College Basketball Betting News and Notes Thursday, February 21

College Basketball Betting News and Notes Thursday, February 21

College Knowledge

-- Temple's last five games (3-2) were all decided by one point, first time that happened in at least 15 years; Owls won last seven games against LaSalle, winning last three played here, by 12-8-6 points. Explorers are 8-2 in last ten games, winning last four, three by 9+ points- they've won last three road games. Temple is 3-2 in conference home games. A-16 home teams are 3-10 when spread is 2 or less points.
-- UConn won six of last nine games vs Cincinnati, but Bearcats won last two visits here, by 12-3 points; road teams won four of last five series games. Huskies won five of last seven games, are 4-2 at home in Big East games, with three wins by 8+ points. Cincy lost three of last four games, but they're 4-2 on Big East road, with losses by 2-4 points. Big East home teams are 9-26 if spread is 5 or less points.
-- Georgia won its last three games vs Arkansas by 13-1-22 points; they turn ball over 23.4% oftime, bad news vs Arkansas team forces foes to turn ball over 25.1% of time. SEC double digit home favorites are 10-14 vs spread. Hogs won four of last five games, beating Florida/Mizzou in last two home games; they're 6-0 in SEC home games, with four wins by 11+ points. Dawgs are 3-3 on SEC road, losing by 33-17-10 points.
-- Delaware (+5.5) won 66-64 at Drexel Jan 28, making 53% inside arc, just second win in last six series games for Hens; Drexel lost three of its last four visits here, losing by 3-4-11 points. CAA home favorites of 5 or less points are 11-15 vs spread. Last three Delaware games were won by total of five points. First road game for Drexel in 19 days; they're 3-4 in last seven games, with three losses by 7 or less points.

-- Ark-Little Rock (-5) beat FIU 88-76 at home Jan 12, third series win in row for Trojans, by 8-14-14 points. UALR is 3-2 in last five visits to FIU. Panthers won their last three home games by 3-19-5 points; eight of their last nine wins are by 6 or less points. Sun Belt home favorites of 6 or less points are 14-12 vs spread. UALR lost three of last four games; five of their last seven were decided by 5 or less points.
-- Middle Tennessee (-7.5) won 60-56 at South Alabama Jan 5, in game they led by 15 with 9:00 left; Raiders are 9-2 in last 11 games vs USA, winning last four by 23-16-21-4 points. Jaguars lost last three visits to MTSU by 27-23-16 points; they're 7-1 in last eight games overall, with three of last four wins by 4 or less points. MTSU is 8-0 at home in Sun Belt games, with seven wins by 13+points. Sun Belt double digit home favorites are 11-4 vs spread.
-- Duke didn't play true road game in pre-conference; they're 3-3 in ACC road games, winning by 5-19-1 points (won by 19 at FSU). ACC home underdogs are 16-5 vs spread; double digit favorites are 10-5, but 0-2 on road. Virginia Tech lost last eight games, losing last four at home by 16-9-5-10 points. Duke won last four series games, beating Hokies twice in LY's games, by 4-5 points- they won four of last five visits here, with wins by 13-17-7-15 points.
-- Cal (-1.5) beat Oregon 58-54 at home Feb 2, despite Ducks shooting 60% inside arc; they've beaten Oregon 10 times in row, with last four wins here all by 10+ points. Ducks are 5-1 in Pac-12 home games, with loss to Colorado. Bears won last three games, by 8-13-8 points, scoring 76+ points in all three; they've won five of last six games but are 3-4 on Pac-12 road. Pac-12 home faves of 6 or less points are 11-23 vs spread.
-- Colorado (-5) lost 58-55 at Utah Feb 2, game Utes led by 22 in second half; Buffs won six of last eight games, with four of last five decided by 4 or less points. Utah is 1-5 on Pac-12 road, losing by 1-13-10-18-9; three of their last five games were decided by 5 or less points. Last three Colorado home wins were all by 10+ points, but four of their last five games overall were decided by 4 or less points. Pac-12 double digit home favorites are 3-8 vs spread.

