College basketball picks, schedule: Predictions against the spread, odds for SEC-Big 12 Challenge 2023


One of the busiest days of the college basketball season to date is heading our way on Saturday with the annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge highlighting the weekend action. The slate will tip early and run all the way into the night, culminating in a No. 9 Kansas in Kentucky matchup at 8 p.m. ET to clear the slate.

The Big 12 has been rated the top conference in college hoops this season after No. 1 last season, but the SEC has some bragging rights over the weekend winning each of the final two challenges after forcing a series tie in 2019 – 20. The Big 12 still holds a 4-3 lead in winning the event since its inception in 2013-14 (there were two years where the leagues were tied), as well as an overall record of 48-41. But the SEC has risen to the challenge in this event and has some favorable matchups to potentially be the first league to win three peat since the Big 12 did the first three years.

Our experts have picks and predictions for the biggest games of the day right here.

Odds through Caesars Sportsbook | All times Eastern

Recommended game | Oklahoma Sooners v Alabama Crimson Tide

2pm | ESPN, fuboTV (Try Free) — Alabama has knocked out some really good teams in the sport this season – including Kentucky, Missouri and Michigan State – but I think OU is keeping it close. This Crimson Tide team hasn’t lost since mid-December, but it has flirted with defeat several times in recent games. The Sooners and their depth at home will keep it tight and within the numbers. Prediction: Oklahoma +6 — Boone

Recommended game | LSU Tigers v Texas Tech Red Raiders

2pm | ESPNU, fuboTV (Try Free) — LSU has lost seven straight and Texas Tech has lost eight straight, so this one looks like a pretty even matchup of struggling teams on paper. But at least during that span, the Red Raiders were competitive as the Tigers were blown away by an average of 24.8 points per game in the last four games. I fade LSU until it shows it doesn’t deserve to be faded. Prediction: Texas Tech -3 — Boone

Recommended game | Missouri Tigers vs. Iowa State Cyclones

2pm | ESPN2, fuboTV (Try Free) — Pretty even game here between ISU and Mizzou – really good defense from the Cyclones versus a really good offense from the Tigers – so I’m just going to lean on the home team. Missouri’s only losses on the home floor this season were possible No. 1 seeds in Kansas and Alabama, so if I get points for the home team, I’ll take them. Forecast: Missouri +1.5 — Boone

Recommended game | Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. TCU Horned Frogs

4pm | ESPN2, fuboTV (Try Free) — This TCU team is red hot with double-digit wins over Kansas and OU, so I like that they keep it on the road against a lower SEC club. The Bulldogs have remained competitive even as their 11-0 start has slipped to a 12-8 record, so I expect this one to be close but riding the hot hand here with the Horned Frogs. Forecast: TCU -2 — Boone

Recommended game | Baylor Bears v Arkansas Razorbacks

4pm | ESPN, fuboTV (Try Free) — Davonte Davis has emerged as a difference maker for Arkansas lately as Ricky Council IV sags a bit and No. 1 overall recruit Nick Smith Jr. still sidelined with a knee injury, but this Arkansas backcourt will be surpassed by Baylor and his three-led backcourt trio of Keyonte George, LJ Cryer and Adam Flagler in Waco. These two teams are going in opposite directions so I’ll take the one that’s been rising lately. Prediction: Baylor -6 — Boone

Recommended game | Tennessee Volunteers vs Texas Longhorns

6pm | ESPN, fuboTV (Try Free) — Another upset choice. Think this has a shot at being the best game of the weekend. Texas has a top shelf offense and heads out to take on a Tennessee team built around its No. 1 defense. My concern is whether the Vols have the horses to keep up with the Horns. Tennessee hasn’t had that problem lately, but this Texas team is built to take this win even on the road. Prediction: Texas +7.5 — Boone

Recommended game | Kansas State Wildcats v Florida Gators

6pm | ESPN2, fuboTV (Try Free) — Kansas State hasn’t lost at home all season under freshman coach Jerome Tang and that streak won’t end this weekend as Florida rolls into the Octagon of Doom. The Wildcats are also home 8-3 ATS this season, so I like putting the number in this spot with them. Prediction: Kansas State -5 — Boone

No. 9 Kansas in Kentucky

Recommended game | Kentucky Wildcats vs Kansas Jayhawks

8pm | ESPN, fuboTV (Try Free) — One of the most fascinating elements of the Kentucky-Kansas game is how KU’s underpowered approach in the forecourt will fare against British domestic monster Oscar Tshiebwe. While the UK has become more flexible and versatile defensively amid a role reduction for underpowered point guard Sahvir Wheeler, the Wildcats haven’t played an offensive as dynamic as Kansas’s since being fired on Jan. 7 by Alabama. If the Jayhawks lure their underpowered Om Tshiebwe away from the basket and force Kentucky to dribble players like Jalen Wilson, Gradey Dick and Kevin McCullar 1-on-1, it could be a long night for the UK. Prediction: Kansas +1 — David Cobb

Recommended game | Oklahoma State Cowboys v Ole Miss Rebels

8pm | ESPN2, fuboTV (Try Free) — This Oklahoma State team has some brutality and looks like it could be a sneaky second weekend team with the way it can play inside and out with experienced guard play and a difference making pair of greats in Kalib Boone and Moussa Cisse . I like that the Pokes get this right one time. Prediction: Ole Miss +10 — Boone

Recommended game | West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Auburn Tigers

12 hours | ESPN, fuboTV (Try Free) — The predictions start with an upset choice! Auburn is a fiery gang that can play both indoors and outdoors through Wendell Green and Johni Broome. West Virginia is tough, especially in Morgantown, but talent for talent I think I like the Tigers a little bit to get so close and potentially make the upset in the first game of the day. Prediction: Auburn +4 — Boone

Who will win and cover every college basketball game? Visit SportsLine to get picks from the model that simulates each game 10,000 times and has soared more than $1,200 for $100 players on the top-rated spread picks over the past six years.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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