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Betting News and Notes - Feb 23

Betting News and Notes - Feb 23

Saturday's Tip Sheet
By Josh Jacobs

There will be no introduction necessary for Saturday’s slate of games. Instead we’re diving right into the deep end of the pool to possibly uncover some winners in the Association.

**Charlotte at Washington**

A Charlotte team posting a 4-19 SU and 6-16-1 ATS record on the road, will begin a mini three-game trip away from home when it travels into Washington on Saturday. Dropping eight of its last nine, the Bobcats are in an offensive funk, scoring just 87.8 PPG in their last five, while allowing opponents to score 101.2 PPG. Slumping in its own schedule, Washington has dropped nine of its last 10 games, while covering just three contests in the same slide. Coming off zero days of rest, the Wizards are a mortal 6-7 ATS.

**Indiana at New Jersey**

Highlighted by a victory over Dallas on Feb. 10, the Nets have now gone 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS in their last five. Outscoring its opponents 407-362 in its last four victories, New Jersey will look to take its eighth straight win against Indiana on Saturday. The Pacers have failed to cover seven games in the last 10 head-to-head meetings with the Nets and going 2-8 SU and 4-6 ATS in its last 10, Indiana will have a lot on its plate. At home this season, New Jersey has mustered up a low 92.5 PPG.

**Philadelphia at Miami**

On an economical tear, the 76ers have gone 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 overall games, while also building upon an impressive 8-3 SU run. Total players take heed in the fact that Philadelphia has rocked the ‘under’ five times in the last eight. For Miami, another double-digit losing streak has been building. On a 10-game slide passed ground level, the Heat have now constructed a 1-25 SU record in their last 26, while also failing to cover the spread 20 times throughout the same 26-game stretch.

**New Orleans at San Antonio**

On a wild weekend run, the Hornets will emerge on Saturday carrying a highly impressive 42-13-2 ATS ledger in their last 57 Saturday contests. Even more indicative of their punch through the West, New Orleans has posted a 24-8-1 ATS record in its last 33 road games. Squaring off against a revamped Spurs squad, defensive talent has been addressed since the trading deadline has come and gone. Picking up Kurt Thomas to fill a defensive need in the paint, San Antonio would like nothing more then to add its ninth win in 10 games. Coming off one day of rest, the Spurs have made bettors money by scoring a 17-12-1 ATS record.

**Denver at Milwaukee**

A perpetual scoring machine in the Association, Denver failed to acquire any defensive depth before the trade deadline. With a 7-2 SU record in their last nine, the Nuggets exemplified their solid playing skills in a 124-118 win over Boston on Tuesday. Covering the spread and nailing the ‘over’ against the Celtics, Denver improved its ATS record on the season to 28-25 (going 9-4 ATS in its last 11). On the other hand is a Bucks team who has gone 8-21 ATS in their last 29 versus teams in the Northwest. In their last 15 head-to-head meetings, the Nuggets have gone an impressive 13-2 ATS.

**Atlanta at Utah**

Boasting a 23-3 SU and 17-9 ATS docket at home this season, the Jazz have scorched the net for 106.3 PPG, while their defensive games has held teams to 96.7 (a difference of plus-9.6 PPG). When playing teams with a losing record at home, Utah is 9-4 ATS (8-2 ATS at home versus teams with a winning record). Dropping six in a row, the Hawks are hoping newly obtained point guard Mike Bibby can mesh with the rest of the team for improved play. Atlanta is 0-6 ATS in its last six when coming off zero days of rest and are 0-6 ATS in its last six road games.

**L.A. Lakers at L.A. Clippers**

In a war over the city of Los Angeles, an impressive Lakers team will look to wrangle up their 11th win in 13 games on Saturday. Going 11-1 ATS in the last 12, the Lake Show has done wonders on the hardwood. It’s most recent accomplishment was an exciting 130-124 win over Phoenix on Wednesday (marking an even more impressive 116 PPG in their last six outings). Having split five of 10 meetings with the Lakers, the Clippers have been a totals machine, cashing in seven ‘over’ games in the last 10. While the Clips are 11-16 ATS this season when coming off one day of rest, the Lakers have amassed a 3-1 ATS record when coming off two days of rest.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 23

Tennessee vs. Memphis
By Brad Young 

Memphis hopes to put its stamp on the Volunteer State and the rest of the country when the top-ranked Tigers host second-ranked Tennessee. Coach John Calipari’s Memphis squad is attempting to become the first team since the 1991 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels to reach the NCAA Tournament undefeated.

Tennessee has also enjoyed its fair share of success thus far this season, and has its sights set on its first outright SEC title since 1967. The Vols are stepping out of conference play with this matchup before staying instate for a tough SEC contest with Vanderbilt. Tennessee shared the overall SEC title back in 2000 with Florida, Kentucky and Louisiana State.

Las Vegas Sports Consultants opened Memphis as a six-point home ‘chalk’ over Tennessee, with the total set at 158. ESPN will provide coverage of this matchup from the Tigers’ FedEx Forum beginning Saturday at 9:00 p.m. ET.

"I speculated earlier in the week that the number would be 4 1/2, " VI handicapper Brian Edwards said. "It'll be interesting to see which side the money comes in on. As for the total, I won't be surprised if it gets bet up into the low 160s."

Edwards, who is on a 55-33 run in college hoops since Jan. 22, added, "I think the underdog is the play. I give the Vols a good shot to win the game outright, making the play on the 'dog catching a decent number a no-brainer to me."

Tennessee (24-2 straight up, 12-9 against the spread) has recorded eight consecutive SU victories (6-2 ATS) after running past Auburn Wednesday as a 17 1/2-point home favorite, 89-70. The Vols have alternated ATS wins and losses their last five games.

Tennessee won the rebounding battle against the Tigers, 42-38, while shooting a blistering 52 percent (35-of-68) from the field. Four of the five starters reached double digits in scoring, led by guard Ramar Smith’s 19 points on 6-of-7 shooting. Forward Tyler Smith also contributed with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Tennessee maintains a 9-2 SU and 5-6 ATS road record, winning those affairs by an average score of 75-72. The Vols rank fifth in the country by producing an average of 83.9 points per game.

Memphis (26-0 SU, 12-11 ATS) continued its winning ways by routing Tulane Wednesday as a 13-point road ‘chalk,’ 97-71. That ATS victory ended a 0-4-1 stretch versus the number.

The Tigers cruised to victory after jumping out to a 46-27 halftime advantage, finishing the contest by connecting at a sizzling 55-percent clip (39-of-71). Guard Chris Douglas-Roberts led all scorers with 29 points on 13-of-17 shooting, while Derrick Rose added 17, five rebounds and five assists.

Memphis has remained unbeaten this season by posting an average of 80.8 points per game, shooting 47 percent from the field including 34 percent from behind the arc. However, one chink in the Tigers’ armor is that fact that they shoot just 59 percent from the free-throw line.

Memphis is 16-0 SU on its home court, but has struggled to a 6-8 ATS ledger. The Tigers have been winning their home endeavors this season by an average score of 84-61.

For being a state rivalry, these two teams haven’t met since 2006 when Tennessee dominated Memphis as a one-point home underdog, 76-58. The Tigers prevailed the season before as a 10-point home favorite, 88-79.

Memphis forward Shawn Taggart is ‘questionable’ against the Vols with a knee injury.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 23

Drake and Butler highlight BB
VegasInsider.com 

The Bracket Buster, originally a bright ESPN idea to bring some of the best "mid major" college basketball teams together on one day and televise all the games, has now grown into a three day event. While most would consider this progress, I do not. What was meant as a showcase for the best of the mid majors has now turned into a free for all, as nearly every team in the category (with the notable exception of Gonzaga) is playing this weekend, which to me lessens the impact of the event, and certainly loses its luster.

One only has to look at the fact that the college hoops fan will have four games foisted on us on Saturday in which the two teams' overall rating in my Power Rankings equals more than 500. (If the #2 were playing the #10 team the combined overall rating would be 12). Now, really, do we "need" to know what happens when Georgia State travels to Jacksonville Sate (combined rating 507) or Morehead State visits James Madison (combined rating 537)

No, we don't, but those two rival Memphis vs. Tennessee when looking at the two worst matchups of the Bracket Buster, the immortal meetings of Samford at Louisiana Tech and Binghamton at Manhattan, both of which register a combined number of 566 on my scale. I love college hoops, but games like this cheapen the event, and ESPN on the corporate sponsors should do something about it.

Thankfully, there are good games as well, and what I will do now is give the projected lines on each of the TV games of this event, with the numbers coming straight from my Power Ratings. NOTE: I MAY NOT ALWAYS AGREE WITH THE POWER RATINGS, AS OTHER FACTORS PLAY INTO MY HANDICAP OF EACH GAME, but they are a good starting point, so here goes. The home edge has already been factored in:

Friday:
Davidson -4 Winthrop
Utah State -6.5 over Cal Santa Barbara

Saturday:
Akron -6 over Virginia Commonwealth
Ohio U - 4 over George Mason
Oral Roberts (PK) vs. Creighton
Southern Illinois -5.5 over Nevada
Butler -8 over Drake (See below )
Miami, Oh -3 over Valporaiso (Road chalk)
Cleveland State -7 over Marist
Northridge -6.5 over Rider (This is a TV game?)
St Mary's -5 over Kent State

Sunday:
Illinois State -8 over Wright State

Next, wanted to take a look at some of the non-televised games that figure to be very close, entertaining games, based on talent level and current Power Ratings. All seven of these games feature matchups in which the teams - once the home edges are factored in - are within three points of each other in my Power Ratings. Some of these feature bad teams, but the matchups are close, as to their credit the organizers of this event do try and match up similar teams:

Niagara at Appalachian State, Morehead State at James Madison, Boston U at St Peters, Fairfield at Drexel, Youngstown State at Buffalo, Illinois-Chicago at Northern Iowa. If any of these lines come in at more than three points, I would take a nice look at the dog, as each figures to be very closely contested.

