NCAAB Odds & Predictions: Stuckey’s 7 Favorite Saturday Betting Spots, Featuring Michigan vs. Indiana, Oregon vs. UCLA
AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images. Pictured: Oregon’s Quincy Guerrier.
- Saturday's college basketball slate features a number of stellar games, and Stuckey has seven on his mind.
- Some of Stuckey's top betting spots for Saturday's college basketball games including Michigan vs. Indiana, Oregon vs. UCLA and Oklahoma vs. Kansas.
- Check out all seven of Stuckey's top betting spots for Saturday's NCAAB games below.
Each week, I share my favorite circled spots for each Saturday college hoops card.
As a reminder, I write this article before openers (referenced below) have settled once limits open up, so make sure to follow along in the Action Network App to see what I end up betting since the value in the number holds the most weight.
I’ll also close with a few quick blurbs on four other games that caught my eye.
Hopefully, we can follow up last week’s 7-1 performance that came oh-so-close to 8-0 before North Carolina’s late collapse against Duke. Let’s dive in.
YTD: 19-8 (70.4%) +10.46 units
Oklahoma +3.5 vs. Kansas
1 p.m. ET · CBS
This is a prime spot to buy low on the Sooners, who have lost six straight conference games with a blowout victory over Alabama sandwiched in between.
Oklahoma dropped a hard-fought game at Baylor on Wednesday night, but I liked a few things I saw from a rotation standpoint in a game that was in doubt until the final minute. The recent uptick in usage for Joe Bamisile and Otega Oweh gives head coach Porter Moser much more flexibility.
Earlier this season, OU shot just 2-of-17 from deep in a three-point loss in Lawrence. It actually led, 71-61, with 5:19 to go before Kansas closed on an 18-4 run. That ended in a four-point loss, which sums up OU’s season to date. It’s suffered losses by 1, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 4.
At home, the Sooners can more easily control the tempo, which will limit transition opportunities where the Jayhawks thrive. Also, their cutting action in the half-court can give Kansas issues; Bill Self’s group struggles to defend in that area, ranking in the 14th percentile nationally, per Synergy.
OU is also due for a bit of shooting regression in league play on both ends. Eventually, unguarded jumpers (15th percentile, per Synergy) will fall.
Yes, Kansas looked good against Texas on Monday night, but I still have questions about this specific roster. For example, the lack of depth is very concerning. As a result, I’m almost certainly lower than the market on the Jayhawks.
I believe the desperate Sooners will pick up an enormous win for their tournament resume Saturday.
Auburn +2.5 vs. Alabama
2 p.m. ET · ESPN
This is a great spot to buy low on Auburn after dropping four of its last five. Keep in mind three of those losses came on the road against quality competition (Tennessee, Texas A&M, West Virginia) in contests that really could’ve gone either way.
Also, two of those four losses came against Texas A&M, which presents major matchup problems for Bruce Pearl’s bunch. The Aggies turn opponents over, dominate the offensive glass and get to the line a ton. That’s the formula for beating an Auburn team that struggles in all three areas.
Well, the Tide rank seventh or worse in the SEC in each category. Most importantly, their defense ranks 313th nationally in forced turnover rate. That should help an Auburn offense that can be a bit too careless with the rock.
Alabama wants to shoot 3s or get to the rim as frequently as any team in the country. Well, per Synergy, Auburn’s defense ranks in the 99th and 97th percentile in points per possession allowed on 3-pointers and at the rim, respectively.
Additionally, negative shooting regress looms for Alabama’s defense. League opponents have shot just 21.1% from beyond the arc against the Tide, whose endless length certainly plays a factor.
It also doesn’t hurt that nobody in the SEC can shoot, including Auburn. However, that number is still artificially low.
Lastly, this Auburn team is a different animal in the jungle as a result of its erratic guard play. Meanwhile, Alabama has been far more dominant at home. Despite road wins over Vanderbilt without Liam Robbins and Missouri without Kobe Brown, Bama ranks 353rd in Haslametric’s Away From Home metric (and 358th in Consistency, believe it or not).
Georgia State +8.5 vs. Marshall
2 p.m. ET · ESPN+
Georgia State is a horrible offensive basketball team. The Panthers simply can’t shoot. They are a bit better on the defensive end, but I’m not going to sit here and wax poetic about head coach Jonas Hayes’ bunch.
This is simply a fade spot of Marshall, which will be playing its fourth straight road game. Meanwhile, Georgia State will play its fourth straight game at home.
Why does that matter? Well, Marshall has absolutely no depth, ranking 361st in the country in bench minutes, per KenPom. The Thundering Herd only go six deep, which is even more problematic when you consider the pace they play with — they rank in the top 25 nationally in adjusted tempo.
Tired legs could really be an issue this late in the year for the thin Herd against a Georgia State team that has likely hit the bottom of its market value after dropping six of its last seven.
I also expect a spirited effort from the Panthers after getting thoroughly embarrassed on the road in Huntington by Marshall at the end of January in a game it trailed by 49 at one point.
Coastal Carolina +6.5 vs. James Madison
2 p.m. ET · ESPN+
Speaking of Sun Belt teams playing their fourth straight road game, that also applies to the Dukes. I’m lower than the market on James Madison, while this has to be the bottom of the market on Coastal.
