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College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, March 2

College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, March 2

College Knowledge

-- Syracuse (+7) won 70-68 at Louisville Jan 19, its third straight series win, despite turning ball over 16 times (-7); Cardinals won two of last three visits here, losing 52-51 LY- they've won seven of last eight games overall, winning last four, all by 14+ points. Syracuse is 4-5 in last nine games after an 18-1 start, losing last two games by 11-3 points. Big East home teams are 12-19 in games with spread of 4 or less points.
-- VCU won six of last seven games, but covered only three of last 12; they're 5-1 SU at home, 3-3 as home favorites, with four wins by 12 or more points. Butler split its last four games; they're 4-2 on A-16 road, with all four wins by six or less points. Bulldogs are 2-1 as an A-16 dog; four of their last five games were decided by 5 or less points. A-16 home favorites of 7 or less points are 27-14 against the spread.
-- Notre Dame lost four of last five visits to Marquette, losing by 13-2-26-22 points; home side is 8-3 in last 11 series games. Irish won seven of last nine games, allowing 42-41 points in last two; they're 4-3 on road in Big East, losing by 4-16-17. Marquette is 8-0 at home in Big East, 3-3 as home favorite, with four of last five home wins by 10+ points. Big East home favorites of 7 or less points are 8-23 against the spread.
-- Delaware's last six games (5-1) were all decided by 1 or 2 points; Hens (+6.5) won 79-72 at George Mason Feb 9, outscoring Patriots 25-9 on foul line, in second straight win over Mason, after losing 13 of previous 14 meetings. Delaware won three in row, nine of last 11 games; they are 2-5-1 as CAA home favorite. CAA home favorites of 5 or less points are 10-20 vs spread. Mason won/covered its last four road games.

-- Valparaiso won 13 of last 15 games; they're 6-1 on Horizon road, with only loss by 12 at Youngstown; Crusaders (-8.5) beat Green Bay 73-61 at home Jan 23, forcing 16 (+8) turnovers, outscoring Green Bay 27-17 on foul line. Underdogs are 11-7 in Horizon games where spread is 3 or less points. Green Bay won four of last five games; they're 6-1 at home in Horizon, with only loss to Wright State, in double OT.
-- Kentucky won eight of last nine games vs Arkansas, losing 77-76 last visit here in OT; Wildcats won three in row, 8 of last 10 games, but they are 0-2 on road since Noel got hurt, losing by 17-30 points. Arkansas is 7-0 at home in SEC, with wins vs Florida/Mizzou; three of its last four games were decided by 5 or less points. SEC home favorites of 4 or less points are 9-10 vs spread. Kentucky is 2-3 as an underdog this season.
-- Miami (+3) shot 62% inside arc, held Duke to 4-23 outside arc- they crushed Blue Devils 90-63 Jan 23, 'canes' 2nd straight series win, after losing 11 of previous 12 series games. Miami won in OT at Cameron in LY's meeting. Quick turnaround for Duke club that lost Thursday nite at Virginia; they're 7-0 at home in ACC, with six of seven wins by 13+. ACC home favorites of 6+ points are 25-11 against the spread.
-- Denver won 14 of last 15 games, with lone loss 53-42 (+2) Jan 23 at New Mexico State; Pioneers made just 3-18 from arc, were outscored on foul line, 12-3. Aggies won 13 of last 14 games, losing last away game, at Utah State; they're 3-6 vs spread as an underdog this year. Denver is 5-1 as a WAC home favorite, winning home games by 11+ points. WAC home favorites are 16-31 against the spread, 9-16 if laying 8+ points.
-- Kansas State (-4.5) beat Baylor 81-61 two weeks ago, holding Jackson to 7 points while forcing 19 turnovers (+13), making 11-25 from arc in its fifth series win in last seven tries. Wildcats won eight of last nine, are 5-2 on Big X road, losing at Iowa State/Kansas. Favorites are 11-7 in Big X games with spread of 4 or less points. Baylor lost six of last nine, but is 5-2 at home in Big X, losing only to Oklahoma/Iowa State.

-- Boise PG Marks played only 9 minutes, Eliorraga didn't play at all in 77-57 (+9.5) loss at Colorado State Jan 30; Rams shot 55.6% inside arc, but missed 16-35 foul shots, or it would've been worse. Boise won four of last five games, covered six of last seven; they've won last five home games, but are just 1-4 vs top four in MWC. Rams won eight of last nine games. Dogs are 8-3 in MWC games with spread of 3 or less points.
-- Wichita State (-2.5) beat Creighton 67-64 Jan 19, its fourth series win in last five tries, holding Bluejays other than McDermott to 36.1% from floor. Shockers won last two visits here, by 14-21 points. Wichita is 4-4 in last eight games, Creighton 3-3 in last six, so at-large bid not lock for either side. Wichita's last four road games were all decided by 5 or less points. MVC home favorites of 6 or less points are 8-5 vs spread.
-- UCLA (+8.5) raced to 21-5 lead, won 84-73 at Arizona Jan 24, ending 6-game skid in Tucson; Wildcats lost six of last seven visits here, losing by 22-7 points last two years- they're 3-3 in last six games overall, 5-3 on Pac-12 road, allowing 76.7 ppg in losses, 66 or less in wins. Bruins won five of last six games, are 3-4 as home favorites (5-2 SU), with four wins at home by 8+. Pac-12 home favorites of 5 or less points are 9-20.
-- Canisius (+1) shot 58% inside arc, won 67-50 at Rider Jan 25, second Griffin win in last seven series games; Broncs won seven of last nine in this gym, won last four games overall- they're 4-1 as MAAC road dog this year. MAAC home favorites of 7 or less points are 9-15 vs spread. Canisius won six of last seven home games; they're 3-5 against spread as home favorites. 11 of last 15 Canisius games stayed under the total.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, March 2