-- San Francisco (-7) beat LMU 62-53 at home Jan 19, holdng Lions to 28.3% from floor; it was 6th win in last nine series games for Dons, who lost four of last six games overall, but won three of last four road games. Lions lost last ten games; they're 1-5 at home in WCC, with three of last five losses by 4 or less points. WCC home underdogs of 5 or less points are 0-6 vs spread. USF is 5-2 vs teams ranked outside top 200.
-- Stanford made 14-25 from arc, turned ball over only four times in its 81-73 (-9.5) win over Oregon State Feb 3, its third straight series win, by 2-5-8 points- they won here LY 103-101 in four OTs. Beavers lost five of last seven games, are 2-5 at home in Pac-12, beating Wash/Utah. Stanford won five of last seven visits to Corvallis. Underdogs are 16-6 in Pac-12 games if spread is 3 or less points.
-- Dellavedova hit running 3-pointer at buzzer to give St Mary's a 70-69 (+5) win Jan 16 in Provo, its third straight series win. BYU lost 98-82 in its visit here LY. Gaels were 10-25 from arc in Provo; they've won 10 of last 11 games, are 5-1 at home in WCC, with four wins by 12+ points- their last four wins are by 10+. WCC single digit home favorites are 6-9 vs spread. BYU is 0-5 vs teams ranked in the top 60.
-- Elon (-12) beat Samford 77-66 at home Feb 2, despite Bulldogs hitting 11-18 inside arc, 11-32 inside it; Phoenix won 10 of last 11 games, with last three wins by 4 or less points, or in OT- they're 5-2 on road in their league games. Samford won three of last four games; they're 5-2 at home in league, but tun ball over 21.2% of time. Samford is 1-12 vs teams in top 225; Elon is #201. SoCon home underdogs are 15-9 vs spread.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Thursday, February 21

Thursday's Top 25 NCAAB Betting Notes
By Covers.com

Duke Blue Devils at Virginia Tech Hokies (+13, 151)

Duke looks to rebound from a loss to Maryland when it visits Virginia Tech on Thursday. The No. 6 Blue Devils have lost three of their last 10 games and are a distant second in the Atlantic Coast Conference behind runaway leader Miami. The Blue Devils are playing back-to-back road games for just the second time all season. Virginia Tech has lost eight consecutive contests since defeating Wake Forest on Jan. 19.

The Hokies are experiencing a dismal season in James Johnson’s first season as coach. Virginia Tech is in last place in the 12-team conference. Duke’s loss to Maryland came in its fourth contest in 10 days and coach Mike Krzyzewski said afterwards that his squad was tired. “We’re playing on fumes and I think you could tell that,” Krzyzewski said. The Blue Devils had enough energy to force 26 turnovers but were dominated by a 40-20 margin on the boards. Coach K is tied with legendary Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp for the third-most wins (876) at one school.

ABOUT DUKE (22-3 SU, 9-3 ACC, 13-12-0 ATS): Senior forward Mason Plumlee struggled against Maryland with a season-low four points and only three rebounds. It was the worst all-around game of the season for a player averaging 17.6 points and 10.4 rebounds. “There is so much pressure for Mason to play outstanding,” Krzyzewski said afterwards. “That wears on you as the season goes on.” Plumlee has 14 double-doubles this season and is 13 rebounds away from becoming the ninth player in Duke history to reach 1,000 career points and rebounds. Senior guard Seth Curry averages 16.9 points and has made a team-best 62 3-pointers. Sophomore guard Quinn Cook has four steals in each of the past two games and has a team-leading 44 to go with a 12.3 scoring average.

ABOUT VIRGINIA TECH (11-14 SU, 2-10 ACC, 10-10-2 ATS): Freshman forward Marshall Wood had 14 points and 16 rebounds against North Carolina State for his first career double-double. Wood’s big outing raised his season averages to 4.7 points and 4.3 rebounds and repeating his stellar game against Duke would rate as a huge accomplishment. Senior guard Erick Green leads the nation with a 25.3 average and had 29 points and eight assists against the Wolfpack. Green is adept at getting to the free-throw line and is making 6.9 free throws per game. Junior forward Jarell Eddie averages 13 points.

