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College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday January, 19

College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday January, 19

College Knowledge

-- North Carolina won its last four games vs Maryland, winning three in row at Deandome by 17-11-24 points; they beat Terps three times LY, including 85-69 in ACC tourney. Maryland lost two of last three games, scoring 53.3 ppg; they're 1-1 on road,losing by 7 at Miami after winning at Northwestern Nov 27. Carolina is 1-2 in ACC; they're in bottom 20 in nation at getting to foul line. ACC HFs of 5 or less points are 2-4.
-- UConn won its last two games vs Pitt, but lost last three visits here, by 9-10-15 points. Huskies split two road games, losing at Marquette in OT, winning at Notre Dame- they're 5-4 vs top 100 teams. Only one of Pitt's 14 wins is by less than 13 points, but they're 2-3 last five games, losing last two home games vs Cincinnati/Marquette. Big East HFs are 7-14 vs spread, but 7-5 if laying 7+ points.
-- Mizzou big man Bowers is still out; Tigers are 13-3, but 0-2 on road, losing in OT at UCLA, by 15 at Ole Miss, in what was their first SEC road game. Florida won first three SEC games, by 33-22-21 points; they are #6 in country in eFG%, holding foes to 39.4% inside arc. SEC HFs are 6-8 vs spread, 3-3 if laying double digits. 13-2 Gators don't have win by less than 13 points this season.
-- Arizona won three of last four games vs Arizona State; they're 2-3 last five visits to Tempe, where frosh PG Carson has Sun Devils 14-3, 3-1 in Pac-12, with only loss by 3 at Oregon. 15-1 Wildcats are 3-1 away from home, losing by 4 at Oregon last week; three of their last four wins are by 3 or less points, or in OT. Underdogs are 23-6 vs spread in Pac-12 this season, 6-0 at home.

-- Wichita State is 5-3 in last eight games vs Creighton; they've done well defending Bluejay star McDermott, winning three of last four in series at home. Shockers are 3-0 at home in Valley, winning by 23-6-12 points. Creighton makes 45.4% behind arc, best in nation; they've won last 11 games, winning by 7 at Illinois State, 22 at Missouri State. MVC HFs are 6-11 vs spread, 3-3 if laying 6 or less points.
-- 15-3 UCLA is 5-0 in Pac-12, winning first three home games by 14-8-10 points; prize frosh Muhammad is making 46.7% behind arc. Oregon won four of last six games vs UCLA, but they're 1-7 last eight visits to Westwood, losing by 7-12-17-12-10-26-10 points. Ducks won all four league games, with last three wins all by 4 or less points. Underdogs are 23-6 vs spread in Pac-12, 10-3 if getting 6 or less points on road.
-- Syracuse held Louisville to 51-49 points in pair of wins LY, but they lost previous seven games vs Cardinals. Orange lost four of last five at Louisville, losing by 5-11-10-4 points. Cardinals force turnovers 28.8% of time (#2 in country); they're 4-0 in Big East, with 15 points closest win. Southerland (SU's best 3-point shooter) didn't make trip (eligibility issue). Big East HFs are 7-14 vs spread, 7-5 if laying 7+ points.
-- Ohio State won four of last six visits to Michigan State, winning last two by 7-2 points, but they lost to Spartans in Big Dozen tourney final LY. Buckeyes are 1-2 on road, losing by 5 at Duke, 19 at Illinois, with a 10-point win at Purdue. Spartans are 11-0 at home, won last four games, but against lesser teams in league. Big Dozen home teams are 4-6 against spread if number is 5 or less points.
-- Tough road spot for UNLV, after great road win at San Diego State on Wednesday- they won 16 of last 19 games vs Colorado State, but split last four; Rebels split last four visits here, losing 66-59 here LY. State is #5 experienced team in country; they're 10-0 at home, 2-2 vs teams in top 100, but wins were in November. Rams are #1 defensive rebounding team in country. MWC HFs are 5-3 vs spread.

