Sometimes you just have to pick the low hanging fruit and get paid. That was the case last night when we backed the Rutgers Scarlet Knights as home favorites against the Purdue Boilermakers. And it’s not that I thought Rutgers was going to blow them out, but Purdue had only one road win for the entire year, and that came against an Ohio Bobcats team outside of the top-200. So, I felt strongly that the Boilermakers weren’t going to find a way to win against a Rutgers team that was undefeated at home this year.
And while I don’t love laying points, particularly in league play, laying just a bucket, at three points, seemed reasonable, so I backed Rutgers. And when the Scarlet Knights jumped out to an early sixteen-point lead in the first half, I knew that I was on the right side of the action. The Boilermakers never led at any point in the second half, and while we did sweat it just a bit down the stretch, the cover came in, and we cashed another ticket.
Defend the RAC :triumph:
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) January 29, 2020
The win was a nice one for Rutgers as they continue to win league games in the Big 10 at a high rate. This was their sixth win in their last eight conference games, and they are now in third place in the Big 10- standings, just a game back in the loss column of Illinois and Michigan State.
For Purdue, the Boilermakers continue to be a hard-luck team this year, and despite five wins over top-50 teams, they are looking like a team that is going to get left out of the Big Dance come March if they can’t find a way to turn things around quickly. For today’s daily betting pick, we will head to the SEC, where the Alabama Crimson Tide play the LSU Tigers.
- Alabama Crimson Tide (12-7) at LSU Tigers (15-4)
- Maravich Center, Baton Rouge
- 4:00 PM PST
- TV: ESPN 2
The LSU Tigers are looking to keep their undefeated record in the SEC alive tonight as they host the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Tigers have won eight straight games, and at 6-0 in league play, are in first place in a very competitive Southeastern Conference. After playing a light schedule in the non-conference, the Tigers have now ranked up top-100 wins over Liberty, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi State, and Texas.
LSU returns to SEC play Wednesday night when it hosts Alabama in the PMAC.
The first 500 students at the game will get free Chick-Fil-A.
— LSU Basketball (@LSUBasketball) January 28, 2020
For Alabama, the Crimson Tide have won four straight games, and eight out of their last ten. And several of those wins have come against quality competition as they have recent wins over Kansas State, Missouri, Auburn, Richmond, and Mississippi State. A win on the road tonight in Baton Rouge would be the biggest win of the year for Alabama.
Will Wade has LSU Tigers team poised to win back to back regular-season SEC championships. Similar to last season, the Tigers started out a little slow, but they have really found their stride here in SEC league play, as they are the only undefeated team left in the league. And while they haven’t had to play Auburn, Alabama, or Kentucky yet, the teams closest to them in the standings, they do have some good wins.
But man have these games been close! In their last six games, they beat Arkansas by two, Mississippi State by one, Texas A&M by four in overtime, Ole Miss by four, Florida by two, and Texas by two. Six wins, by an average margin of victory of just over two points! We faded Purdue for yesterday’s bet, a team that can’t seem to win close games, and today we feature an LSU team that specializes in winning tight games!
Alabama Crimson Tide
While LSU hasn’t played the upper echelon of the SEC just yet, the Alabama Crimson Tide have, as they have played both Kentucky and Auburn, losing in Rupp Arena in a very competitive game, and blowing out the Tigers by nineteen points at home. The Tide played a tough slate in the non-conference and struggled.
They had losses to Rhode Island, Iowa State, Penn State, and North Carolina when Cole Anthony was still on the court. And while all of those losses were to top-100 teams, many felt that Alabama just didn’t have the firepower to compete in the SEC this season. But after losing to Florida on the road in double overtime, the Crimson Tide have won four out of their last five SEC games.
Who Do I Like?
This is a really fun matchup between two teams that are playing their best basketball of the season right now. And when you look at how these two teams have faired in league play, there is one thing they have in common, really close games.
Alabama has played three road games in league play so far this year. And while they are just 1-2, the loss to Florida was in double overtime, and the loss to Kentucky was a one-possession game with less than five minutes to play in the second half.
And we already talked about how LSU has barely been sneaking past their recent opposition. In the Tigers three SEC league play home wins, their largest margin of victory was just two points! Those games came against Florida, Mississippi State, and Arkansas, all teams that rate out nearly identically to Alabama on kenpom.
Normally when I take an underdog in a bet, getting less than ten points, I do so thinking that there is a decent chance that the underdog wins the game outright. If you know you are going to lose, it is hard to back a team getting just a handful of points, as too many things can go wrong at the end of the game that could ruin our bet.
So, while it is not a play I go to often, I am going to back Alabama tonight, feeling strongly that they aren’t going to be able to win outright. Both of these teams play nearly all of their league games close, and I think this one will be no different.
This opening line was -4-points for LSU, and the public has hammered the Tigers. The number has been moving towards LSU all morning long, and you can now get the Crimson Tide at +6-points. While I likely wouldn’t have made a play at the original number, I no longer have to as the public has opened up some value for me on a much more attractive number. Give me the Alabama Crimson Tide and the six points tonight from Baton Rouge!