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South Carolina vs LSU

We start off today's massive college basketball slate in style with a matchup between two of the bottom dwellers in the SEC. These are both teams I generally look to fade, but hey, someone has to win, and I think there's reason to believe this is way too many points, even if South Carolina is on the road.

South Carolina is 7-2 ATS on the road this season, and as crazy as it sounds, they might be better on the road than at home. Their only two conference wins are on the road (Kentucky and Mississippi). They also hung in there against Georgia, only losing by 3. Georgia is a bad team, but not worse than LSU. They did lose by 21 on the road to Florida, a middling team, but hey, SC is bad and sometimes they'll have a very bad performance.

Not only is SC good ATS on the road, but LSU is also bad ATS at home, going 3-12 this season. Their only home win in conference play was back in December against Arkansas when they won by 3. They've been blown out by the good teams in the conference at home and managed to lose by 8-12 against the middling ones.

I just don't believe LSU should be favored by 7.5 against anyone in the SEC, so here we go.

Pick: South Carolina +7.5 (-110) DraftKings

Iowa State vs Kansas State

Next up we head to Manhattan, Kansas for a tilt between the Cyclones and Wildcats. I know I beat this drum a lot, but this one has everything to do with the home/road splits for these teams.

When Iowa State plays at home they are really tough. Outside of their recent loss to Oklahoma State (where of course I bet on them), they have run off a perfect home record with 13 straight wins. But when they go on the road it's a different story. They've lost five in a row, with their last win coming against TCU over a month ago. It is worth noting that most of those games have been close.

Kansas State has been strong at home. They lost to Texas a couple of weeks ago, but other than that they've won home conference games by 21, 10, 1, 8, and 6. The key here will be taking care of the ball against Iowa State's defense.

Iowa State won the first game between these two by 4 in Ames. I look for Kansas State to return the favor in Manhattan.

Pick: Kansas State -3 (-110) BetRivers

Michigan State vs Michigan

The in-state rivalry heads to Ann Arbor for a late Big Ten game. Michigan can be a tough team to get a read on. They have talent, but they don't seem to hit their stride all the time. They've lost their last two games--at home by 1 to Indiana in a thriller and on the road by 5 at Wisconsin.

Michigan State has won their last two--beating down Ohio State in Columbus (but who doesn't these days?) and getting by Maryland at home. This is a team that isn't flashy, but like most Tom Izzo teams they play solid and are in most of their games.

Michigan State won the first game by 6 at home. This pick comes down to a couple of things for me. First, between teams that are relatively close, home court is a big deal. This is true in the Big Ten perhaps more than anywhere else. I usually expect the line to be at least 2.5 for the home team when there are two comparable teams. Second, I think Michigan's offensive upside is higher. MSU plays good defense, but if one team needs to go on a run I like Michigan to be able to do that more.

I'll take the home team in conference play laying just a couple.

Pick: Michigan -2 (-110) BetRivers

Tulane vs USF

First, I don't know how you bet against a team with a logo like Tulane's, but I've got more for you than just a bangin logo.

Tulane is an offensive juggernaut. They've put up 87 or more points in 7 of their 12 conference games. Yes, they have had a couple of inexplicable stinkers, most notably a 79-81 loss to lowly Tulsa, but in general, this team puts up points. The defense is certainly more of a question mark, they've given up 80 or more in all but one conference game on the road.

USF is tied for the second-least wins in the AAC with East Carolina and SMU at 4. Their best win in the conference came against UCF who sit just above them in the standings.

At the end of the day I just don't think USF can score with Tulane. They have been over a few times in conference play, but other than against Tulsa they generally gave up a lot of points in those games as well. Tulane is going to push a fast pace, create more turnovers, and get the cover. I have this game at 88-80 Tulane.

Pick: Tulane -3 (-110) BetRivers

Stanford vs USC

It's a huge college basketball slate today, so we're going huge with two extra breakdowns and picks. We wrap things up with a Pac-12 meeting between the Cardinal and the Trojans.

You're going to hate me, but it's another home/road split game. USC is undefeated at home in conference play and 6 of their 7 wins came by 6 points or more (today's spread). The only game that didn't was against Oregon State (they're not good), but it was December 4th, so this team has developed a lot since then.

Stanford isn't a team I trust in general, but I really don't like them on the road. They've lost 4 of 7 road conference games by 6 or more, but a couple of those losses were to Cal and Arizona State--really not a good look. This is another spot where I'll take the home favorite in conference to get the win and cover the spread.

Pick: USC -6 (-110) DraftKings

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