-- San Diego State won last five games vs Wyoming, winning by 27-10 in last two visits to Laramie; Aztecs are 3-0 on road, winning at Missouri State/USC/Fresno- they lost at home to UNLV last game. Wyoming lost two of three in MWC after 12-0 pre-conference mark; they're not going to get 2nd-leading scorer Martinez (assault investigation) back, and they need him- Fresno held them to 36 points last game.
-- Clarke (neck) is still out for Butler, which won last 12 games- they're 3-0 in league, winning by 6-6-15 points, 5-2 vs top 100 teams- best win was by point at buzzer over #41 Marquette. Gonzaga won its last eight games, with five top 100 wins; four of their last five games have been on road (wins at Oklahoma State/St Mary's). Butler lost 71-55 at Gonzaga LY. A-16 is #8-ranked league, WCC is #10.
-- Belmont is 5-0 in first season in OVC, winning home games by 35-37-7 points; they've won last five games vs Tennessee State, by 13-15-28-9-11 points. Bruins make 56% of shots inside arc (#5 in country). State is 6-0 in OVC after 6-7 mark vs non-conference slate (#33 in country); Tigers are 0-4 vs top 100 teams, with four losses by 15+ points. OVC HFs of 15 or less points are 7-12 against the spread.
-- North Dakota State's leading scorer Braun is out, but Bison won last eight games, with four road wins by 17+ points. State lost three times to Western Illinois LY, including 58-53 in Summit tourney. Summit League HUs are 4-8 vs spread. 13-4 WIU had 10-game win streak snapped by South Dakota State last game; Leathernecks play slowest pace in nation, they're #9 experienced team in country.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday January, 19

College Basketball: Streaks, Tips, Notes

Missouri at Florida

Tigers have started first season in the SEC at 2-1 losing to conference leading OleMis but winning against Alabama and basement dwelling Georgia. Tough spot for Tigers, they've lost both true road games while Gators 3-0 SU/ATS within the conference remain undefeated at home (7-0, SU, 3-1 ATS). Gators with four double digit scorers racking up 73.2 PPG along with it's stingy defense (51.7) should cruise past Tigers who may be missing top scorer Laurence Bowers (16.8) for a third straight game. Stick with Florida knowing Gators have held 11 oppenents under 60 points this season and that Tigers are on a 1-6 (0-7 ATS) skid vs teams that tighten defensive screws holding them at =<65 points/game.

Syracuse at Louisville

Louisville off to a solid 16-1 (10-7 ATS) start has dominated the opposition at both ends averaging 76.9 PPG with a hefty +20.5 scoring margin. Russ Smith (18.9), Peyton Silva (11.8) pace the Cardinals who enter this huge clash ridding an 11-game win streak (7-4 ATS) including 4-0 (3-1 ATS) against conference opponents. Orange (16-1, 9-4 ATS) lead by Brandon Triche (14.1), C.J. Fair (13.8) have little trouble putting the ball through the hoop as the team averages 79.0 PPG and boasts an even higher winning margin than Cardinals at +21.2. Orange hit the hardwood on a 6-0 (3-2 ATS) stretch with an identical 4-0 mark against Big East foes (2-2 ATS). Rick Pitino's troops 9-0 (4-5 ATS) at KFC Yum! Center this season will be tested. Orange which won both meetings last year are ridding an 11-0 (6-5 ATS) road stretch vs the conference. But, Orange with it's third best scorer, James Southerland (13.6) ineligible will be hard pressed against the defensive minded Louisville team. Stick with Cardinals who despite back-2-back losses remain a profitable 7-1-1 ATS the past nine encounters, 6-0-1 ATS last seven hosting Syracuse.

Creighton at Witchita State

Creighton Blue Jays (17-1, 12-4 ATS) lead by player of the year candidate Doug McDermott (24.0) have dominated the Missouri Valley posting a perfect 6-0 (4-2 ATS) mark behind 81.5 PPG while surrendering 64.8 to conference rivals. Wichita State Shockers (16-2, 9-6 ATS) have opened their conference play at 5-1 (4-2 ATS) scoring 72.1 PPG while giving up 62.6 per/contest to conference foes. Wichita State is tough to topple on Charles Koch Arena hardwood as Shockers are 9-0 (4-2 ATS) on home court this season and own a sparkling 25-1 stretch the past twenty-six at home (12-8 ATS). Still, can't overlook Creighton, Blue Jays were the last team to defeat Shockers in their own back yard and enter Saturday's contest a profitable 7-2 ATS last nine visits to Wichita St.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday January, 19

Butler vs. Gonzaga
By David Schwab

All the major college basketball conferences feature some quality matchups this Saturday, but we want to turn our attention in this betting guide to the featured matchups in the Mid-Majors. The following is a brief betting guide for the top three showdowns including our featured game of the day between No. 8 Gonzaga and No. 13 Butler.