TRENDS:

* Under is 7-1 in the last eight meetings.
* Blue Devils are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings in Virginia Tech.
* Road team is 8-3-1 ATS in the last 12 meetings.

TIP-INS:

1. Duke is 40-8 against Virginia Tech and is 11-3 against the Hokies during Krzyzewski’s tenure.

2. Curry has 12 20-point outings this season, including four of the past six games.

3. Green has scored 20 or more points in 23 of Virginia Tech’s 25 games.


California Golden Bears at Oregon Ducks (-6, 132)

Oregon looks to end a 10-game losing streak to California on Thursday when the 23rd-ranked Ducks host the Bears in a key Pac-12 matchup. Oregon leads the conference by one game over Arizona and UCLA and holds a two-game lead over Arizona State and surging California. The Bears have won five of their last six games behind the play of junior guard Allen Crabbe, who was named Pac-12 player of week for the second time in a row.

After losing three straight, the Ducks have bounced back with three consecutive wins, including a 79-77 overtime victory over Washington State on Saturday. Center Tony Woods was ejected in the first half for throwing a deliberate elbow to the back of Brock Motum’s head, but he will be available against the Bears. The 6-11 senior had 14 points and eight rebounds in the Ducks’ 58-54 loss to California on Feb. 2.

ABOUT CALIFORNIA (16-9, 8-5 Pac-12, 9-13-1 ATS): Crabbe averaged 19.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in wins over UCLA and USC, but most everyone is talking about his altercation with coach Mike Montgomery during the Bears’ 76-68 win over the Trojans. Crabbe briefly left the game in the second half after being shoved by Montgomery, but the 66-year-old coach has apparently avoided a suspension. The incident has overshadowed the Bears’ recent surge, which includes wins over Oregon and Arizona. Junior forward Richard Solomon has scored 31 points over his last two games, and guard Justin Cobbs is averaging 14.8 points while shooting 85.5 percent from the foul line.

ABOUT NO. 23 OREGON (21-5, 10-3, 10-14 ATS): The Ducks have gradually adjusted to life without point guard Dominic Artis, who remains out indefinitely with a foot injury. Junior Johnathan Loyd has struggled to replace the talented freshman, but he had seven assists against Washington State. Senior forward E.J. Singler scored a season-high 24 points in the win, and he’s scored 20-plus points in two of his last three games. Forward Carlos Emory has averaged 15 points in the last two games, while Arsalan Kazemi ranks third in the Pac-12 with 9.6 rebounds per game. The Ducks lead the conference in rebounding margin at plus-7.8.

TRENDS:

* Golden Bears are 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings in Oregon.
* Under is 4-1 in the last five meetings in Oregon.
* Golden Bears are 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings.
* Road team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.

TIP-INS:

1. Oregon, which is 15-1 at Matthew Knight Arena this season, had its 20-game home win streak snapped by Colorado on Feb. 7.

2. Solomon had 13 points and 12 rebounds in 27 minutes in the Bears’ win over Oregon earlier this month.

3. Singler became the winningest men’s basketball player in school history on Saturday with 82 career victories.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Thursday, February 21

Thursday's Tips
By Brian Edwards
VegasInsider.com

Cincinnati at Connecticut

Connecticut (17-7 straight up, 10-10 against the spread) is No. 31 in the RPI Rankings but is banned from going to both the Big East and NCAA Tournament during Kevin Ollie’s first year as head coach following the retirement of Jim Calhoun, who won three national championships in Storrs.

UConn has won 12 of 14 home games while posting a 4-6 spread record. The Huskies had won five of their last six games, including a huge home win over Syracuse last week, before they dropped a 70-61 decision to Villanova on Saturday as 4.5-point home ‘chalk.’

