Saturday college basketball five-team mega parlay (+2225 odds)
As March Madness draws closer and closer, we have another jam-packed Saturday of college basketball on our hands. Two all-Top 25 showdowns pit Kansas against Texas Tech and Texas against West Virginia. Among the other teams in action are Gonzaga, Illinois, Alabama, Virginia, and Florida State.
Here’s our five-team parlay for Saturday:
Illinois -4.5 (-110)
Georgia Tech -2.5 (-115)
Arizona State +8.5 (-110)
Auburn ML (+165)
TCU ML (-335)
Parlay odds: +2225
For this parlay we mix in two favorites against the spread, one underdog and the points, and two money line winners (one favorite and one underdog). Let’s break down each of the five legs one by one.
Illinois -4.5 over Minnesota (-110)
Illinois has won six in a row. This is a team that can run hot and cold, so winning and not playing their best is kind of a step forward. Star guard Ayo Dosunmu underwhelmed in the first meeting with Minnesota this season and the Fighting Illini still dominated by 27 points. The Golden Gophers had no answer for Kofi Cockburn down low. Minnesota big man Liam Robbins fouled out after playing only 18 minutes. Another 27-point blowout may be too much to ask of Illinois, but this rematch should not be competitive.
Georgia Tech -2.5 over Miami (FL) (-115)
Miami played only once in the last two weeks and it will have just seven scholarship players available when they entertain Georgia Tech. Like they have for many teams this season, coronavirus issues have wreaked havoc on the Hurricanes. Among their absences are second-leading scorer Chris Lykes (15.5 points per game) and fifth-leading scorer Earl Timberlake (9.3 ppg). Timberlake is also averaging 5.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.7 steals per game, so his absence hurts a lot even though he isn’t quite averaging double-figures in points. Neither Lykes nor Timberlake is expected to return in 2021. Even at full strength, Miami has not been good this season. It 7-12 overall, 3-11 in the ACC, and has won just a single game since Jan. 16 (and that was against Duke, which may not even make the NCAA Tournament). Georgia Tech guard Jose Alvarado is doing it all on both ends of the floor with 16.8 ppg and 2.8 spg. He is a bad matchup for Miami, which is in the red in turnover margin this season.
Arizona State +8.5 over UCLA (-110)
Oddsmakers have the Bruins as nearly double-digit favorites for this one, and that is simply too high. It becomes clear when you dig into their wins and losses that they have been a lucky team this season. Incredibly, eight of their last 10 victories have come by six points or fewer. As such, I don’t see how you could consider laying this many points to the Sun Devils. UCLA was only able to beat a 4-17 Washington team by three points and also just lost outright to Washington State. Arizona State has been a big disappointment this season, but it still boasts a ton of talent. When these teams played earlier this year, it was an extremely tight game that went to overtime.
Auburn ML over LSU (+165)
It has been months since Kansas State has won a game. The Wildcats have not earned a victory since December 29 and they are currently going through a 13-game losing streak. And for the most part they are getting crushed, too. A lot of their struggles has to do with the fact that they are the least-efficient offense in the Big 12. They have an effective field-goal percentage of 45.5 (last), 27.2 from three-point range (last), and 67.0 from the free-throw line (last). Given Kansas State’s lack of ability to defend pretty much everywhere on the court, TCU is likely going to be able to score plenty. The Horned Frogs on the money line is a safe play.
TCU ML over Kansas State (-335)
It’s hard to see LSU’s defense shutting down Auburn’s offense. The Tigers rank 139th in the country in defensive efficiency, so the argument could be made that they are getting a bit lucky with how their opponents are shooting against them. Only nine teams in Division I give up more three-point attempts to their opponents than LSU. Despite that, LSU’s opposition is only shooting 30.4 percent on those attempts, which is the 38th-lowest percentage in the country. Auburn shoots the 25th-most threes in the country. Of course the Tigers will have to make a decent percentage of them, but it won’t be a surprise to see them fork up 30 threes in this game. Auburn ranks 26th in the country in offensive rebounding rate, which should scare LSU and its 305th-ranked defensive rebounding rate. Even if Auburn is missing from the perimeter, it can make up for it by controlling the glass.
Pickswise is the home of free NCAA basketball picks and predictions. We will provide predictions on both the side and totals for all of the power-conference and Top 25 games during the 2020-21 season.