Finally, no examination of the Bracket Buster would be complete without a prediction on the signature game of the event in 2008, as No. 16 Drake visits No. 8 Butler.

This is the best matchup in the history of the Bracket Buster in terms of two nationally ranked teams playing each other, and understandably gets the #1 time slot for the event, Saturday at 5:00pm EST. On top of keeping my own Power Ratings, I of course look at others as well, and by using those the national consensus is that Butler will be favored by about two points here, maybe three. However, as alluded to above, I think the line should be closer to eight. I say that since I think Drake is winning some of these games by smoke and mirrors this season. More importantly, in a battle of teams that are almost mirror images of another in that they love to heave up treys, I will take the home team that is used to the sight lines and comfortable in the gym over the visitor that will have to get comfortable in a hurry.

That would be the case in almost all circumstances, but add in the madcap environment that is Hinkle Fieldhouse, and Butler has a huge edge in that regard. Finally, since this is no doubt the biggest game of the Bracket Buster, have to look at big game experience, and Butler has that in a huge way over a Drake team that has never been in the national spotlight before. I do not think this will be as close as most of the national media claims it will be, and as mentioned above, I would lay up to eight points with Butler in this one.

Thanks for your time, enjoy the games!

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 23

Sampson out as Indiana coach; 6 players skip Dakich's first practice
February 22, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -Indiana University spokesman Larry MacIntyre says the school has agreed to a $750,000 buyout with basketball coach Kelvin Sampson. Assistant Dan Dakich takes over as interim head coach.

Senior captain D.J. White, Armon Bassett, Jordan Crawford, Jamarcus Ellis, DeAndre Thomas and Brandon McGee skipped Dakich's first practice Friday afternoon. It is unknown if they will play when the 15th-ranked Hoosiers travel to Northwestern on Saturday.

An NCAA report cited Sampson for making improper phone calls to high school players, then providing false and misleading information to investigators from both the university and the NCAA.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 23

Saturday's Slate
Brian Edwards

BracketBuster Saturday is here, meaning gamblers get an early start (VCU at Akron at 11:00 a.m. on ESPN2) and have games galore until St. Mary’s hosts Kent State on ESPN2 at midnight Eastern.

Some of the early-afternoon highlights include UConn at Villanova (noon, ESPN), Maryland at Miami (2:00) Oregon at UCLA (ABC, 3:30) Let’s take a look at several televised games before chiming in with Bonus Nuggets.

**Arkansas at Kentucky**

--Las Vegas Sports Consultants opened Kentucky (14-10 straight up, 10-10 ATS) as a two-point favorite with a total of 138.

--UK has won seven in a row over the Razorbacks, hooking up its backers with a 5-2 spread record during that stretch.

--Arkansas (18-7 SU, 9-11 ATS) is winless both SU and ATS in four previous games as an underdog. The Razorbacks are 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS in five SEC road games.

--John Pelphrey’s team had lost back-to-back games (at Tennessee and at Mississippi State) until Wednesday’s 87-61 home win over LSU as a 12-point ‘chalk.’ Senior point guard Gary Ervin paced the Hogs with a 17-point effort.

--Arkansas has won five of its last seven games both SU and ATS, putting itself in excellent position to garner its third consecutive NCAA Tournament bid. The Hogs are 7-4 in SEC play, one game back of Mississippi St. for the lead in the West division.

--Billy Gillispie’s team has won five straight home games. For the season, the Wildcats are 11-4 SU and 6-5-1 ATS at Rupp Arena.

--Since the NCAA Tournament was expanded to 64 teams in 1985, no SEC team with 10 wins in conference play has been left out of the field. That streak could come to an end with this Kentucky team. Even though UK is second in the SEC East with an 8-3 record, it will have a hard time overcoming a 41-point loss at Vandy on national television last week, not to mention home losses to San Diego and Gardner-Webb.

--The ‘under’ is 11-10 overall for UK, 11-9 for the Hogs.

--Tip-off is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Eastern on CBS.

**Drake at Butler**

--LVSC opened Butler (25-2 SU, 13-11 ATS) as a 5½-point favorite in this Battle of the Bulldogs. When asked about this matchup on Thursday’s edition of the Power Hours, LVSC oddsmaker John “The Coach” Harper said, “I think this number should be at least eight. Drake really isn’t that good.”

--Butler is 11-0 SU and 6-5 ATS at home. The Bulldogs have won nine in a row, but they are just 3-5-1 ATS during that stretch.

--Drake (23-3 SU, 16-5 ATS) has been an extremely lucrative squad in underdog roles, taking the cash in all six such spots.

--Keno Davis’ team has lost two of its last three games, including Tuesday’s 72-71 home loss to Bradley as a 6 ½-point favorite.

--The ‘under’ is 14-8 overall for Drake, but it has seen the ‘over’ hit at a 6-1 clip in its last seven games. Meanwhile, the ‘under’ is 13-11 overall for Butler, but the ‘over’ is 6-5 in its home assignments.

--ESPN2 will provide television coverage at 5:00 p.m. Eastern.

**Kent State at St. Mary’s**

--LVSC opened Saint Mary’s (23-3 SU, 14-8 ATS) as an 8½-point favorite. The Gaels bring a six-game winning streak into this spot. They are 5-1 ATS in those six outings.

--Kent State (22-5 SU, 12-10 ATS) has won five in a row, including Tuesday’s 76-66 win at Buffalo as a 7 ½-point road ‘chalk.’ Al Fisher paced the winners with 20 points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals.

--Fisher leads the Flashes in scoring (13.9 PPG) and assists (4.4 APG).

--St. Mary’s is undefeated in 14 home games, posting an 8-3 spread record.

--Kent St. owns a 1-3 record both SU and ATS in four games as an underdog. The Flashes are the class of the MAC, leading the conference with an 11-2 record.

--For gamblers unfamiliar with these mid-major programs, let’s take a look at how these teams have fared against upper-tier competition. Kent St. has wins over Saint Louis (81-40) and George Mason (73-55), but the Flashes lost at North Carolina (90-61) and Xavier (78-65). As for St. Mary’s, it has a more impressive resume. The Gaels have wins over Drake (72-66), Seton Hall (85-70), Oregon (99-87) and Gonzaga (89-85), while they have lost at Southern Illinois (71-56) and Texas (81-62).

--The ‘under’ is on a 6-2 run for the Gaels and is 15-7 overall. On the flip side, the Flashes have watched the ‘over’ hit in five consecutive games.

--Again, ESPN2 will have the telecast at midnight ET.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

--The verdict in Bloomington came down early Friday evening and Kelvin Sampson is out. IU is also out of $750,000 it is paying Sampson to go away. Sampson should send former Ohio St. coach Jim O’Brien a thank-you note for the 750K paycheck.

--Six Indiana players, including D.J. White but not including Eric Gordon, skipped practice Friday in protest of Sampson’s dismissal, which officially is being called a resignation. It is unclear if those six players will play Saturday at Northwestern.

--Dan Dakich has been named IU’s interim coach. Like I said during Friday’s live chat on VI, Dakich has a decent shot at getting this job permanently if the Hoosiers play well under him. Dakich, who played for Bobby Knight at IU in the early 1980s, is best known for his defensive performance against Michael Jordan in IU”s win over the Tar Heels in the Sweet 16 of the 1983 NCAA Tourney.

--Five teams most needing a win Saturday:


1-Ole Miss (at LSU)
2-UAB (at SMU)
3-Oklahoma (at Texas)
4-Kentucky (vs. Arkansas)
5-Miami (vs. Maryland)

--I’m not a big fan of ESPN’s show Around the Horn. However, I do like Woody Paige of the Denver Post and he had a great line on Friday. When asked about the potential of a Mike Tyson movie, Paige went on a long rant about Tyson’s life and said the movie could be called “Raging Bullsh__.”

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 23

College hoops cheat sheet
MARC LAWRENCE

It's time for the heavyweight teams in the college basketball world to flex their muscles and let their actions speak for themselves. The top two ranked teams in the nation, Memphis and Tennessee, are set to trade punches in a fight to the finish for the top spot in next week’s polls.

Let’s take a look at all the big battles on tap this weekend and what to expect inside this edition of the Cheat Sheet.

No. 1 Memphis Tigers vs No. 2 Tennessee Volunteers

College basketball’s "Game of the Year" tips off at the FedEx Forum Saturday night in Memphis when the Tigers host the Volunteers in the biggest game in the state since the Powerball was introduced by the gaming commission a decade ago.

There are plenty of winning numbers in this contest, starting with Memphis’ 45-game regular season win streak. The Tigers have also knocked out 47 wins in a row on their homecourt, where they are averaging 85 points per game this season (ppg.), outscoring opponents by an average of 23 ppg. in the Forum.

The real strength of the team, though, is its defense. Memphis ranks No. 4 in the nation in defensive field goal percentage (37.6) and No. 4 in rebound margin (+9.4). Interestingly, last year’s 76-58 win by the Volunteers over the Tigers (as a home dog) snapped Tennessee’s eight-game losing skein against Conference USA opposition.