In the win over the ‘Cuse, UConn’s guard combination of Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright combined to score 27 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the field with 11 assists and five steals. However, in the loss to ‘Nova, Napier and Boatright combined to score just six points, missed all seven of their shots from 3-point range, made just 3-of-15 from the field and committed 10 turnovers. Alas, we can conclude that UConn goes as its backcourt combination goes.

Napier averages a team-high 16.1 points per game and has a 112/49 assists-to-turnovers ratio. The junior from Roxbury, MA., has a team-high 49 steals. Boatright scores at a 15.4 PPG clip with a 101/70 assists-to-turnovers ratio and 38 steals.

Cincinnati (19-7 SU, 10-12 ATS) has lost three of its last four games both SU and ATS, including last Friday night’s 62-55 loss to Georgetown as a four-point home favorite. Senior guard JaQuon Parker had a team-high 15 points and six rebounds in the losing effort. The Bearcats won the rebounding battle 36-27 and held their opponent to a reasonable 62-point output. However, a lack of offense continued to kill this team, as it made only 31.5 percent of its shots from the field, 4-of-24 from 3-point land (16.7%) and 17-of-30 from the free-throw line (56.7%).

Junior guard/forward Sean Kilpatrick leads the Bearcats in scoring, averaging 18.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per contest. But Kilpatrick has been held under his scoring average in three of the last four games, while dishing out only eight assists compared to 11 turnovers.

UConn is 3-5 against the RPI Top 50, 8-7 versus the RPI Top 100.

Mick Cronin’s squad has won four of its six road games both SU and ATS. The Bearcats are 40th in the RPI Rankings, going 4-5 against the RPI Top 50 and 9-7 against Top 100 foes.

Cincy has been an underdog only twice this year, compiling a 2-0 spread record with an outright win at Pittsburgh (70-61) and a narrow loss at Syracuse (57-55).

When these teams met in Storrs on Jan. 12 of last season, Cincy collected a 70-67 upset win as a 6.5-point road underdog. The 137 combined points slipped ‘over’ the 130-point total. Napier had a game-high 27 points and seven assists for the Huskies in defeat, while Kilpatrick had a team-high 16 points for the winners thanks to four treys on nine attempts from beyond the arc.

The ‘under’ has cashed at an NCAA-best 16-3 overall clip for the Bearcats, going 5-1 in their six true road assignments.

Totals have been an overall wash (9-9) for UConn this season, but the ‘under’ is on a 4-2 run in its last six outings.

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

Brigham Young at Saint Mary’s

This is a huge revenge game for BYU, which let a late second-half lead get away and lost a 70-69 decision to Saint Mary’s on Jan. 16 as a five-point home favorite. Gaels’ All-WCC point guard Matthew Dellavedova buried a leaning, double-pump 32-footer at the buzzer to propel his team into the win column. Dellavedova finished with 18 points and eight assists compared to only one turnover. Stephen Holt scored a team-high 22 points for Randy Bennett’s team. Tyler Haws had a game-high 23 points for the Cougars.

BYU (20-8 SU, 12-15 ATS) is No. 62 in the RPI Rankings and its resume could certainly use a boost with a big road win in this spot. The Cougars have lost six of nine games to RPI Top 100 teams and are winless in three games against RPI Top 50 foes (at Iowa St., at Gonzaga and vs. Notre Dame on a neutral court) with each defeat coming by double-digit margins. With that said, Dave Rose’s team hosts Gonzaga (RPI: 12) next Thursday and could get a shot at the Bulldogs and/or Gaels again at the WCC Tournament.

BYU is mired in a 0-4 ATS slump. The Cougars suffered a pair of costly outright losses at San Diego and vs. San Francisco on Feb. 7 and Feb. 9. Since then, they have won back-to-back contests, including Tuesday’s 70-68 home win over Utah St. as 12-point home favorites. Haws scored a game-high 27 points.

Saint Mary’s (22-5 SU, 12-11-1 ATS) has won 13 of its 14 home games but has gone just 5-7 ATS. The lone home loss came to Gonzaga last Thursday by a 77-60 count.

