College Basketball Odds & Picks: Stuckey’s 7 Favorite Spots to Bet on Saturday (Feb. 5)
Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images. Pictured: Trayce Jackson-Davis (Indiana)
- Saturday's college basketball slate is truly one of the best of the season, loaded with compelling matchups up and down the oddsboard.
- College basketball betting expert Stuckey cuts through all the noise to deliver 7 of his favorite betting spots on Saturday's slate.
- From Illinois vs. Indiana to Texas Tech vs. West Virginia -- plus five more games -- Stuckey provides exactly what you need to bet on Saturday college basketball.
What a Saturday we have, as this is one of the biggest college basketball slates you will ever see from a sheer volume perspective. In addition, we have a number of awesome matchups.
Here are the spots I had circled based on the situation and/or matchup. Get ready for a big day of hoops.
Noon ET on ACCNX
This is a great spot to buy the Noles low at home — after three straight losses — against a Wake Forest team that I still think is a tad overvalued in the market.
You also have a revenge angle here from a matchup earlier this season when the Demon Deacons absolutely blew the doors off of FSU in Winston-Salem. However, despite the Seminoles losing 76-54, ShotQuality had that final score as almost dead even.
From a regression standpoint, Florida State is shooting just 31.1% from deep in ACC play, while allowing conference foes to connect on 39.5% of their 3-point attempts. Both rank 14th in league play.
While this isn’t a vintage Florida State perimeter defense, and the Noles do allow a high frequency of high-quality 3s, I’d still expect both of those numbers to correct some in their favor.
Teams continue to make every open look against the Seminoles, who rank 355th nationally (out of 358 teams) in points per possession allowed on unguarded catch-and-shoot jumpers in the half-court, per Synergy. I can’t imagine that lasts.
Elsewhere, Florida State can exploit some of Wake Forest’s turnover issues (14th in ACC play) and find some success in transition — where it thrives — against a shaky Wake transition defense. And if the Noles are making shots this time around, their press (second-highest press rate in the country) could have some effectiveness.
This is just a massive game for Florida State, which is amazingly now most likely on the wrong side of the NCAA Tournament bubble. You should get a maximum effort game from a desperate young team that has lost a couple of key pieces in recent weeks.
Noon ET on ESPN
This is your sandwich spot of the day.
Illinois is coming off of a huge win at home vs. Wisconsin and has a revenge date at Purdue on Tuesday. It’s also worth mentioning that while Illinois played Wisconsin on Wednesday, the Hoosiers have had a week to rest and prepare, having not played since last Saturday.
Indiana won’t have the services of injured guard Rob Phinisee, but I think it has enough depth to compensate, especially with the way Xavier Johnson has played as of late.
The Hoosiers have also excelled at defending in the post (93rd percentile, per Synergy), which is essential against Illinois.
Lastly, look for IU to get some easy buckets in transition to keep what should be a raucous home crowd engaged throughout. For the season, Indiana ranks ninth in points per possession in transition, while Illinois ranks in just the 27th percentile in transition defense.
Indiana (9-3 ATS at home this season) already has home wins over Purdue and Ohio State this year. I think Illinois gets added to the Assembly Hall victim list Saturday afternoon in a tough situational spot for the Illini.
2 ET on ESPN+
Texas Tech heads on the road to one of the toughest environments in college basketball after that emotionally-charged home win over Texas and ex-head coach Chris Beard. That certainly puts the Red Raiders on let down alert and the potential fade list depending on the number.
This is also an absolute desperation spot for West Virginia, which has lost six straight games — albeit all against teams ranked inside the top 40 on KenPom. The Mountaineers could really use this victory for their tournament resume.
They’ve also played a similar style of defense a number of times now during the course of conference play, which should help here.
West Virginia was very competitive in Lubbock a few weeks ago before Texas Tech pulled away late.
This is a great buy-low, sell-high spot. However, all eyes will be on the status of leading scorer Taz Sherman, who remained in concussion protocol as of Friday. If he can’t go, it would be a significant blow on the offensive end.
I’d imagine Malik Curry would get the start in his place if he doesn’t clear before tip.
2 ET on ESPN+
Temple has undoubtedly been playing better basketball as of late, having won five of its last six games. However, the Owls have certainly benefited from some positive late-game variance, with four of those wins coming by five points or less.
While Temple is 6-2 overall in games decided by five points or less, Tulsa has remarkably gone 1-8 in such contests. As a result, the Golden Hurricane now sit at 7-13 overall and at the bottom of the AAC standings at 1-8.
However, this team is much better than its record indicates. As a result, per ShotQuality, Temple has two more wins than projected, while Tulsa has two fewer.
Plus, opponents have been scorching hot from 3 against Tulsa all season at 37.7% (330th). League opponents are faring even better at 38.7%. Whether guarded or not, nobody can miss against Tulsa, which is compounded by the fact that its zone-heavy defense has allowed the 340th-highest 3P rate.
I assume we see a downward trend in this area through the rest of conference play, especially when you look at the 3P percentages allowed in the previous seven seasons under head coach Frank Haith.
