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NBA and college basketball movers and shakers

NBA and college basketball movers and shakers

NBA and college basketball movers and shakers
By Lee Kostroski

Each week I will be looking at some key factors in college and the NBA that may make affect the line. Sometimes you might be able to catch an edge if the odds makers have not yet caught up with these developments.

Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans

Arkansas-Little Rock head coach Steve Shields recently dismissed leading scorer Steven Moore from the team for actions in a loss to Western Kentucky February 19. Moore averaged 13.6 points per game and was leading his team in assists prior to his dismissal.

For a team that averages only 67 points per game, losing their most consistent scorer will hurt heading into the conference tournament. In their first game since dismissing Moore, the Trojans defeated North Texas 58-54. In that game, Arkansas-LR shot just 37 percent from the field, including 12.5 percent from 3-point range, with 16 turnovers and just eight assists (the only reason the Trojans won that game is that North Texas actually managed to put up poorer statistics).

Arkansas-LR wrapped up its regular season with a win over Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday before starting the Sun Belt conference tournament. Not only was Moore their leading scorer, he was a senior leader. Already in their last two games the oddsmakers have adjusted the Trojans lines by two full points. You may see that trend continue into the postseason tournaments.

Purdue Boilermakers

Robbie Hummel is back, getting significant playing time for Purdue. There might be line value with the Boilermakers as they wrap up their regular season in the upcoming week. Hummel’s return in the last five games marks significant improvements in the Boilermakers' overall play.

They shot 46 percent in a win at Iowa, 57 percent in a win over Michigan State, 48 percent in a win over Indiana, 46 percent in a loss at Michigan and 55 percent versus Ohio State. Hummel is Purdue’s third-leading scorer and leading rebounder. He has gotten healthy just in time for Purdue to make some noise in the Big Ten.

Keep an eye on the lines of the Boilermakers’ games as they wrap up the season with a home game coming up against Northwestern before ending at Michigan State. You might be able to find some line value with Purdue as Hummel's return is worth more than the few points the oddsmakers adjust for.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Ben Wallace went down with a broken leg against the Rockets Thursday night and is expected to miss at least four weeks. Wallace is a big-money, big-name, former all-star, so majority belief is that this is a huge blow to the Cavs. But we don’t expect Wallace’s injury to have that much impact against Cleveland or the lines.

Cleveland has the No. 1 overall defense in the NBA and is second in opponent’s field goal percentage. The Cavs have enough bench depth to get by without Big Ben. Wallace leads Cleveland with 1.9 blocks per game and his defensive presence will be missed, but not enough to affect the Cavs overall success.

Wallace’s minutes, rebounds, blocks and points have been on steady decline every season since 2003-04 and he has minimal impact on offense. Cleveland has a somewhat grueling schedule coming up, playing seven of its next nine games on the road. But we don’t expect Ben Wallace’s absence to affect the lines of any of the games on Cleveland’s upcoming schedule.

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