College basketball picks, schedule: Predictions, odds for Villanova vs. Seton Hall and other key games

Seven ranked college basketball teams and three inside the top-10 of the AP Top 25 will be in action Tuesday. It’s part of a consequential night of games that features pivotal Big Ten, SEC and Big East matchups, with conference leaders from two of the three trying to hold serve against unranked opponents.

In the Big East, No. 3 Villanova will end its nearly one-month COVID pause to welcome surging Seton Hall, which sits in second in the league standings at 6-2. In the SEC, No. 6 Tennessee takes on Florida in Gainesville, Florida; league-leading and 18th-ranked Alabama gets LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and South Carolina takes on No. 19 Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. And in the Big Ten, half of the league’s ranked teams — No. 7 Michigan, No. 15 Ohio State and No. 22 Illinois — will all face stiff tests at home.

Behold, our experts have picks for every big game on deck, with predictions against the spread and straight up.

When: 6:30 p.m. | Where: Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio
TV: Big Ten Network | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free) 

Ohio State has strung together some nice wins over the last month, but none more impressive than its last. The Buckeyes defeated Illinois on the road over the weekend by six points, and carry some serious momentum into this one with its top-10 offense firing on all cylinders. And while Purdue’s been good of late too, with wins in its last three over Indiana, Michigan State and Penn State, laying the points with Ohio State at home feels like the play here. OSU hasn’t lost at home all season and has covered the spread in its venue in five of its seven opportunities on the year. Prediction: Ohio State 75, Purdue 69 — Kyle Boone

When: 7 p.m. | Where: Exactech Arena in Gainesville, Florida
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free) 

Florida’s a shell of what it was earlier this season. Not only is Keyontae Johnson out as he continues to recover from his on-court collapse, but sophomore Scottie Lewis will miss this game, too. Those absences alone make me feel good about the Tennessee side, but with this game being in Gainesville, I’m hedging to predict a UT win but UF cover. Tre Mann and Noah Locke are in big spots here to ball out and I think they’ll make it interesting. Both playing some very good ball of late. Prediction: Tennessee 74, Florida 71 — Kyle Boone  

When: 7 p.m. | Where: Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan
TV: FS1 | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free) 

Michigan has been unbeatable at home this season. But dig a little deeper, and you’ll find the more precise word to describe its showings at home this season is dominant. The Wolverines have a +17.3 scoring margin in the Crisler Center. Coming off their first loss of the season over the weekend at Minnesota, they should be up to the task of continuing that trend at home against a Maryland team that’s been way more down than up in Big Ten play. Prediction: Michigan 85, Maryland 71 — Kyle Boone  

When: 9 p.m. | Where: Finneran Pavilion in Villanova, Pennsylvania
TV: FS1 | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free) 

Who knows what Villanova will look like? The team hasn’t played a competitive game since Dec. 23 because of COVID issues within the program. And even practice time, because of that, has been limited. So we should be in for a close one between two evenly-matched teams. Wildcats win, because they’re the better team, but Hall covers because it has, at the very least, some sort of groove having played four games and practiced consistently during Villanova’s extended hiatus. Prediction: Villanova 75, Seton Hall 70 — Kyle Boone  

Duke at Pittsburgh

Latest Odds:

Duke Blue Devils
-4.5

When: 9 p.m. | Where: Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free) 

Duke is the favorite here, and that, I estimate, is based off brand power alone. The Blue Devils are coming off a road loss to Virginia Tech but have yet to establish themselves with a quality win to date. Pitt, on the other hand, is coming off consecutive wins over Syracuse and is playing some of its best ball right now as Justin Champagnie continues to break out. He’s coming off a 24 point, 16 rebound performance against the Cuse and has the goods to give Duke fits on offense because of his size, skill and experience. If you want to sprinkle some money on an underdog, Pitt’s my play of the day; I’m taking ’em straight up. And as you can see below, I am not alone. Prediction: Pitt 71, Duke 67 — Kyle Boone  

So who wins every college basketball game today? And which underdogs pull off stunning upsets? Visit SportsLine now to get picks for every game, all from the unbiased model that simulates every game 10,000 times, and find out.