Each week during the college basketball season, I will offer my against-the-spread 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 Florida-Kentucky, Memphis-UConn, Oklahoma-Oklahoma State and Virginia-Clemson.
Note: Teams in bold are my projected ATS picks.
Billy Donovan's squad waited for three months for super-frosh Chris Walker to gain eligibility, but he's only earned 16 minutes of floor time in his three games. Walker's not the X factor here; he's a non-factor. And I have no interest in betting against Kentucky at home, a mistake I made once before on this page and have no intention of making again.
The computer-generated power rating numbers say that Florida is the better of these two teams, although it will be underdogs here based on the home-court edge at Rupp Arena. Frankly, I'm not convinced that's the case. Yes, Kentucky is very young (every key contributor on the roster is either a freshman or a sophomore) and that youth has cost them on the road, as all five of Kentucky's defeats this season have come away from home by five points or less. At Rupp, they've won every game by six points or more, while going 8-4 against the spread (ATS).