This article is part of our CBB Betting series.
Providence at Connecticut Under 136½
Both teams enter playing exceptionally well on defense lately; expect that trend to continue. Connecticut's defense is stout overall, ranking 27th in defensive adjusted efficiency rating, per KenPom. Providence's defense isn't ranked quite as high, though the Friars held their opponent to less than 60 points in each of their last three contests, so it's certainly rounding into form as we head into conference season. Meanwhile, on the other side of the court, Providence's offense has been somewhat inconsistent this season, as we saw on Nov. 23 when the Friars scored a season-low 40 points against Virginia. It's also worth pointing out, these two teams played each other twice last season, and neither game went over Saturday's total. Expecting history to repeat itself.
North Carolina +2 vs. Kentucky
I'm still not sold on Kentucky. The Wildcats rank No. 21 in the country in KenPom's overall adjusted efficiency ratings, but that could take a hit after Saturday. It's hard to argue against Kentucky's 7-2 record, but I remain skeptical mostly because Kentucky has played the 11th easiest non-conference schedule in the country. The Wildcats lost to Duke on opening night, then played seven consecutive cupcakes at home before losing in their first road game of the season at Notre Dame. In other words, Kentucky is 0-2 this season against fair competition. The Wildcats are loaded with talent, as usual, but that won't carry them as far in this particular matchup. North Carolina, on the other hand, played a solid non-conference schedule, soundly beating a strong Michigan team at home before going on the road for a solid victory at Georgia Tech. The Tar Heels also hold an edge on offense, boasting the 13th best adjusted offensive efficiency rating in the country. This game will be a good test for both teams, and I'm counting on North Carolina to come out ahead based on what they've done this season.
Texas A&M -4 at Oregon State
Oregon State hasn't won a game since Nov. 9 when it defeated Portland State in the season opener, and I expect the losing streak to continue for another game. Oregon State has been brutal on both sides of the court this season, ranked last in the Pac-12 in adjusted defensive efficiency, and not much better on offense, also ranked near the bottom of the conference. Texas A&M, meanwhile, has already won seven games, including resume-building victories over Butler and Notre Dame. Also, the Aggies are ranked higher than the Beavers on both offense and defense in KenPom's ratings, further underscoring Texas A&M's overall edge over Oregon State. This is college basketball, so it's certainly possible the Beavers find their stroke and pull out a victory, but it's hard to imagine that picture based on the way their season's gone.
Baylor at Oregon Under 137
Oregon hasn't been quite as sharp this year, failing to score more than 50 points in three games this season. This is even more notable considering that each of these games occurred against Oregon's three toughest opponents. This will be Oregon's toughest game yet, facing a Baylor team that now boasts the No. 1 overall adjusted efficiency rating in the country, per KenPom. Baylor's defense is third best in the nation, while its offense isn't far behind at No. 5. There's always a chance the Bears score too many points and sink the under, but this should be a tight, defensive battle, at least if Baylor's most recent game offers any indication, a 57-36 victory over Villanova. This will also be Baylor's first true road game of the season, so the hostile crowd might help limit the Bears' potent offense.