Today, the weekend kicks off with a loaded all-day betting menu filled with 65-plus college basketball games, 12 NHL games and a stacked UFC slate. For extensive Saturday betting analysis, be sure to join Michael Lombardi, Patrick Meagher and myself this morning from 10 a.m.-noon ET on The Lombardi Line. We'll be dissecting all the big matchups, top lines moves and late sharp action across all the major sports. We'll also be joined by Thomas Gable of the Borgata in Atlantic City and NFL analyst Chris Simms.
In the meantime, let's discuss a trio of college hoops games today receiving notable sharp action…
3 p.m. ET: LSU at Missouri
This mid-afternoon SEC showdown represents the regular season finale for both teams. LSU (15-8) just took down Vanderbilt 83-68, covering as 14-point home favorites. The victory snapped a two-game losing skid for LSU. Meanwhile, Missouri (15-7) has won two of their last three and is coming off a huge 72-70 win over Florida, winning outright as 4-point road dogs. This line opened with Missouri listed as a short 1.5-point home favorite. The public sees two evenly matched teams and says give me road dog LSU in a coin-flip game. However, we've seen respected money get down on the home favorite, pushing Missouri from -1.5 to -2. Missouri has value as a "fade the trendy dog" contrarian favorite with a reverse line move. Ken Pom has Missouri winning this game by one-point. As a result, bettors wary of laying more than a point could look to bet Missouri on the moneyline (roughly -135). Missouri is 8-3 at home this season. LSU is just 3-6 on the road.
4 p.m. ET: USC at UCLA
This Pac-12 showdown features two of the top teams in the conference going head-to-head. USC (20-6) just waxed Stanford 79-42, easily covering as 8-point home favorites. Prior to the victory, USC has lost three of its previous four games. Meanwhile, UCLA (17-7) has dropped two straight, falling to Colorado and Oregon on the road. This line opened with USC listed as a short 1-point road favorite. The public can't decide whether to take the point or lay it. But pros have made up their mind and seem to be leaning on the Trojans as we've seen this line rise from USC -1 to -2. Ken Pom has USC winning by two points, which may invite some value on USC on the moneyline as opposed to laying multiple points. He also has USC ranked much higher (15th vs 44th). These teams met back on February 6th and USC crushed UCLA 66-48. USC will lean on their smothering defense in this one. The Trojans are only allowing opponents to shoot 38.7% from the field this season, good for 6th best in the country.
6 p.m. ET: Duke at North Carolina
Both of these ACC rivals have struggled as of late and are looking to gain some much needed momentum heading into the conference tournament. Duke (11-10) has lost two straight games, falling to Louisville and Georgia Tech, both of which came in overtime. Meanwhile, North Carolina (15-9) has lost two of its last three, falling to Marquette and Syracuse. This line opened with North Carolina listed as a 2.5-point home favorite. The public is split and leaning slightly toward Duke and the points. However, we've seen this line move from North Carolina -2.5 to -3. This signals some respected money laying the points with the Tar Heels at home. Ken Pom has North Carolina winning by three points, which is right on the number. He has North Carolina ranked 33rd and Duke 38th. These teams met back on February 6th and North Carolina won 91-87. The Tar Heels will look to dominate the offensive boards in this one. North Carolina leads the country in offensive rebound percentage (41%). North Carolina is 9-1 at home this season. Duke is 3-5 on the road.
More Saturday Moves
Notre Dame %plussign% 7 to %plussign% 6.5 vs Florida State
Rutgers -3 to -3.5 at Minnesota
South Carolina-Kentucky Over 147.5 to 150
Mississippi State %plussign% 2 to %plussign% 1.5 at Auburn
Kansas State -3.5 to -4.5 vs Iowa State
Seton Hall %plussign% 1.5 to PK at St John's
Vanderbilt-Mississippi Under 137 to 135
UNLV-Wyoming Under 147 to 145