Saturday’s Showdown of the Day

No. 8 Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. No. 13 Butler Bulldogs

Gonzaga keeps rolling on with eight straight victories including a 71-49 romp over Portland on Thursday night as a 15½-point road favorite. The school is now 17-1 straight up on the year and after covering against the spread in three of its last five games it is 9-6-1 ATS. The Bulldogs are a perfect 5-0 SU on the road and 3-1-1 ATS. The total stayed UNDER the 134 1/2-point line in Thursday’s win but it had gone OVER in four of their previous five games.

The Bulldogs come into this West Coast Conference-Atlantic 10 showdown as the eighth-highest scoring team in the nation with an average of 80.3 points per game. They are shooting 51.4 percent from the field which is ranked third overall. Kelly Olynyk has led the way with 18.3 points and 6.8 rebounds a game but Elias Harris has also been a force with 14.6 points and 6.9 rebounds. Kevin Pangos is the third player scoring in double figures with 12.4 points and he leads the team in assists with 3.6 a game. Gonzaga has also been solid on defense; holding its opponents to an average of 63.5 points a game.

Butler is coming off a 62-47 rout of Richmond this past Wednesday as a nine-point favorite at home. This extended its current winning streak to 12 games SU and it has a 7-3 record ATS during this run in the 10 games with a posted line. Overall, the Bulldogs are now 15-2 SU and a profitable 10-5 ATS. They have gone a perfect 8-0 SU at home this season, but are just 3-3 ATS. The total has gone OVER in five of their last seven games.

These Bulldogs are averaging 72.5 PPG behind an extremely balanced offense that features five different players scoring in double figures. Rotnei Clarke leads this group with 16.3 points a game while shooting 41.7 percent from the floor and an impressive 44.4 percent from three-point range. The team as a whole is shooting 46 percent from the floor but just 35 percent from beyond the arc. Butler matches up very well with Gonzaga on defense; holding its opponents to 62.7 points a game.

Gonzaga is 3-1-1 ATS in its last five games following a SU win and 3-0-1 ATS in its last four road games against a team with a winning record at home. The total has stayed UNDER in five of their last seven games against the Atlantic 10.

Butler is 5-1 ATS in its last six games against a team with a winning record and 11-4-1 ATS in its last 16 games at home against a team with a winning road record. The total has gone OVER in seven of its last eight non-conference games.

These two met last season with Gonzaga cruising to a 71-55 victory as a 13-point home favorite. The only previous meeting was in 2006 with Butler coming out on top 79-71 as a five-point road underdog.

The Best of the Rest

No. 12 Creighton Bluejays vs. Wichita State Shockers

The Bluejays have risen to No. 12 in the nation on the shoulders of one of the best players in college basketball. Doug McDermott is the second-highest scoring player in the country with an average of 24 points a game while shooting an amazing 56.8 percent from the field and 50.7 percent from three-point range. Creighton has won its last 11 games to improve to 17-1 SU overall. It is a healthy 12-4 ATS this season and the total has gone OVER in four of its last six games.

Wichita State dropped from the top 25 after losing to Evansville 71-67 as a 3½-point road favorite on Jan. 13. It is still an impressive 16-2 SU overall and a perfect 9-0 SU at home. The Shockers have gone 9-6 ATS with the total going OVER in four of their last five games. Cleanthony Early leads the team in scoring with 15.5 points a game with Carl Hall chipping-in another 12.8 points and team-high 7.8 rebounds. Wichita State has won four of the last six meetings SU in this Missouri Valley Conference showdown with a slight 3-2-1 edge ATS.

No. 15 San Diego State Aztecs vs. Wyoming Cowboys

The Aztecs will look to bounce-back from Wednesday’s 82-75 loss to UNLV as 3½-point home favorites. This dropped them to 2-1 in Mountain West play and 14-3 SU overall. They are now 7-5 ATS with the total going OVER in their last three games. Jamaal Franklin leads the team across the board with 18.4 points, 10.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists a game. San Diego State is averaging 72.3 points a game and shooting 44.5 percent from the field.

