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Free Picks: Saturday’s Picks and Best Bets for the Top 25 in NCAA Basketball 1/8/22
Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Free Picks: Saturday’s Picks and Best Bets for the Top 25 in NCAA Basketball 1/8/22

There is a full slate of games involving teams in the Top-25. We are going to give our picks on who is going to win with no point spreads involved and will select the Best Bets of the Day using the spreads. Let’s get to it.

No.1 Baylor 14-0 (-9) at TCU 10-1: The Bears roll into Fort Worth and tackle a good bunch of Horned Frogs. Baylor 72 TCU 64

Miami 12-3 at No.2 Duke 12-1 (-15): Hurricanes are 4-0 in the conference, but this is the first one on the road. Duke 78 Miami 70

No.3 Purdue 12-2 (-10) at Penn State 7-5: Boilermakers look to bounce back from a loss at Wisconsin. Purdue 76 Penn State 67

Pepperdine 6-9 at No.4 Gonzaga 11-2 (-29): The Zags get their first conference game played, finally. Gonzaga 84 Pepperdine 61

No.5 UCLA 9-1 (-9) at California 9-6: How rusty will the Bruins be from all the postponements? UCLA 73 California 68

No.6 Kansas 12-1 (-4.5) at No.25 Texas Tech 10-3: The Red Raiders hope to have some players back for this game. Kansas 64 Texas Tech 61

Florida 9-4 at No.9 Auburn 13-1 (-8.5): Auburn is really good and Florida is so-so. Auburn 85 Florida 70.

*PAPA DUDE BEST BET OF THE DAY* No.10 Michigan State 13-2 at Michigan 7-6 (-2) The Spartans have won eight in a row in this rivalry and want to keep it going. They have been struggling with turnovers and that has been a point of emphasis in the preparation for this game. As usual, they are battled-tested and their only two losses have come to Kansas and Baylor which are in the Top-10. On the other hand, the Wolverines are struggling to find some consistency. They’ve lost three out of their last four, and need this one badly.

Michigan is a 2-point favorite: I’m thinking the Spartans are the better team and if they handle the basketball better they should win this game.

PAPA DUDES BEST BET: Michigan State 72 Michigan 68

No.11 Iowa State 12-1 at Oklahoma 11-3 (-5.5): The Cyclones are ranked but have trouble scoring. Oklahoma 66 Iowa State 63

Wichita State 9-4 at No.12 Houston 13-2 (-12.5) Wichita State will play hard. Houston wins but doesn’t cover. Houston 70 Wichita State 59

No.14 Texas 12-2 (-2.5) at Oklahoma State 7-5: Texas is a great defensive team which makes it easier on the road. Texas 67 Oklahoma St. 62

No.15 Alabama 11-3 (-14) at Missouri 6-7: Missouri is struggling offensively, but they are going to play hard. Alabama 75 Missouri 70

St.John’s 9-3 at No.16 Providence 13-2 (-4.5): Can the Friars bounce back from a humiliating 88-56 loss at Marquette? Providence 73 St. Johns’s 71

Georgia 5-9 at No.17 Kentucky 11-3 (-22): Kentucky gets a breather in this one. Kentucky 78 Georgia 58

No.18 Tennessee 10-3 at No.21 LSU 13-1 (-1.5): Huge game in the SEC. Can LSU make it two in a row over ranked teams? LSU 69 Tennessee 67

*PAPA DUDES BEST BET OF THE DAY*DePaul 9-4 at No.19 Villanova 10-4 (-7.5): Have to go with the home team in this one. Villanova 77 DePaul 65

*PAPA DUDES BEST BET OF THE DAY* No.20 Colorado State 11-0 at San Diego State 9-3 (-2): The Rams are one of three undefeated teams left and will face a tough test in San Diego against the Aztecs. SDS will try and slow the game down. The Aztecs are undefeated at home and I’m picking them to win. San Diego State 67 Colorado State 63

UConn 10-3 at No.24 Seton Hall 10-3 (-3): This is a toss-up type game. Just going with the home team in this one. Seton Hall 72 UConn 68

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