College basketball Saturday mega parlay (+1042): Texas to get revenge in grudge match
One of the biggest and best Saturday slates during the 2021-22 college basketball season is upon us. A total of 20 top 25 teams are in action, and there are four all-ranked showdowns: Illinois at Michigan State, Texas Tech at Texas, Alabama at Kentucky, and Tennessee at Arkansas. No. 1 Gonzaga, No. 2 Auburn, and No. 3 Arizona are also taking the court.
Let’s take a look at our three-team mega parlay for Saturday.
Texas -1.5 (-110)
Auburn -5 alternate spread (+130)
South Carolina ML (+160)
Parlay odds: +1042
For this parlay we are going with two favorites against the spread – one on an alternate number – and one underdog on the money line. Let’s break down each of the three legs one by one.
Texas -1.5 over Texas Tech (-110)
There was a lot of intensity when these teams met in Lubbock at the beginning of the month. The Red Raiders used that as fuel, winning by 13 points. But road games have been their kryptonite this season, as all four of their league losses have come on the road. With the exception of the setback at Kansas, which was a double-overtime thriller, the offense has dried up on the road by not scoring more than 55 points in those games. That is definitely a concern in taking on a strong defensive squad like Texas. UT’s best games have been at home this season, including wins over Kansas and Tennessee. The Longhorns play intense defense and while their offense seems to underperform when you watch them up close, their efficiency numbers are pretty good — 33rd in the nation, to be exact. Texas plays at a very slow pace, so it is not going to be uncomfortable taking on the Red Raiders.
Check out our Texas Tech vs Texas preview
Auburn -5 alternate spread over Florida (+130)
The Tigers have just 2 losses but it feels like they have really lost their shine in the national media. This is basically a buy-low spot for Auburn and it is one that should not be missed. Since losing at Arkansas, Auburn has posted a couple of double-digit wins against lower-tier teams in the SEC. Florida is a really positive matchup for the Tigers because they have a defensive prowess inside with center Walker Kessler. UF has not done enough to merit an NCAA bid…yet. Luckily for the Gators they have a number of big games left on their schedule, but with a 6-7 mark in the SEC it is hard to have much confidence that they will do anything with those opportunities. Big man Colin Castleton is a nice inside player, but beyond that there is no discernible strength to this team. They are a bad 3-point shooting squad (30%) and that is going to make it tough for when the Gators have to play catchup. When these teams met at Auburn, the Tigers won by 12. They are not going to have to win by as much to cover on Saturday, but look for Auburn to win comfortably.
Check out our Auburn vs Florida preview
South Carolina ML over LSU (+160)
LSU’s betting price is a tad too high as bettors are paying a premium to back the Tigers at the moment. South Carolina has the ability to stay keep this game closer than the current spread indicates. In fact, the ‘Cocks could win it outright. Both South Carolina and LSU profile similarly in that the defenses pull more weight than the offenses. Both units rank within the top half of the SEC in defensive efficiency while sitting at the bottom of the conference in offensive efficiency. In order to stay competitive with LSU, South Carolina will need to keep the Tigers out of transition and force them to execute their offense in the half-court. Per Hoop Math, South Carolina ranks above the D-1 average in limiting opponents field-goal attempts in transition (22.1%). Forcing LSU to execute its offense in the half-court is a big key; per KenPom, LSU currently sports the SEC’s least-efficient offense in conference play (95.8 points scored per 100 possessions). If the Gamecocks are able to generate defensive stops on a consistent basis, they can negate LSU’s ability to implement a full-court press.
Check out all our college basketball previews and picks for Saturday