College basketball is heating up, and there are intriguing NCAA basketball games every day. Top teams are getting tested, and conference seeding is being sorted out.
With the conference slate heating up, we’re about to learn a ton about some of the best teams in college basketball. From top-ranked matchups to scrappy teams playing at home against heavy favorites, this week has it all for college hoops.
With that in mind, these are the five best games for your NCAAB picks this week. We’ll choose one game per day from Wednesday through Sunday, starting with a ranked matchup between the two best teams in the SEC.
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Arkansas Razorbacks
Wednesday, January 11, 2023 – 07:00 PM EST at Bud Walton Arena
Alabama has the best resume in college basketball. This squad has now beaten UNC, Houston, and Kentucky along with other formidable opponents. Coming off of a dominant performance against the Wildcats, the Tide seems unstoppable.
This will be an equally daunting task for Alabama. The Tide will go on the road against Arkansas, a team that has been near the top of the conference for the past few seasons. Alabama is better on paper, but the crowd will be loud for this SEC matchup.
This game will go a long way in determining who wins the SEC this year, so don’t be surprised if things get chippy in a nail-biter. If Arkansas wants a way to stop the Tide, it will start with slowing down Brandon Miller. He is easily the best freshman in the conference, and he can take over games when he gets hot.
Utah Utes vs. UCLA Bruins
Thursday, January 12, 2023 – 11:00 PM EST at Pauley Pavilion
UCLA seems poised for another great run in the NCAA Tournament, but they’ll face off against a team that is 5-1 in conference play. The Bruins bring the better offense to the party, but both of these quads have what it takes to win a tough game.
UCLA will be a strong favorite at the best sportsbooks, and they deserve that right. Instead of feeling confident about the spread, I would keep an eye on the points total. With both teams averaging over 70 points per game, this could turn into a barn burner.
Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Purdue Boilermakers
Friday, January 13, 2023 – 07:00 PM EST at Mackey Arena
Purdue is the only ranked team playing on Friday, so it’s safe to assume all eyes will be on the Boilermakers. After losing to Rutgers, the Boilermakers had a nailbiter against Ohio State and a decent win against Penn State.
Purdue is not in a place to panic. After all, they only have one loss in the year. Still, these are the games you can’t lose. It’s fine to have an occasional upset against a solid team, but you’re so much better than a team like this that it is impossible to expect much more than domination.
A loss by Purdue would have them spiral down the rankings, so I wouldn’t expect that on Friday. If anything, add the Boilermaker moneyline to a parlay for the night to add a tad bit of extra value.
Iowa State Cyclones vs. Kansas Jayhawks
Saturday, January 14, 2023 – 04:00 PM EST at Allen Fieldhouse
The Jayhawks look like a team capable of winning another national championship, but the true tests will come in conference play as this season progresses. On Saturday, the Jayhawks will host Iowa State, another ranked team in the Big 12.
Jalen Wilson has been a stud for Kansas all season, and he will need to come up big against the Cyclones. With his ability to score on his own and distribute to his teammates, he has to be Iowa State’s main focus on every possession.
The Cyclones are great at forcing turnovers, so watch out for them to keep things close with a few extra steals and transition buckets. Still, I have the Jayhawks pulling away in the second half.
Marquette Golden Eagles vs. Xavier Musketeers
Sunday, January 15, 2023 – 12:00 PM EST at Cintas Center
This is a surprising game against ranked opponents. Marquette has been a bright spot for the Big East, and an upset against Xavier would make things interesting for the conference rankings. Still, this team has one of the fastest offenses in college basketball.
Marquette has scored over 90 points in each of its last two games, while Xavier has won nine games in a row. I’m not comfortable picking either team in this one, but this seems destined to hit the over. Neither team has a stout defense, and they will both try to run each other out of the gym.
These five games will give you a week’s worth of entertaining basketball and worthwhile bets.