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Saturday NCAA Basketball Mid-Major Best Bets: Keg’s Bottom of the Barrel Picks for Feb. 26

Saturday NCAA Basketball Mid-Major Best Bets: Keg’s Bottom of the Barrel Picks for Feb. 26 article feature image

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  • Saturday's college basketball slated features intriguing matchups of national interest, such as Baylor vs. Kansas and Purdue vs. Michigan State.
  • However, college basketball betting analyst, Keg, dives way further down the oddsboard in order to highlight three unheralded games rich in betting value for the willing niche investor.
  • Check out his full analysis for each of his top-3 mid-major picks for Saturday, Feb. 26, including Kennesaw State vs. Liberty, Central Arkansas vs. Lipscomb and Wagner vs. Bryant.

Bottom of the Barrel Picks for Feb. 26

Just 16 more days.

Here’s two minutes and twenty seconds you won’t regret:


— Keg. (@GratefulKeg) February 26, 2022

Ready to run through a brick wall? Same.

Let’s take a look at the extras/added page for Saturday.

Kennesaw State vs. Liberty

Saturday, Feb. 26
1 p.m. ET
Liberty -9.5

Liberty currently sits at 11-4, and tied for first in the ASUN East. Jacksonville is there with the Flames at 11-4, but will be playing on the road on Saturday at Florida Gulf Coast at the same time as Liberty.

Kennesaw State isn’t the worst team in the conference, but FGCU is a much more difficult challenge, and Jacksonville’s game is on the road.

I am looking for Liberty to bounce back in a big way after losing its fourth game of the season last time out against FGCU. I expect it to run away with this one.

The line also opened decently lower than I expected. I figured it would be around 11-to-13, but I was able to grab 9.5 when this opened.

Pick: Liberty -11 or better

Central Arkansas vs. Lipscomb

Saturday, Feb. 26
2 p.m. ET
Central Arkansas +8.5

I’m going to break a sweat watching this game; I can tell you that right now. UCA and Lipscomb are first and fourth when it comes to pace in the ASUN.

While it’s a tight race down to the last game of the season to decide which of the two has the worst defense in the league, Lipscomb currently holds the crown, ranking 338th in adjusted defense. UCA is giving up all the transition baskets it can, but it’s still just 337th.

UCA won at home against Lipscomb earlier in the season, 93-88. Now, it’s an 8.5-point underdog against the only defense in the conference worse than it.

Also, neither team can improve their seeding for the conference tournament with a win. If EKU beats Bellarmine and Lipscomb loses, they would be tied.

But again, eight points feels like too many here in a game where defense is checked at the door.

Side note: I think the total is too high, or I would’ve been on the over. I wanted 158 or better.

Pick: Central Arkansas +8 or better

Wagner vs. Bryant

Saturday, Feb. 26
4 p.m. ET
Bryant -150

As we head into the season’s final NEC game, Bryant holds a one-game lead over Wagner at the top of the league. The winner will win the regular-season title and secure the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.

I highly recommend getting in front of a TV (or computer) for this one; it’s going to be rowdy.

Bryant’s gym holds just 2,000 people, and less than 200 tickets remained on Friday.

These teams have some serious history. Dating back to 2009, the series is 12-11 in favor of Wagner. The Seahawks pulled ahead after their 84-81 OT win over the Bulldogs earlier this season.

However, Wagner has not won at Bryant since 2018, and is coming off of a loss to Fairleigh Dickinson in its last game. Bryant, meanwhile, is on a three-game win streak, and is still looking for revenge for earlier this season.

I think the Bulldogs get it done at home and come away with the NEC title.

But I have no intention of losing money when this game comes down to the wire, or becomes the seventh OT game these two have combined to have this season. So, I’ll be laying the juice on the ML as high as -170.

Pick: Bryant ML -150 or better

Long Beach State vs. UC Irvine

Saturday, Feb. 26
11:59 p.m. ET
Long Beach State +7.5

I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention, but the Long Beach State “Beach” (RIP Prospector Pete) holds a one-game lead for first place in the Big West. Long Beach State has come a long way from the beginning of the season when some people just knew the guy from Last Chance U played there.

The team’s nine-game win streak finally ended, as it fell 84-71 on the road to Santa Barbara. However, the Beach bounced right back, beating San Diego, 103-87.

This will be their second meeting against UC Irvine — they beat the Anteaters, 73-67, earlier this season at home.

This game will be a true battle of strength vs. strength, as Long Beach State has the highest-scoring offense in the Big West, while UCI boasts the best scoring defense.

The Anteaters are also 8-1 this season on their home court.

Long Beach State has the worst scoring defense in the conference, and is second behind the Anteaters in rebounding. But I think this is too many points for the Beach.

LBSU has two of the top-10 scorers in the conference. Sure, the Beach give up a lot of points, but I think they can outclass UC Irvine enough on the offensive end to make this closer than the spread implies.

I want to acknowledge UC Irvine is a better shooting team in terms of percentages, but Long Beach State has been beating teams that looked better on paper all season.

The Beach are also 9-1 ATS in their last 10, and 8-3 ATS on the road.

Pick: Long Beach State +6 or better | Sprinkle on ML

Bottom-of-the-Barrel Beverage Recommendation

I won’t be doing a drink based on where a team resides this week. The chips are down, and sometimes you have to step back from the shelf or check the sale rack — no other way to say it, as it’s been a rough stretch.

Not every week can be Blanton’s & Weller — you’re going to have well weekends. And with that, I give you, in my opinion, the best well bourbon, and the best bang for your buck: Very Old Barton.

VOB is roughly $14 to $16 for a fifth. There are no distinct flavors to describe to you. It’s going to get you where you want to go.

Fun fact, though, this is the roulette of Bourbons. They vary alcohol percentage in release, everything from 80 to 100.

And the name is Very Old Barton because the FDA said they could no longer call it six-year-aged bourbon after it was found they weren’t keeping the best records of exactly how old the bourbon was.

Here’s to reaching for the top shelf again next week.

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