After not seeing any solid situational bets the last two days in college hoops, we finally have spots worth investing in Tuesday.
Keep in mind that great spots on paper don’t always make the cut, as other factors (coaching, injuries, matchups, etc) also matter. And sometimes there simply isn’t any value in the posted line.
I try to watch as many games as possible to become familiar with team tendencies. Every little nugget of information can potentially help with the process of deciding which situational spots to play and which ones to avoid.
Let’s look at the five best situational spots I’m betting on Tuesday night.
I included a glossary of five of my favorite situational handicapping angles at the end of this piece. Spreads are as of 1:30 a.m. ET from 5Dimes. YTD: 5-2
Illinois +16.5 (at Michigan State)
7 p.m. ET on ESPN
We get to fade Michigan State in another “Fat and Happy” spot after its furious 27-point comeback against Northwestern, which luckily still held on for the cover for us. Sparty is playing like the Big Ten preseason favorite, but they are being overvalued in the market. The betting lines clearly caught up to them during their current 10-game winning streak (1-5-2 against the spread in their past eight games).
It’s also Senior Night at the Breslin Center. Bettors often want to back teams on senior day/night, figuring they will be extra juiced for the last home game. However, that perception is factored into the line, and that emotion can actually work against the home team. Additionally, Senior Night is often very melancholy at a program like Michigan State. Sparty only has three seniors on the roster, but they also have a few probable early NBA Draft entrants. Illinois is in rebuild mode in Brad Underwood’s first season, but they have continued to give effort most nights. Too much value to pass up on.
NOTE: With the “Fat and Happy” angle, you also can play the first half, which is often a better bet since big favorites can come out sluggish in this particular spot. You should see a first-half line of Illinois +9/9.5.