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College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, February 9

College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, February 9

College Knowledge

-- Michigan's 59-41 win over Wisconsin LY ended Badgers' 10-game win streak over Wolverines, who are 3-2 on Big Dozen road, losing at Ohio State/Indiana- their road wins are all by 8+ points. Michigan lost its last seven visits here, by 11-26-13-3-5-6-16 points. Wisconsin won three of last four games- its last four wins are all by 6 or less points. Big Dozen home underdogs of 5 or less points are 3-6 vs spread.
-- Ole Miss lost two of last three games (Kentucky/Florida) after 17-2 start; they're 3-1 on SEC road, winning at Tennessee/Vandy/Auburn and losing by 14 at Florida. Missouri is 5-0 at home in SEC, woth four wins by 14+ points (they're 0-4 on road in SEC). SEC home favorites of 9 or less points are 7-16 vs spread. Ole Miss is 3-0 vs spread as an underdog this season- their last three games went over the total.
-- Miami (+4) won 68-59 at North Carolina Jan 10, making 59.4% inside arc, outscoring UNC 20-9 over last 10:00; 'canes are 4-0 at home in ACC with three wins by 22+ points. Teams split last four series games; UNC won last five visits here, by 10-16-4-3-9 points. ACC home favorites of 6+ points are 17-8 vs spread. Tar Heels won six of last seven games, are 2-2 on ACC road- their ACC losses are by 9-9-8 points.
-- Butler lost its last two road games, at LaSalle/Saint Louis, only losses for Bulldogs in last 18 games. Butler scored 53-58 points in conference losses, 62+ in its wins. George Washington won four of last five games, but they lost two of last three at home; they're turning ball over 23.4% of time. GS is 1-5 vs top 100 teams, losing by 17-3-15-9-2 points. A-16 home underdogs of 5 or less points are 4-6 against the spread.

-- Southern Miss beat Memphis 75-72 here LY, ending a 17-game series skid; Eagles got upset at UCF last game, losing first league game- they're 3-0 at home in C-USA, 1-4 vs top 100 teams, scoring 58.4 ppg (win vs #53 Denver by 11). C-USA home favorites of 5 or less points are 8-5 vs spread. Memphis forces turnovers 23% of time; they've won 13 games in row, winning C-USA road games by 16-26-7-8 points.
-- Kansas lost last two games, with TCU loss a red flag; Jayhawks held Oklahoma to 35.6% from floor in 67-54 (-12.5) home win Jan 26- they never led by more than 15. Big X home underdogs are 5-5 vs spread, 0-2 if getting 5 or less points. Seven of last eight Kansas games stayed under total. Sooners lost four of last six games, are 3-1 at home in Big X, losing by hoop to K-State. Kansas foes shoot just 38% inside the arc.
-- Kansas State (+4) lost 73-67 at Iowa State despite making 58% of its 2-point shots; Cyclones were 11-22 from arc- both teams shot less than 50% from foul line. Wildcats are 3-1 at home in league, winning by 6-9-26 points, losing by 4 to Kansas. ISU is 1-3 on Big X road, with losses all by 5 or less points, or in OT. Big X home favorites of 6 or less points are 6-4 vs spread. Last four Cyclone games went over the total.
-- Cincinnati won five of last seven games, are 4-2 on Big East road, with losses at Syracuse (by 2), Providence (by 4). Bearcats (+6) won 70-61 at Pitt Dec 31 after trailing by 8 at half; Panthers were 0-10 from arc, 15-25 on line. Pitt won six of last seven games, with only loss at Louisville by 3; they've won three of their last four road games. Big East home teams are 4-18 against the spread if number is 5 or less points.
-- Louisville-Notre Dame split three of last six meetings, as three of last seven series games went OT; home team won seven of last eight series games- Cardinals lost last three visits here, by 16-33-10 points. Notre Dame is 3-2 at home in league, with wins by 19-5-3 points. Louisville is 3-2 on Big East road, with three wins by 15+. Big East home underdogs of 6 or less points are 4-9 against the spread.

-- VCU won 15 of last 17 games; they're 3-1 on A-16 road, with wins by 7-27-6 points and loss at Richmond when they led by 7 with 0:39 left. Rams force turnovers 29.3% of time, #1 in country. Charlotte split pair of 1-point decisions since tossing leading scorer off team; they're 4-0 at home in conference. A-16 home dogs are 8-9 vs spread, 4-3 if getting 7+ points. 49ers turned ball over 25%+ of time in four of last five games.
-- Michigan State is banged up; star G Appling's shoulder popped out at end of Minnesota game Tuesday- caution advised. Spartans pulled away for 84-61 (-11) win over Purdue Jan 5, making 8-15 from arc. Big Dozen home underdogs of 7 or less points are 4-8 vs spread. State is 3-2 away from home in league, winning by 3-2-9 points, losing at Minnesota by 13, Indiana by 5. Boilermakers lost three of their last five games.
-- Arizona State won four of last five games; they're 5-1 in Pac-12 home tilts, with three wins by 5 or less points. ASU lost its last five games vs Stanford, losing four of last six played here. Cardinal is 1-4 in conference road games, with losses by 2-8-21-7 points. Pac-12 underdogs are 11-5 vs spread in games where spread is 3 or less points. Four of ASU's last five games were decided by five or less points.
-- UNLV has no PG, little chemistry, but they're 3-0 at home in MWC, winning by 5-12-12 points; Rebels were outscored 15-4 on line, made 8 of 23 behind arc in 65-60 (+3.5) loss at Pit Jan 9, their third series loss in row. New Mexico lost last seven regular season games here, by 11-4-19-2-10-1-17 points. Lobos are 7-1 in league, but lost 55-34 at San Dego in only loss. MWC home favorites of 7 or less points are 6-4 vs spread.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, February 9

