Each week during the college basketball season, I will offer my picks and predicted final scores for the biggest games on Saturday as well as some mid-major matchups. This way, when the lines are released Friday evening, you'll have at least one Vegas pro's opinion as to what the final scores might look like and the teams you should be looking to wager on.
Here's a look at six key matchups on Saturday, including Michigan-Iowa, Duke-Boston College, Gonzaga-Memphis and Wichita St.-Northern Iowa.
Note: Teams in bold are my projected ATS picks.
Michigan made an impressive run to the national championship game last March, but its Big Ten campaign was not without big hiccups. Much like they did this season, the Wolverines rolled through the first half of the 2012-13 season, going 7-1 straight up (SU)/6-2 against the spread (ATS) in their first eight conference games. Once they started playing rematches, however, the Wolverines struggled mightily in the back half of conference play. They covered only one point spread in their last 10 tries. And frankly, I wouldn't be shocked if John Beilein's overachieving squad goes through another second-half point spread slump in 2014.
After winning its first 11 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa has lost each of its past two at home. First, Michigan State beat the Hawkeyes by a single bucket in overtime, then Ohio State shot lights-out against them earlier this week. But Iowa has been a point spread machine throughout the Fran McCaffery era: 36-15 ATS in their past 51 games overall, and 37-16 ATS in their past 53 at home.