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Best college basketball bets for February 20: let’s pick some winners!

We finally had a losing day in this space yesterday. Don’t hold it against us as we turn into the skid here.

Connecticut Huskies forward Akok Akok defends against the Memphis Tigers in the first half at XL Center. David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Our deepest apologies for going 1-3 yesterday, dropping us to 18-7 the last two weeks. We failed you, and we don’t want it to happen again. Let’s get back on the right side this evening, as we’ll take some points early, and lay a lot of them late.

UConn +1 at Temple

The Huskies are trying to trick college basketball into letting them into a postseason tournament. And if this was women’s basketball we’d be on their side. But the 14-11 Huskies are playing better of late and should be a solid NIT team even factoring in the lost of Akok Akok for the season.

But Temple just lost their Super Bowl at home to Villanova by 20, and with it a share of the Philadelphia Big 5 Championship. The Huskies bit them by 15 three weeks ago in CT. This just isn’t a spot where UConn should be getting points.

Arizona State +2 vs. Oregon

ASU has won five in a row, and Oregon loses to mediocre Pac-12 teams on the road with frequency (at Stanford, at Oregon State, at Wazzu), and the Sun Devils could really use this to get off the bubble. In February, desperation is a powerful motivator, especially when this is the last regular season chance for a Q1 win for the Ducks. We’ll catch a pair and hope we don’t need it.

BYU -14.5 vs Santa Clara

Let us stipulate that BYU is very good, but they tend to beat up on bad teams and struggle with good ones. Santa Clara is... bad! Losers of three straight, including at Pepperdine by 14, then home to San Francisco (eh) and Loyola Marymount (WOOF). They’re trending the wrong way, and the Cougars tend to tear the weak apart limb from limb. Both in the wild and in Provo. Their last Q3 or worse conference home games win margins: 14 over USF, 27 over Pepperdine, 23 over San Diego. Lay the wood.

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