The Vols ride a seven-game against the spread (ATS) win streak as dogs - 3-0 straight up (SU) and ATS this season - into this contest, managing to win six of the seven games in upset fashion. Under head coach Bruce Pearl, Tennessee stands 16-6 ATS when taking points, including 9-1 against .770 or better competition. They are also 6-2 straight-up in head-to-head games against undefeated foes under Pearl.

And like the Tigers, the Vols rank high in several key team stats including No. 1 in assists per game (19.2 apg.), No. 2 in steals per game (10.3 spg.) and No. 5 in defensive three-point field goal percentage (29.2).

That’s the tale of the tape. The bottom line: It would be no surprise to see the favorite in this series fall to 0-8 ATS. Down goes Memphis.

No. 3 North Carolina Tar Heels

The Tar Heels play host to suddenly surging Wake Forest Sunday in a key ACC clash at the Dean Dome in Chapel Hill. Rest assured UNC will take the court knowing they are likely to move into the No. 2 position in next week’s polls, with the loser of the Memphis/Tennessee showdown expected to fall into the No. 3 slot.

A 19-6 ATS log, to go with its 26-2 overall record, makes the Tar Heels a very popular team with the betting public. It’s important to remember, though, that they are only 7-5 against the number in ACC play this season.

The ugly stat of the week is North Carolina’s 1-15 ATS mark (4-12 SU) in this series whenever the Deacon Demons are playing off back-to-back wins. Thanks to a 3-0 SU & ATS streak entering this game, Wake is back ‘on the bubble’ at 16-8 overall this season. It would be no surprise to us to see Roy’s Boys fall to 4-9 ATS in games after facing rival N.C. State against Awakened Forest.

No. 4 Duke Blue Devils

With Coach K’s crew off puzzling back-to-back losses, and lowly St. John’s traveling to Cameron Indoor Stadium, this figures to be the knee-jerk game of the week on the card. Since we’re not jerks we’re not planning on being anywhere near this contest - especially considering Duke’s apathetic 11-18 ATS mark in games when playing off a pair of losses. That includes a 2-10 (6-7 SU) mark when facing an opponent off a loss.

Sure, the Johnnie’s aren't much (10-15 this season), but they are dangerous in games against the ACC, going 14-9 ATS (6-2 when taking doubles). With the Blue Devils having covered the number in only seven of their last 26 games against Big East opposition, and the home team 5-13 ATS in Red Storm games this season, there will be no Dukies on our ticket this weekend.

No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks

At 24-2 this season, the Jayhawks figure to be in the running for a No. 1 seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament. To do so they will need to kick it up a notch or two between now and then.

A strong indicator of how well teams are playing is the pointspread and each team’s record. If they are dominating, they are covering the numbers. If they are struggling they are losing to the line. It's just that simple. And simply put, Kansas is not No. 1 seed material at the present time.

They will take a 0-5-1 ATS spread streak into Saturday’s game at Oklahoma State, a team that has been a thorn in their side lately. The Cowboys have been real pricks when hosting Kansas, going 6-5 SU and 6-3-2 ATS, including 3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS when OSU is off an SU and ATS win.

The question is which Kansas team shows up? The one that scored 69 points in its last game, a home win over Colorado, or the one that put 100 points on the scoreboard in its prior home game against Baylor.

What we know for sure is this: In games in which Kansas has managed to score 78 or more points this season they are 12-3-1 ATS. When they don’t reach the 78-point plateau they are 0-7-1 ATS. FYI: Oklahoma State is 11-2 SU at home this season, allowing an average 65 ppg.

No. 6 UCLA Bruins

Now here’s a team certainly deserving of a No. 1 seed in the Big Dance. The Bruins have what you’re looking when filling out a dance ticket. A smothering defense (allowing fewer than 55 ppg. at home this season), a strong rebounding unit (No. 3 in rebound margin +10.0) and a solid coach (85-60-2 ATS under Ben Howland, including 54-36-1 in Pac-10 play) makes them a lethal threat.

They host disappointing Oregon, a team that won 29 games last season and returned from starters from that same group. The Ducks waddle into Westwood this Saturday at just 15-11 on the season, 3-7 SU and ATS in their last 10 games. They now find themselves ‘on the proverbial bubble’. At 20-10 ATS as conference dogs when playing off back-to-back losses, they become dangerous Ducks this weekend.

No. 7 Texas Longhorns

We’ll find out what the Longhorns are all about this Saturday when they host Oklahoma in a key Big 12 battle in Austin. Texas’ impressive 27-point revenge win over Texas A&M Monday night kept them tied at 9-2 atop the conference standings with Kansas.

Normally, a letdown would be in order but we’re not biting. Too many numbers line up in the Horns favor in this matchup, including a 9-3 SU and ATS mark in the last 12 games in this series. The Sooners have tried five times to win a revenge game this season and they’ve come up empty all five times (SU and ATS). And that expected letdown off the Aggie win? Forget about it. Texas is 17-3 SU and 14-5-1 ATS in its last 20 games after facing A&M, including 9-1-1 ATS against an opponent off win. We’ll steer clear of OU here.

No. 8 Butler Bulldogs

Creeping up the ladder ever so quietly, the Bulldogs find themselves in great shape to pull down a top four seed in the Big Dance, provided they pass a big test in a Bracket Buster game this Saturday against Drake.

Strange, but right now neither of these two teams wishes they’d volunteered for this event this year. At 23-3, Drake is the surprise team in college basketball. Drake brings a spotless 7-0 ATS mark as a dog into this fray knowing it is 4-0 SU all-time in games against Horizon Conference opponents. They are also off a loss, and have yet to drop back-to-back games under new head coach Keno Davis.

Meanwhile, Butler is unbeaten outside the conference this season, 11-0 SU & 9-1 ATS. They are also 11-0 at Hinkle Fieldhouse this season (32-2 last 34 here). In a battle of Bulldogs, this becomes the best of all Bracket Busters this weekend.

No. 9 Stanford Cardinal

A rivalry rematch tips off at Maples Pavilion Sunday evening when both California and Stanford each take the court for the first time in eight days. The 15-9 Bears lost the first meeting between these schools, 82-77, in Berkeley and now find themselves sitting ‘on the bubble’.

Extended rest has turned the Cardinal into rust judging by their 1-6 ATS mark in Pac-10 games when playing with seven or more days of zzz's. Given Cal’s revenge motive, along with the urgency at hand, look for the Bears to improve on its 12-6 ATS mark on the road when avenging a same season conference home loss against a foe of a win.

No. 10 Wisconsin Badgers

The lone member of the Big Ten residing in the Top 10 polls this week, the Badgers invade Columbus on Sunday to meet the Buckeyes with Wisconsin tied atop the conference standings at 12 –2 with Purdue.

This is the first meeting between these two clubs since last year’s Big Ten tournament championship game when Ohio State prevailed, 66-49. The Buckeyes check in at 17-9 on the year and will look to keep in good graces with the NCAA Tournament committee with a strong showing.

They’ve responded well under head coach Thad Matta in games against top quality opposition, going 18-9 ATS when facing an .818 or better team, including 9-3 at home.

Life for Wisconsin has been fabulous at home under coach Bo Ryan, where they are 52-3 SU in Big Ten tilts. On the conference road under Ryan, though, they become a mediocre bunch at 28-27 SU & ATS. Still, have to respect Wisky’s 9-3 spread mark in this series when seeking revenge, including 6-1 when playing off a win.

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 23

What bettors need to know: No. 2 Tennesse at No. 1 Memphis
Covers.com

This is the biggest matchup of this college basketball season by a country mile. It’s got everything you could want: No. 1 versus No. 2, an in-state rivalry, a couple of colorful and crafty coaches and a national spotlight.

You might not have known it, but this is the game you’ve been waiting for.

The betting breakdown

The biggest difference between these two teams is that the Volunteers are making money for their backers and the Tigers aren’t. Wednesday night’s steamrolling of Tulane was a positive sign for Memphis bettors, but it was only the second time in their last six games that they came away with the cash. Overall, Memphis is 13-11-2 ATS, but against major conference schools (in which the pointspreads have generally been a little more reasonable) they’re a more inspiring 4-2.

Tennessee has an eight-game win streak on the go and they’ve covered in six of those games. The season didn’t start out so profitably for the Vols but aside from a surprising loss at Kentucky a month ago, they’ve had little trouble winning games or covering the numbers recently. It should be noted, however, that Tennessee is just 4-4 ATS on the road and they’ll be in very hostile territory in Memphis Saturday night.

The series

Last year, the matchup took place earlier in the season and only Memphis was in the national rankings, but the Vols shocked the No. 16 Tigers with a 76-58 win as one-point home dogs. The raucous crowd in Knoxville gave UT a boost that it used to build an early lead, which it hung on to for the entire game.

There was a little extra intrigue added to the matchup when Memphis coach John Calipari said he would rather not continue the series because it doesn’t help his program’s recruiting. Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl said no program respects Tennessee less than Memphis.

The previous year, the game took place in Memphis and the Tigers won the game by nine points, but that was a half-point shy of the cover.

The primetime players

Tennessee:

Chris Lofton is the prime mover in the Tennessee machine. The senior guard leads the Volunteers with 15.4 points per game and since his early-season shooting slump ended after the Kentucky loss, Big Orange has been almost unbeatable. He was only 4-for-10 from the field against Auburn, but he hit four big three-pointers in a game that was never really much of a contest. When Tennessee destroyed Memphis last year, Lofton was unstoppable with 34 points, including six 3-pointers.