Bennett’s bunch bounced back from the defeat to Mark Few’s squad by winning 61-50 Saturday at Loyola-Marymount. However, the Gaels failed to cover the number as 13.5-point road ‘chalk.’ Holt had 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field.

Saint Mary’s is No. 51 in the RPI Rankings, posting a 3-3 record against the RPI Top 100 with wins at BYU, at Santa Clara and vs. Harvard. The Gaels have lost all three games to RPI Top 50 opponents (at Gonzaga, vs. Gonzaga and at No. Iowa).

Dellavedova averages a team-high 15.8 PPG and had dished out 174 assists compared to only 71 turnovers.

BYU is led by Haws, a sophomore who spent the last two seasons on a Mormon mission. (How good would BYU have been during Jimmer Fredette’s senior campaign if Brandon Davies hadn’t been suspended and Haws hadn’t been away on a mission?!) Haws is averaging 21.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, while Davies averages 17.7 points and 7.6 boards per contest.

In BYU’s first year in the WCC last season, Saint Mary’s swept a pair of regular-season meetings. Going back further to 2005, the Gaels have won four of five meetings and taken the cash in each of those encounters. The ‘under’ is also 4-1 in the last five meetings.

The ‘under’ is 11-8 overall for BYU although the ‘over’ has hit in four of its last five games. The ‘under’ is 4-3 for the Cougars in their seven true road assignments.

The ‘under’ is 10-8 overall for Saint Mary’s, 7-3 in its last 10 outings. The ‘under’ is 5-4 for the Gaels in their home games with a total.

ESPN2 will have the telecast at 11:00 p.m. Eastern.

B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets

Indiana captured its first win at Breslin Center since 1991 by beating Michigan St. 72-68 Tuesday as a one-point underdog in front of a raucous crowd in East Lansing. Playing at less than 100 percent with a foot injury, IU senior slasher Victor Oladipo made all the plays at crunch time, including six points in the final 47 seconds. Oladipo’s tip-in gave the Hoosiers the lead for good when Spartans’ forward Denzel Washington fell asleep and failed to box out. Next, Oladipo dunked on a run-out and buried a pair of free throws to put the game on ice. Christian Watford finished with 12 points and his three-point play the hard way was pivotal when IU trailed by four with less than 90 seconds remaining.

Missouri remained unbeaten at home with Tuesday’s 63-60 come-from-behind win over Florida as a five-point underdog. The Tigers hooked up money-line supporters with a plus-180 payout and improved to 82-4 at home since 2008. Laurence Bowers, who was injured when UF stroked the Tigers by 31 points at The O-Dome in January, scored 17 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.

For UF, the loss was eerily reminiscent of a loss at Arizona before Christmas and even more similar to Elite Eight setbacks against Butler and Louisville that ended the Gators’ seasons just shy of the Final Four the last two years. Like the losses to Butler and U of L, Billy Donovan’s team led nearly the entire game and had comfortable cushions with eight minutes remaining. But at crunch time UF settled for jumpers and they didn’t fall. The Gators took 33 shots from 3-point land at Mizzou compared to only 21 attempts from inside the line.

Indiana State’s at-large hopes are vanishing fast. The Sycamores lost their third straight game Tuesday when they fell at home to Wichita St. by a 66-62 score. Even worse, they cost their backers like me as 3.5-point underdogs.

Saint Louis improved to 20-5 overall and took sole possession of first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to Tuesday’s 76-62 win over VCU as a two-point home favorite. The Billikens led by 17 at intermission and never let the Rams cut the deficit to single digits in the second half. VCU backers as a three-point favorite for halftime wagers got a miracle push thanks to several meaningless baskets by the Rams in the final two minutes.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Thursday, February 21

Games to Watch
By David Schwab
VegasInsider.com

No. 6 Duke Blue Devils vs. Virginia Tech Hokies

Duke should tumble a bit in the latest polls after falling to Maryland this past Saturday 83-81 as a four-point favorite on the road. The loss dropped the Blue Devils to 22-3 SU and 13-12 ATS. They now trail Miami by three full games in the ACC standings at 9-3 SU in conference play. The total went OVER the 141-point line against the Terrapins after staying UNDER in three of their previous four games. Duke is averaging 78.1 points a game and shooting 47.2 percent from the floor mainly behind the efforts of Mason Plumlee (17.6 points) and Seth Curry (16.9 points). Plumlee also leads the team in rebounds with 10.4 a game.