College Basketball: Streaks, Tips, Notes 

North Carolina at Miami-Florida

Miami-Florida Hurricanes (18-3, 14-4 ATS) undefeated in conference play thus far (9-0, 7-2 ATS) and undefeated on home court (10-0, 8-0 ATS) will be going for the regular season sweep against North Carolina Tar Heels (16-6, 11-8 ATS) on Saturday. Hurricanes upsetting Tar Heels 68-59 in Chapel Hill as 4 point road underdogs back on January 10 will need to be at their lock-down defensive best (58.9) as Tar Heels blowing out Wake Forest 87-62 on Tuesday night have regained their stride winning three straight while average 80.3 points/game. UNC has the tools to become the first team to hand Hurricanes a conference loss as Tar Heels are 13-3 (9-7 ATS) last sixteen encounters including 5-1 (4-2 ATS) running the hardwood in Hurricanes back yard.

Mississippi St at Florida

The Florida Gators (18-3, 12-6 ATS) air-tight defense coming up short in a loss at Arkansas allowing a whopping 80 points on 49.1% shooting had it's ten game win streak halted on Tuesday. Gators allowing just over 50 points/game on the season won't have much trouble getting back into lock-down defensive mode when they host offensively challenged Mississippi State this weekend. The Bulldogs have manage only 61.6 points/contest on the year hitting only 40.9% of their shots. Gators destroying Bulldogs 82-47 as 20.5 point road favorites earlier this season have a repeat performance on home court. Keep in mind, Billy Donovan's troops are not all defense. The Gators lead by Kenny Boyton (13.2) Erik Murphy (12.7) net 73.8 points/game and have outscored their nine conference opponents by an average of 22.3 points/game in posting an 8-1 (7-2 ATS) mark. Expect Gators to improve to 11-0 (6-2 ATS) at home while the Bulldogs fall to 2-11 (3-10 ATS) in true road games, 7-14 (5-15-1 ATS) vs the conference.

New Mexico at UNLV

UNLV Rebels ran out of gas on the road last two falling 77-72 at Boise State and 64-55 at Fresno last time out. Rebels 17-5 on the campaign but just 8-13 at the betting window try to right the ship when they host New Mexico Lobos (20-3, 12-8-2 ATS). Rebels netting 74.6 points/game while giving up 64.0 per/contest are ridding an 11-0 stretch at home 5-5 ATS mark in lined games. Lobos scoring 68.0 per game allowing 61.1 to the opposition head into the contest a solid 5-2 SU/ATS in true road games. UNLV is tough on home court but the conference slate has not been kind to it's backers as Rebels have posted a 2-6 ATS record including 1-2 ATS at the Thomas & Mack Center. New Mexico looking to put some distance between themselves and Rebels in the Mountain West are worth a second look. Lobos winning the earlier matchup have won/covered back-2-back games vs Rebels and are 4-2 ATS L6 visits to Las Vegas. Lobos 7-1 (5-1-2 ATS) vs the Mountain West this season, 20-6-1 ATS in their last 27 vs. the conference adds fuel they'll take care of business.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, February 9

Saturday's Showdowns
By David Schwab

With less than a month to go in this year's men's college basketball regular season, the top teams in the nation's thoughts are quickly turning towards positioning themselves for a long run in the postseason this March. This Saturday's slate offers a number of key matchups that will have an impact on this starting with No. 3 Michigan vs. Wisconsin. The following is a brief handicapping guide for this Big Ten clash along with one for a couple other conference showdowns this Saturday.

Game of the Day

No. 3 Michigan Wolverines vs. Wisconsin Badgers

Michigan rallied from an tough 81-73 loss to No. 1 Indiana last Saturday as a 5½-point underdog on the road with a crucial 76-74 overtime victory over No. 10 Ohio State as a seven-point home favorite this past Tuesday. The win over the Buckeyes raised its overall record to 21-2 straight-up to keep its hopes of locking-up one of four No. 1 seeds for this year's NCAA Tournament very much alive. The Wolverines are 3-2-1 against the spread in their last six games and 12-8-1 ATS overall. The total went OVER in both of these games after staying UNDER in their previous three.

Behind Trey Burke (18.1 points) and Tim Hardaway Jr.(16.1 points) Michigan is averaging 77.7 points a game while shooting an impressive 50.3 percent from the field, which just so happens to be the fifth-best percentage in Division I. The Wolverines are holding opponents to 60.2 points while pulling down an average of 36.2 rebounds a game.

The Badgers have gone just 3-3 SU and 1-5 ATS ever since upsetting Indiana 64-59 as 10 ½-point road underdogs on January 15. Overall, they are 16-7 SU and 12-2 SU at home, but costly to wager on with a 7-14 record ATS. The total has stayed UNDER in seven of their last 10 games. Heading into this matchup, Wisconsin is coming off back-to-back victories over Illinois and Iowa to improve to 7-3 in conference play. A win on Saturday would go a long way towards keeping the Badgers right in the thick of the Big Ten regular season title race despite the recent slide.