Ramar Smith: The Tigers must be worried after watching Smith bust out of his shooting slump Wednesday night. The point guard had been mired in an awful slump but he caught fire Wednesday and nailed six of his seven shots from the floor and he also hit his first three-ball in 13 games.

Tyler Smith: This guy provides the “inside” in the Vols’ inside-out game. As 6-foot-6 forward, he chips in 13.4 points per game and plays hard on the boards, leading the team with 6.5 rebounds per game. He had a solid 13 points and 13 rebounds against Auburn.

Memphis:

Chris Douglas-Roberts: He’ll be matched up against Lofton so everybody will want to keep an eye on this battle. Both players are excellent ball-handlers and shooters, but CDR has the advantage here because he’s the better defender. Both players are undersized (although Douglas-Roberts has the height advantage) and not particularly athletic, but with another year of experience under his belt, Douglas-Roberts should excel on both ends of the floor in this game.

Derrick Rose: On a team full of superstars, Rose is probably the brightest. He came into this season as one of the most talked about wunderkinds in the country and the top point guard recruit. But the season has been a bit of a letdown. Yes, Rose has produced magic moments on the court, but for a guy who was supposed to be the second coming of Jason Kidd, 4.3 assists per game isn’t exactly awe-inspiring. He has all the tools, but in a game like this experience could count for a lot and a freshman point guard could be a liability for Memphis.

Joey Dorsey: While Douglas-Roberts and Rose get all the glory, Dorsey does all the dirty work. He’s a big, nasty banger who leads the Tigers in rebounds and blocked shots. He was removed from the starting lineup for the last four games, however, before Callipari reinserted him for Wednesday. The move should give Dorsey the motivation he needs to intimidate the Tennessee frontcourt and use his muscle and athleticism to dominate in the paint.

Storylines

Memphis’ hidden flaw: Even though Memphis is the No. 1 team in the country, they are dead last among 341 Division I schools in free-throw shooting percentage at 58.3 percent. The Tigers still own a perfect record, but they came within a fraction of a second of losing last weekend when they nipped UAB 79-78. Chris Douglas-Roberts made a clutch free throw at the end of the game to secure the lead but Memphis was 12-for-22 from the line in the game.

Tennessee sharing the love: There isn’t a busier bench in the country than Pearl’s. While the Tigers also like to get their bench players involved, they can’t compete with the Tennessee reserves. Pearl substitutes his players like a hockey team, subbing guys in and out with almost every stoppage of play. Only Chris Lofton averages more than 27 minutes per game and 11 players are regularly getting 10 minutes or more on the floor. Pearl got 12 players involved in Wednesday’s win over Auburn and plans to do the same in Memphis Saturday.

"Go as hard as you can, and believe in that guy behind you on the bench," assistant coach Steve Forbes told the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, describing the Vols' philosophy. "He's going to come in and play just as hard as you are, so don't save yourself. It's a different way to play, but it's effective. I think it's most effective in the second half, late in the game."

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 23

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

(2) Tennessee (24-2, 13-9 ATS) at (1) Memphis (26-0, 13-11-2 ATS)


Memphis puts its unbeaten record on the line tonight in the biggest game of the day and one of the most anticipated matchups of the season, as the top-ranked Tigers host No. 2 Tennessee with much more than state bragging rights at stake.

After seeing its perfect season nearly go up in smoke last Saturday at UAB, rallying for a stunning 79-78 victory, the Tigers bounced back in a big way on Wednesday, crushing Tulane 97-71 as a 13-point road chalk. Memphis, which has been favored in every game this season, has followed up a 7-1 ATS roll by going 3-5 ATS in its last eight.

Tennessee, which has achieved its highest national ranking in school history, prepped for this contest by routing Auburn 89-70 on Wednesday, barely covering as an 18-point home favorite. The Volunteers are riding an eight-game winning streak – all in SEC play – going 6-2 ATS during this streak, including 4-0 SU (2-2 ATS) on the road.

Tennessee leads the all-time series 11-7, going 6-2 in the last eight. That includes last year’s 76-58 rout of then-No. 16 Memphis, with the Vols covering as a one-point home underdog. Tennessee is 3-0 ATS in the last three meetings, and the underdog has cashed in each of the last seven battles dating to 1997.

Memphis owns the nation’s longest home-court winning streak, having won 47 in a row at the FedEx Forum. This year, the Tigers are 15-0 on their own floor, but just 7-7-1 ATS.

Memphis has won all 14 of its non-conference games, but is just 6-6-2 ATS. However, the Tigers have cashed in four of their last five non-conference home outings. Also, John Calipari’s squad is on positive ATS streaks of 36-16-2 after a win of more than 20 points and 9-4 against the SEC.

The Vols are 10-2 in road/neutral-site games, but only 5-7 ATS. In non-conference action, Bruce Pearl’s squad is 13-1 SU (6-5 ATS in lined games), including 6-1 in non-league road games (2-5 ATS).

Tennessee has been an underdog just three times this season, going 3-0 SU and ATS, beating Xavier, Gonzaga and Mississippi State. Furthermore, the Vols are on ATS streaks of 6-1 against Conference USA foes, 5-2 following a SU win, 4-0 versus teams with a winning percentage better than .600 and 13-6-1 in non-conference action.

This marks the 38th time the nation’s No. 1- and No. 2-ranked teams have squared off, and the fifth occasion that the participants are from the same state.

The Vols rank fourth in the nation in scoring offense (84 points per game), sixth in offensive rebounds (13.7 per game) and fifth in three-point defense (29.1 percent). However, Tennessee gives up 70.1 ppg game, surrendering 70 or more in six of its last seven contests.

Memphis puts up 80.8 points per game (15th nationally), allows 61.2 ppg (28th) and holds opponents to 37.6 percent shooting overall (4th) and 30 percent from three-point land (13th). Also, the Tigers are fourth in the nation in rebounding differential, averaging 9.4 more boards per game than their opponents.

Both teams are weak at the free-throw line, with Tennessee making 64.1 percent of its foul shots, while Memphis is one of the worst in the nation at 58.8 percent.

The under is on streaks of 6-1 for Tennessee on the road, 6-1 for Tennessee on Saturdays, 10-1 for Memphis after scoring more than 90 points in the previous game and 5-1 for Memphis following a spread-cover.

ATS ADVANTAGE: TENNESSEE and UNDER


(13) UConn (21-5, 10-11-1 ATS) at Villanova (16-9, 8-14 ATS)

The Huskies, who haven’t lost in more than a month, look to keep their hot streak going in a Big East battle against Villanova, which has won its last two contests.

Connecticut held off DePaul 65-60 Tuesday for its 10th straight win, but the Huskies failed to cash as a heavy 12½-point home favorite for their second straight ATS setback. Over the past five games, UConn (11-3, 8-5-1 ATS in the Big East) has outshot opponents 44.5 percent to 39.7 percent and has allowed just 28.8 percent shooting from 3-point range.

Villanova pounded West Virginia 78-56 Wednesday as a 1½-point home chalk, cashing for the third straight time following a six-game ATS freefall. The Wildcats (6-8, 4-10 ATS in the Big East) shot 47.1 percent from the field, hitting 10 of 23 from 3-point range, and held the Mountaineers to just 35.6 percent shooting, including a dismal 2 of 20 from long distance. Villanova has allowed 69.6 points per game on the year, but none of the last three opponents have broken 56.

These two teams met just once last season, with Villanova claiming a 78-74 road win as a one-point favorite. Prior to that, though, the host had cashed in seven straight meetings. Also, the favorite is 4-1 ATS in the last five matchups, and UConn is 1-4 ATS its last five trips to Villanova.

The Huskies are on a 6-15 ATS slide in their last 21 roadies and are 5-12 ATS in their last 17 against teams with a winning home record. But they are on positive ATS streaks of 5-2-1 overall, 4-1 ATS on Saturday and 4-1 coming off a non-cover.

The Wildcats are 7-3-1 ATS in their last 10 coming off a win of more than 20 points. But they are on negative ATS runs of 4-12 overall, 1-8 at home, 4-10 in the Big East, 2-6 on Saturday and 2-5 at home against teams with a winning road mark.

For UConn, the over is 7-3 in its last 10 on the road and 5-1 in its last six against teams with a winning record. Also, five of the last six in this series have cleared the posted price. However, the under is 6-2 in the Huskies’ last eight overall and 7-3 in their ast 10 Saturday starts. Also, for Villanova, the under is on runs of 5-0 overall, 4-0 in Big East play, 8-2 at home and 7-2 on Saturday.

ATS ADVANTAGE: CONNECTICUT


Cincinnati (13-12, 14-9 ATS) at (12) Georgetown (21-4, 9-13 ATS)

The Bearcats, winners of three in a row, travel to Washington D.C. for a clash with Big East leader Georgetown.

Cincinnati snuck past South Florida 52-51 Wednesday but failed to cover as a seven-point home favorite, ending its two-game ATS surge. The Bearcats (8-5, 9-4 ATS in the Big East) are 4-1 in their last five starts (3-2 ATS), allowing an average of just 55.2 points per game, more than 10 points below their season average.

Georgetown bounced back from a 77-70 loss at Syracuse to beat Providence 68-58 Monday laying six points on the road, halting a five-game pointspread nosedive (3-2 SU). The Hoyas (11-3, 5-9 ATS in the Big East) were outshot 44.7 percent to 40 percent, but they took advantage of an 18-5 edge on the offensive glass, helping them hit five more field goals than the Friars.