College Basketball: Streaks, Tips, Notes

Louisville at Syracuse

A big slate of games that could shake up the Big East are schedule for Saturday. First up, Rick Pitino's team meets Boeheim's struggling troops in the Carrier Dome then Notre Dame faces Marquette and in the evening Georgetown entertains Rutgers.

Louisville 11-4 (7-8 ATS) in the Big East including 5-3 SU/ATS on the road will be looking to halt an 0-3 (1-2 ATS) slide vs Orange after being nipped 70-68 by Cuse earlier this season. Syracuse looking to halt a two game slide are 16-1 (9-4 ATS) at home, 10-5 (7-8 ATS) in Big East play, 6-1 (4-3 ATS) hosting conference rivals.

Notre Dame 10-5 (7-8 ATS) in the conference, 4-3 SU/ATS on the road aim to reverse a 1-4 (2-3 ATS) slide at Marquette. The Golden Eagles 11-4 (9-6 ATS) in the Big East are a perfect 15-0 (6-5 ATS) overall at home including 8-0 (5-3 ATS) when conference opponents pay a visit.

Georgetown 12-3 SU/ATS in the conference including 6-1 SU/ATS as host have the easy pickens as Scarlet Knights haven't been able to handle conference foes posting a 4-11 (5-10 ATS) record overall, 1-6 (4-3 ATS) mark on the road. Rutgers have also lost eight straight in Hoyas back yard (0-8, 4-5 ATS).

Miami at Duke

Canes (23-4, 16-7-1 ATS) go for the series sweep when they visit Duke (24-4, 15-13 ATS) on Saturday. Miami takes a 14-1 (8-6-1 ATS) league record to Cameron Indoor Stadium to face an angry Blue Devil team trampled 73-68 at Virginia leaving it with an 11-4 (7-8 ATS) record in the ACC. Canes defined more by it`s play at the defensive end limiting foes to a mere 59.1 PPG, on 38.4% shooting will need to be at they're lock-down best. The Blue Devils proficient in the scoring department at 78.5 PPG hitting 47.4% of their shots are awfully tough to topple in front of the Cameron Crazies with it's imposing home court stretch standing at 63-3 (32-32-1 ATS). Might want to consider Duke here as Blue Devils are on a sparkling 15-0 (11-4 ATS) runs off a loss in regular season and Canes are clearly vulnerable on the road in conference play posting a 2-5-1 mark against-the-oddsmaker.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, March 2

Saturday's Top 25 NCBBA Betting Notes

Check out our quick-hitting betting notes on Saturday’s ranked college basketball games:

(21) Butler at (25) VCU (-7.5)

Butler and Virginia Commonwealth look to keep their Atlantic 10 title chances alive when they meet Saturday. The Bulldogs have been held under 70 points in five straight games but are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games following an ATS loss.

(9) Louisville at (12) Syracuse (-1.5)

The Cardinals will try to remain within striking distance of first place when they play their final road game of the season against the Orange. Locked in a second-place tie with Marquette, Louisville suffered its last loss two weeks ago in the five-overtime thriller at Notre Dame, but has won four straight by double digits since. Syracuse fell from first place in the Big East into a tie for fourth with a loss last Saturday to Georgetown – snapping the nation’s longest home winning streak at 38. Syracuse has won three straight in the series, including a 70-68 victory at Louisville on Jan. 19

Alabama at (6) Florida (-17)

First place in the Southeastern Conference is on the line when Florida hosts Alabama Saturday. Alabama trails the Gators by a game and it can win the regular-season championship by winning its last three regular-season games. Florida expects to at full strength for the stretch run. Key reserves Will Yeguete (knee), Michael Frazier (concussion) and Casey Prather (head gash) are all expected to play Saturday. The Crimson Tide are 1-10 ATS in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning percentage above .600.

(17) Memphis at Central Florida (+6)

Perhaps content with its 18-game winning streak and comfortable lead in Conference USA, No. 17 Memphis suffered its first setback in over three months earlier this week. Memphis entered Tuesday’s non-conference tilt against Xavier tied with Akron for the country’s longest active winning streak, but a listless first half caught up to the Tigers in a 64-62 loss. The Tigers will try to avoid two straight road losses against a Golden Knights team they defeated 93-71 on Feb. 13. Memphis is 5-0-1 ATS in the last six meetings.

