College Basketball Mid-Major Bets: Keg’s Bottom of the Barrel Selections for Saturday, Feb. 12
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- Saturday offers a monster slate in college basketball but don't forget about the underrated games of the day.
- Longwood, Bellarmine and South Dakota State are all in action.
- Keg dives into his bottom of the barrel bets for Saturday.
Bottom of the Barrel Picks for Feb. 12
With 150 games on the schedule stretching from noon to midnight on Saturday, it's easy to get overwhelmed. However, it's important to find your spots and stick to them. Don't overextend yourself, don't chase your losses and bet with your brain, not your heart.
All of these tips are important to remember the closer and closer we get to March Madness. Don't go losing your bankroll on opening weekend.
So, with patience in mind, let's take a look at three mid-major games that could get skipped over when looking at a big slate. Regardless, these matchups are definitely worth a look.
Longwood vs. North Carolina A&T
The Longwood Lancers are dominating the Big South and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Longwood is 18-5 on the season, 10-0 in conference play and most importantly, 14-5 ATS. The Lancers have yet to lose a game in 2022, a streak they'll hope to keep rolling Saturday when they take on North Carolina A&T.
NC A&T finally ended its five-game losing streak in its last game when it took down Charleston Southern. The Aggies are 10-15 on the year and 5-6 in conference play. They also lost to Longwood already once this year on the road, falling 79-71.
Longwood may be a mid-major, but it's the 75th team in the country in offensive scoring at 74.2 points per game. The Lancers are also 50th in 3-point shooting (36.4%), and they should have no problem finding that success against an Aggies team that allows opponents to shoot 35.5% from deep.
The Aggies' offense ranks 278th when it comes to efficiency, per KenPom, and while Longwood might not have a great defense, I don't think it'll have to do much to limit NC A&T.
Turnovers have been a bright spot for the Aggies on defense, but Longwood is one of the best in the conference when it comes to limiting giveaways. The Lancers are giving the ball up just 12.3 times per game, and most of those turnovers are self inflicted.
I think Longwood gets the job done on the road against the Aggies — just like they did at home.
I would back the Lancers as high as a 7-point favorite.
Pick: Longwood -7 or better
Bellarmine vs. North Alabama
After a tough non-conference schedule, Bellarmine has been much better in league play. However, it still has its fair share of struggles.
The Knights are 8-3 in ASUN play and are coming off of a road win at North Florida. They have been able to climb into the top half of the ASUN standings, but they can't seem to get any further, suffering losses to both Liberty and Jacksonville State.
Their opponent on Saturday, however, is a long way away from the top of the ASUN.
North Alabama is 9-15 on the year and 2-9 in league play. They are the worst team in the conference, and are one of the bottom-10 teams in the country in offensive efficiency.
In fact, the Lions are just 2-11 in their last 13 games. North Alabama has also lost those 11 games by an average margin of 12.
Bellarmine's biggest weakness throughout the year has been its defense, but North Alabama's offense has been so bad that it will likely almost make the Knights' unit look decent.
The Lions are shooting 29.2% from deep and 36.5% from the floor. Meanwhile, Bellarmine limits teams to 34.7% on the perimeter and 45.8% overall from the floor.
This game should be a rout for the Knights, and because of that, I'm backing them as high as a 6-point favorite.
Pick: Bellarmine -6 or better
Omaha vs. South Dakota State
For our final matchup, we head out to the Summit League, where on Saturday afternoon the conference front runner, South Dakota State, will face off against Nebraska Omaha for the second time this season.
If you don't know about South Dakota State yet, you should. The Jackrabbits are literally one of the best offenses in the country. They rank 12th in offensive efficiency, while also being second in effective FG% and first in all of college basketball when it comes to 3-point percentage.
Omaha, meanwhile, is fourth-worst in Division I when it comes to adjusted defense. The Mavericks are even worse (somehow) when it comes to 3-point defense (356th, 39.8%).
However, they did only lose by nine vs. the Jackrabbits in their first meeting this season. This is due in large part to South Dakota State having a lacking defense of its own.
In that first meeting, the teams combined to score 186 points.
Omaha is 16-8 on the season when it comes to the total, while South Dakota State is 14-10. More importantly, I think this total is criminally low after opening at 165.5.
Both teams also rank inside the top 50 when it comes to pace of play.
I am betting the over at 165.5. I will be taking multiple alternative lines on this as well — if I can find them as high as 175.
Pick: Over 165.5 (Play to 175)
Bottom-of-the-Barrel Beverage Recommendation
And finally our drink of the weekend.
Since we are backing Bellarmine, I am inclined to go with a bourbon that is distilled just 3.7 miles away from the Knights' campus — Angels Envy.
Distilled in downtown Louisville, Angels Envy is aged four years and has a smooth smokey flavor.
Cheers, and let's have a Saturday. Also, Who Dey!