Georgetown is on a 3-0 run in this series, winning both meetings last season, but in an unusual twist, the Hoyas pushed in both contests. The Hoyas beat Cincinnati 82-67 at home laying 15 points, then won 75-65 as a 10-point road chalk.

The Bearcats are on a 14-4 ATS tear overall and are on further positive pointspread runs of 7-2 on the highway, 6-2 in Big East play and 11-2 against teams with a winning percentage above .600. One negative note is Cincy’s 4-10 ATS mark in its last 14 games following a SU win.

The Hoyas carry little but negative ATS trends into this contest, including 2-10 on Saturday, 1-6 at home against teams with a losing road record, 1-8 following a spread-cover, 0-4 after a SU win and 0-4 at home.

The under is 6-1 in Cincinnati’s last seven following a non-cover. For Georgetown, the under is on streaks of 50-21 overall (16-6 this year), 40-15 in Big East play, 44-15 at home (6-4 this season), 23-5 against teams with a losing road mark and 12-4 on Saturday.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


Arkansas (18-7, 9-11 ATS) at Kentucky (14-10, 10-10-1 ATS)

The Razorbacks, back on track after a two-game SU and ATS skid, travel to Lexington for an SEC matchup against Kentucky, which also has won two in a row.

Arkansas thumped LSU 87-61 Wednesday, easily covering as a 12-point home favorite to move to 5-2 SU and ATS in its last seven starts, all in SEC play. In the five victories, the Razorbacks (7-4, 5-6 ATS in the SEC) have won by an average of 17 points.

Kentucky beat Georgia 61-55 Tuesday, falling just short as a 6½-point home chalk for its second ATS setback in the last three games. The Wildcats (8-3 SU and ATS in the SEC) are on a 7-1 tear in their last eight starts (6-2 ATS), all in SEC play.

Kentucky is on a 7-0 run in this rivalry (5-2 ATS), including an 82-74 road win last year catching 2½ points to halt a 2-0 ATS run by Arkansas.

The Razorbacks are on a lengthy 22-47-2 ATS slide on the road (1-5 ATS this season) and are 20-45-2 ATS in their last 67 on the road against teams with a winning home record and 2-5 ATS in their last seven against teams with a winning SU record. On the positive side, they are 17-8-1 ATS in their last 26 Saturday contests.

The Wildcats are on positive ATS runs of 4-0 on Saturday, 5-0 after a non-cover, 4-1 in Lexington and 5-2 following a SU win. But they are 4-9 ATS against teams with a winning percentage above .600.

For Arkansas, the over is on streaks of 10-4 on Saturday, 6-1 run on the highway and 26-9 on the road against teams with a winning home record. The over is also 6-1 for Kentucky in its last seven against teams with a winning mark, but the under is 5-1 in the Wildcats’ last six overall, 4-1 in their last five following a SU win and 4-1 in their last five at home.

ATS ADVANTAGE: KENTUCKY


Maryland (17-10, 10-11-1 ATS) at Miami, Fla. (18-7, 12-4-2 ATS)

The Terrapins look to rebound from an upset loss at home when they travel to south Florida for an ACC battle against Miami, which coming off one of the biggest wins in the program’s history.

Maryland lost to Virginia Tech 69-65 Wednesday as an eight-point home favorite, ending a 5-0-1 ATS surge (5-1 SU), with the push coming in a loss at Duke. The Terrapins (7-5, 7-4-1 ATS in the ACC) outshot Va. Tech 46.6 percent to 40.7 percent, but the Hokies hit 15 free throws, while Maryland was awarded just 14 foul shots and made only six.

Miami nearly let a 20-point second-half lead slip away before hanging on to beat Duke 96-95 Wednesday as a 6½-point home underdog, the Hurricanes’ first win over the Blue Devils since winning the first-ever meeting in 1962. The Hurricanes (5-6, 5-4-2 ATS in the ACC) are on a 3-0 SU and ATS run, all in ACC play.

Miami is on a 5-0 ATS tear in this rivalry (4-1 SU), all as an underdog. The Hurricanes won both of last year’s contests, including a 63-58 road win getting 16 points and a 67-62 upset in the ACC tournament as a 13-point pup.

The Terrapins are 2-5 ATS in their last seven coming off a pointspread loss. But they are on positive ATS runs of 5-0-1 on the highway, 6-0 on Saturday, 5-1-1 in ACC play and 10-3 following a SU loss.

The Hurricanes are also on several positive ATS streaks, including 14-4-2 overall, 5-0 against winning teams, 10-2 after a SU win, 8-2 after a spread-cover and 6-2 in Miami. One negative note is the Canes’ 3-10 ATS mark at home against teams with a losing road record.

For Maryland, the over is 21-6 in its last 27 on Saturday, 9-3 on its last 12 road trips and 4-1 in its last five against teams with a winning percentage above .600. But the under is 8-3 in the Terps 11 coming off a SU loss. For Miami, the over is on streaks of 4-0 on Saturday and 4-1 versus teams with a losing road record, but the under is 4-1 against teams with a winning overall mark and 8-3 coming off a SU win. Finally, the total has stayed low in four of the last five meetings in this series, including both clashes last year.

ATS ADVANTAGE: MIAMI and UNDER


Oklahoma (18-8, 11-11 ATS) at (7) Texas (22-4, 12-8 ATS)

The Sooners, who have won three in a row as they try to boost their NCAA Tournament resume, travel to Austin for a Big 12 matchup against rival Texas, which has notched six straight wins and covers.

Oklahoma squeaked past Baylor 92-91 in overtime Tuesday as a 5½-point home chalk, ending its two-game ATS run. The Sooners (6-5, 3-8 ATS in Big 12 games) shot 47.4 percent, including 10 of 18 on 3-pointers (55.6 percent), but over the past five games, they’ve averaged just 41.4 percent from the floor, while allowing 46.7 percent shooting, with Baylor hitting 50.8 percent in the loss.

Texas drubbed archrival Texas A&M 77-50 Monday as a five-point home chalk, moving to 6-0 ATS during its six-game winning streak. The Longhorns (9-2, 7-4 ATS in the Big 12) are shooting just 42.2 percent over their last five starts, four percentage points below their season average, but they’ve held opponents to just 36.8 percent shooting in that span.

Texas is on a 4-0 run in this rivalry (3-0 ATS), including a 64-54 road win earlier this month, as Oklahoma was without second-leading scorer Longar Longar. The Sooners are 3-9 ATS in the last 12 meetings and 2-5 ATS in their last seven trips to Austin. Finally, the underdog is 5-2 in the last seven clashes in this series.

The Sooners are on a 4-14 ATS freefall in Big 12 play and are mired in several other negative ATS trends, including 3-8 overall, 17-37-2 on the highway, 2-5 after a SU win and 2-5 on Saturday.

The Longhorns, conversely, are on pointspread runs of 23-9 after a SU win, 4-0 on Saturday, 4-0 at home and 8-3 against teams with a winning SU record.

For Oklahoma, the under is 5-0 coming off a game in which it has scored more than 90 points, but the over is 5-2 in its last seven on the road and 11-5 in its last 16 games overall. For Texas, the under is on a 7-1 tear in Austin.

ATS ADVANTAGE: TEXAS


Oregon (15-11, 11-11-2 ATS) at (6) UCLA (23-3, 16-7-2 ATS)

The Ducks, who are on a two-game SU and ATS skid, head to Pauley Pavilion for a Pac-10 clash against UCLA, which has won and covered its last two in blowout fashion.

Oregon lost to Southern Cal 81-75 Thursday as a 4½-point pup, dropping to 3-7 in its last 10 (3-6-1 ATS). The Ducks (6-8, 6-7-1 ATS in the Pac-10) had more field goals (29-26) than USC, but the Trojans had four more 3-pointers and went to the free-throw line 27 times, hitting 19, while Oregon went 11 of 14 from the line.

UCLA ripped Oregon State 84-49 Thursday to easily cover as a hefty 27½-point favorite, moving to 7-1 SU and ATS in its last eight starts, all in Pac-10 play. The Bruins, who lead the Pac-10 with an 11-2 record (10-3 ATS), have outscored opponents by an average of 13 points over their last five games and have allowed less than 70 points in six of their last eight starts.

UCLA is on a 9-1 ATS run in this series (7-3 SU), including an 80-75 road win last month as a 3½-point chalk. The Bruins also posted a 69-57 win last year at home laying 8½ points, moving to 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings at Pauley.

The Ducks are 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 on Saturday and 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 after a pointspread setback, but they are 1-7 ATS in their last eight against teams with a winning SU record.

The Bruins are on positive ATS runs of 5-0 after a win of more than 20 points, 8-1 against teams with a winning SU record, 5-1 following a SU win, 5-1 following a spread-cover, 4-1 on Saturday and 4-1 at home.

The under is 6-1 for Oregon against teams with a winning record, but the over is 4-1 coming off a SU loss. For UCLA, the over is on streaks of 5-0 at home, 4-0 on Saturday, 7-1 coming off a SU win and 8-2 in Pac-10 play, although the under is 6-1 the Bruins’ last seven against teams with a winning record. Also, the total has fallen short of the posted price in seven of the last eight series clashes, with the one exception coming in last month’s meeting, which easily flew over the 144-point total.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UCLA


(4) Kansas (24-2, 14-10 ATS) at Oklahoma State (13-12, 7-10 ATS)

Suddenly surging Oklahoma State goes for its third straight victory, but it doesn’t figure to be easy as it hosts fourth-ranked Kansas, which is tied for first place atop the Big 12 standings.

