College Basketball Betting News and Notes Thursday 11/29

College Basketball Betting News and Notes Thursday 11/29

What Bettors Need to Know: Kentucky at Notre Dame

Kentucky at Notre Dame

Kentucky has had a chance to fix several of the things that went wrong in its loss to Duke earlier this month, starting with an offense that struggled to push the pace. The eighth-ranked Wildcats have averaged 95.3 points in three straight wins since that loss to the Blue Devils, and have gone over the century mark twice. They will test that explosive offense against a higher caliber of competition when they visit Notre Dame on Thursday.

Unlike freshman-dominated Kentucky, the Fighting Irish rely heavily on upperclassmen and returned all five starters from a team that won 22 games last season. That experience and familiarity has helped Notre Dame execute in the half court and on the defensive end en route to four straight wins. The Wildcats will try to get out and run, using their superior athleticism to make up the difference in experience. Their big challenge will be stopping Irish forward Jack Cooley, who is averaging a double-double while shooting over 60 percent from the field.

LINE: The early overnight line has Kentucky as a 1-point road favorite and the total was recommended at 135.

ABOUT KENTUCKY (4-1): The SEC/Big East Challenge will provide the Wildcats with a better approximation of their growth than wins over Louisiana-Lafayette, Morehead State and Long Island University-Brooklyn. Kentucky rebuilt over the summer with a strong recruiting class and has watched those players come together over the last three games. Guard Archie Goodwin came within one rebound and one assist of a triple-double in the 104-75 win over LIU-Brooklyn on Friday while Alex Poythress has gone for 20 or more in four straight games. Nerlens Noel continues to fill up the box score in much the same way that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist did for last season’s national championship squad.

ABOUT NOTRE DAME (6-1): The Irish suffered an overtime loss to St. Joe’s during the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic earlier this month but have recovered nicely, especially on the defensive end. Notre Dame is allowing just 58.3 points during its four-game winning streak. Six players scored in double figures in Monday’s 92-65 win over Chicago State, led by Jerian Grant’s 22 points and 10 assists. The Irish are so balanced offensively that Cooley only had four field goal attempts (making all four) in the win. That efficiency is made possible by the backcourt duo of Grant and Eric Atkins, who have a combined assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.08.


1. Kentucky G Ryan Harrow (illness) has not played since the opener but returned to practice this week.

2. The Wildcats beat Notre Dame 72-58 in Louisville in the last meeting on Dec. 8, 2010.

3. The Fighting Irish are averaging 19 assists as a team.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Thursday 11/29

College Knowledge

-- Kentucky is young (337th in experience), thin (330th in bench time), and 4-1, beating Maryland by 3 on neutral court, losing by 7 to Duke, also neutral court. Wildcats beat Notre Dame 72-58 in last meeting two years ago. Irish are 6-1, with BYU only top 100 win; they don't sub much, but have some experience, and are shooting 37.1% behind arc.
-- South Alabama swept FAU by 9-3 points LY; they're 4-1 in last five visits here, with last two wins in OT. USA opened with great upset at Florida State, but they're lost three in row since, all three losses to teams ranked #171 or worse, last two by 2 points each. 2-3 Owls are shooting just 36% inside arc; their wins are against teams ranked #250/318.
-- Road team won four of last five Troy-Little Rock games, with all five decided by 5 or less points, or in OT. Trojans won two of last three in this gym, but lost by 20 at home to UAB two nights ago; they're 4-3 so far this month, with only road win in three tries at Chattanooga. UALR won three of last four games; they covered only game as a favorite.
-- Home side won six of last seven Arkansas State-FIU games; ASU lost two of last three visits here, but they're 4-1 this year, with best victim ranked #292- they won last two road games, in triple OT and by point. Richard Pitino is FIU's new coach; they're 1-2, opponents making 59% of 2-pointers so far.