Wyoming is off to a 1-2 start in conference play with losses to Boise State and Fresno State wrapped around an 11-point win over Nevada as a 1½-point road underdog. Overall, the Cowboys are 14-2 SU with a 9-1 SU record at home. They have gone a profitable 10-3 ATS and the total has stayed UNDER in their last four games. Wyoming has four different players scoring in double figures but it is averaging just 65.4 points a game. It is shooting 45 percent from the field and 34.1 percent from three-point range. The Cowboys have lost the last five meetings both SU and ATS with the total going OVER in four of those games.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday January, 19

Syracuse at Louisville
By Brian Edwards

With zero football on a Saturday for the first time since August, bettors have to concentrate on hoops and there’s a great card on tap in the college ranks. The highlight is a Big East showdown in Louisville where the top-ranked Cardinals will take on Syracuse.

Louisville (16-1 straight up, 10-7 against the spread) survived a stern test in Storrs on Monday night, recovering from a 34-28 halftime deficit to capture a 73-58 win as a 6½-point road favorite. The 131 combined barely stayed ‘under’ the 131 ½-point total.

Rick Pitino’s squad outscored the Huskies 45-24 in the second half thanks to lockdown defense that created fatigue for UConn’s explosive backcourt. Russ Smith scored a game-high 23 points, knocking down 10-of-20 shots from the field.
Peyton Siva overcame early foul trouble to have a second-half impact, finishing with 11 points, four assists and three steals. Chane Behanan produced 16 points, nine rebounds, five assists, two steals and one blocked shot.

Syracuse (16-1 SU, 9-4 ATS) has won six consecutive games but it has dropped back-to-back contests versus the number. The Orange failed to cover in last Saturday’s 72-61 win over Villanova as a 14-point home favorite.

C.J. Fair was the catalyst for the ‘Cuse, scoring a game-high 22 points while also blocking four shots. Jerami Grant came off the bench to contribute 13 points, five boards and two rejections.

Jim Boeheim’s squad has faced seven RPI Top 100 teams, winning six times with its only loss coming in an 83-79 loss to Temple at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Orange has wins over the likes of San Diego St., Arkansas, Princeton, Long Beach St. and Detroit in non-conference play.

Louisville suffered its only loss to Duke on Nov. 24 in the Bahamas. The Cards have won eight of nine games against RPI Tip 100 teams, including scalps of Missouri, Memphis and Kentucky.

The ‘under’ is 6-5 overall for the ‘Cuse, cashing in three of its last four games. Louisville has watched the ‘over’ go 6-5 overall despite seeing three straight games go ‘under’ the total.

Syracuse swept a pair of games against Louisville last season, but the Cardinals are 7-1 ATS in the last eight head-to-head meetings. The ‘under’ is 5-2-1 in the last eight encounters.

Tip-off is slated for 4:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets

Gamblers need to get their action in early for a pair of noon Eastern games. North Carolina will host Maryland on ESPN, while Pitt will take on UConn in the Steel City on ESPN2.

Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. were not messing around at all at The Barn on Thursday night. Hardaway was incredible all night, finishing with 21 points, five rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocked shots. He made 7-of-8 shots from the field, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc, as the Wolverines captured an 83-75 win at Minnesota as 2½-point underdogs. Burke had 18 points and nine assists while committing only one turnover.

Florida faces a quick turnaround when it welcomes Missouri to The O-Dome on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN. The Gators dealt out woodshed treatment to the other new SEC school Thursday in College Station, rolling to an easy 68-47 win at Texas A&M as 10-point road ‘chalk.’ Mike Rosario and Patric Young scored 19 and 18 points, respectively, in a game UF led 35-18 at intermission. Florida’s defense forced Elston Turner into a 1-for-10 shooting night less than a week after he dropped 40 points on Kentucky at Rupp Arena.

Missouri will probably be without stud forward Laurence Bowers, who is ‘doubtful’ due to a knee injury. Bowers averages 16.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Meanwhile, the Gators will be without junior forward Casey Prather (ankle).

There are two great mid-major tussles scheduled for Saturday. The first is Creighton at Wichita St. (4:00 p.m. on ESPN2) in a battle of Missouri Valley powers. Then at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN, Butler will collide with Gonzaga at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Bulldogs might be home underdogs, however, due to the absence of Rotnei Clarke. The Arkansas transfer, who averages 16.3 PPG, will not play after sustaining a concussion last week. Clarke should be back in the next 7-10 days, if not sooner.