If they are going to have any shot at pulling off the upset as likely home underdogs, it will be behind a defense that is holding opponents to 56.1 points a game and 40 percent shooting from the floor. This is because offensively, the Badgers are averaging 67.5 points a game while shooting 42.7 percent from the field which is a far cry from Michigan's numbers in these categories. Wisconsin has a trio of players scoring in double figures led by Jared Berggren's 11.8 points a game.

The underdog in this matchup is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meeting and the total has stayed UNDER in the last six games. Wisconsin is 9-1 SU in the last 10 meetings but the series is tied 5-5 ATS.

The Best of the Rest

No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks vs. Oklahoma Sooners

Kansas was on cruise control in the Big 12 with seven-straight conference wins before a disastrous pair of losses not only derailed its run to the No.1 ranking in the nation but possibly a shot at a No.1 seed in the Big Dance. First, the Jayhawks lost to Oklahoma State 85-80 last Saturday as 9½-point home favorites. Next, they were humiliated in a 62-55 loss to lowly TCU this past Thursday night as prohibitive 17-point road favorites. Overall Kansas is 19-3 SU but 9-12 ATS after going 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games. The total has stayed UNDER in seven of its last eight games.

The Sooners come into this conference clash looking to avenge an earlier 67-54 loss to Kansas as 12 ½-point road underdogs. Unfortunately they have had some issues of their own with three SU losses in their last four games. Oklahoma is now 14-7 SU on the year and 10-7 ATS. It is 5-4 SU in conference play and 7-2 SU at home this season. The total has gone OVER in five of its last seven games. Romero Osby is a player to watch for the Sooners. He leads the team in scoring with 13.8 points game while hitting 49.2 percent of his shots from the floor. He is also averaging a team-high 6.5 rebounds a game.

No. 11 Louisville Cardinals vs. No. 25 Notre Dame Fighting Irish

The former No. 1-ranked Cardinals are back on the winning trail. They followed up three-straight losses that sent them tumbling in the national polls with SU victories over Pittsburgh, Marquette and Rutgers to remain just one game in back of Syracuse and the Golden Eagles for first place in the Big East. They are 19-4 SU overall and 7-3 SU in conference play. Louisville has covered in its last two games after going 0-4 ATS in its previous four outings. The total has stayed UNDER in seven of its last nine games.

It has been a bumpy ride in and out of the top 25 this season for Notre Dame. It will probably fall back out of the rankings after suffering a 63-47 thrashing at the hands of Syracuse this past Monday as an 8½-point road underdog. The Irish return home for this game where they have gone 13-3 SU but just 5-8 ATS. Overall, they are 18-5 SU and an even 10-10 ATS. The total has stayed UNDER in seven of its last nine games. Notre Dame remains one of the better shooting teams in the nation; hitting 48.7 percent of its shots from the field.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, February 9

Saturday's Top 25 NCAAB Betting Notes

Top 25 teams seem to have a target on them in recent weeks. Which ranked program will be the next to fall? We preview all the action involving Top 25 teams on Saturday's slate.

Georgetown Hoyas at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (+4)

Defense has helped guide Georgetown to a four-game winning streak and a return appearance in the Top 25 and the Hoyas will try to keep it going Saturday afternoon when it visits Rutgers. Georgetown allows the second-fewest points in the Big East (55.3) and the second-lowest shooting percentage (37.5). Since a three-point loss at South Florida on Jan. 19, the Hoyas have allowed 51.5 points while knocking off Notre Dame, Louisville, Seton Hall and St. John's. Rutgers is on the opposite end of the spectrum from Georgetown.

The Scarlet Knights have dropped five straight since beating South Florida on Jan. 17.  They have the league's third-worst offense (66.9 points), the second-worst defense (66.9) and have averaged 56.4 points in losses to Notre Dame, St. John's, Connecticut, Cincinnati and Louisville.

Michigan Wolverines at Wisconsin Badgers (+2)

Primarily regarded as an efficient and explosive offensive team, No. 3 Michigan turned to its defense late to pull out an important conference win Wednesday. The Wolverines likely need to follow a similar script on Saturday when they visit Wisconsin. Michigan is tied for second in the Big Ten standings with Michigan State and in the midst of a four-game stretch where it will play each of the other top-five teams in the conference.

Michigan, the second-highest scoring team in the conference, rebounded from last Saturday’s loss at Indiana with a thrilling overtime home victory over Ohio State on Wednesday. The Wolverines have won five of six, but will be forced to take on the Big Ten’s stingiest defense in the Badgers. Wisconsin needed two overtimes Wednesday to down Iowa at home. The Badgers are starting a stretch where they face three consecutive ranked opponents.

Mississippi Rebels at Missouri Tigers (-6)

Mississippi tries for a season sweep of Missouri when the No. 23 Rebels visit the No. 20 Tigers on Saturday. Mississippi led the entire game when it beat then-No. 12 Missouri 64-49 on Jan. 12 in Oxford in the teams' first-ever meeting.

Missouri played without leading scorer Laurence Bowers, who was sidelined with a sprained MCL in his right knee. He is back now for the Tigers. Mizzou is coming off a 70-68 loss at Texas A&M but is 13-0 at home.  The Rebels, who are 5-2 on the road, are coming off a 93-75 victory at home against Mississippi State on Wednesday.

Oklahoma State Cowboys at Texas Longhorns (+3.5)

Texas attempts to stretch its homecourt win streak over No. 24 Oklahoma State to nine when it hosts the Cowboys on Saturday. The Longhorns are 9-2 at home but are struggling overall with seven defeats in nine games since the start of Big 12 play. Oklahoma State has won four consecutive games. The Cowboys pulled out a dramatic 69-67 victory over Baylor on Wednesday when junior guard Markel Brown scored on a layup with two-tenths of a second remaining in overtime.