West Virginia at (5) Kansas (-16)

Kansas is locked in a first-place tie with Kansas State in the Big 12 race and on the short list of schools in contention for a No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament. The Jayhawks have posted five straight victories and coach Bill Self became the ninth-fastest coach to reach 500 career wins with an overtime victory at Iowa State on Monday. West Virginia has lost three straight games and is 1-4 ATS in its last five overall.

(20) Notre Dame at (22) Marquette (-6)

The race for one of the four double-byes in the Big East Tournament is wide open, making the Golden Eagles’ home tilt against the Fighting Irish a critical matchup. Marquette extended the country’s second-longest home winning streak to 24 games in Monday’s 74-71 victory over Syracuse. Notre Dame has won four of five after clubbing Cincinnati 62-41 on Sunday and is 4-1 against ranked opponents this season.

Texas at (18) Oklahoma State (-12.5)

Oklahoma State looks to complete a regular-season sweep of Texas when the Cowboys host the Longhorns. Oklahoma State won the first meeting 72-59 on Feb. 9 behind 23 points from freshman point guard Marcus Smart. The Cowboys have won nine of their last 10 games and are 13-2 at home. Texas is 3-2 since star point guard Myck Kabongo returned to the squad but is just 1-7 on the road. The Cowboys are 5-1 ATS in their last six Saturday games.

(19) Saint Louis at George Washington (+5)

The Billikens have won 10 straight, the longest active streak in the A-10 and the first double-digit win streak for the program since the 1993-94 team won its first 14 games. George Washington, meanwhile, has dropped two straight and four of five. During Saint Louis' 10-game win streak, the Billikens have led by at least 17 points in eight of those 10 contests. The Billikens are 5-0 ATS in their last five road games.

Wyoming at (14) New Mexico (-11.5)

New Mexico hopes to add a regular-season Mountain West title to its impressive resume when the Lobos host Wyoming. The Lobos can guarantee at least a share of the title with a win at The Pit, where they are 13-1 this season. The Cowboys, who have lost three straight, haven’t won at New Mexico since 2003. Wyoming is 0-6 ATS in its last six road games.

Portland at (2) Gonzaga (-26)

Gonzaga, which is 14-1 at home, has an 11-game win streak and is coming off a 70-65 victory at BYU on Thursday that gave the Bulldogs their 10th outright West Coast Conference regular-season title. The Bulldogs have taken the last 19 meetings and lead the conference in scoring with 77 points per game and are tops in scoring defense (58.2). Portland lost 71-49 at home to Gonzaga on Jan. 17.

(24) Akron at Buffalo (+6.5)

Akron has the nation's longest win streak but Buffalo has beaten the Zips three straight times at home. The Zips, playing as a ranked team for the first time in program history, survived an overtime game at Ohio to extend their streak to 19 games and build a two-game in the Mid-American East Division standings. The Bulls, who have lost back-to-back games by a combined three points, have never beaten a ranked opponent. The Zips are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning percentage below .400.

(7) Miami-Florida at (3) Duke (-6.5)

Miami can clinch its first outright conference title in program history on Saturday with a win at Duke, which is looking to avenge a 27-point loss to the Hurricanes on Jan. 23. The Hurricanes have won nine of their last 10 games since handing Duke its worst regular-season defeat in nearly 30 years. Duke senior forward Ryan Kelly remains out with a foot injury, and he’s not expected to return until next week. The Hurricanes are 5-0-1 ATS in the last six meetings at Duke.

(13) Kansas State at Baylor (-2)

Kansas State will try to inch closer to its first conference title since 1977 when it travels to Baylor for a Big 12 game. The Wildcats have won four straight since their latest loss to the Jayhawks on Feb. 11. While Baylor ended a three-game losing streak with a 65-62 victory Wednesday against West Virginia. The Wildcats are 4-0 ATS in their last four Saturday games.

Iowa at (1) Indiana (-14.5)

Indiana wasn’t overly concerned after being upset by Minnesota on Tuesday, but the loss likely guaranteed the top-ranked Hoosiers won’t overlook visiting Iowa. The Hoosiers have won two of their last three games against Iowa, including a 69-65 victory in Iowa City on Dec. 31 in the Big Ten opener for both teams. Indiana has held its last five opponents to less than 43 percent shooting from the floor and is 4-1 ATS in its last five games overall.

Rutgers at (8) Georgetown (-14.5)

Rutgers will try to win a road game against a top 10 opponent for the first time in school history when it travels to Georgetown. The Scarlet Knights have lost nine of 10, including back-to-back games since leading scorer Eli Carter was lost for the season. The Hoyas rallied to beat Connecticut in double overtime last time out to extend their win streak to 10 games. Georgetown is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games overall.

(11) Arizona at UCLA (PICK)

UCLA and Arizona will try to remain in the hunt for a piece of the Pac-12 crown when they meet Saturday in Los Angeles. The Wildcats suffered a painful loss Wednesday at USC and sit tied for third with California, one-half game behind UCLA and a game behind Oregon. Across town Wednesday, the Bruins took care of business in overtime against visiting Arizona State for their third straight victory. UCLA last won a regular-season conference championship in 2007-08. UCLA’s leading scorer Shabazz Muhammad, who averages a team-high 18.3 points and leads the Pac-12 in 3-point shooting percentage at 44.9, has been dealing with pink eye recently, but is expected to play against Arizona. The Bruins are 1-5 ATS in their last six home games.