Michigan St. beat Penn St. on Wednesday night just hours after Branden Dawson and Adreian Payne got into a fight at the team hotel. The incident prompted hotel employees to call the authorities, but no arrests were made. Tom Izzo didn’t allow Dawson and Payne to start, but both players played nonetheless. Izzo’s bunch will welcome Ohio St. to Breslin Center at 6:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday January, 19

Saturday's Top 25 NCAAB Betting Notes

Forget about the NFL, the big games are on the college basketball board this weekend. There are a number of huge Top 25 matchups Saturday and we have news and notes for all the action:

Missouri Tigers at Florida Gators (-13, 136)

For most of Billy Donovan’s first 16 seasons as the coach with No. 9 Florida, his teams have been strong offensive teams. This edition of the Gators is easily on pace to become the best defensive squad he’s had, something No. 16 Missouri may learn the hard way on Saturday when they meet for the first time ever. During his time in Gainesville, Donovan’s teams have surrendered an average of 66.8 points, but this team is ranked third in the nation in scoring defense at 51.7 points per game and coming off another fine effort in Thursday’s 68-47 victory at Texas A&M. The Tigers counter with the country’s best rebounding team, although the uncertain status of injured leading scorer Laurence Bowers looms large against the Gators’ front line. Missouri bounced back from a 15-point loss at Mississippi last Saturday with a 79-62 win over Georgia on Wednesday.

Kansas Jayhawks at Texas Longhorns (+8, 125)

With a potential marquee game on the horizon, Kansas will look to remain undefeated in Big 12 play when it visits struggling Texas on Saturday. The fourth-ranked Jayhawks enter as one of two teams without a loss in the conference. The other is No. 18 Kansas State, which hosts Kansas on Tuesday. After an overtime win against Iowa State to begin their Big 12 slate, the Jayhawks have barely been tested in victories over Texas Tech and Baylor. Freshman star Ben McLemore scored 17 points in the triumph over the Bears before exiting with a sprained right ankle. McLemore returned to practice Thursday and expects to play against the Longhorns. It has been a frustrating stretch for Texas, which lost back-to-back overtime affairs to begin Big 12 play and then lost by 20 at Iowa State last Saturday.

Arizona Wildcats at Arizona State Sun Devils (+6, 132)

An intense in-state rivalry will help take an early snapshot of the Pac-12 title race when Arizona State hosts seventh-ranked Arizona on Saturday afternoon. Both teams will look to avoid a costly second loss in what is shaping up to be a top-heavy league. The Wildcats are wrapping up a three-game road swing. They opened the stretch with their first loss - a 70-66 defeat at Oregon - but rebounded with an 80-70 win at Oregon State last Saturday. The Sun Devils also suffered their lone conference loss to the Ducks, losing 68-65 at Oregon on Sunday to snap a six-game win streak. Arizona has won 28 of the past 36 meetings in the series that dates to 1914, but Arizona State has claimed seven of the past 11, including an 87-80 home win in the most recent contest March 4.

Oklahoma Sooners at Kansas State Wildcats (-5, 124)

Oklahoma and No. 18 Kansas State are off to their best league starts in years but one will fall from the ranks of the Big 12 Conference's unbeaten on Saturday. The host Wildcats are 3-0 in Big 12 play for the second time since the league started in 1997 while the Sooners are 3-0 for the first time since an 11-0 start in 2009. Kansas State is undefeated at home and has won seven straight overall. The Sooners had five players score in double figures for the first time this year in Wednesday's 81-63 win against Texas Tech, Oklahoma's fifth straight.

Creighton Bluejays at Wichita State Shockers (-2.5, 141)

Doug McDermott and No. 10 Creighton travel to Wichita, Kan., for a matchup Saturday between the top two teams in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Bluejays are fresh off a 79-68 win over Northern Iowa on Tuesday. McDermott, the nation's second-leading scorer at 24 points per game, tallied 21 of his 31 points in the second half to turn a five-point halftime lead into a comfortable cushion. That performance came four nights after the returning consensus First Team All-American made 14 shots in a row, singlehandedly outscored Missouri State 28-24 in the second half and finished with 39 points and 10 rebounds in Creighton's 74-52 rout of the Bears. Wichita State hosts the Bluejays with only two blemishes: a 69-60 loss to Tennessee on Dec. 13 and a 71-67 defeat at the hands of Evansville on Sunday. The Shockers beat Illinois State 74-62 on Wednesday.

