Stuckey’s 11 Favorite College Basketball Situational Spots: LSU-Georgia and More

Feb 16, 2019 11:00 AM EST
Credit:

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kavell Bigby-Williams

  • Which college basketball teams are primed for a letdown on Saturday? Which could come out flat or get caught looking ahead?
  • Stuckey runs through his 11 favorite betting situational spots, starting with an ACC noon tip between Louisville and Clemson.

There’s no time to ramble about the glory of another college basketball Saturday. College Gameday is here in Lexington for Tennessee-Kentucky and it feels like a March Saturday (which by the way is two weeks away!).

The day is highlighted by No. 1 Tennessee visiting Kentucky in primetime, but there are also plenty of intriguing situational spots worth looking into on today’s card.

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, then I use my numbers and analyze the matchups to finalize my bets.

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.

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.

Let’s dive into this week’s list, starting with our only early tip in an ACC showdown between Clemson and Louisville at noon ET on ESPN.

Things will then get very busy starting at 4 p.m. ET. — where we will get into a few of my favorite spots of the weekend, as those of you who listened to our most recent podcast episode already know. Good luck!

Season Record: 20-16 (+2.72 units). All odds as of 1 a.m.. ET

Clemson +5 at Louisville

12 p.m. ET on ESPN

Louisville finds itself in the midst of a brutal stretch. After four straight games against ranked opponents (North Carolina, at Virginia Tech, at Florida State, Duke), the Cardinals still have Clemson, Syracuse and Virginia on deck. Vicious.

I think this game has flat spot written all over it for Louisville after losing two consecutive heartbreakers — both after blowing leads: first at Florida State in overtime and then at home in stunning fashion to Duke after leading by 23 halfway through the second half.

I expect a major hangover from that collapse, especially with a noon start, which should make for a more subdued crowd at the KFC Yum! Center.

Similarly, Clemson is also coming off a brutal loss at the buzzer against Miami earlier this week. However, the Tigers are playing their best basketball of the season and are, to me at least, the most undervalued team in the ACC at the moment — and one of the most undervalued in the country.

Clemson has dealt with some misfortune this year. Not only did the Tigers lose on a lucky Miami buzzer-beater in their last game, they also lost at the buzzer against NC State.

The Tigers have had some horrid free-throw luck (for and against) and really should be sitting at 7-4 in the ACC, comfortably in the tourney field. Instead, at 5-6, they could really use this win. I expect a fully focused effort from Brad Brownell’s bunch.

I also like a few things from a matchup perspective:

  • Clemson’s offense can struggle with turnovers, but Louisville doesn’t turn teams over (314th in steal%)
  • Clemson, which has length all over, has one of the best interior defenses in the country (top 20 in 2P%)
  • The Tigers can also force turnovers, which we all recently saw how vulnerable Louisville can be in that department
  • Louisville should have some negative regression coming its way in regards to opponent 3-point shooting, while the opposite can be said for Clemson, who has a number of players who have shot unusually poor compared to their career averages

This is a very experienced Clemson team that should keep this close with its outstanding defense against a Louisville team that I think finds itself in a terrible spot.


Iowa State +3 at Kansas State

4 p.m ET on ESPN2

While I love this Kansas State team and recently invested in the Wildcats in the futures market, this is just a great spot to fade them.

Not only does Iowa State have revenge from a one-point home loss to Kansas State earlier this season, it’s coming off a bad home loss to TCU last weekend. The Cyclones have also had a week off to stew over that loss and prepare for this one. I’m sure they haven’t forgot about the two losses they also suffered at the hands of Kansas State last season as well.

Iowa State’s Marial Shayok talks with Michael Jacobson. Credit: Jeffrey Becker, USA Today Sports.

Kansas State undoubtedly owns one of the nation’s best defenses, but Iowa State has excelled on that end of the floor as well even if most aren’t aware.