Oklahoma State notched a road win at Kansas prior to the squeaker against Baylor. Texas lost 60-58 to West Virginia on Monday. The defeat dropped the Longhorns to 1-7 in games that were decided by six or fewer points or went into overtime. “We are close but it’s the mental things – a couple possessions here and there – that we need to get,” coach Rick Barnes said afterwards.

Butler Bulldogs at George Washington Colonials (+4)

No. 14 Butler may be the only ranked team in its conference, but there is no shortage of conference foes vying for the regular-season crown. The Bulldogs will attempt to bring a bit more clarity to the Atlantic-10 picture on Saturday when it travels to George Washington for the first time in school history. Butler is locked into a three-way tie atop the conference standings at 6-2, but five more teams trail Butler, VCU and St. Louis by one game.

The Colonials are one of those teams and have won four of five following Wednesday’s victory over cellar-dweller Duquesne. The Bulldogs have won two in a row after defeating St. Bonaventure on Wednesday, but have dropped two straight away from home after going 4-1 in true road games prior to conference play. It’s an otherwise small blemish for a Butler team that has won 16 of 18 overall.

North Carolina Tar Heels at Miami Hurricanes (-7.5)

No. 11 Miami puts its unbeaten home record and perfect ACC mark on the line against North Carolina, a team the Hurricanes earlier defeated on Jan. 10 in Chapel Hill, 68-59. That game featured 11 lead changes and seven ties before the Hurricanes used a late 8-0 spurt to pull away. Miami is 10-0 at the BankUnited Center this year and owns a seven-game home ACC winning streak dating back to last season including a 90-63 blowout of then-No. 1 Duke on Jan. 23.

North Carolina has won six of its last seven games since losing to the Hurricanes including the last three in a row. The Tar Heels come in off a 87-62 victory over visiting Wake Forest on Tuesday, the third time in the last four games North Carolina topped the 80-point mark after not scoring 80 or more in the previous five ACC contests.  Despite losing to Miami at home in the first meeting last month, the Tar Heels still own a 18-3 series lead over the Hurricanes.

Kansas Jayhawks at Oklahoma Sooners (+4)

Fifth-ranked Kansas figures to have plenty of motivation when it looks for its 11th straight victory over host Oklahoma on Saturday. The Jayhawks were embarrassed by lowly Texas Christian on Wednesday in an effort that peeved coach Bill Self. “It was the worst team that Kansas ever put on the floor, since Dr. Naismith was there,” Self said. “I think he had some bad teams when he lost to Topeka YMCA in the first couple years.” Both the Jayhawks and Sooners are attempting to end two-game losing streaks.

Oklahoma is well aware that its NCAA tournament hopes will receive a huge boost by knocking off Kansas. “Saturday’s game has to mean more to us than it means to Kansas,” senior forward Romero Osby said. “They’ve already made the NCAA tournament. We’re trying to get there.” The Jayhawks defeated the Sooners 67-54 on Jan. 26. The two-game skid is Kansas’ first since the 2005-06 campaign. The Jayhawks scored just 13 first-half points in the 62-55 loss to TCU. Kansas started the game by making just one of its first 17 shots.

Mississippi State Bulldogs at Florida Gators (-28)

Florida was rolling along until a trip to Arkansas on Tuesday, when it allowed 13 more points than in any other game. The second-ranked Gators must rebound from a defeat for the first time since before Christmas as they host struggling Mississippi State on Saturday. Florida had won 10 straight games before the 80-69 loss to the Razorbacks with an efficient offense and stifling defense.

The Gators, one game up on Mississippi and Kentucky in the SEC, should be focused to avoid a letdown against the Bulldogs who they beat 82-47 on Jan. 26. Mississippi State has dropped seven straight in SEC play for the first time since 2006 after winning its first two conference games. The Bulldogs, hampered by injuries all season, have allowed the most points in conference games and struggle mightily putting the ball in the basket at times.

Iowa State Cyclones at Kansas State Wildcats (-5)

No. 15 Kansas State tries to keep pace with Kansas atop the Big 12 when the Wildcats host Iowa State on Saturday. Kansas State has won three straight, including two in a row on the road, while the Cyclones have won three of four to move into a third-place tie in the conference.

Iowa State has won three straight meetings with Kansas State for the first time since 2000-01, when the Cyclones won four in a row. Iowa State is 2-1 in its last three visits to Manhattan, Kan., and defeated Kansas State 73-67 in Ames, Iowa on Jan. 26. The Wildcats are 10-1 at home.

Fresno State Bulldogs at San Diego State Aztecs (-15)

San Diego State's bid to stay in the Mountain West Conference race got a big boost with a dramatic victory Wednesday night. The Aztecs will look to keep the heat on the league front-runners when they host Fresno State on Saturday. After blowing a 17-point lead, San Diego State got a Chase Tapley 3-pointer with 2.8 seconds left to steal a 63-62 win over Boise State. It left the 25th-ranked Aztecs two games behind No. 16 New Mexico with eight games to play.

The Bulldogs snapped a four-game losing streak with a 64-55 victory over UNLV on Wednesday. It was the 10th time that Fresno State has held an opponent under 60 points. Coach Rodney Terry's team had a slightly different look to it. Freshman 7-footer Robert Upshaw sat out the first game of a three-game suspension, but Kansas transfer Braeden Anderson made his collegiate debut after being forced to sit out the first 20 games of the season. Anderson had two rebounds in 12 minutes, but figures to see more action.