Syracuse Orange at Louisville Cardinals (-7, 135)

The Cardinals have breezed through their first four conference games and are coming off a 73-58 win at Connecticut on Monday, the same day they ascended to the top spot in the national polls for the third time in school history. The Orange have had a bit more trouble staying undefeated in league play, winning their past three games by 11 points or less, including a 72-61 home win over Villanova last Saturday. Louisville has won seven of the past nine meetings, but Syracuse claimed both contests last season.

Oregon Ducks at UCLA Bruins (-5, 144)

A season after struggling to put two teams into the NCAA Tournament, the Pac-12 appears to have a plethora of worthy candidates this season. Two of the conference’s best will jockey for early positioning atop the league standings on Saturday when No. 25 UCLA hosts Oregon. The Bruins have rolled off 10 consecutive wins and won their first five conference games for the first time since 2003-04 – coach Ben Howland's first season in Westwood – after defeating Oregon State 74-64 on Thursday. The 5-0 start has UCLA a half-game ahead of Washington and Oregon, the latter of which is on a six-game winning streak but nearly blew a late 10-point lead on the road in Thursday’s 76-74 triumph over USC. The Ducks’ 4-0 mark in league play is their best since the 1973-74 team began the Pac-8 season with the same record.

Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan State Spartans (Pick, 132)

No. 17 Michigan State has been on a role since dropping its Big Ten opener at Minnesota on Dec. 31. The Spartans will put their perfect January on the line Saturday, when they host No. 11 Ohio State. The Buckeyes have had six days off since hosting rival Michigan and knocking off the last unbeaten team in the country. Traditionally among the best defensive teams in the conference, Michigan State could have its hands full with Deshaun Thomas. Thomas leads the Big Ten in scoring at 20.3 points and has put up at least 20 in each of the last four contests. The Spartans got a big game from Adreian Payne following some team-imposed discipline on Wednesday and have gone over 80 points in each of their first two Big Ten home games. Michigan State is kicking off a stretch of four of five games against ranked teams with the Buckeyes.

VCU Rams at Duquesne Dukes (+12, 146)

Two nights after a hard-fought overtime win over St. Joseph's, 19th-ranked Virginia Commonwealth will shoot for its 13th consecutive victory when it travels to Duquesne on Saturday night at CONSOL Energy Center. It's a matchup of one of the preseason favorites to win the Atlantic 10 in VCU against a Duquesne squad picked to finish last in the 16-team league. The Rams outlasted St. Joseph's, 92-86, to remain undefeated in their first season of Atlantic 10 play. They haven't lost since dropping consecutive games to Duke and Missouri in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. The Dukes have dropped five straight, including their first three Atlantic 10 contests. They're coming off a 79-66 loss at Massachusetts on Thursday.

UNLV Runnin' Rebels at Colorado State Rams (-3.5, 139)

UNLV looks to snap another team’s long home winning streak when the 23rd-ranked Rebels visit Colorado State, which has won 23 straight home games at Moby Arena. UNLV ended San Diego State’s 10-game home winning streak with an 82-75 win on Wednesday, while Colorado State cruised to a 39-point win over Air Force. The Rams are ranked first nationally with a plus-14.1 rebound margin, but they’ll be tested by the physical Rebels. UNLV boasts one of the top freshmen in the country in forward Anthony Bennett, who leads the Rebels in scoring (19) and rebounds (8.9). The Rams have four players averaging at least 11.4 points, including top scorer Colton Iverson (14.9).

Marquette Golden Eagles at Cincinnati Bearcats (-7, 128)

Cincinnati will try to end a three-game home-losing streak Saturday night when the No. 24 Bearcats host Marquette in a Big East game. Cincinnati might be without one of its best players, senior point guard Cashmere Wright, who sprained his left knee early in the second half of Tuesday’s victory at DePaul and did not return. Wright did not suffer structural damage, the team reported, but is considered day-to-day in his recovery. Wright is second on the team in scoring (15.1) and leads in assists (3.7) and steals (1.9). He scored 20 points before the injury against DePaul and 23 last Saturday in a victory at Rutgers. Marquette has won six in a row, including two in overtime and the others by single digits. A win against the Bearcats would go a long way toward getting the Golden Eagles into the USA Today top 25 coaches poll.