-- South Carolina gets PG Ellington back from football team here, but he played at Clemson Saturday; is he game-ready? St John's is 4-2, losing to only top 100 teams they played- they're #344 in country in experience. #146 Gamecocks won tourney in Mexico last week, Big East single digit home favorites are 4-3 vs spread; SEC single digit road dogs are 7-7.
-- Middle Tennessee won its last seven games vs UL-Lafayette, winning last two visits here, by 6-2 points; Blue Raiders are 4-1, winning at UCF for best win this year (only loss to Florida). ULL lost last four games vs D-I teams, but lost 63-60 at Michigan State last game, promising effort. All four losses are on road; they beat Oakland in only home game.
-- Western Kentucky won last three games vs UL-Monroe, winning here in OT LY; Hilltoppers are 3-2 vs D-I squads, losing in OT at Southern Miss in only road game. Monroe scored 51.5 ppg in losing first its first two games, by 16 at La Tech, by 34 at Oklahoma. WKU's only win on road was 70-61 over DePaul on a neutral floor.
-- First true road game for Marquette team that lost at buzzer on Maui to Butler, then beat Miss State/USC next two days. Golden Eagles play their bench 42% of time, goo depth. Florida is 5-0, beating Wisconsin by 18; Gators are rebounding 43% of their missed shots. Big East road dogs are 7-7, 4-0 in true road games; SEC home favorites are 11-7 vs spread.
-- LSU scored 81.8 ppg in 4-0 start vs #339 schedule; they've turned ball over 25% of time, with best win over #164 UCSB, which lost by 28 at home to Wyoming last nite. Seton Hall is 5-1 with best win over #235 St Peter's; they lost in OT to Washington, after being down 16 at half. Big East teams are 12-10 vs spread if number is 5 or less points.

-- Long Beach State is 2-3, but they've lost to UNC/Arizona in its annual overscheduling- 49ers had good win in Fresno Sunday. LMU lost two of three in Alaska over weekend, losing to host, D-2 UAA; best team they beat is #258 Texas State. Big West teams are 7-6 vs spread when number is less than 5 points. WCC teams are 2-6 in games like that.
-- Manhattan won three of last four games vs Fordham- they crushed the Rams 81-47 LY. Jaspers are 1-3 with only win vs #286 Hofstra, and are last in country, turning ball over on 35% of possessions. Fordham is 1-4, with only win by hoop over Penn; young Rams are #332 in experience. MAAC favorites are 7-1-1 against spread this season.
-- LaSalle beat Delaware/Villanova, lost to Central Connecticut, typical for this month so far. Explorers won three of last four games with Rider, winning by 9 in last visit here. Broncs are 1-3 vs teams ranked in top 200, losing by 8-12-13 points. A-16 single digit road favorites are 11-6 vs spread. MAAC single digit dogs are 4-10, but 2-0 at home.
-- Pepperdine/Montana State are both picked to finish #9 in conference play; Waves won last three games after 0-2 start, with two of three wins in OT- they beat Bobcats 59-36 LY in Malibu. MSU is allowing foes to shoot 59% inside arc in 1-3 start, but they beat WCC's Portland in only home game. Big Sky teams are 3-5 vs spread when number is 5 or less points; WCC teams are 2-7.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Thursday 11/29

College Basketball: Streaks, Tips, Notes 

Kentucky at Notre Dame

Fighting Irish returning all five starters from last year have won four straight since their OT loss to St. Joe's during the Coaches vs Cancer Classic. Lead by Jack Cooley averaging 14.8 PPG, 11.3 RPG the Irish enter 6-1 (2-3 ATS) behind 73.7 PPG while allowing 59.7 per contest. Fighting Irish are 17-3 (9-8 ATS) at Joyce Center but there's a history of failure vs the SEC of late (3-6 SU, 2-7 ATS) including 1-4 SU/ATS vs Kentucky. Wildcats which lost their starting five from last years National Championship squad are off to a 4-1 (0-3 ATS) start. Lead by Archie Goodwin (19.0) and Alex Poythress the Wildcats are netting a solid 85.2 points/game on a nation best 55.8% from the field. Defensively, Wildcats are allowing 67.6 PPG holding opponents to a lowly 39.1% shooting. Notre Dame 3-14-2 ATS in their last 19 non-conference games have been pegged 1 point favorites vs Kentucky ridding a 5-15-1 ATS skid in non-conference games.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Thursday 11/29

SEC/Big East Challenge
By Brian Edwards

Kentucky at Notre Dame

Most books are listing Notre Dame (6-1 straight up, 2-3 against the spread) as a two-point ‘chalk’ with the total in the 133-134 range. Bettors can take John Calipari’s team on the money line for a plus-110 payout (risk $100 to win $110).

