Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:06 AM
Saturday's Early Tips
Winning road games as a probable favorite can be a tricky proposition heading into the month of February given just how important all the games become this time of the year.
This Saturday’s slate features three matchups that could be a road trap for a pair of nationally ranked teams in the ACC and one in the SEC.
No. 4 Duke at St. John’s (FOX, 12:00 p.m. ET)
Opening Odds: Duke -11, Total 156 ½
The Blue Devils take a mid-season break from their ACC schedule where they have gone 7-3 straight-up with an even 5-5 record against the spread. They are 19-3 SU (13-8 ATS) overall and the total has gone OVER in 14 of 21 games with a posted betting line. Duke is 4-2 ATS in six previous road games. Freshman forward Marvin Bagley III is a big reason why this is a Top 5 team with 21.5 points and 11.4 rebounds a game. He put up 30 points in a recent loss to Virginia.
St. John’s would love to give Duke a big scare on Saturday, but at 10-13 SU with 11 losses in 11 Big East contests, it could be hard-pressed to keep things close into the second half. Betting on the Red Storm has also been a losing proposition at 9-12 ATS including a 2-6 run ATS in their last eight games. The total has stayed UNDER in five of their last seven outings. The one bright spot has been the play of sophomore guard Shamorie Ponds with a team-high 19.7 points per game. He just put up 31 points in Tuesday’s loss to Xavier.
-- The Blue Devils are 5-1 ATS in their last six nonconference games and the total has gone OVER in 10 of their last 11 games against the Big East.
-- The Red Storm have failed to cover in six of their last seven home games and the total has gone OVER or ended as a PUSH in their last five games against the ACC.
-- Head-to-head in this ACC/Big East clash, the underdog has covered in four of the last five meetings and the total has gone OVER in all five games.
No. 21 Kentucky at Missouri (CBS, 2:00 p.m. ET)
Opening Odds: Missouri -1 ½, Total 139 ½
By Kentucky standards, this team’s SU 17-5 record with a 6-3 mark in SEC play is below the extremely high bar that has been set over the years with John Calipari at the helm as head coach. The Wildcats have strung together a modest three-game winning streak, but they are still a costly 5-7 ATS in their last 12 games. The total has gone OVER in five of their last seven outings. Kentucky is well down the list in scoring with 77.6 PPG and at the other end of the court it is allowing an average of 70.4 points to its opponents.
Missouri snapped a three-game losing streak (SU and ATS) with Wednesday’s 69-60 victory against Alabama as a 5 ½-point road underdog. The total stayed UNDER 137 points in that game and it has stayed UNDER in five of its last seven games. The Tigers (14-8 SU) are now 4-5 SU in SEC play with a 5-4 record ATS. Senior guard Kassius Robertson scored a team-high 22 points against the Tide and he has now scored at least 20 points in each of his last three games to boost his scoring average on the year to 16.0 PPG.
-- The Wildcats have covered in six of their last eight games following an ATS loss and the total has gone OVER in nine of their last 13 games coming off a SU win.
-- The Tigers are 1-4 ATS in their last five Saturday games and the total has stayed UNDER in five of their last six home games against a team with a SU losing record on the road.
-- The favorite in this SEC matchup has covered in five of the last seven meetings and the total has gone OVER in four of the last six meetings.
No. 20 Clemson at Wake Forest (ACC Network, 2:00 p.m. ET)
Opening Odds: Clemson -3 Total 141 ½
Clemson is coming off back-to-back victories against Georgia Tech on the road and North Carolina as home as a slight 1.5-point underdog to improve to 7-3 SU in ACC play. It has only covered in four of those 10 conference games as part of an 11-8 record ATS overall. The Tigers have gone 1-5 ATS on the road this season and the total has gone OVER in seven of their last nine games overall. Junior guard Marcquise Reed scored 20 points to help pace the upset against the Tar Heels and he continues to lead Clemson in scoring with 15.6 PPG.
The Demon Deacons doubled their win total in conference play with Wednesday’s 76-72 upset against Florida State as 4 ½-point home underdogs. They are now 2-8 SU in the ACC and 3-7 ATS. The total has stayed UNDER in seven of those 10 games. Junior guard Bryant Crawford is Wake Forest’s leading scorer this season with 16.0 PPG and he has exceeded that total in three of his last five starts including 19 points in Wednesday’s win.
-- The Tigers have failed to cover in five of their last six games coming off a SU win and the total has gone OVER in five of their last six road games.
-- The Demon Deacons are 1-4 ATS in their last five Saturday games and the total has stayed UNDER in six of their last eight games played at home.
-- Clemson has covered in six of the last eight meetings and the total has stayed UNDER in six of the last seven meetings in this ACC tilt.