Santa Clara at (23) St. Mary’s (-11.5)

Santa Clara will travel to Saint Mary’s in the regular-season finale for both teams. The Gaels locked up second place in the West Coast Conference when No. 2 Gonzaga held on to beat BYU on Thursday. Santa Clara can still finish third with a victory against Saint Mary’s and a loss by BYU on Saturday at Loyola Marymount, though either result would be a major upset. Saint Mary’s leading scorer Matthew Dellavedova might have something to prove after matching his season-low with four points and committing six turnovers when these teams met Feb. 7(84-63 St. Mary’s win) at Santa Clara. The Broncos are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games vs. a team with a winning record.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, March 2

Saturday's Slate
By Brian Edwards

Miami at Duke

The Cameron Crazies will undoubtedly be in rare form Saturday night when Duke (24-4 straight up, 15-13 against the spread) seeks to avenge an embarrassing loss at Miami from earlier this season. The Blue Devils will also be in bounce-back mode after going down Thursday night in Charlottesville.

Virginia stayed perfect at home by beating Duke 73-68 as a one-point home favorite. In defeat, Seth Curry and Quinn Cook both drained four 3-pointers apiece and finished with 28 and 22 points, respectively.

When these schools met in Coral Gables on Jan. 23, Miami ran Duke out of the gym early and often en route to a 90-63 win as a 2.5-point home underdog. The 153 combined points soared ‘over’ the 133.5-point total. Duran Scott was sensational with 25 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals, while Kenny Kadji finished with 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the floor. Mason Plumlee had 15 points and 11 boards in the losing effort.

Miami (23-4 SU, 16-7-1 ATS) has already locked up a share of its first ACC regular-season title and can clinch the outright championship with a win in this spot. The Hurricanes, who are 14-1 against ACC foes, are coming off Wednesday’s 76-58 win over Va. Tech as 16-point home ‘chalk.’ Shane Larkin enjoyed another stellar performance, scoring 22 points while dishing out six assists compared to only one turnover. Larking made 8-of-12 shots from the field, including 3-of-5 from deep. Kadji finished with 20 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots.

Larkin is on his way to earning first-team All-ACC honors. The sophomore guard, who is the son of MLB great Barry Larkin, is averaging 13.4 points per game and has a 117/59 assists-to-turnovers ratio. Scott and Kadji are averaging 13.1 and 13.0 PPG, respectively, for UM’s balanced offensive attack.

Duke is undefeated in 14 home games with a 7-7 spread record. The Blue Devils have been single-digit home favorite just once, failing to cover the number in a 73-68 win over Ohio St. as 5.5-point favorites back on Nov. 28.

Duke is No. 1 in the RPI Rankings thanks to a 4-1 record against the RPI Top 25, an 8-2 ledger against the RPI Top 50 and a 12-4 mark against the RPI Top 100. The Blue Devils’ profile includes wins over the likes of Minnesota, Louisville, VCU, Kentucky and Temple.

Miami is third in the RPI Rankings, going 4-1 against the RPI Top 25, 6-1 versus RPI Top 50 opponents and 13-2 against RPI Top 100 foes.

Miami has been a road underdog twice, winning outright at North Carolina (68-59) and at UMass (75-62). In four underdog situations, the ‘Canes are 3-1 both SU and ATS with their loss coming to Arizona on a neutral court.

Most books opened Duke as a 6.5-point home favorite.

The ‘over’ has cashed at an incredibly lucrative 11-1 clip in the last 12 head-to-head meetings between these ACC adversaries. In the last nine Miami-Duke encounters, the ‘Canes own a 6-1-2 spread record.

The ‘under’ is 14-7-1 overall for UM, 7-4 in its 11 road assignments.

The ‘over’ is 15-12 overall for Duke, but the ‘under’ is 7-6 in its home games with a total. Regardless of venue, the ‘over’ is on a 9-4 run in the Blue Devils’ last 13 games.

ESPN will have the telecast at 6:00 p.m. Eastern.

Arizona at UCLA opened this game as a pick ‘em.

Arizona (23-5 SU, 12-14 ATS) saw its three-game winning streak halted in Wednesday’s 89-78 loss at Southern Cal as a 7.5-point road favorite. The Wildcats got beaten 33-24 on the boards and shot just 40.0 percent from the field. They got a team-high 21 points, six assists and five steals from Solomon Hill.

UCLA (21-7 SU, 11-16 ATS) has won 14 of its 17 home games while posting a 7-9 spread record.

Ben Howland’s club has won three in a row and five of its last six, including Wednesday’s 79-74 win over Arizona St. in overtime. However, the Bruins failed to cover the spread as 7.5-point home ‘chalk.’ Kyle Anderson was the catalyst in the victory, tallying 21 points, 15 rebounds and four blocked shots. Jordan Adams had a team-high 22 points and Shabazz Muhammad finished with 21 points.

