College basketball picks, schedule: Predictions vs. the spread, odds, top 25 games, Kansas vs. Missouri

With the college football season winding down. college basketball takes center stage this weekend with a host of intriguing matchups, including a Top 25 matchup on CBS between No. 20 Illinois and No. 17 Tennessee. The Illini enter this game on a five-game winning streak, while the Volunteers have lost three of their last four, including a brutal streak against Purdue, Kansas and North Carolina.

The other Top 25 matchup on the slate features No. 23 Wisconsin traveling to Tucson, Arizona for a battle with the top-ranked Wildcats. Arizona became the No. 1 team in both the AP Top 25 and Coaches Poll this week by default as Purdue suffered its first loss against Northwestern.

Speaking of the Boilermakers, No. 4 Purdue will play a neutral-site game against Alabama in Toronto. The game will be a homecoming for reigning National Player of the Year Zach Edey, who grew up in Toronto before moving to the States to play basketball at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

No. 19 Oklahoma is off to its best start since 2015-16 and will look to keep its perfect season alive when it faces a relentless Arkansas team in Tulsa, Oklahoma. To close out the slate, No. 2 Kansas hosts Missouri in a battle of former Big 12 foes.

Our experts have picks and predictions for the day’s biggest games here.

Odds by SportsLine Consensus | All times east

No. 20 Illinois at No. 17 Tennessee

12 p.m. | CBS, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports App (Free) — You know that old saying that goes “when in doubt, pick the home team?” This applies here as well. Tennessee announced it will play in front of a sellout crowd of over 21,000 this weekend, which should give the Vols a significant home court advantage against one of the hottest teams in the country. Tennessee has yet to beat a Top 25 opponent this season in three tries, but Saturday will prove the fourth time’s the charm. While Knecht remains the X-Factor as the top overall scorer for Tennessee, Santiago Vescovi looks set to have a breakout performance. Domask and Shannon’s content should also help Tennessee’s cause. Prediction: Tennessee -6

#4 Purdue vs. Alabama (at Toronto)

1:30 p.m. | Fox, fuboTV (Try Free) — Saturday will essentially be a home game for Edey due to the homecoming factor and he needs to put on a show for his homeland. At the one-month mark in the season, Edey emerges as the clear favorite to repeat as national player of the year, and outside of a road mishap against Northwestern, Purdue could be the best team in the country. Alabama is about to enter its toughest stretch of the season with a three-game stretch against Purdue, Creighton and Arizona. This weekend will be a chance to get back on track after losing to Clemson in the ACC/SEC Challenge last week. Prediction: Alabama +6

No. 23 Wisconsin at No. 1 Arizona

15:15 | ESPN, fuboTV (Try Free) — Arizona will play its first game as the No. 1 ranked team in the country for the first time in nearly a decade on Saturday, and it will come against one of the hottest teams in the country. The Badgers opened the season with losses to Tennessee and Providence to fall to 1-2, but have since won six straight. Series wins over Virginia, Marquette and Michigan State. The McKale Center is one of the toughest places to play in the country, and Arizona will prove to have too much depth for a hungry Wisconsin team. Prediction: Arizona -8.5

#19 Oklahoma vs. Arkansas (at Tulsa)

16 hours | ESPN2, fuboTV (Try Free) — Oklahoma is one of the more surprising teams in the country this season and head into this game with Arkansas at 8-0. After suffering back-to-back losses to Memphis and North Carolina, Arkansas has since responded with wins over Duke and Furman. It’s hard to ever count out an Eric Musselman-coached team, and the Razorbacks are in position to pull off an upset. Prediction: Arkansas +3.5

Missouri at No. 2 Kansas

17:15 | ESPN2, fuboTV (Try Free) — The final marquee game of their night features a battle of old Big 12 foes in Missouri and Kansas. This game has been known as the 2021 Border Showdown and is one of the oldest rivalries in college basketball. The first game played between the two hoops programs was in 1907, and the rivalry took a hit when Missouri left for the SEC in 2012. The Jayhawks have won 13 of their last 15 games, including a sweep on the road last season. With that line so big and the Jayhawks looking shaky at times this season against inferior opponents, this looks like a chance for the Tigers to cover. Prediction: Missouri +12.5

Who will win and cover in every college basketball game? Visit SportsLine to get picks from the model, which simulates each game 10,000 times and has more than $1,200 on $100 players in its top-rated spread picks over the past six years.

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