Losers of six straight, the Chants have underachieved all season but recently did get Jomaru Brown back from injury. He didn’t play in the first meeting in Harrisonburg that ended in a six-point Dukes victory.
That game was tied with under seven minutes to go in the game despite an absurd 33-6 free throw attempt advantage for James Madison.
From a matchup perspective, Coastal has a very good transition defense. That’s critical against JMU.
And most importantly, Coastal allows opponents to get to the rim on just 35% of possessions. That’s the seventh-lowest rate in the entire country for a team that has allowed the fifth-highest 3-point rate in Division I.
That’s uber-important against a JMU offense that lacks jump-shooting prowess and relentlessly attacks the rim. For the season, 56.8% of its offensive possessions come at the rim, which ranks sixth-highest nationally, per Synergy.
Monmouth +12 vs. Hofstra
2 p.m. ET · ESPN+
I am riding this Monmouth cover wagon until the wheels fall off. After starting out 1-20 on the season, the Hawks have won four straight — all as underdogs.
The emergence of former walk-on Jakari Spence at point guard has helped alleviate some of the extreme turnover issues. During their current four-game winning streak, he has 20 assists to just eight turnovers.
I’m also not surprised to see the Hawks make significant strides late in the season after essentially turning over the entire roster.
Michigan -1.5 vs. Indiana
6 p.m. ET · ESPN
Nobody bought into Indiana more than I did last weekend. I invested in a Hoosiers future ahead of their two-game stretch against a pair of ranked opponents at home. They did indeed take care of business against both Purdue and Rutgers.
Now, it might be time to sell high after those two massive victories. Not only has Indiana played significantly better in the friendly confines (362nd in Away From Home metric, per Haslametrics), but I still maintain the Wolverines have one of the most underrated home court advantages in the country.
Since 2005, Michigan has gone 98-68-2 (59%) at home in league play; only South Dakota State has turned a bigger profit in that situation.
You may see the Wolverines get a few more calls than usual here in the post, which is important against an Indiana post-defense that Hunter Dickinson can exploit.
From a matchup perspective, Indiana thrives in second-chance opportunities. It ranks second in the country in second-chance conversion percentage, per Haslametrics. Well, Michigan’s defense ranks second in that same category.
Keep in mind the Hoosiers may also get Xavier Johnson back. While that will provide a big boost come March, it may throw off their rhythm in his first game back. I’m sure he may have some rust to shake off as well.
Indiana will have some success in transition and in the pick-and-roll — two areas Michigan really struggles to defend — but I think the Wolverines pull out a huge resume-boosting win.
Oregon +2.5 vs. UCLA
10 p.m. ET · ESPN
Can we finally trust Oregon? The Ducks have been a tough cookie to crack on a game-to-game basis, but I’m going to hesitantly trust them in this desperation spot at home.
As a result of their inconsistency, I much prefer them as an underdog more than a favorite.
Oregon also matches up fairly well with the Bruins. Head coach Dana Altman will mix up his defenses (even switching mid-possession) as much as any team in the country. For example, this season, Oregon utilizes zone on 20.2% of possessions and presses on 20.5%. Those rates rank in the 89th and 91st percentiles in the nation, respectively, per Synergy.
That’s important in this particular matchup since zone looks can really disrupt what UCLA wants to do offensively from a pick-and-roll perspective.
The underlying metrics back this up, as the Bruins have been more efficient against man defense from a points-per-possession perspective. Meanwhile, their press offense hasn’t been great.
In the first meeting in Pauley Pavillion, UCLA could muster only 21 points in the first half. It eventually won, 65-56, after closing on a 10-1 run in a game that looked like a coin flip with four minutes remaining.
Hopefully I don’t regret this, but I’m trusting the Ducks here to pick up this victory, which would serve as an enormous resume booster.
- Nobody runs zone defense more than Merrimack. Well, St. Francis PA — which has performed much better at home — just saw it last Saturday in a loss at Merrimack. That familiarity should work in its favor in a revenge spot that has major seeding implications in the NEC. The Red Flash certainly have the shooters on the outside, ranking 50th nationally in 3-point percentage. Meanwhile, Merrimack has one of the worst — if not the worst — offenses in the entire country.
- This looks like a decent spot to back Texas Tech. The Red Raiders simply fell apart late in the second half against Kansas State in Manhattan earlier this year, but they match up fairly well. Offensively, they should have success scoring at the rim, controlling the offensive glass and getting to the foul line in this matchup. They can also turn Kansas State over on the other end. Lastly, the Wildcats, who lead the Big 12 in 3-point percentage on both ends in league play, have some looming negative shooting regression heading their way.
- Can you really trust Illinois? They are an enigma, but this is a decent spot at home against a Rutgers team that ranks dead last in the country in Haslametric’s Away From Home rating. That makes sense for a team that plays in the RAC. Plus, Rutgers is not a great outside shooting team, which doesn’t bode well against the Illini’s terrific 2-point defense. The Scarlet Knights also really miss the recently-injured Mawot Mag on the defensive end.
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