Muhammad, the Las Vegas product who most recruitniks dubbed as the nation’s No. 1 prep player, has averaged a team-high 18.3 PPG for the Bruins. Larry Drew II, the point guard who transferred to Westwood from North Carolina, is fourth in the nation in assists with 7.8 APG. Drew has a 218/63 assists-to-turnovers ratio.

Mark Lyons, the transfer guard from Xavier, leads the Wildcats in scoring with a 15.2 PPG average.

When these Pac-12 rivals squared off in Tucson on Jan. 24, UCLA went into the McKale Center and won an 84-73 decision as an 8.5-point underdog. Muhammad scored a game-high 23 points, while David Wear had 15 points and eight rebounds. Drew dished out nine assists. For Arizona, Nick Johnson scored 23 points before fouling out. Lyons had 16 points but made only 6-of-17 from the field and had zero assists and five turnovers.

UCLA is No. 39 in the RPI Rankings, compiling a 4-4 record against the RPI Top 50 and a 10-6 mark against the RPI Top 100.

Sean Miller’s squad is 14th in the RPI Rankings, going 5-4 against RPI Top 50 opponents and 11-5 versus Top 100 foes.

The ‘under’ is 14-8 for Arizona, 6-4 in its 10 true road assignments.

The ‘under’ is 11-10 overall for UCLA, 5-5 in its home outings.

The ‘under’ is 4-1 in the last five head-to-head meetings between UCLA and Arizona.

Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets

Georgia is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games going into Saturday’s home game vs. Tennessee at Stegeman Coliseum. The Volunteers have won six in a row both SU and ATS. Most books opened Tennessee as a 1.5-point road favorite.

With the Gators back at full strength for just the eighth game this season, most spots opened them as 17-point favorites Saturday vs. Alabama. ESPN will have television coverage at noon Eastern.

Florida 2013 signee Chris Walker led Holmes County High School (in FL.) to a win over West Gadsden County in Wednesday’s state title game. Walker, a six-foot-10-inch center, averaged 25 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocked shots in the state semifinals in Lakeland. The future Gator beat up on a former Gator’s team, as West Gadsden is coached by Andrew Moten, who led UF to its first NCAA Tournament bid (and the Sweet 16 before losing to eventual runner-up Syracuse in the Meadowlands) in 1987.

St. John’s has suspended D’Angelo Harrison for the rest of the season. Harrison was third in the Big East in scoring, averaging 17.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.

Auburn head coach Tony Barbee is a goner.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, March 2

Saturday's Hoop Picks

Saturday's Revenge

March has arrived and with the “Madness” only a few weeks away, teams are wrapping up their regular seasons and preparing for their individual conference tournaments. That means this weekend is the final for some teams across the land as “Senior Day’s” are celebrated in final home games for many teams. The final few games also mean that some teams get another shot at a rival that did them wrong earlier this year and those are the games that have got my attention this weekend:

UConn vs. Cincinnati

These two met about 10 days ago and it was UConn who used the home-court advantage to propel themselves to the OT win. The Huskies have a propensity for playing close contests as four of their last 10 have needed extra time and they are 3-1 SU in that span.
The Bearcats couldn’t recover mentally from that loss as they went into Notre Dame a few days later and got blown out 62-41. They have now lost three in a row and five of six and need a quality performance at home to get things going again. This is their opportunity to do that against a UConn team that hasn’t played quality competition in a hostile environment for some time now (been road favorites in last four vs. weak rivals), so don’t be surprised to see the younger Huskies overwhelmed at the beginning from the hostile environment. Cincinnati will come out as an angry, motivated team ready to pounce and I see them running away with this game.

Miami vs. Duke

This is the biggest rematch of the day as Duke gets another shot at the Hurricanes. Duke was the #1 team in the land when they went to Miami and got their butts handed to them in a 90-63 beating that was never close. Now Miami must face the Cameron Crazies and a Duke team that is a little more agitated after losing to Virginia earlier this week.

Duke is 14-0 SU at home this year and is already 1-0 ATS in this type of revenge scenario. After they lost their first game of the year @ NC State, Duke came back in the rematch and won by 13 in a game that the final score made it look a lot closer than it was. The Blue Devils lead 58-37 at halftime in that game and took their foot off the gas down the stretch. Duke won’t be doing that this time around against a Miami team that thoroughly embarrassed them and the loss to Virginia on Wednesday has only added fuel to the fire for the Blue Devils.

Take Duke in a romp.

Arizona vs. UCLA

Unlike the previous two games, this one has the road team hungry for revenge after UCLA went into Arizona and beat the Wildcats 84-73 earlier this year. UCLA were 8.5-point underdogs in that game as they were the first to beat Arizona at home this year. The Wildcats haven’t forgotten about that game and were even caught looking ahead to this rematch last time out, losing by 11 to a USC team that were 7.5-point underdogs.

Many will point to that game and Arizona’s recent struggles on the road as reasons to stay away from them in this game but I have to disagree. They are fighting valiantly with Oregon and this UCLA team for the Pac-12 regular season title and they need this win to have a shot at catching Oregon.

