Carlton is out there, UConn is going to be at a disadvantage. And while I love R.J. Cole, he’s a small point guard that is going to be asked to deal with Collin Gillespie, who is not quite at the same level as Ryan Arcidiacono or Jalen Brunson but who can overwhelm smaller guards in the post.
But the biggest issue Villanova has this season is in their perimeter defense. They struggle against guards that can attack off the bounce, and UConn has plenty of those.
I make this line closer to 3.5 or 4, and you can get it at 6.5 right now. I love the value on the Huskies here.
#5 ILLINOIS (14-5, 11-3) at MINNESOTA (13-9, 6-9), 3:30 p.m.
MONEYLINE: Illinois -182, Minnesota +150
SPREAD: Illinois -4
OVER/UNDER: 148 points
Click here for the full list of Illinois-Minnesota odds.
In a vacuum, we should probably be all over Minnesota in this spot, right?
The Gophers are basically Gonzaga on steroids in The Barn, and given that they have a five that can shoot in Liam Robbins and a point guard that loves to operate out of ball-screens, they should be able to pull Kofi Cockburn away from the basket fairly effectively. Throw in the fact that the Illini have had to get bailed out by Ayo Dosunmu while struggling in their last two games against Northwestern and Nebraska, and all signs would point to Minnesota, right?
Well, the problem here is that the Gophers are all kinds of banged up. Gabe Kalscheur is going to miss the game after breaking a bone in his hand. Robbins has a severely sprained ankle, and while I know it was road Minnesota, Kofi Cockburn had 33 points and 13 boards on 12-for-15 shooting the first time these two teams got together. He fouled Robbins out in just 16 minutes. No one else stood a chance against him.
So I will be fading my process and jumping all over the Illini in this spot.
#7 VIRGINIA (15-4, 11-2) at DUKE (9-8, 7-6), 8:00 p.m. ET
MONEYLINE: Virginia -134, Duke +112
SPREAD: Virginia -2
OVER/UNDER: 129.5 points
Click here for the full list of Duke-Virginia odds.
I don’t know how or why it happened, but Virginia and Duke opened up as a pick-em on Friday night. The line moved overnight, and the Hoos are now a two-point favorite, but it should go to show you the way that both of these teams were initially valued by the market.
The conversation around Duke this week has been interesting. With Jalen Johnson leaving the program, the Blue Devils lost their most talented player and maybe their biggest distraction. In four games without Johnson in the lineup this season, Duke is 4-0 with three double-digit wins. Throw in the blowout of N.C. State on Saturday, the game that convinced Johnson to leave the program, and all signs point to Duke turning a corner here, right?
Well, let’s put this into context.
The four wins without Johnson came against Notre Dame, BC and Wake Forest, twice. The win over N.C. State was against a team that was missing their best player. Prior to take, they had lost three straight games since the bludgeoning of Clemson.
The key to this matchup, to me, is going to be the play of Kihei Clark at the point. Virginia’s offense is at their best when they are able to get Clark into the lane and allow him to find Virginia’s shooters — their three (Trey Murphy), four (Sam Hauser) and five (Jay Huff). Florida State was able to entirely take this away on Monday night. If Jordan Goldwire can have this same level of success, I think duke can win. But I’m not sure that he will, so I like UVA here.