The Hokies current losing streak reached eight games with Saturday’s 90-86 overtime loss to NC State as 14-point road underdogs. They are 11-14 SU overall and a dismal 2-10 in conference play. Virginia Tech has gone 4-2-1 ATS in its last seven games to improve to 10-10-2 ATS on the year. The total has gone OVER in five of its last eight games. The team as a whole is averaging 71.4 points a game while shooting just 42 percent from the floor. However, Erick Green has been a one-man show with 25.3 points and 4.1 assists a game while hitting 47.3 percent of his shots from the field.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Thursday, February 21

College Basketball: Streaks, Tips, Notes
Sportspic.com 

Duke Blue Devils at Virginia Tech Hokies

Duke's six-game winning streak which began with an easy victory over Maryland three weeks ago came to a gridding halt Saturday as Terrapins exacted sweet revenge upending Blue Devils 83-81 as four point home dogs. Blue Devils dropping to 22-3 (13-12 ATS) on the year, 9-3 (5-7 ATS in the ACC try to right the ship when they visit basement dwelling Virginia Tech Hokies (11-14, 10-10-2 ATS). Blue Devils behind five double digit scorers have little trouble putting the ball through the hoop netting 78.1 PPG on a whopping 47.2% shooting. Blue Devils allow it's foes 65.1 PPG. The Hokies as a whole are averaging 71.4 points/game while shooting 42.0% from the floor but are being shredded for 73.7 PPG on 41.9% shooting. Blue Devils a smart 14-0 (11-3 ATS) off a loss in regular season should easily bounce back against Hokies ridding an 0-8 (4-3-1 ATS) ACC skid, 2-10 (5-6-1 ATS) slide in the conference. Other trends of note: Duke is on a 1-6 ATS conference road skid dating back to last season but are 4-2 SU/ATS last six at Hokies.

California Golden Bears at Oregon Ducks

Oregon Ducks (21-5, 10-14 ATS) seem to have problems with California Golden Bears (16-9, 9-13-1 ATS). The Ducks nipped 58-54 earlier in Berkeley by the Golden Bears have lost it's last 10 games against California. Ducks a step ahead of Arizona in the Pac-12 at 10-3 (4-9 ATS) need to win this game. Revenge on their minds, the contest in Eugene where they're very strong (15-2, 8-9 ATS) Ducks with a quad of double digit scorers lead by E.J Singler (11.8), Damyean Dotson (11.5) netting 72.8 PPG while allow 62.9 per/game rise to the challenge and record a rare victory over their conference rival. Too much fire power for California at 3-4 (3-3-1 ATS) on the road in Pac-12 play scoring just 66.8 points to keep up.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Thursday, February 21

Thursday Cliff Notes
By Dave Essler

And so many teams are bubble teams and really, really need to win in the next week. This time of year, experience matters to me more than it does earlier in the season, and stats matter much, much, less. It's all about motivation. Here's some "bubble" teams that need to win, IMO, and this year V-Tech is not one of them. I'm sure there's many more, but we'll get to those soon.

Baylor - Toughest games are at home

Villanova - Not enough experience

Cal - Have felt they were soft all year

Boise State - One reason I lean that way tonight

Colorado - Tough road week - Be Careful against Utah

LaSalle - Must beat Temple tomorrow

Cincinnati at UConn: The Huskies played and won their GOY against Syracuse as we predicted, and we also called the letdown against Villanova. The truth of this team is somewhere in the middle, and now they may actually be coming to the realization that there season is about over. Cincinnati, for all their experience and size, simply cannot score nor shoot free throws, so it's tough to back them on the road. Right now they're projected as in, but they could conceivably lose three more games, have Notre Dame (a bigger game for them) this weekend, and play Uconn again as well as L'ville on the road. Simply can't trust them, but not sure which UConn team shows up. I lean to the Huskies, but lean a lot more to the under. When the line comes out at around 127 I suspect others will, too, so sooner is better than later unless you like the over.