UCLA hasn’t been great ATS at home this year, going 1-4 ATS in their last five at home, all of which were when they were favored. After they beat Arizona so easily earlier, I expect them to be laying numerous points again and envision them going to 1-5 ATS in their last six at home.

Take Arizona.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, March 2

Saturday's Bubble Game

Kentucky-Arkansas Huge NCAA Tournament Bubble Game in Weak SEC

As things stand now, the University of Arkansas isn’t going to the NCAA Tournament barring a shocking run to the SEC Tournament title. However, the Hogs could have a shot at a bid if they can win their final three regular-season games starting Saturday at home against Kentucky. The game will have live play-by-play betting at Bovada.

Arkansas (17-11, 8-7 SEC) has picked a bad time to have a two-game losing streak. Last Saturday’s loss at then-No. 5 Florida was understandable, but Wednesday’s 65-60 loss at LSU as a one-point favorite was a crusher for the Razorbacks. Arkansas will have to hope the NCAA Tournament selection committee looks past their dreadful 1-10 record on the road.

The Razorbacks currently have an RPI of 81, which is not good. On the positive side, they have three wins over top-50 teams: Oklahoma, Florida (when the Gators were No. 2 in the nation) and Missouri. The Hogs also have a win over another SEC bubble team, surging Tennessee. Negatively, Arkansas has nine wins over teams at 150-plus in the RPI and a very bad loss to South Carolina.

Also working against the Razorbacks is the weakness of the SEC as a whole, with only Florida currently ranked. Outside of the Gators, the only teams projected to get a bid as of today are Kentucky, Mississippi and Missouri. Certainly those three aren’t locks yet. Arkansas is also likely behind Alabama, Tennessee and LSU in the SEC pecking order for an at-large bid.

Saturday’s matchup with Kentucky (20-8, 11-4) is the only meeting between the schools in the regular season. The Wildcats were destroyed at Tennessee in their first game without star freshman Nerlens Noel. They have rebounded with wins over Vanderbilt, Missouri and Mississippi State. All those were in Lexington and UK was a favorite in all three. The Cats are just 4-5 on the road (3-6 ATS) and conceivably could lose out as they follow the Arkansas game by visiting Georgia and hosting Florida. ESPN’s Bracketology lists UK as a No. 12 seed and among the “last four in.” Kentucky is 66/1 at Bovada to repeat as the national champion.

Saturday's Live Bets

Also available for Live Betting Saturday is No. 5 Miami, Fl. at No. 3 Duke, a game that can wrap up the Hurricanes’ first-ever ACC regular-season title and the top seed in the conference tournament. UM had looked very vulnerable of late in close wins at Florida State, at Clemson and home against Virginia, all games the Canes could have lost. Playing with fire caught up with Miami last Saturday in an 80-65 loss at Wake Forest, one of the ACC’s worst teams. That ended UM’s 14-game winning streak and wrecked their chances of being the first team since Duke in 1998-99 to finish unbeaten in ACC play.

The Hurricanes (23-4, 14-1) bounced back strong with a 76-58 home win over Virginia Tech on Wednesday. Now UM can accomplish something incredibly rare: a season sweep over both North Carolina (already done) and Duke. The Canes crushed the then-No. 1 Blue Devils, who were 2.5-point favorites, 90-63 in Coral Gables on January 23. It was the sixth-worst loss for Duke under Coach Mike Krzyzewski and its worst since 1984. It also was Miami’s first-ever win against a top-ranked team.

Miami entered this season a combined 5-33 all-time against Duke and UNC. Should the Hurricanes pull the upset Saturday, they would become the first team since Georgia Tech in 1995-96 to win on the road in the same year against all the three "Research Triangle" teams – Duke, UNC and NC State.

A win also would put UM in great position for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament barring losses in their final two regular-season games, both at home (where Miami is unbeaten), or an early exit in the ACC Tournament. Duke and Miami are both 17/2 at the book to win the national title, behind only Indiana (19/4) and Florida (13/2). Losses by the Hoosiers and Gators this week haven’t changed their status as the two favorites, although their odds shifted a bit longer.

Also on Saturday, the book offers Live Betting on West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas and No. 11 Arizona at UCLA. KU needs a win to keep pace with Kansas State atop the Big 12 as the Jayhawks look for their ninth-straight regular-season conference title. KSU faces a tough test Saturday at Baylor, so Kansas could be in the driver’s seat with a win.

Kansas coach Bill Self earned his 500th career win in Monday’s 108-96 overtime victory at Iowa State, a game in which many believe the Cyclones were robbed because of two late calls by the officials that went Kansas’ way. After a review by the league, the Big 12 did announce that two officials made errors and they could lose future assignments as punishment. A win would have cemented an NCAA bid for ISU, but the Cyclones remain on the bubble.

Meanwhile, the Arizona-UCLA winner still has a shot at the Pac-12’s regular-season title but would need a bit of help from Oregon. The Bruins may have to play again without third-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder Travis Wear. The 6-foot-10 junior has missed two-straight games with a sprained foot, but the Bruins won both. UCLA upset then-No. 6 Arizona 84-73 in Tucson on January 24 behind 23 points from freshman star Shabazz Muhammad. It was UCLA’s first road win at a top-10 team since the 2001-02 season.

