College basketball Saturday three-team mega parlay (+1066): Friars, Tigers and Zags, oh my!

Gonzaga Bulldogs
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Ricky Dimon

NCAAB· 1 month ago

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

Admittedly, it has been a rather slow week in college basketball. But that all changes on Saturday, when a whole host of teams are taking the court. UCLA and Ohio State are Covid casualties, but some last-minute scrambling has resulted in a showdown between Kentucky and North Carolina. Among the other programs in action are Baylor, Oregon, Gonzaga, Duke, Kansas, Purdue, Arizona, USC, Alabama and Auburn.

Needless to say, there is more than enough to work with as we try to formulate another parlay winner. We have hit +596 college basketball parlay winners each of the past two days; now we’re aiming higher.

Gonzaga -8 (-110)

Providence ML (+220)

LSU -9.5 (-110)

Parlay odds: +1066

For this parlay we are going with two favorites against the spread and one underdog on the money line. Let’s break down each of the three legs one by one.

Gonzaga -8 over Texas Tech (-110)

When Gonzaga ran through Texas and UCLA with ease it looked like another perfect regular season might be in order. Now, following losses to Duke and Alabama, it is clear this team has some competition at the top of the sport. Texas Tech is going to be an interesting challenge because it is so strong defensively. The Red Raiders 8-1 for new head coach Mark Adams, but we have yet to see much from them aside from a win over Tennessee. As expected, Adams has maintained the high level of defense of the program; his team is giving up just 59 ppg — which is 23rd in the nation. Kevin McCullar and Terrence Shannon give the Red Raiders two wings who can score. They average 14 ppg each. But can they score enough to take down an elite team like the Zags? Doubtful. Gonzaga has scored fewer than 80 points just once all season. Even if this marks the second time for that to happen, the Zags can still beat the Red Raiders by double-digits.

Check out our Gonzaga vs Texas Tech preview

Providence ML over UConn (+220)

The Big East is not messing around to get people interested in the conference to start the season. Providence is 10-1 to start the year with its only loss to Virginia. Victories over Wisconsin and Texas Tech show how good this team can be. Nate Watson is a rare true center who does his work inside. When the Friars get some shooting from the outside, too, they are very tough to beat. As for the Huskies, they have just 2 losses on the season — one to Auburn in OT and the other at West Virginia by only 3 points. Guard Tyrese Martin is expected back for this one and he helps their offense, but big man Adama Sonogo from Mali is still out. He is their best interior player on offense and defense. They can still match Watson’s size inside, but they are not going to get much production there. That puts a lot more on RJ Cole. He leads the team at 16 ppg but is a volume guy. This game is in Hartford — not Storrs. Don’t be surprised if Providence wins outright.

Check out our Providence vs UConn preview

LSU -9.5 over Louisiana Tech (-110)

LSU has climbed all the way from 43rd to 11th in KenPom, and it’s mainly because of…wait for it…defense! The Tigers rank second in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency — which not only is the highest mark in the head coach Will Wade era, but it’s also the highest by 57 spots. Usually it’s the offensive firepower that carries the Tigers, but not this year. Louisiana Tech’s offense mostly resolves around big man Kenneth Lofton. He is sixth nationally in usage rate and 28th nationally in shot rate. However, Lofton does most of his damage in the paint — where LSU’s defense is strong. The Bulldogs just 201st in three-point percentage, so it’s unlikely they will be uber-efficient on offense. On the other end of the court, they are likely to get abused on the glass. LSU is one of the better offensive rebounding teams in the country again this year, ranking 27th in offensive rebounding percentage per KenPom. Louisiana Tech ranks 276th in defensive rebounding percentage, so we should expect a lot of second-chance opportunities for the Tigers.

Check out all our college basketball previews and picks for Saturday

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