Pittsburgh Panthers at Cincinnati Bearcats (Pick)

Pittsburgh had just snuck into the back of the top 25 before opening their Big East slate with a home loss to Cincinnati. Now back at No. 25, the Panthers will be looking for some revenge when they visit the 17th-ranked Bearcats on Saturday. Pittsburgh went on to drop three of its first four conference games but has picked things up with wins in six of the last seven.

Cincinnati is coming off a loss at Providence. The Bearcats rely heavily on Sean Kilpatrick to create offense but the junior guard has struggled with his shot over the last four games, which include two losses. Kilpatrick did most of his damage at the free throw line in the win over the Panthers on Dec. 31 but has settled for 3-point shots more recently instead of attacking the basket. Pittsburgh spreads out its offense more and slows the pace, preferring to work the ball inside before looking for the 3-pointer.

Michigan State Spartans at Purdue Boilermakers (+2.5)

Purdue has been able to hover around .500 in the Big Ten by picking at the bottom of the conference. A date with visiting Michigan State on Saturday will give the Boilermakers another crack at the top tier in the league. The eighth-ranked Spartans dominated Purdue in the first meeting on Jan. 5 and have won eight of their last nine.

The Boilermakers snapped out of a two-game funk with a win at Penn State on Tuesday. Michigan State avenged one of its two Big Ten setbacks with a win over Minnesota on Wednesday and will have to be careful not to overlook Purdue with a date against No. 3 Michigan coming up early next week. The Spartans have been dealing with  several injuries lately but expect to have everyone back for Saturday. That can only be bad news for the Boilermakers, who have lost their last two games against top 10 teams by an average of 26 points.

Missouri State Bears at Wichita State Shockers (-17)

No. 22 Wichita State looks to snap a three-game slide when the Shockers host Missouri State on Saturday night. Wichita State has averaged 56.3 points per game in that span, losing to Indiana State, Northern Iowa and Southern Illinois. The Shockers blew a 17-point first-half lead in its 64-62 loss to the Salukis on Tuesday night and committed a 35-second violation with the game tied and 11 seconds left.

Wichita State defeated Missouri State 62-52 on Jan. 23. The Bears have lost six of their last eight games, most recently losing to Northern Iowa 48-37 on Tuesday. The 37 points marked a season-low and a program-low in Mississippi Valley Conference play. The Bears are 6-20 all-time at Wichita, though two of their last three losses came by one-point margins.

Utah Utes at Oregon Ducks (-13)

Dominic Artis can’t return soon enough for Oregon, which has lost three straight entering Saturday’s matchup against Utah. The Ducks are 1-3 since the freshman point guard suffered a knee injury two weeks ago, and there’s no timetable for his return. Oregon, which was unbeaten in league play at the time of Artis’ injury, had its 20-game home winning streak snapped by Colorado on Thursday.

Utah’s pattern of surprising wins and perplexing losses continued Wednesday when the Utes were blown out by Oregon State, 82-64. The loss came four days after the Utes defeated Colorado for their first home win in league play. Freshman point guard Brandon Taylor scored a career-high 21 points and had six assists against the Beavers, and he’s provided a much-needed spark since being inserted into the starting lineup last week.

Loyola Marymount Lions at Gonzaga Bulldogs (-24.5)

Gonzaga’s Kelly Olynyk is putting together league player of the year numbers. The 7-1 junior center has scored in double figures in every game since Nov. 23 and shoots 64.3 percent from the field as the sixth-ranked Bulldogs prepare for a visit from struggling Loyola Marymount on Saturday night. Olynyk has been a big part of one of the nation’s top offenses, which has helped Gonzaga to its highest ranking since December of 2008.

The Bulldogs, unbeaten in the West Coast Conference, have won five consecutive games since the loss at No. 14 Butler. Loyola Marymount has lost seven straight games and eight of 10 overall on the road. The Bulldogs will have to contain junior guard Anthony Ireland, who is second in the WCC in scoring. The Lions did recently lose in overtime to San Diego, which only lost by two points to Gonzaga.

Louisville Cardinals at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (+4)

After losing three straight games No. 12 Louisville is back on track and carries a three-game winning streak into its Big East showdown at Notre Dame paced by player of the year candidate Russ Smith. The Cardinals, however, have never won at Notre Dame since joining the Big East. The Cardinals are in third in the Big East standings, a half-game behind Syracuse and Marquette.

Notre Dame had its own three-game winning streak snapped last time out falling at sixth-ranked Syracuse. Fighting Irish coach Mike Brey announced n Thursday that his team will remain in the Big East Conference for one more year before leaving for the ACC so you can expect more tight games in this series. Six of the last eight games between these two teams have gone to overtime.

New Mexico Lobos at UNLV Runnin' Rebels (-4)

The Mountain West Conference has seen its share of upsets in recent weeks, but New Mexico has won seven of its last eight games to emerge as the clear front-runner. The Lobos look to maintain their lead Saturday when they visit UNLV, which has lost three of its last four, including a stunning 64-55 loss to last-place Fresno State on Wednesday.

With the first half of Mountain West play complete, New Mexico holds a one-game edge over Colorado State and leads the fourth-place Rebels by three games. The Lobos have won three straight against UNLV, including a 65-60 victory at The Pit on Jan. 9. New Mexico sophomore center Alex Kirk, averaging 11.2 points and 7.3 rebounds, had a season-high 23 points and nine boards in the first matchup with the Rebels.