Arizona may have been caught looking ahead to Saturday’s game as they were upset 89-78 at USC on Wednesday as a 7.5-point favorite. UA hasn’t been good on its annual Los Angeles road swing in recent years, dropping to 3-8 in their past 11 including Wednesday’s loss.

Sunday's Live Bets

The book offers one Live NCAA Betting game Sunday: NC State at Georgia Tech. The Wolfpack, the preseason ACC favorites, have done enough so far to warrant an NCAA bid at 20-8 overall and 9-6 in the conference, but they don’t want to play with fire by losing to the struggling Yellow Jackets. NC State has lost five of its past six ACC road games but did beat Tech 83-70 in Raleigh on January 9. The Wolfpack are 40/1 at the book to win the national title.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, March 2

Saturday Cliff Notes
By Dave Essler

Louisville at Syracuse: Well, the Orange stock is probably at a season-low, even after getting Sutherland back. They'll be desperate to win and hopefully the top four and at least one bye in the Big East Tournament, while Louisville is just a game behind G-Town for first. Given that this is the Cardinals last road games and they've got two probably home wins left, this game means everything, up to and including NCAA Tournament seeding. 'Cuse have Depaul left and then a game at G-Town, so this is certainly a must-win for them as well, especially because they beat Louisville on the road earlier, which will add to their resume. Both teams are impressive offensive rebounding teams, and neither are great defensive rebounding teams, so their should be plenty of second chance points. That may give a slight edge, IMO, to Louisville who get to the line much more often and shoot well from the stripe. The one thing that would hold me back right now is that Louisville plays far more man than zone, and zone teams give Syracuse many more issues. See write up on Marquette game the other night. Both teams should be limited from three point land, so I could make a reasonable case for the under here, and I suspect at least the 1H as they probably will be quite deliberate, almost playing not to lose. Haven't seen the early line, but if I could catch a couple I do lean Louisville. Far LESS desperate and can play looser, which also may mean a 1H bet on them as well.

Arizona at UCLA: Huge battle for second in the Pac-12 and to stay within striking distance of Oregon. 'Cats loss at SoCal the other night dealt them a big blow going forward, while I can attribute the OT win over Arizona State as being a huge game for the Sun Devils as well as UCLA perhaps looking ahead a bit. So, it would seem that Arizona is simply playing better right now. This IS their last home game before playing the two Washington's, but I might not put quite as much stock in that as I usually do simply because aside from Larry Drew, UCLA has no other upper-classmen. However, they do have a one-and-done. Arizona is a reasonable road team, and with the experience here, which this time of year matters a lot. They've got the length, and have only this and a week of before playing ASU at home to conclude the regular season. I simply cannot take the Bruins here, simply because they are not a great rebounding team at either end, and Arizona is. It could also be tough to take the 'Cats, because they're going to want to shoot from deep, and defending the three is a strength of UCLA's defense. I do love ho often Arizona gets to the line, and all things being equal that would be the tipping point. However, this game will be played very up-tempo, and without turnovers, Arizona not defending the perimeter, I can see this game going over. I would caution you to bet it early if you agree, because that total should well be driven up from wherever it opens.

Colorado State at Boise State: Not a lot to play for in Conference, although Colorado State needs to stay firmly in second as they've got little or no hope of catching New Mexico. The only issue I have with CSU is that they don't yet have that signature road win, although they are easy to like being so fundamentally sound and perhaps one of the best rebounding teams in the nation. Boise also has a 20 point loss to try and avenge from earlier this season, but, although they've won four of five, they've been at home or at Fresno, so aside from beating UNLV at home (which most teams have done) they've feasted on lesser teams, lost to the good ones, and travel to Las Vegas next week. The question is really going to be whether or not Boise can play defense, and although I typically don't take too many road teams, I really think it's Colorado's game to lose. They have more experience and simply need it more, aside from the revenge factor, and are simply in a better spot, IMO.

Iowa State at Oklahoma: So, the Sooners have a total meltdown at Texas, for which myself and my clients were eternally grateful for. All the while Iowa State has their own meltdown and loses at home to Kansas. Bottom line here is which team is more fragile, IMO, and my gut reaction would be ISU simply because they're meltdown was at home and perhaps a bigger game. These teams are dead-tied in Conference play, but the Sooners have played the much tougher Big-12 SOS, so that would give me an immediate lean to Oklahoma, who has only been beaten at home by K-State and has two easy (probable) wins left on their schedule. While Iowa State may have shot their load winning their only Conference road game at Baylor, who we saw against WVU simply is not that good, or only as good as Pierre Jackson is. Lean to the Sooners, as I expected I would. ISU is simply going to have to make a ton of three's and contend with Oklahoma's inside game, and I am just not sure they're physically, or mentally, capable of sustaining that effort on the road for 40 minutes. I CAN see them coming out hot (1H bet, perhaps) but at game's end I think the Sooners find a way to win.