The Cowboys have followed up a six-game losing skid by winning three of their last four, including back-to-back victories over Baylor (93-83 as a 1½-point home chalk) and Texas A&M (59-54 as a 12½-point road underdog). The 54 points allowed to the Aggies was a season-low for Oklahoma State (3-7, 5-5 ATS in the Big 12) against a Division I opponent. Also, after starting out Big 12 play just 3-6 ATS, the Cowboys have cashed in their last two.

Kansas bounced back from a 72-69 loss at Texas with last Saturday’s 69-45 rout of Colorado at home. However, the Jayhawks just missed cashing as a 24½-point chalk, dropping to 1-5 ATS in their last six contests. Kansas is tied for the Big 12 lead with Texas at 9-2, but is now just 5-6 ATS in league play, including four straight non-covers on the road (all as a favorite).

The Jayhawks have won each of the last three meetings in this rivalry (2-1 ATS), including an 87-57 rout as a nine-point home chalk in last year’s lone battle. The favorite is 8-3 ATS in the last 11 matchups.

Oklahoma State is 5-2 ATS in its last seven at home. However, the Cowboys are mired in ATS slumps of 4-12 following a SU win, 1-5 after a spread-cover and 3-8 as an underdog this season.

Although Kansas is 7-2 in road/neutral-site contest this season, it is just 4-5 ATS.

Both teams have failed to cash in four of their last five Saturday outings.

The under is 6-2 in OSU’s last eight contests, 6-3 in Kansas’ nine road games this year, 2-0 in Kansas’ last two overall and 7-3 in the last 10 series meetings.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


(16) Drake (23-2, 16-5-1 ATS) at (8) Butler (13-11-2 ATS)

The second-best non-conference matchup of the weekend takes place at the Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, where eighth-ranked Butler hosts No. 16 Drake in a Bracket Buster Saturday matchup.

While not exactly as hyped as the Tennessee-Memphis showdown, this contest between schools both nicknamed “Bulldogs” figures to be just as intriguing, as the teams come in with a combined 48-5 record this season. Butler is the hotter of the two squads, having won nine straight games, including a pair of 51-46 wins in its last two games over Cleveland State at home and Illinois-Chicago on the road. Meanwhile, Drake has followed up a 22-game winning streak by losing two of its last three, including Tuesday’s 72-71 home loss to Bradley as a 6½-point chalk.

Butler barely cashed as a 4½-point road chalk at Illinois-Chicago on Wednesday, but is still just 4-8-1 ATS in its last 15, including 2-5 ATS in its last seven at home. On the bright side, the Bulldogs went 7-3 in non-conference play earlier in the season, and they’re 55-27 ATS in their last 82 non-Horizon League contests. Moreover, Butler is 4-0 ATS in its last four against teams from the Missouri Valley Conference.

Drake has followed up a 15-3 ATS roll by going 1-2-1 ATS in its last four. The Bulldogs are 10-2 on the highway this year (8-2-1 ATS), including 4-1 SU and 5-0 ATS in their five non-conference road/neutral-site contests.

Drake is on ATS streaks of 16-5-1 overall, 19-7 in non-conference play, 8-2 on Saturdays, 4-0 after a SU loss, 4-0-1 after a non-cover and 9-1 when facing teams with a winning percentage above .600.

For Drake, the under is on streaks of 6-0 in non-conference play and 7-3 on Saturdays. However, the over is 6-1 in its last seven overall. For Butler, the under is 4-1 in its last five at home and 4-1 in its last five on Saturdays. Conversely, the over is 5-2 in its last seven against the Missouri Valley and 5-2 in its last seven non-league outings.

ATS ADVANTAGE: DRAKE

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 23

(24) Kansas State (18-7, 11-8 ATS) at Baylor (17-8, 9-8)

With its NCAA Tournament hopes fading fast, Baylor looks to right the ship when it welcomes Michael Beasley and the Wildcats to The Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.

The Bears have lost four straight games and six of their last seven to tumble to sixth place in the Big 12 with a 5-6 SU and ATS mark. By far the most devastating defeat during Baylor’s current 1-6 slump came on Tuesday at Oklahoma, where the Bears fell 92-91 when Curtis Jerrells missed a pair of free throws with one second left. On the bight side, the Bears cashed as a 5½-point road underdog, but they’re still just 2-5 ATS in their last seven.

Kansas State is coming off Wednesday’s 71-64 loss at Nebraska as a 3 ½-point road chalk. The Wildcats (8-3 SU and ATS in the Big 12), are just 3-3 SU and ATS in their last three after opening league play 5-0 SU and ATS, culminating with a huge 84-75 upset victory of then-No. 2 Kansas on Jan. 30.

The straight-up winner has cashed in each of K-State’s last 16 lined games, including all 11 Big 12 contests.

These schools have faced off once in each of the last five years, with Kansas State going 3-2 SU, but just 1-4 ATS. In fact, the underdog has cashed in eight of the last nine lined battles, the lone exception coming in last year’s meeting when Kansas State prevailed 69-60 as a 7½-point home chalk. Finally, only one of the last nine head-to-head clashes has been decided by double digits.

The Wildcats won their first two Big 12 road games, but have since lost their last three SU and ATS, falling by margins of three points at Missouri, nine at Texas Tech and seven at Nebraska.

Baylor is 10-3 at home this year, but just 1-6 against the number, including 3-2 SU (1-4 ATS) when hosting Big 12 foes.

Kansas State has topped the total in seven of its last eight games, including the past four in a row. The over is also 8-2 for the Wildcats on the highway this season. Also, each of Baylor’s 11 conference games this season have hurdled the total, and the over is 6-1 in the Bears’ seven home games.

ATS ADVANTAGE: KANSAS STATE and OVER


Arizona (16-10, 12-11-1 ATS) at (17) Washington State (21-5, 14-11 ATS)

Two Pac-10 rivals heading in opposite directions clash at Friel Court in Pullman, Wash., where the Cougars host slumping Arizona.

Washington State ran its SU and ATS winning streaks to four in a row with Thursday’s 59-47 rout of Arizona State, cashing as a 10-point home chalk. The Cougars are in third place in the Pac-10 at 9-5 SU and 7-7 ATS.

Arizona has been streaky throughout Pac-10 play. The Wildcats started out 2-3 in conference, then won four in a row but have now dropped four of their last five (1-4 ATS), including Thursday’s 75-66 loss at Washington as a two-point road underdog. Arizona is now just 7-7 SU and ATS in the Pac-10.

The winner is 9-0 ATS in Arizona’s last nine games and 7-0 ATS in Washington State’s last seven.

The Wildcats routed Wazu 76-64 as a two-point home favorite back on Jan. 24. Although Arizona is 4-2 SU in the last six meetings, the Cougars are 9-2 ATS in the last 11 clashes (4-1 ATS at home), but all as an underdog.

Washington State has followed up three straight Pac-10 home losses with back-to-back double-digit home wins over Arizona and USC (74-50). However, the Cougars are just 3-4 ATS in Pac-10 contests in Pullman and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 overall at home.

Arizona is 5-6 on the highway (6-4-1 ATS), including 2-4 when visiting Pac-10 foes (3-3 ATS).

The Cougars have stayed under the total in their last two after going 5-0 “over” in their previous five. Meanwhile, the over is 7-2 in Arizona’s last nine overall and 5-0 in the last five series meetings.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER


Kent State (22-5, 12-10 ATS) at (23) St. Mary’s (23-3, 14-8-1 ATS)

A pair of squads that appear like locks to reach the NCAA Tournament clash in a Bracket Buster Saturday contest, as St. Mary’s puts a six-game winning streak on the line against Kent State, which has won five in a row.

The Golden Flashes, who lead the Mid-American Conference with an 11-2 record, are coming off Tuesday’s 76-66 league victory at Buffalo, covering as a 7 ½-point chalk. Kent is 6-3 ATS in its last nine (all in the MAC), including 3-0 ATS in its last three. However, it hasn’t cashed in four straight games all year.

St. Mary’s is tied with Gonzaga atop the West Coast Conference with a 10-1 record, and the Gaels enter this contest after winning three straight league road games at Santa Clara (54-50), Loyola Marymount (80-49) and Pepperdine (100-64). They’re 9-3 ATS in their last 12 contests, including 5-1 ATS at home.

These teams met back in 2005, with St Mary’s prevailing 61-59 but coming up just short as a 3½-point home chalk.

Kent is 11-3 in non-league play (5-4 ATS in lined games), including just 3-3 in non-conference road games (2-4 ATS). Overall on the road, the Flashes are 7-5 (6-6 ATS).

St. Mary’s undefeated through 14 home games (8-3 ATS), going 8-0 when hosting non-league opponents (3-2 ATS in lined affairs).

Kent State is 1-3 ATS as an underdog this year, while the Gaels are 11-5 ATS as a favorite of less than 20 points. Also, the Flashes are 1-4 ATS in their last five on Saturday, while St. Mary’s is 4-1 ATS in its last five on Saturday.

The Flashes have topped the total in five straight games, but the under is 6-2-1 in their nine non-league games. Conversely, the under is 6-2 in the Gaels’ last eight overall, 7-4 at home this year and 17-5 in their last 22 on Saturday. Finally, the 2005 meeting between these schools stayed under the posted price.

ATS ADVANTAGE: ST. MARY’S

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Charlotte Bobcats vs. Washington Wizards

- Divisional bragging rights will be on the line on Saturday when the Charlotte Bobcats and the Washington Wizards meet at Verizon Center.

Jason Richardson led Charlotte with a 29-point performance in their 116-115 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.