LaSalle at Temple: Did we not just mention LaSalle needing this win? Well, the Owls are a bit of a bubble team, too, so the loser of this game may find themselves in a play-in game or perhaps even out. Temple's loss at Duquesne was a killer for their chances, but there was some redemption beating UMass. Now it's all on this game, and next Thursday when they host Detroit. Their last game of the season is home to VCU, and honestly if that game were played right now Temple would be my GOY if I were to have one. LaSalle, aside from some BS loss to Central Connecticut (which WILL be factored in) doesn't have any bad losses and does have some great wins. I do love the LaSalle defense and the fact that Temple has been awful at defending the perimeter, which is what LaSalle does, shoot three's. It's almost always tough for me to back those kinds of teams on the road, especially when they don't get to the FT line, but this may be one of those instances where the world loves Temple because they are Temple. I love Dunphy, but he is not Chaney. Leaning to the Explorers if the price is right, because Temple cannot rebound offensive misses and we know LaSalle won't hesitate to run. Temple won't want to play quick, but because there's so much riding on this game, I don't expect LaSalle to patiently wait to try and dictate pace, which is also why I may lean over what might be a low enough total, should there be one.

Stanford at Oregon State: Clearly the public team here will be the Cardinal, so well look to back the un-public team that's at home. Stanford beat these guys a month ago at home, but have inexplicably lost to SoCal and UCLA at home, and must face the Ducks in two days. This is a brutal spot for them, and barring winning out it looks like they get to defend their NIT Championship, which has to be a disappointment. Since this week are the last two home games for the Beavers, I'd expect at least a spirited effort here. Quite frankly, if there is a total, I have to like the over. Obviously Oregon State simply cannot play much defense, and they'll fire three's when they've got the ball, and that is clearly the Achilles Heel of the Cardinal (defending them). So this one is the home team and the over, more than likely.

Cal at Oregon: Cal needs this in a big way, since we did mention they may be a bubble team. Cal beat Oregon 58-54 in their last meeting and will be favored in their remaining four games. I guess we don't know if Artis is going to play, and with the Ducks winning the last three without him, I would guess they'd sit him as long as they can, because there's little Oregon can do to improve their standing other than win the Pac-10. If I were the Ducks coaching staff, even he were able to play, I'd sit him til the next to last game against Colorado, because that one will matter much more, and it'd give him (and them) some idea as to where he's really at. I guess all things being equal, it depends on how badly Oregon wants to win this game. Not that they'd WANT to lose, but winning at what cost is the question. Cal has win three straight and five of six, including a nice win at Arizona, so beating Oregon is not out of the question. They do match up well and have a huge size edge inside, but they're bench is super short and if the Ducks play their tempo, that could hurt. I guess this one is a "duh". If Artis plays, I cannot take Cal unless it effects the line so much I cannot resist.

BYU at St. Mary's: Right now, some bracket guru's have St. Mary's in a play-in game, which is a bit tough to fathom, but likely a by-product of a weak non-conference schedule. They beat the Cougars by one earlier this season, but what really concerns me is that they've got a game this weekend against Creighton. Yes, Creighton has fallen from grace a but, but it's not likely the St. Marys' kids know all about that, and it IS a home game for them. BYU is probably OUT, unless they win this game AND beat Gonzaga at home this weekend. Very tough for both teams here. St. Mary's will probably be favored by a few more than they should be, and with their occasional lack of actually playing defense and the speed of BYU, I wouldn't put it past the Cougars to at least stay within the number. There is no (ok, slim) chance I will lay three possession or more in a game of this magnitude this time of year. Tough for me to back St. Mary's when they simply cannot beat good teams and perhaps their best win was at Santa Clara. BYU or nothing here.

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