February 6th 2014 - Posted 5:00 PM Eastern Time
There are two bets risking a total of 4% tonight.
#1: Take Georgia at +3 spread against LSU risking 2%
On the surface this game looks like somewhat of a mismatch as you have a 14-6 LSU Tigers team taking on a 10-10 Georgia Bulldogs team. It's no secret that LSU has made a reputation for beating some big names programs such as Kentucky recently. But we feel that this streak of excellence is not as impressive given that each and every one of those games was played on home court. On the road, LSU has been mediocre at best going just 4-4 and an even worse 2-4 against the spread. They have been fortunate to play 4 of their last 5 games at home with their only loss during that span being on the road against a sub-par Alabama team.
Meanwhile, Georgia isn't a favorite in the eyes of the betting public given their poor record on the road. Going just 1-8 away from home isn't going to turn a lot of heads in the sports betting community but has actually created value in this spot. Georgia has been rock solid at home given their 9-2 record with their defense allowing just an average of 62 points per game! We feel that their poor road record has given the perception that the Bulldogs are ultimately a "poor" team themselves, but that isn't true especially when playing in their own venue.
This is a clear case where the public perception is at odds with the
line. The betting public believes they are getting a "deal"
by having the supposed "better" team in LSU as only short
favorites against a much "poorer" Georgia team. That is why 80%
of the public is backing LSU but we believe they are mistaken. The Bulldogs have
played the tougher schedule to date and LSU's struggles on the road
have been clear. The Tigers lost their last 2 trips to Athens by 20
and 9 points, as well as 6 of their last 8 trips here dating all the
way back to 1997. LSU has also dropped their only two conference road
games this season falling to both Mississippi and Alabama. We believe
Georgia are capable of winning this game outright but if they don't,
they should keep it close.
Other notable facts to consider:
- SEC home underdogs of 5 points or less are 10-3-1 ATS! (Against-The-Spread)
- Home team has won 7 of the last 8 meetings between these two teams!
- LSU coach Johnny Jones is just 1-12 ATS after his team scored 75 points or more in 5 straight games!
#2: Take Oregon at +12 spread against Arizona risking 2%
The Arizona Wildcats were knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten on a step back jumper with just a few seconds left to play. That loss not only gave Arizona their first defeat of the season, but also dropped them out of the #1 spot. Tonight will be their first game after that loss and it will be interesting to see how the players react. Judging by the line, most are expecting a huge bounce back performance but we don't necessarily feel that it is completely warranted.
There is no doubt that the Arizona defense has been excellent this season. But the offense has left something to be desired for much of the season. Over their past few games, the Wildcats had narrowly scraped by with some close knit wins, arguably closer than they should have been given how much love they have been getting from the linemakers. Truth be told, Arizona has fallen short a number of times they have been listed as heavy favorites against "decent" competition narrowly getting by Utah, Colorado and UNLV all at home. Tonight they not only have to regroup and bounce back from their first loss of the season which may have taken out some of that confident swagger but they will have to do it without the services of Brandon Ashley! Ashley is a versatile player and a big loss. Filling his role isn't going to be easy as he averaged 11.5 points per game this season along with 6 rebounds! He was a good 3-point shooter (something the Wildcats don't do very well) and also a big athletic defender. The Wildcats will most likely send in freshman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson into the lineup. He is a big player like Ashley, but while hey may do well defensively, we don't believe he will be as big a factor on the offensive end and is certainly not as efficient a shooter.
Oregon comes into this game somewhat reeling. Once a possible top
10 team, they dropped 5 straight games before shoring up the defense
somewhat and have since won 2 of their last 3 with the lone defeat coming
by just two points against UCLA! Nonetheless they are now on the bubble
to potentially miss out on the NCAA tournament altogether and have no
more room for slip-ups. The Ducks will need to turn their season around
and post some quality wins if they expect to play come March Madness.
You can expect that they will be focused tonight, taking on a top team
who may still be reeling from their first defeat of the season. The
Ducks have been terrific on the offensive side of the ball this season.
Scoring has not been an issue as they average 84.7 points per game shooting
47.2 percent from the field.
They currently rank 6th in the nation in scoring points this season! Where the ducks have faulted has been on the defensive side of the ball which may not be as big an issue since Arizona isn't a team known for its offensive prowess or for blowing out opponents.
Arizona is looked at as the much better team in this matchup but it
has yet to be seen how they will play without Ashley and coming off
their heartbreaking first loss of the season. The Ducks almost "need"
this game to keep them in the conversation come tournament time so we
expect a focused effort tonight. Arizona is more balanced and should
ultimately win this game but Oregon has the firepower to keep competitive.
Even if the Ducks do fall behind big, getting 12 points always leaves
the door open for a late backdoor cover. Finally what could well be
decisive in covering the spread is free-throw shooting! Oregon ranks second
in the country making 78% of their FT shots from the foul line while
Arizona makes only 67% on average! Twelve points are too much to lay in this spot and we suggest taking
Other notable facts to consider:
- Oregon is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 visits to Tuscon.
- Oregon is 20-10 ATS as an underdog over the last three seasons!
- Oregon is 3-0 ATS when the total is listed between 130 to 139.5 points.
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