Over the past seven full seasons, Tulsa’s defenses have allowed an average opponent 3P percentage of 33.7%, with no single season at or above 36%.
I think we will get some value with the road dog here in a revenge spot from a loss earlier this season.
I also like the matchup for Tulsa since Temple does not profile as a good zone offense. The Owls just aren’t a good shooting team (315th nationally in 3P%) and rank in just the seventh percentile in the country in spot-up possessions, which Tulsa really struggles to defend.
Additionally, Tulsa has excelled at defending in transition, which is the most efficient part of Temple’s offense by far.
In the first meeting, Tulsa shot just 6-of-23 from 3 (26.1%), but still led by five at the under 12 media timeout before falling by five late.
I think it can keep this close throughout once again.
2 ET on ESPN+
Georgia State suffered another unlucky loss Thursday night against Troy, when it shot 6-of-22 from 3 and a horrid 15-of-27 from the charity stripe. Per ShotQuality, the Panthers should’ve won the game by double digits.
That’s been a theme for Georgia State all season. The Panthers lost two overtime games (one in conference) and another league game by one point. Plus, the shooting regression has to bounce their way on both ends of the floor at some point.
On the year, they are shooting just 32.5% from 3 and just 25.6% in Sun Belt play. Meanwhile, opponents have drained 41.9% of their looks from beyond the arc — the second-worst mark in the country.
And it’s not like we don’t have a track record to go off of. Georgia State is led by three returning starting seniors on the perimeter, who are each shooting well below their career averages.
The Panthers have now dropped almost 100 spots from their KenPom preseason rating after an 8-10 overall start. That includes a disappointing 2-5 league record that has the preseason favorite just one win above last place Louisiana Monroe.
If this isn’t the bottom, I don’t know what is for a team that’s ShotQuality is the unluckiest in the country — five fewer wins than projected.
Oddly enough, Georgia State also started out league play 2-4 last season before rattling off eight straight victories.
It’s now or never for the Panthers, who will have revenge on their minds against a South Alabama team that pulled away late in the second half of their first meeting.
This will also mark the third straight road game for South Alabama, which lost the first two against teams it previously beat at home. In fact, the Jaguars — who are littered with high-major transfer talent — have lost on the road all three times this season in revenge spots.
Georgia State also doesn’t turn the ball over, which is paramount in this matchup. It will all come down to the shots falling, and you’d think they’d have to eventually for the Panthers.
2:30 ET on FOX
I just think we might get a juicy number on the Wolverines here in a desperate spot, as they need a marquee win for their tournament resume.
Meanwhile, Purdue has won four straight, so it could come into this game a little “fat and happy” with a potential lookahead to a massive matchup with Illinois on Tuesday.
Most importantly, I like this matchup for Michigan. It has the size inside to at least compete with Purdue’s twin towers.
The Boilers also run everything through the post (second-most post-heavy offense, per Synergy) and don’t utilize much pick-and-roll (346th PnR ball-handler rate, per Synergy) or isolation, which Michigan has really struggled to defend, ranking in the sixth and seventh percentile nationally, respectively.
On the other end of the floor, I think Michigan’s offense can exploit some of the issues Purdue’s defense has on the perimeter.
This is also a Michigan team I’ll be looking to ride down the stretch, as some of its younger pieces are starting to play with more confidence.
4 ET on FS1
Let’s stay in the Big Ten and target a team in Rutgers, which, like Indiana, has had plenty of success at home this season. The RAC still remains a very difficult place to play. The Scarlet Knights have simply been a different team in Piscataway, where they are 3-0 SU and ATS as an underdog with wins over Iowa, Michigan and Purdue.
I’m also selling a Michigan State team that I think the market continues to overvalue.
Tom Izzo’s bunch just pulled out a two-point victory at Maryland on a last-second, game-winning layup. That’s not the first time the Spartans have been fortunate in a game they potentially should’ve lost.
In fact, per ShotQuality, Michigan State has a projected record of 12-9, yet sits at 17-4 on the season.
The Spartans still have major turnover issues on offense, which is an area that Rutgers can exploit. The Spartans also aren’t forcing teams into mistakes, which should help the Scarlet Knights, as they can get a bit sloppy at times.
Lastly, it’s possible that the Spartans get caught looking ahead to a Tuesday matchup with Wisconsin. That game will have major implications at the top of the Big Ten standings.
Elsewhere in College Basketball
Two home teams in high-profile matchups might be worth a look if we get a good number.
Kansas might be worth a look against Baylor. The defending national champions are coming into Allen Fieldhouse, and Ochai Agbaji is out of the COVID protocols.
I think the Jayhawks’ supporting cast can take a lot from that road win against Iowa State without their All-American.
Off of a loss, Alabama will warrant a look in a home-hype spot against Kentucky. This is still a Tide team with wins over Baylor, Gonzaga and Houston.
They also still likely have some positive 3P shooting regression coming their way, as they’re only connecting on 28.3% of their outside looks during league play.