Illinois State Redbirds at Creighton Bluejays (-9.5)

Creighton is seeing red, and not only because that will be the primary color of the opponent's uniforms when it hosts Illinois State on Saturday. The No. 13 Bluejays are coming off their worst loss of the season - 76-57 at Indiana State on Wednesday, and will have an opportunity to take their frustrations out on the Redbirds, who are in a three-way tie for seventh in the 10-team Missouri Valley Conference. After winning its first six MVC games, first-place Creighton has split its last six, but maintains a one-game lead over Wichita State and Indiana State.

Creighton junior forward Doug McDermott, a national player of the year candidate, is averaging 23.3 points, but was held to eight Wednesday - the second time this season he hasn't reached double figures. The Bluejays begin a stretch of four games against teams at .500 or below in the conference before a showdown at Saint Mary's (20-4) on Feb. 23. Illinois State has won two straight following its 94-86 victory at Drake on Wednesday, and has won five of its last six games since an 0-6 start in conference play.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, February 9

Saturday Night Action
By Kevin Rogers

The Saturday evening card in college hoops is filled up with plenty of ranked teams taking the court. We'll take a look at three key contests inside with Big East and Big Ten, as the night concludes with Louisville trying to stay hot at Notre Dame. Elsewhere in the Big East, two squads in the top half of the conference look to improve their tournament status in southern Ohio.

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati

These two rivals meet for the second time this season, as the Bearcats grabbed a 70-61 victory at Pittsburgh as six-point 'dogs on New Year's Eve. Since that victory, Mick Cronin's squad has covered just three of their last nine games, while cashing the 'under' eight times in this stretch. UC seeks its first cover in Big East play at Fifth Third Arena in five tries after posting an 0-4 ATS mark in its first four home conference contests.

Pitt failed to cash as 16½-point favorites in Monday's home triumph over Seton Hall, 56-46, but the Panthers have now won six of their last seven games. Jamie Dixon's team has put together a 3-2 SU/ATS record on the road inside conference action, as Pitt covered in the away 'dog role at Louisville in a three-point loss on January 28 in their last highway contest.

The Panthers are making just their fourth trip to Cincinnati since 2007, as Pitt has won two of those three visits. The Bearcats have allowed 59 points or less in four straight games, while the Panthers have scored 61 points or less in two of the previous three contests.

Michigan State at Purdue
The loaded Big Ten could possibly see a pair of teams make the Final Four, as Michigan and Indiana are the cream of the conference crop. However, the Spartans enter Saturday's play at 8-2 inside the conference, tied with the Wolverines and Hoosiers for the top spot in the Big Ten. Tom Izzo's team has won two straight since falling at Indiana, including a 61-50 home triumph over Minnesota on Wednesday as four-point 'chalk.'

Purdue started conference action at 1-2, which included an 84-61 setback in East Lansing as 11½-point 'dogs on January 5. Since that loss, the Boilermakers have won five of their last eight games, while snapping a two-game skid on Tuesday with a victory at Penn State. Matt Painter's club attempts to put together a better effort at Mackey Arena after getting wiped out by rival Indiana in their last home game, 97-60 on January 30.

The Boilermakers have been dreadful as underdogs inside the Big Ten, posting a 1-4-1 ATS record. The Spartans are playing their sixth conference road game, but are listed as a favorite for just the second time (2-0 SU and 1-1 ATS), while going 1-3 ATS as 'chalk' away from the Breslin Center.

Louisville at Notre Dame

The Cardinals have rebounded nicely since a three-game skid by winning three consecutive contests, coming off Wednesday's blowout of Rutgers. Louisville turned a two-point halftime advantage into a 20-point rout to easily cash as 12-point favorites, while limiting the Scarlet Knights to just 32% shooting from the field.

Notre Dame returns home after getting trounced at Syracuse on Monday, 63-47 as 8½-point 'dogs. The Irish couldn't figure out the matchup zone, as the Orange held Mike Brey's team to 34% shooting, while Syracuse responded by converting 49% of their field goal attempts. Notre Dame has cashed the 'under' in seven of the last nine games, including four straight 'unders' in South Bend.

Louisville has played excellent defense on the highway in Big East play, allowing 58 points or less in four of five road conference games (4-1 to the 'under'). The Cardinals and Irish split a pair of meetings last season, including a 14-point victory by Louisville in the Big East tournament as four-point favorites.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, February 9

College Basketball Point Spreads and Picks
By: The Linemakers

Going unbeaten in conference play is about as hard as winning the national title. In the last five seasons, five teams have managed the feat, most recently Kentucky in 2012 and Butler in 2010.

More than a month into conference play, only two ranked teams remain perfect in conference play. No. 6 Gonzaga is 9-0 in the WCC (5-3-1 ATS), and No. 8 Miami is 9-0 in the ACC (7-2 ATS). The Hurricanes host North Carolina on Saturday in one of 17 games involving ranked teams.

North Carolina (16-6 SU, 12-8 ATS) at No. 8 Miami (18-3 SU, 14-4 ATS), 2 p.m. ET, ESPN

Miami -7.5 Total: 137

Hurricanes sophomore PG Shane Larkin, son of baseball great Barry Larkin, is averaging 11.9 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.6 assists in ACC play. He ripped Duke for 18 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, starting a five-game stretch in which he's averaging 14.8 points, and is playing like he has something to prove.