San Diego State Aztecs at Wyoming Cowboys (-1.5, 118)

San Diego State visits Wyoming on Saturday looking to rebound from an 82-75 loss to No. 23 UNLV on Wednesday. Jamaal Franklin scored a game-high 27 points and grabbed seven rebounds, but the No. 14 Aztecs allowed the Rebels to shoot 51.6 percent and were outrebounded 41-28 in the loss. Wyoming lost to Fresno State 49-36 on Wednesday, shooting 24 percent from the field. The Cowboys lost two of their first three Mountain West games and are 2-2 since leading scorer Luke Martinez broke his right hand during a bar fight on Dec. 30. Martinez was also arrested for aggravated assault and suspended indefinitely over the weekend.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-12.5, 138)

Offensive efficiency was one of several reasons No. 20 Notre Dame was able to match its longest winning streak in coach Mike Brey’s tenure. On Saturday, the Fighting Irish hope to avoid their longest losing streak in almost three years when they host Rutgers. Notre Dame shot 53.3 percent and averaged 78.3 points during a 12-game run that ended with last Saturday’s 65-58 loss to Connecticut. The Irish fell under both marks for the second straight game in Tuesday’s 67-63 setback at St. John’s. Notre Dame hasn’t lost three in a row since Feb. 11-17, 2010, but will try to reassert its home dominance against the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers is off to its best start since beginning the 2005-06 season with a 12-4 record after Thursday’s 70-67 victory over South Florida.

Gonzaga Bulldogs at Butler Bulldogs (+2, 138)

Butler will be shorthanded when it hosts No. 8 Gonzaga in a non-conference game Saturday. The No. 13 Bulldogs will be without leading scorer Rotnei Clarke, who suffered a neck injury in last Saturday's victory at Dayton when he crashed headfirst into a support post under the basket. Clarke, a senior point guard who transferred from Arkansas, averages 16.3 points while shooting 44.4 percent from 3-point range. Alex Barlow is expected to start in his place for the second consecutive game, but the Bulldogs will need a team effort to fill his shoes in the scoring column. Gonzaga’s only loss this season came against Illinois, which also handed Butler one of its two defeats. Butler still has the size to match up with the Bulldogs. Andrew Smith, a 6-11 senior center who averages 12 points and 5.2 rebounds, will likely be locked up against Gonzaga’s leading scorer, 7-1 junior Kelly Olynyk.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday January, 19

College Basketball Point Spreads and Betting Line
By: The Linemakers

Eighteen of the nation’s Top 25 teams are in action Saturday, highlighted by top-ranked Louisville hosting No. 6 Syracuse. Both teams are 16-1.

Before we get to that, let’s talk about the covering machine that is Auburn.

Readers will recall we touted the Tigers on Wednesday at Arkansas. They were getting a whopping 12 points and took the Razorbacks to double overtime, falling 88-80.

The loss was the best thing that could have happened to Auburn backers. It keeps the Tigers an unimpressive 8-8 overall despite the fact they’ve covered six straight lined games.

Now the Tigers host Kentucky at sold-out Auburn Arena (9,121).

The inconsistent Wildcats, who shot 49 percent in beating Tennessee on Tuesday, have beaten Auburn 13 straight times. But the Tigers have covered the last four meetings. And Kentucky has failed to cover its last three games.

Auburn second-leading scorer Chris Denson (stress fracture) could return against Kentucky. That would be a boon for leading scorer Frankie Sullivan, who played a ridiculous 48 minutes on Wednesday, and fellow guard Josh Wallace, who played 47.

For Auburn to keep its cover streak alive, senior center Rob Chubb (12 points, 11 rebounds, 5 turnovers vs. Arkansas) must hold his own against Wildcats freshman Nerlens Noel, who averages 10.9 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.9 blocks.

Kentucky (11-5 SU, 5-8 ATS) at Auburn (8-8 SU, 8-6 ATS), 9 p.m. ET, ESPNU

Kentucky -8.5, Total: 139


Kentucky is 0-6 ATS in its last six SEC games.

Auburn is 33-14-4 ATS in its last 51 Saturday games.

Auburn is 16-5 ATS in its last 21 games vs. winning teams.

Over is 4-1 in Kentucky’s last five games.

Over is 6-1 in Auburn’s last seven games.

