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With just inside of a month now remaining in the college basketball regular season, seedings for conference tournaments are up for grabs as we are now in the meat of the inter-conference play. There are 147 games slated for Saturday, and the betting boards are ripe with opportunity for bettors to sift through as they look for the maximum amount of value to get out of their wagers. With so many options to choose from, let’s take a look at two games involving ranked opponents that could very well have implications come March.
LSU Tigers at Auburn Tigers (-5, O/U154), 12:00 PM EST (via PointsBet)
The LSU Tigers currently hold the first place spot in the SEC heading into Saturday but can forgo that placement with a loss in this one. They will be looking to avoid back to back losses for the first time since December after dropping their worst loss of the season on Wednesday on the road at last-place Vanderbilt. In the 90-99 loss, the Tiger’s couldn’t contain Vanderbilt’s pair of guards in Saben Lee and Maxwell Evans who combined for 64 points on 26 of 36 from the field. Their inability to defend the backcourt won’t bode well in this one either, as sophomore Samir Doughty is averaging 15.5 points per game for Auburn including 23 points in each of their last two games. The last time we saw this Auburn team on the court, they narrowly avoided a road loss of their own, beating Arkansas 79-76 in overtime on Tuesday night. While Auburn showed what they can do at home last Saturday against a strong Kentucky squad, I like LSU to bounce back in this one led by sophomore Javonte Smart who averaging 18 points per game over his last two.
Seton Hall Pirates @ Villanova Wildcats (-2.5, 139.5), 2:30 PM EST (via PointsBet)
A classic Big East showdown will get underway Saturday afternoon as the top two teams in the conference will tip-off in Philadelphia. For the Wildcats, they are a team in desperate need of getting back on track after dropping their last two by a combined 18 points including a road loss at Buttler just a few days ago. In that loss, the Wildcats had to lean on their one-two punch of big man Saddiq Bey and junior guard Collin Gillespie who combined for 57 of the Wildcat’s 76 points, with no other player scoring more than nine points. For the Pirates, a loss at home to Xavier in February first has been their only loss since before Christmas, as the Pirates continue to be led by senior guard Myles Powell who is averaging 22 points per game including a near season-high 34 their last time on the court Wednesday in a road win at Georgetown. In this one, I see Villanova as a team currently backed into a corner, facing their first three-game losing streak of the season, a rarity in the Jay Wright era. I expect Gillespie to get the Wildcats back on track in this one which as much of a must-win as you can face in early February.