“Coming out of high school, I wasn’t one of the major prospects,’’ Larkin told The Miami Herald. “I had several of the recruiting gurus telling me I couldn’t play at this level, that I was a low D1 player, so coming out here now and proving them wrong is great. I’ve always kept that in the back of my mind.’’

After opening conference play with losses to Virginia and Miami, the Tar Heels have gone 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS. They ripped Wake Forest 87-62 on Tuesday behind Reggie Bullock’s 23 points. “We’re still right around the corner from it,” Bullock said afterward. “Once we can put a whole game together, we’ll be a top 25, top 10 team in the country.”

This is their chance to prove it. To improve to 19-3 all-time against Miami, UNC must get to the foul line more than it did in the first meeting, when the Tar Heels went 5-of-8.


North Carolina is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games.

North Carolina is 0-4 ATS in its last four road games against teams with .600-plus home winning percentages.

Miami is 9-0 ATS in its last nine Saturday games.

Miami is 13-3 ATS in its last 16 home games.

Under is 6-1-1 in Miami’s last eight home games.

Under is 4-0 in the last four meetings.

Road team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.

No. 3 Michigan (21-2 SU, 12-8-1 ATS) at Wisconsin (16-7 SU, 7-14 ATS), Noon ET, ESPN

Michigan -1.5 Total: 122

This is a tough spot for the high-flying Wolverines, who are coming off emotional games against Indiana (loss) and Ohio State (win). They have a chance to retake the No. 1 ranking, thanks to Indiana’s loss at Illinois. But it’s never easy against methodical Wisconsin, which allows the fewest points (56.2) in the Big Ten and commits the fewest turnovers (9.2) nationally. The Badgers will make Michigan, an inconsistent defensive team, guard for the entire shot clock.

The Wolverines haven’t won at the Kohl Center since 1999. They did, however, snap a 10-game skid to Wisconsin with last season’s 59-41 win. Under Bo Ryan, Wisconsin is an eye-popping 88-10 in conference home games.

Analyst Ken Pomeroy gives the Wolverines a 56 percent chance of winning, predicting a 62-60 Michigan win, according to


Michigan is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 road games.

Michigan is 14-6 ATS in its last 20 games following an ATS loss.

Wisconsin is 1-4 ATS in its last five home games.

Wisconsin is 4-10 ATS in its last 14 games following an ATS win.

Over is 7-2 in Michigan’s last nine road games.

Under is 8-3 in Wisconsin’s last 11 Big Ten games.

Under is 6-0 in the last six meetings.

Underdog is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings.

Troy (10-14 SU, 14-6 ATS) at Middle Tennessee (21-4 SU, 10-11 ATS), 6 p.m. ET

Middle Tennessee State -18.5

As we noted this week, Troy knows how to stay close and cover. The Trojans did it again Thursday night at South Alabama, losing 65-62 as 8-point dogs. They’ve covered six straight, nine of 10, and 14 of 20 overall.

Thursday’s loss was Troy’s 17th game decided by seven or fewer points, including four in overtime. Coach Don Maestri keeps his team playing hard even though they’re not getting rewarded with wins. Troy, which sits last in the Sun Belt’s East Division, visits division leader Middle Tennessee on Saturday night. The Trojans are 2-9 on the road, while the Blue Raiders are 12-0 at home.

All of which means Troy is receiving generous points again Saturday.


Troy is 8-0 ATS in its last eight games against winning teams.

Troy is 4-0 ATS in its last four road games.

Middle Tennessee is 5-1 ATS in its last six home games.

Middle Tennessee is 2-7 ATS in its last nine games following an ATS win.

Over is 8-2-1 in Troy’s last 11 road games.

Under is 11-1 in the last 12 meetings.

Home team is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings.

More of Saturday's Linemaker Leans:

Northwestern at Iowa, 4:35 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network:
Iowa has lost its last two games to fall to 14-9. The Hawkeyes lost by 3 points at Minnesota and by 4 in double-OT at Wisconsin. They are actually playing well and are finished with the toughest part of their Big Ten schedule. The Hawkeyes beat Northwesten, 70-50, on the road and we are expecting a similar result here. Northwestern does not match up well with Iowa. Lay the points.

Illinois State at No. 16 Creighton, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2: This is a game that people thought could be the conference championship game at the beginning of the year. Illinois State struggled for a while but is now back at full strength and playing well. The Redbirds have won five of their last six games and Creighton has hit a bit of a rough patch going just 3-3 in their last six games. This is a big number and we are expecting a close game in this spot. Take the points.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, February 9

Saturday Cliff Notes
By Dave Essler

Michigan at Wisconsin: Michigan now in a three-way tie w/Indiana and Michigan State for first place. I told you a week ago to watch out for the Spartans, who had already played a meatier schedule. Anyhow, Wisconsin is a game back, but probably more importantly is who they need to stay ahead of for a first round bye, and that's a lot of teams. Hence, this is a bigger game than it appears as far as post season implications. Obviously the Wolverines are going to be a high, if not #1, seed. However, the Badgers sit a 16-7 overall and aside from the win at Indiana they really don't have an auto-claim to the Dance, IMO, yet. They really need to beat Michigan and perhaps Ohio State next week as well to get a reasonable seed. A few losses in the wrong place and they could be somewhere else, especially with their weak non-conference schedule. Neither team is going to turn the ball over (much) at this pace, and it certainly appears to me that this will be a jump shooting contest. Since Wisconsin defends them the best in the Conference and is at home, I do lean to the Badgers, especially with Michigan having to play the dreaded Spartans on Tuesday. I just hate their FT shooting. It ALL depends on the number.