Under is 5-0 in the last five meetings.

Auburn is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings.

No. 6 Syracuse (16-1 SU, 9-4 ATS) at No. 1 Louisville (16-1 SU, 10-7 ATS), 4 p.m. ET, ESPN

Louisville -7, Total: 133.5

The Orange won’t have third-leading scorer James Southerland (13.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg), who’ll miss his second straight due to academics. But they have three double-digit scorers in Brandon Triche (14.1), C.J. Fair (13.8) and Michael Carter-Williams (11.9), are holding opponents to 35.4 percent shooting and won both meetings with Louisville last season. The Cardinals have won each of their four Big East games by at least 15 points, and are ranked No. 1 in the coaches poll for the second time since 1991. They rank second nationally in turnover margin (+7.5), third in steals (11.4).


Syracuse is 3-8 ATS in its last 11 Big East games.

Syracuse is 11-5 ATS in its last 16 road games.

Louisville is 7-1 ATS in its last eight Big East games.

Louisville is 4-0 in its last four home games against teams with winning road records.

Under is 10-2 in Louisville’s last 12 Big East games.

Home team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings.

Louisville is 7-1-1 in the last nine meetings.

The Linemakers' take: Two teams that are each 16-1. The Orange lost at home to Temple, and their only marquee win was vs San Diego State in the wind-blown aircraft carrier game to start the season. They will be without their best 3-point shooter James Southerland in this game as he is suspended indefinitely. That could prove to be too much to overcome against a Louisville team that is back to full strength now. Louisville has looked like the best team in the country at times, and this appears to be a bad spot for the Orange. Louisville -7

No. 11 Ohio State (13-3 SU, 9-5 ATS) at No. 18 Michigan State (15-3 SU, 5-10 ATS), 6 p.m. ET, ESPN

Michigan State -2 Total: 130

Ohio State’s Deshaun Thomas leads the Big Ten in scoring (20.3), and point guard Aaron Craft just held Trey Burke to 4-of-13 shooting as the Buckeyes handed rival Michigan its first loss. Craft has 199 career steals. As usual, the Spartans are showing steady improvement under Tom Izzo. They’ve won four straight and 10 of 11. Their size will bother Ohio State: Adreian Payne (7.2) and Derrick Nix (7.1) form the conference’s best rebounding tandem. The Spartans took two of three meetings last season, the loss coming 72-70 in East Lansing.


Ohio State is 6-2 ATS in its last eight Big Ten games.

Michigan State is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 home games.

Michigan State is 2-6 ATS in its last eight games overall.

Under is 4-1 in Ohio State’s last five games.

Over is 4-1 in Michigan State’s last five Big Ten games.

Underdog is 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings.

Road team is 16-5 ATS in the last 21 meetings.

Missouri (13-3) at Florida (13-2) - 2 p.m. ET. TV: ESPN

Florida -13, Total: 134.5

Missouri comes in at 13-3. They lost at UCLA and at Mississippi in their only two true road tests. Florida is 14-2 and its has been very impressive against a fairly tough schedule so far. The backcourt battle should be fun to watch here as they are two of the best. However, Mizzou is at a decided disadvantage without F Lawrence Bowers on the front line. Bowers is averaging 16.8-6.9 and is expected to miss his third straight game with a sprained MCL. Advantage to the Gators -13.

Creighton (17-1) at Wichita St (16-2) - 4 p.m. ET. TV: ESPN2

Wichita State -2.5, Total: 138.5

These are the top two teams in a very good Missouri Valley Conference. Doug McDermott (24 ppg) leads the Bluejays, and he is a national player of the year candidate. They have been very impressive on the road, but this is a tough place to play. The young Shockers are undefeated at home and they have wins over VCU and Iowa. Big test for Wichita St. team that shoots the 3 very well. We are looking for this one to go right to the wire.

Wisconsin (13-4) at Iowa (12-5) - 8 p.m. ET. TV: BTN

Wisconsin -1, Total: 127.5

The Badgers have won seven in a row coming into this game. The last two were very impressive. They blew out Illinois at home and then went into Indiana as a double digit dog and won the game 64-59. That was a very emotional victory, and following it up with a another tough road game could be a problem. The Hawkeyes got their best player Devyn Marble back in the last game and they are very tough on this floor. Sometimes timing is everything. We like the Hawkeyes to come away with the win here.

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