Mike Brey’s squad has won four in a row since suffering its lone loss of the season, a 79-70 overtime defeat to St. Joseph’s as a four-point home favorite. Jack Cooley finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds in the losing effort.

Kentucky (4-1 SU, 0-3 ATS) has a quality win over Maryland and its loss came to Duke in a 75-68 decision at the Ga. Dome in Atlanta. Alex Poythress scored 20 points and pulled down eight rebounds in the loss to the Blue Devils.

Cooley, a senior forward, is averaging a double-double with 14.3 points per game and 11.3 rebounds per game. Jerian Grant is the Irish’s second-leading scorer with a 13.0 PPG average.

Archie Goodwin, UK’s freshman guard from Little Rock, Ark., is leading the Wildcats in scoring with 19.0 PPG average. Poythress is averaging 18.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, while freshman center Nerlens Noel is averaging 12.4 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. Noel also has 18 blocked shots in five games.

The ‘over’ has cashed in both of UK’s games with a total. The ‘over’ is 2-1 for the Irish.

Dating back to 2001, Kentucky has won five of the last six head-to-head meetings with Notre Dame both SU and ATS. In the last encounter two years ago, UK collected a 72-58 win as a five-point home favorite.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2.

Marquette at Florida

As of late this morning, most books were listing Florida (5-0 straight up, 2-1 against the spread) as an 11-point favorite with a total of 137. Gamblers can take the Golden Eagles to win outright for a lucrative plus-550 return (risk $100 to win $550).

Billy Donovan’s team sent Marquette out of the 2012 NCAA Tournament with a 68-58 win at the West Region semifinals in Phoenix. The Gators took the cash as one-point underdogs. Bradley Beal, who turned pro early and was taken with the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards, paced UF with a game-high 21 points. Kenny Boynton scored 11 points and dished out five assists, while Erik Murphy finished with seven points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots.

Marquette (5-1 SU, 2-2 ATS) has won three in a row since losing to Butler at the buzzer in its first-round game at The Maui Classic. Buzz Williams’s squad bounced back from the loss to the Bulldogs by beating Mississippi St. (89-62) and Southern Cal (72-64). Then when the Golden Eagles got back home, they trounced Maryland-Baltimore 79-46 in a non-lined affair. Jamil Wilson led the way with 15 points and six rebounds.

UF is coming off Friday’s 79-66 home win over Central Florida. Although the Gators were ahead of the number for most of the game, they disappointed their backers as 16-point home favorites. Boynton was the catalyst with 24 points and eight rebounds. Scottie Wilbekin, who missed the first three games due to a suspension, added 17 points, eight assists, five rebounds and three steals. Boynton and Wilbekin both made 4-of-9 attempts from 3-point land.

Florida junior forward Casey Prather made his season debut against UCF after missing the first four games due to a concussion. Prather picked up where he left off last season when he emerged as a key contributor in both the SEC and NCAA Tournaments. Prather logged 13 minutes, making all three shots from the field and both free-throw attempts en route to an eight-point effort.

Marquette is led by junior forward Davante Gardner, who is averaging a team-high 14.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Vander Blue is averaging 11.4 PPG.

Boynton is scoring at a 16.2 PPG clip to lead the Gators.

The ‘over’ is 4-0 for Marquette, 1-0 for UF.

ESPN2 will provide television coverage at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

B.E.'s Bonus Nuggets

UCLA junior center Joshua Smith has left the program. Smith, a solid post player who averaged 9.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game last year, has struggled with weight problems throughout his collegiate career.

Stanford junior forward Anthony Brown is out for the season with a hip injury that will require surgery. Brown averaged 8.1 points and 4.0 rebounds per game last season.

After enjoying a stellar campaign on the gridiron, South Carolina's Bruce Ellington is back with the basketball team until the Gamecocks resume football practice in December.

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