Stuckey’s Favorite College Basketball Situational Spots: 5 Afternoon Plays to Consider
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: TCU forward Kouat Noi
- Which college basketball teams are primed for a letdown on Saturday? Which could come out flat or get caught looking ahead?
- Stuckey details his five favorite betting situational spots, starting with an SEC showdown between LSU (-1.5) and Alabama at noon ET.
It’s the last massive Saturday college hoops slate of the season. I can’t believe it either.
This is always a bittersweet day every year for me. On one hand, I’m sad that I won’t have anymore colossal Saturday cards to tackle — but on the other, I know conference tournaments and the big dance are right around the corner.
Among today’s situational angles, five of the spots I had circled before the week made the final cut.
The four most popular situational angles include letdowns, lookaheads, sandwiches and revenge (which I went into greater detail on a few weeks ago).
But those are just the first four high-level factors to consider; there are plenty of others that pop up. I simply use this exercise to circle the best situational spots on the card, but my numbers and matchup analyses ultimately determine which spots make the final cut.
For example, Syracuse might be the best pure situational fade on the card, as the Orange will travel to lowly Wake Forest after taking on Duke and UNC with a game against Virginia on Monday. That is your sandwich du jour, but I just can’t bet a Demon Deacons team that can’t shoot (329th in 3P%) against the Cuse zone.
There’s no easy formula with situational spots. It’s definitely more art than science. But you should at least be aware of the non-mathematical angles when capping college kids playing basketball. It’s even more important this week with all of the various conference tournament motivation to consider.
My ultimate goal is to either point out a spot or two you may have overlooked — or push you toward or away from a side you were contemplating.
Without further ado, let’s jump into this week’s five best spots, starting with two home SEC sides.
Season Record: 38-26-2 (59.4%) +9.86 units. All odds as of 3 a.m.. ET
Alabama +1.5 vs. LSU
Noon ET on ESPN
One of my favorite pastimes is betting Alabama at home against ranked opponents. I consistently seem to value Alabama’s home-court advantage higher than the market. To me, it’s one of the most underrated home courts in all of college basketball.
You will get the best effort from the Tide, who are not only looking for revenge against their rival, but more importantly, seeking another signature win to punch their ticket to the dance.
From a matchup perspective, the Crimson Tide have the length to compete with the Tigers on the glass, as they did in the first matchup. In that game, LSU just shot lights out from deep (10-15) and I’m willing to bet they don’t repeat that against a very stingy Alabama perimeter defense.
I think Alabama makes it seven straight home covers against ranked teams and gets a huge win for its NCAA tournament chances.
(I’d play this down to a PK.)
Tennessee ML vs. Kentucky
2 p.m. ET on CBS
Let’s go right back to the well with another SEC home team.