The Kings failed to cover the 1.5-point spread on the road in that contest, while the combined score went OVER the night's posted total (202.5).

DeShawn Stevenson was good for 18 points in Washington's 90-89 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.

The Cavs failed to cover the 3.5-point spread at home in that contest, while the combined score fell UNDER the night's posted total (188).

Current streak:
Charlotte has lost 2 straight games.
Washington has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Charlotte: 19-36 SU, 21-32-2 ATS
Washington: 25-29 SU, 31-22-1 ATS

Charlotte most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 3-7
Before playing New York are 7-3
After playing Sacramento are 1-6
After a loss are 3-7

Washington most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 4-6
Before playing New Orleans are 4-6
After playing Cleveland are 2-8
After a loss are 2-8

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Charlotte's last 6 games when playing Washington
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Charlotte's last 5 games on the road
Charlotte is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Washington
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Charlotte's last 9 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Washington's last 6 games when playing Charlotte
Washington is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Charlotte
Washington is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
Washington is 11-3 SU in its last 14 games when playing Charlotte

Next up:
Charlotte at New York, Wednesday, February 27
Washington at New Orleans, Monday, February 25

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Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat

- The Philadelphia 76ers and the Miami Heat will both be gunning for a victory on Saturday when they meet at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Andre Iguodala and Andre Miller each scored 25 points in Philadelphia's 115-99 loss to the Orlando Magic on Friday night.

The Magic managed to cover the 7-point spread at home in that contest, while the combined score went OVER the night's posted total (203).

The Heat lost 112-100 to the Rockets last time out, as 10.5-point road underdogs on Thursday. The 212 points sailed OVER the posted total of 190.

Dwyane Wade tossed in 33 points with four rebounds and 11 assists in a losing effort.

Current streak:
Miami has lost 10 straight games.

Team records:
Philadelphia: 24-32 SU, 28-27-1 ATS
Miami: 9-44 SU, 18-34-1 ATS

Philadelphia most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 4-6
Before playing Orlando are 8-2
After playing Orlando are 6-4
After a loss are 5-5

Miami most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 6-4
Before playing Sacramento are 5-5
After playing Houston are 4-6
After a loss are 1-9

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Philadelphia's last 5 games when playing Miami
Philadelphia is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Miami
Philadelphia is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing Miami
Philadelphia is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Miami's last 5 games when playing Philadelphia
Miami is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing at home against Philadelphia
Miami is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing at home against Philadelphia
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Miami's last 7 games when playing at home against Philadelphia

Next up:
Philadelphia home to Orlando, Wednesday, February 27
Miami home to Sacramento, Tuesday, February 26

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Indiana Pacers vs. New Jersey Nets

- The Indiana Pacers and the New Jersey Nets will both be trying to pick up a win on Saturday when they battle at Izod Center.

Mike Dunleavy poured in 34 points on Friday night to lead the Pacers to a 113-103 win over the visiting New Jersey Nets.

The Pacers managed to cover the 5.5-point spread at home in that contest, while the combined score went OVER the night's posted total (203).

Richard Jefferson had a team-high 34 points in New Jersey's 113-103 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.

The Pacers managed to cover the 5.5-point spread at home in that contest, while the combined score went OVER the night's posted total (203).

Team records:
Indiana: 22-33 SU, 26-28-1 ATS
New Jersey: 24-31 SU, 21-33-1 ATS

Indiana most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 3-7
Before playing Toronto are 5-5
After playing New Jersey are 3-7
After a win are 3-7

New Jersey most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 4-6
Before playing Orlando are 6-4
After playing Indiana are 7-3
After a loss are 3-7

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Indiana's last 5 games when playing New Jersey
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Indiana's last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Indiana's last 5 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Indiana's last 8 games when playing on the road against New Jersey
The total has gone OVER in 5 of New Jersey's last 5 games when playing Indiana
New Jersey is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games when playing Indiana
New Jersey is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Indiana
New Jersey is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games at home

Next up:
Indiana home to Toronto, Monday, February 25
New Jersey home to Orlando, Tuesday, February 26

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New Orleans Hornets vs. San Antonio Spurs

- Divisional bragging rights will be on the line on Saturday when the New Orleans Hornets and the San Antonio Spurs meet at AT&T Center.

David West scored a team-high 20 points in the Hornets' 100-80 loss to the Houston Rockets on Friday night.

The Hornets had been favored by 4 points at home in that contest, while the combined score fell UNDER the night's posted total (191).

Manu Ginobili scored a game-high 44 points and the Spurs held on to defeat the Timberwolves 100-99. The Spurs failed to cover the 8.5-point spread, while the 199 points sailed OVER the posted total of 179.5.

Ginobili shot 13-for-18 from the field with three rebounds and four assists in the win.

Current streak:
San Antonio has won 4 straight games.

Team records:
New Orleans: 37-16 SU, 32-20-1 ATS
San Antonio: 36-17 SU, 26-27 ATS

New Orleans most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 3-7
Before playing Washington are 5-5
After playing Houston are 4-6
After a loss are 7-3

San Antonio most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 9-1
Before playing Atlanta are 7-3
After playing Minnesota are 6-4
After a win are 8-2

A few trends to consider:
New Orleans is 11-2 SU in its last 13 games on the road
New Orleans is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
New Orleans is 10-3 ATS in its last 13 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 7 of New Orleans's last 10 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of San Antonio's last 5 games at home
San Antonio is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games
San Antonio is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games when playing New Orleans
San Antonio is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing at home against New Orleans

Next up:
New Orleans home to Washington, Monday, February 25
San Antonio home to Atlanta, Monday, February 25

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 23

Denver Nuggets vs. Milwaukee Bucks

- The Denver Nuggets and the Milwaukee Bucks will both be trying to pick up a win on Saturday when they battle at Bradley Center.

J.R. Smith had a game-high 43 points in Denver's 135-121 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Friday night.

The Nuggets had been favored by 4.5 points on the road in that contest, while the combined score went well OVER the night's posted total (208.5).

Michael Redd and Charlie Villanueva were each good for 18 points in Milwaukee's 127-100 loss to the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.

The Pistons easily covered the big 13-point spread at home in that contest, while the combined score went OVER the night's posted total (190).

Team records:
Denver: 33-21 SU, 28-26 ATS
Milwaukee: 20-35 SU, 24-30-1 ATS

Denver most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 7-3
Before playing Detroit are 2-8
After playing Chicago are 6-4
After a loss are 8-2

Milwaukee most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 5-5
Before playing Cleveland are 8-2
After playing Detroit are 3-7
After a loss are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
Denver is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games when playing Milwaukee
Denver is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games when playing Milwaukee
Denver is 7-1 ATS in its last 8 games when playing on the road against Milwaukee
Denver is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Milwaukee
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Milwaukee's last 7 games
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Milwaukee's last 8 games when playing Denver
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Milwaukee's last 6 games at home
Milwaukee is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games at home

Next up:
Denver home to Detroit, Monday, February 25
Milwaukee home to Cleveland, Tuesday, February 26

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 23

Atlanta Hawks vs. Utah Jazz

- The Atlanta Hawks and the Utah Jazz will both be trying to pick up a win on Saturday when they battle at EnergySolutions Arena.

Joe Johnson was good for 27 points on Friday night as the Hawks got past the Golden State Warriors by a final score of 117-110.

The Warriors had been favored by 7.5 points at home in that contest, while the combined score went OVER the night's posted total (220).

Deron Williams led the way for Utah with 26 points in their 114-104 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.

The Jazz had been favored by 6 points on the road in that contest, while the combined score went OVER the night's posted total (200).

Team records:
Atlanta: 23-30 SU, 26-27 ATS
Utah: 35-20 SU, 29-26 ATS

Atlanta most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 4-6
Before playing San Antonio are 2-8
After playing Golden State are 0-10
After a win are 5-5

Utah most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 4-6
Before playing Minnesota are 9-1
After playing LA Clippers are 7-3
After a loss are 7-3

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Atlanta's last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Atlanta's last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Atlanta's last 7 games when playing on the road against Utah
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Atlanta's last 9 games when playing Utah
Utah is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
Utah is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games when playing at home against Atlanta
Utah is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Atlanta
Utah is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games when playing Atlanta

Next up:
Atlanta at San Antonio, Monday, February 25
Utah at Minnesota, Tuesday, February 26

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 23

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers

- The Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers will both be trying to pick up a win on Saturday when they battle at STAPLES Center.

Kobe Bryant scored 41 points Wednesday, as the Lakers defeated the Suns 130-124. The Lakers won the game as 3-point road underdogs, while the combined score sailed OVER the posted total of 224.

Bryant shot 16-for-25 from the field with five rebounds and three assists, and Pau Gasol added 29 points in the win.

Corey Maggette poured in 27 points on Friday night to guide the Clippers to a 114-104 win over the Utah Jazz.

The Jazz had been favored by 6 points on the road in that contest, while the combined score went OVER the night's posted total (200).