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati: The Bearcats come in chilly after losing at Providence, as we predicted, while Pittsburgh comes in having taken care of Syracuse and Seton Hall at home. The Panthers lost at HOME to Cincinnati and are obviously well aware of that and may get some attention BECAUSE of that. While Cincinnati, aside from THAT game, hasn't ahad a good conference win, and to me that's a total reflection on a shitty non-conference schedule, and they've played the 12th (out of 15) worst schedule in the Big East. I can clearly see how the Bearcats won that game, since the strength of their defense is interior, and of course that where the Panthers want to score. On paper, these teams are very evenly matched, and I thought I'd lean Pittsburgh, but I simply cannot take the fact that they have, bar none, the worst FT percentage in the Big East. That will clearly cost them, if not now, somewhere. Cincinnati's going to want to score OUTSIDE, which plays right into the hands of Pitt's defense. Again, got to go with the home team, even though this has been their worst shooting year in some time. No doubt, another one that depends on the actual number we can get, but should be a last minute game, as most are. That's why when in doubt, pass, take the home team and/or the better FT shooting team.

Mississippi at Missouri: Mississippi solidly in third in the SEC right now with a two game lead in the loss column over the Tigers. Mississippi doesn't have a bad loss yet this season, but aside from the Florida game this is and WILL be their biggest road test. Having said that, there is a futures bet their, given their schedule. I don't even see Mississippi listed on 5D as a potential NCAA winner, and Missouri is. I was looking simply for the SEC, if any book might have it. Missouri is a different Tiger at home, still being undefeated, and clearly under valued after their losses to/at LSU and A & M, and they have no look-ahead playing Mississippi State next while Mississippi is at A & M next Wednesday. Tigers are perhaps a little more balanced and bigger, and are a great FT shooting team, so all things being equal I'd lean that way. They ARE one of the few teams in the SEC that can perhaps match speed with Mississippi, but I'd look for them (the Tigers) to perhaps try and slow it down SOME, which I why I do think the under may be a play. Should there be a total it will be 155 or so, and that's going to take both teams getting near 80 to lose. These guys are too good defensively for me to see that happening.

Kansas at Oklahoma: So now it's KANSAS who is under valued, and well the should be. Whether we can take advantage of that remains to be seen. The Jayhawks are now tied w/K-State (still amazed at what they're doing) and guess who they play on MONDAY. Yes, K-State at home. And guess who has played THE toughest schedule in the Big 12. Yes, that would be the Sooners. Already thinking we like Oklahoma here, especially after getting drilled at Iowa State and having lost at Kansas already this season. The trouble I might have is that Kansas is just bigger and their interior defense is so tough, and that's where the Sooners score two-thirds of their points. In Conference play Kansas has actually turned the ball over a fair bit, so there could be an edge there, but that may be negated by the number of times they get to the FT line and the fact that Self simply won't allow anything less than 110% effort. Tough to take a side here without seeing a number yet, but I do lean to the under, simply because Oklahoma will want to play slower and rebounds well enough to perhaps limit Kansas' fast break points. Tough one.

Iowa State at K-State: Let's not forget we just mentioned that K-State plays Kansas Monday, so already thinking PERHAPS Iowa State could be a hidden gem here. We'll see. Technically ISU is still in the Big-12 regular season title picture, but in reality they've got five tough road games left. Now, they COULD do some damage in the Conference tournament since perhaps the top teams might be eyeing a bigger prize. Futures bet, perhaps. the bad part here is that ISU's stock is so high after the last two home wins, however they haven't played or beaten a decent Conference team on the road, so I do think they're going to hit a wall soon. ISU obviously a more one dimensional team that simply doesn't get to the line enough for me to back on the road. They'll have their spots, and if K-State isn't focused could be a surprise. But, K-State is simply a little more balance, albeit a little less athletic. I would have a slight issue with THEIR FT shooting, or lack of it, especially late. This will be an interesting line to say the least. I'd have to think BECAUSE it's ISU the total might be a tad high, and given that the Wildcats with Weber simply won't get dragged into a track meet.

New Mexico at UNLV: Rebels a full three games back of New Mexico in the MWC and actually behind even Air Force at this point. What's interesting is that New Mexico has played the softest Conference schedule to date. All three New Mexico losses have come on the road, and it wasn't that long ago they were held to a mere 34 points at San Diego State. Conversely the Rebels only home loss was back in November to Oregon, BUT, they're only decent win (I will leave off Cal) at home was to a depleted Wyoming team, and they didn't exactly run them out of the gym. The tendency might be to think their pissed after losing at Boise and mysteriously to Fresno, but losing can be contagious. They each won big on their own home court last season, but UNLV lost to New Mexico (at home) in the Conference Tournament last season, so perhaps some added motivation there. Obviously UNLV will push this pace, and what I don't like about New Mexico is that they're just not a great offensive rebounding team, which could create fast break points. On the plus side, New Mexico scores 26% of their point from the charity stripe (second most in the nation) which could negate something. UNLV CAN get sloppy with the ball on offense, so perhaps the thing to do here is if they want to give New Mexico points, take them. It doesn't happen often and probably will only one more time when they play at Colorado State. The total, may come out in the 138 range, I would think, and it's real tempting to want the over, but I would bet that unless the Rebels DO go off, they don't get there.

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