College basketball will be ringing in the New Year the best way it knows how: With a loaded slate of Saturday games that figure to be consequential for conference races across the country. In the Big 12, look no further than Lawrence, Kansas, where No. 8 Texas travels to take on the third-ranked Jayhawks in the Phog. In the SEC, a meeting between No. 12 Missouri and unranked, yet undefeated, Arkansas could prove telling about the mettle of both teams.
There’s no shortage of action and to celebrate the festivities, we’ve got advise on which action to take in some of the biggest games. Our panel of experts made picks straight up and against the spread for Kansas-Texas, Missouri-Arkansas, LSU-Florida, and Colorado State-San Diego State, seen below.
Odds from William Hill Sportsbook. All times ET.
No. 8 Texas at No. 3 Kansas
When: Noon | Where: Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas
TV: ESPN2 | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
This is a big one that may go a long way towards deciding the Big 12 race. Kansas is hitting its stride coming into the game, having won eight-straight after a season-opening loss to No. 1 Gonzaga. Texas, too, is seemingly finding its groove. It lost a close tilt to Villanova on a neutral early last month but has won three-straight since — including an impressive road win over Oklahoma State — as it enters Saturday at 7-1. The big difference here will be KU and how it sizes up with Texas’s defense. This Longhorns defense — especially in the frontcourt — is long, stout and fierce. Meanwhile, KU’s offense — particularly its backcourt — is a matchup problem for any team. It should be a close one but I like KU enough in this spot to lay the points. Prediction: Kansas 74, Texas 65. — Kyle Boone
No. 12 Missouri at Arkansas
Arkansas feels like the trendy pick after its impressive win at Auburn. But Missouri will be out to prove that its loss to Tennessee was nothing more than a poor night against a great team. The Razorbacks have not played a defense nearly the caliber of Missouri’s, and the Tigers have proven they can finish off close games. Prediction: Missouri 70, Arkansas 68
Florida might be due for a letdown after such a strong SEC debut vs. Vanderbilt following the 18-day layoff. LSU’s defense has been susceptible at times early in the season, but it took a nice step forward by holding Texas A&M to just 54 points. Prediction: LSU 78, Florida 73
I’d love nothing more than to go against the grain, but San Diego State has everything lined up here to capture a convincing win. It has home court advantage, an edge on defense that is likely to give the Rams fits, and shares a similar opponent in Saint Mary’s that SDSU had zero trouble with and CSU got obliterated by. I’m taking the Aztecs and laying the points. They have way more firepower and I’m not sure Colorado State can keep this one competitive. Prediction: San Diego State 77, Colorado State 60 — Kyle Boone
So who wins every college basketball game today? And which underdogs pull off stunning upsets? Visit SportsLine now to get picks for every game, all from the unbiased model that simulates every game 10,000 times, and find out.