Current streak:
Los Angeles has won 6 straight games.
Los Angeles has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Los Angeles: 37-17 SU, 34-19-1 ATS
Los Angeles: 19-33 SU, 24-28 ATS

Los Angeles most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 7-3
Before playing Seattle are 4-6
After playing Phoenix are 5-5
After a win are 7-3

Los Angeles most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 8-2
Before playing Boston are 4-6
After playing Utah are 5-5
After a win are 1-9

A few trends to consider:
LA Lakers are 5-0 SU in their last 5 games
LA Lakers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games
LA Lakers are 5-0 SU in their last 5 games on the road
LA Lakers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the LA Clippers last 5 games
LA Clippers are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games when playing at home against LA Lakers
LA Clippers are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games at home
LA Clippers are 4-2 SU in their last 6 games at home

Next up:
LA Lakers at Seattle, Sunday, February 24
LA Clippers home to Boston, Monday, February 25

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Re: Betting News and Notes - Feb 23

Saturday’s Pregame Buzz

NBA
       
New Orleans Hornets at San Antonio Spurs


* Hornets are 42-13-2 ATS in their last 57 Saturday games.
* Spurs 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
* Spurs are 6-3 ATS in the last 9 meetings.
       
Atlanta Hawks at Utah Jazz

* Hawks are 9-19 ATS in their last 28 Saturday games.
* Jazz are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games overall.
* Favorite is 10-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings.

Los Angles Lakers at Los Angeles Clippers

* .Lakers are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall
* Lakers are 4-2 ATS in the last 6 meetings.

CBB

Virginia Commonwealth at Akron


* VCU is 7-3-1 ATS in its last 11 games overall.
* Akron is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games overall.
* The OVER is 7-3 in VCU’s last 10 games overall.

#13 Connecticut at Villanova

* It's worth noting that Villanova is 0-2 SU & ATS at the Wachovia Center this season, losing to both Notre Dame and Syracuse by double digits. All of the Wildcats' 11 home wins have come on-campus at The Pavilion, including Wednesday rout of West Virginia. EDGE: UCONN
* Seven of UConn's wins during its 10-game winning streak have been decided by 6 points or less, including the last 3. Four of those wins have come against ranked opponents, vaulting the Huskies into third place in the Big East, just a half-game behind Georgetown and Louisville for the league lead. EDGE: UCONN
* UConn's A.J. Price saw a streak of 16 straight games of scoring in double figures end Tuesday in a 65-60 win over DePaul. Price had averaged 18 points and 6.1 assists in the first 9 games of the winning streak but totaled just 6 points against the Blue Demons. SLIGHT EDGE: VILLANOVA
* Villanova leading scorer Scottie Reynolds has averaged just 7.5 points in the last 2 games due to sprained ankle that has limited him to a combined 39 minutes in those games. EDGE: UCONN
* UConn is 6-15 ATS in its last 21 road games.
* Villanova is 1-8 ATS in its last 9 home games.
* Home team is 7-1 ATS in the last 8 meetings.

George Mason at Ohio

* George Mason is 1-3-1 ATS in its last 5 games overall.
* Ohio is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games overall.
* The UNDER is 8-1 in Ohio’s last 9 games overall.

Arkansas at Kentucky

* Arkansas is 22-47-2 ATS in its last 71 road games.
* Kentucky is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games overall.
* Kentucky is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings.

Iowa at #19 Michigan State

* This is a big revenge game for Michigan State, as the Spartans set a school-record low for points in the shot clock ere in a 43-36 loss at Iowa back on January 12th. They had won 11 straight games going into that game and have won 12 straight meetings with the Hawkeyes at home, including the last 6 by an average of 24.1 points. They will also be trying to get head coach Tom Izzo his 300th career victory. BIG EDGE: MICHIGAN STATE
* Iowa is 1-4 against ranked opponents this season and has lost 10 of 11 on the road against Top 25 teams. EDGE: MICHIGAN STATE
* Iowa is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
* Michigan State is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 home games.
* The UNDER is 7-1 in Iowa’s last 8 games overall.

Creighton at Oral Roberts

* Creighton is 12-4 ATS in its last 16 Saturday games.
* The OVER is 18-6-1 in Creighton’s last 25 games overall.
* The OVER is 7-3-1 in Oral Roberts' last 11 games overall.

Oregon at #6 UCLA

* UCLA is 7-1 ATS in its last 8 games overall.
* UCLA is 7-1 ATS in its last 8 games vs. Pacific-10.
* Oregon is 9-3-1 ATS in its last 13 Saturday games.
* Oregon is 1-9 ATS in the last 10 meetings.
* The OVER is 8-2 in UCLA's last 10 games overall.
* The UNDER is 7-1 in the last 8 meetings.

Oklahoma at #7 Texas

* Texas has won the last 4 meetings with Oklahoma and 9 of the last 12. The Longhorns won the earlier meeting between the teams this year 64-54 back on February 6th behind 19 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds from D.J. Augustin. EDGE: TEXAS
* Augustin broke out of a 5-game shooting slump with 27 points on 9-of-14 shots in a 77-50 rout of Texas A&M on Monday. He had made just 22.1 percent (15-of-68) from the field in his previous 5 games in February combined. EDGE: TEXAS
* Oklahoma is 3-8 ATS in the last 11 meetings.
* Texas is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games overall.
* The UNDER is 7-1 in Texas' last 8 home games.

#4 Kansas at Oklahoma State

* Kansas has not played since last Saturday's 69-45 rout of Colorado. The Jayhawks have dropped 2 of their last 3 road games in Big 12 play, losing at both Texas and Kansas State. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State is 11-2 at home this season, losing only to Texas and Texas A&M. EDGE: OKLAHAOMA STATE
* The Jayhawks have won the last 3 meetings with the Cowboys by an average of 15.3 points. However, most of the damage was done in an 87-57 rout in the last meeting more than a year ago. SLIGHT EDGE: OKLAHOMA STATE
* Kansas is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games overall.
* Oklahoma State is 4-6 ATS in its last 10 games overall.
* Favorite is 8-3 ATS in the last 11 meetings.
* The UNDER is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings.

St. John's at #5 Duke

* Duke has won the last 3 meetings with St. John's at Cameron Indoor Stadium, where the Blue Devils have a 58-game winning streak against non-conference opponents. However, they failed to cover 2 of those games as favorites of 20+ points. SLIGHT EDGE: DUKE
* St. John's has 8 freshmen averaging double figures in minutes played, and the Red Storm is the lowest-scoring team in the Big East at 62.5 points per game. They have been even worse recently, scoring an average of just 49.7 in their last 3. EDGE: DUKE & UNDER
* St. John’s is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
* Duke is 1-3-2 ATS in its last 6 games overall.
* The UNDER is 7-0 in the last 7 meetings.

#16 Drake at #8 Butler

* Drake is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 Saturday games.
* Butler is 3-6-1 ATS in its last 10 games overall.
* The OVER is 7-3 in Drake’s last 10 games overall.

#2 Tennessee at #1 Memphis

* The top-ranked Tigers put their 47-game regular-season home winning streak on the line, currently the longest of any school in the country. Memphis is also the lone unbeaten team in the nation and hopes to prove a team from Conference USA belongs among the very best. “Them. Us. Everybody in the state. It’s an ego game,” Tigers head coach John Calipari said. “That game has been played up to a level that I can’t even begin to tell you.” EDGE: MEMPHIS
* Tennessee beat Memphis last year 76-58 as an unranked team and has won 6 of the last 8 meetings, covering the last 3. “They beat us fair and square,” Tigers forward Chris Douglas-Roberts said. EDGE: TENNESSEE
* The lower-ranked team has won 5 of the last 6 meetings between #1 and #2. This is only the 5th time in 38 all-time games between the top teams in which both schools were from the same state. EDGE: TENNESSEE
* Tennessee is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games overall.
* Memphis is 9-4 ATS in its last 13 games against the SEC.

Kent State at #23 St. Mary's

* St. Mary's will be trying to match a season-high 7-game winning streak against the MAC's top team. The Gaels are coming off 2 of their most lopsided wins of the season, beating Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount by a combined 67 points. They are tied with Gonzaga atop the West Coast Conference and play 3 more league games after this to close out the regular season. EDGE: ST. MARY'S
* Kent State has won 5 straight games and is 11-3 against non-conference opponents this season. However, St. Mary's is even better outside the WCC with a 13-2 mark, including wins over #16 Drake, Oregon and Seton Hall. SLIGHT EDGE: ST. MARY'S
* The Gaels are shooting 37.2 percent from beyond the 3-point arc this season, nailing a school-record 17 treys in a 100-64 win at Pepperdine on Monday. They make an average of 8.5 per game, which ranks in the Top 40 nationally. Kent State is allowing opponents to shoot 35.8 percent from 3-point range on the road this season. BIG EDGE: ST. MARY'S
* St. Mary is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games overall.
* The OVER is 7-2-1 in Kent State’s last 10 games overall.

Pregame.com

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No. 1 Memphis, No. 2 Tennessee in showdown

Move over, North Carolina and Duke.

Undefeated Memphis and Tennessee stage an in-state, No. 1-vs.-No. 2 showdown tonight in Memphis that is considered the biggest obstacle between the Tigers and an unbeaten regular season.

This will be the 38th meeting of teams ranked No. 1 and No. 2, but only the fifth between teams from the same state.

Cincinnati and Ohio State met twice as the top teams in the 1960s, and Duke and Carolina met in 1994 and 1998.

But unlike the Blue Devils and Tar Heels, the Tigers (26-0) and Volunteers (24-2) are hardly neighbors. Memphis and Knoxville are at opposite ends of the state, nearly 400 miles apart.

"We're in the same state, both of us have things going pretty good at both schools, but you have to understand this -- they're closer to Washington D.C. than they are to Memphis, Tennessee," said Memphis Coach John Calipari, who was off by a distance approaching 100 miles, but made his point: "We're so far from them. It's not as though they're 50 miles away from us."

A trend favors Tennessee: In the four previous games between top-ranked teams from the same state, the No. 2 team has won each time.

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