College Basketball Best Bets for Today, February 5th

Feb 2, 2022; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Kentucky Wildcats basketball.
Feb 2, 2022; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Kentucky Wildcats basketball. / Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Another profitable day on Friday, but I'm not going to lie that Colorado State meltdown hurts after leading by 19 in the final 10 minutes. The team even needed to score in the final 10 seconds just to win the game after one of the biggest choke jobs I've seen this season. Oh well.

2-1 Friday puts us on a 18-3 run heading into a loaded Saturday slate. I bet a few games at open, which can be found in real time here, so some have moved away and out of range for a bet, but we still got plenty of action. Here's a handful of plays I made for today.

Odds courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook.

Column Record: 45-39-3 (+4.33 units)

Parlay: Illinois/Texas ML

It's not the sharpest move, but I want some extra juice on backing Illinois in a hostile Indiana environment.

Indiana has a fantastic interior defense that is allowing the fourth lowest near-proximity percentage in the country, which will pay dividends against Illini brute Kofi Cockubrn, who is coming off a dominant 37-point performance. However it's the shooting of the Illini that is key. The team can space the floor around Cockburn and put him in one-on-one situation. If he can handle double teams and kick out to the likes of Alfonso Plummer (40% three-point percentage this season), the Illini can outpace the Hoosiers on the road.

I will note that Assembly Hall is a tough place to play, and Brad Underwood's club has Purdue on the road next in a massive game with Big Ten title implications. I want some extra payout on this wager, so I'll pair them with Texas, who is in a good bounce back spot against a struggling Iowa State team.

The Cyclones are trending downwards after starting 12-0 on the year and the Longhorns should get back on track off a loss against Texas Tech on the road in Chris Beard's return, which was an impossible spot. The Longhorns defense should reign supreme here with their top 10 turnover rate and ability to wash this rock fight away at the line with the second best free throw percentage in Big 12 play.

PICK: Illinois/Texas Parlay (+132)

Oklahoma (+2.5) vs. Oklahoma State

I would recommend holding off before we hear more about Oklahoma State guard Bryce Williams, who is a game time decision. If he is in, you'll probably get over 3 in this spot, but I'll be rocking with the Sooners on the road even at +2.5.

Both teams come limping in with OU dropping six of seven and the Cowboys losing four straight, but I see some positive regression for Porter Moser's team that ranks 26th in ShotQuality's adjusted rankings. The Sooners are getting lit up from three in conference play, a league worst 35% despite allowing the third fewest three's. However, OSU struggles to shoot from distance and I trust Oklahoma's offense that has the best two-point offense in the conference to get enough looks inside to open up their perimeter game.

The Sooners boast the best two-point percentage in the Big 12, but can't buy a three. The team is hitting on just 28% of their looks despite being ranked inside SQ's top 50 on offense. The Pokes will allow the three, second highest 3PAr in the conference, so I'll count on some positive regression in a must win spot.

PICK: Oklahoma +2.5

Tennessee vs. South Carolina OVER 136.5

I bet this at 135 last night, but there's still value in betting this to 137, mainly because I love the speed at which South Carolina plays at. The team is playing inside the top 50 in average offensive possession length and also are a strong offensive rebounding team, meaning easy buckets.

What they also do is foul, a ton. The team is bottom 10 in opponent free throw rate nationally and Tennessee is a bruising team that has seen their free throw rate go up more than 10% in conference play.

Both teams are inside the top 50 in potential points off breakaway steals, per Haslemetrics with both teams generating turnovers at a high clip. In a game with a home underdog like South Carolina and a team like Tennessee who has struggled to put teams away, I think we can see free throws down the stretch push us over the total.

OVER 136.5, play to 137

Kentucky (+105) vs. Alabama

Many will point to Alabama's volatility as a reason to play them on Saturday at home in a massive game against Kentucky given that they beat Houston and Baylor at home in addition to Gonzaga, but I'm not sold.

The Wildcats are a battle tested team that are a National Championship contender and will show up in this spot after a competitive game against Vanderbilt during the week. The real key to this one, and something that was exposed in the Crimson Tide's double digit loss to Auburn, is the interior.

Oscar Tshiebwe and the UK offense is going to eat against a poor rebounding Alabama club. Tshiebwe himself leads the country in offensive rebounding rate and the Wildcats are No. 4 in the country as a team. They also are second best in second point conversion rate. Meanwhile, Nate Oats' Tide are 275th in defensive rebounding rate and don't generate turnovers.

The Tide are due for some positive shooting regression after a porous start to SEC play (28% as a team), but I trust Kentucky to show up in this spot and get another signature win.

PICK: Kentucky ML, play to Kentucky -2

Best Bets for Saturday

  • Georgia Tech +2.5
  • Baylor/Kansas OVER 144.5
  • Miami +4
  • UCF +6

You can find all of Reed's bets HERE!