Miami at Duke:
Well, another interesting game in that you have to wonder how much of Duke's loss at UVA was attributed to UVA or looking ahead to the 'Canes, who obliterated them in Miami, and another game my clients and I were thankful to have taken Miami. Of course Miami's stock was sickeningly high a couple of weeks ago, and now perhaps not so much. No doubt they've got the talent, but what I was telling one client is that I am just not sure they've got the big-game experience, especially on the road. They DO have experience, but being aged and understanding how to be in games of this magnitude are two different things. Having said that, I would lean Duke. It's possible, but not likely from what I have read, that Ryan Kelly will be back, so let's assume he's not. Duke hasn't lost at home all year, and with THAT much emotion based on their loss in South Beach, you have to think the win this one. Or do you, since winning and covering are two different things. That loss at Miami was also in a game that Reggie Johnson unexpectedly made his return, so there were just too many things working against the Blue Devils. Miami does have the ACC regular season title wrapped up, given their last two games, so they thing they're playing for here is perhaps a #1 seed. But, I keep going back to experience and coaching, and although there's a number to cover, if Duke gets the chance they will certainly go for style points, and although Miami has won, save VT, they've expended a ton of energy beating teams you'd expect them to beat easily. That may have something to do with the mounting pressure, and did I mention experience. Duke ML in a parlay for certain, I would think.

K-State at Baylor: The Bears won at WVU much to our chagrin, but in watching that game is was far more of a case of the Mountaineers losing it than Baylor winning it. K-State is tied with Kansas atop the Big-12 but they simply won't catch them. The upcoming schedule says so and the fact that they've lost twice to them does as well. Baylor is beatable at home, and in our WVU write up we alluded to their travel perhaps being an issue, and not they've got to go right back on the road Monday against Texas, who at home is not an easy out. K-State pounded the shit out of them two weeks ago, so there's that to consider. I may lean Baylor here. I do know that they are not the better team, but someone like Pierre Jackson is exactly the type of point guard that can give a Bruce Weber defense a bit of a problem. Between that and the fact that K-State REALLY hasn't beaten anyone other than the Sooners on the road, this could be a tougher game for them than they want. Baylor's got the massive size advantage, and K-State's defense can be had, especially given that the Bears will run far more than the Wildcats would prefer.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, March 2

Weekend Lean Sheet
By David Banks

Alabama at Florida

These are the top two teams in the SEC with Florida still leading the way at 12-3 despite losing at Tennessee on Tuesday and Alabama one game back at 11-4 after suffocating Auburn 61-43 that same night, and points should be at a premium in this contest. The Gators are third in the country in defensive efficiency, sixth in effective field goal percentage allowed and eighth in two-point defense, which is important because Alabama is a poor three-point shooting team that gets most of its points inside. The Crimson Tide rank 28th in defensive efficiency and they have held 12 of their last 13 opponents below 60 points. The 'under' is 11-2 in the last 13 Alabama games when coming off of an 'under'. LEAN: UNDER

Notre Dame at Marquette

The top of the Big East is quite surprising in the wake of Marquette knocking off Syracuse on Monday as Georgetown now leads the conference at 11-3 with the Golden Eagles only one-half game back at 11-4. The Eagles are now a perfect 15-0 here at home this season while winning by an average of nearly 11 points per game, and Marquette is up to 13th in the country in offensive efficiency. Notre Dame does not apply much pressure, ranking a dismal 339th in defensive turnover percentage, so the Golden Eagles should be able to run their sets basically unabated. This appears to be a tough matchup for a Fighting Irish defense ranked 115th in efficiency, especially at this venue. Marquette is 37-17-1 ATS in its last 55 conference games when coming off of a home game. LEAN: MARQUETTE

Massachusetts at Xavier

The 16-11 Xavier Musketeers are playing much better lately as they followed up a narrow 75-71 loss to a VCU team that owns the most efficient offense in the conference with an upset of nationally ranked Memphis on Tuesday, snapping the Tigers' 18-game winning streak. Massachusetts has taken a step back since a 16-6 start, although the Minutemen did snap a three-game losing streak with a 76-66 win over Dayton to go to 17-9. UMass has had some issues defensively, allowing a disgusting 89.3 points per game during the three-game losing steak, and the Minutemen are now 111th nationally in defensive efficiency and 134th in effective field goal percentage allowed. Also the last head-to-head meeting went safely 'over' in an 80-73 Massachusetts win. The 'over' is 10-2 in the last 12 Xavier games when coming off of three ATS wins. LEAN: OVER

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, March 2

College Basketball Point Spreads and Picks – Louisville vs. Syracuse Headlines Early Slate
By: The Linemakers

Syracuse tries to avoid its first three-game losing streak since 2010-1l against a Louisville team that has won four straight by double digits.

The Wynn opened the Orange (22-6 SU, 14-10 ATS) as a 1.5-point favorite for their home date with the Cardinals (23-5 SU, 14-14 ATS). The game tips at noon on CBS.

Syracuse shot just seven free throws in Monday’s loss at Marquette. Their late collapse included six turnovers in a span of 10 possessions.

“I just think we lost our composure at the end,” junior forward C.J. Fair (14.4 points, 7.3 rebounds) told reporters. “I think that’s what kind of hurts us late in games sometimes. If we go down four or five points with a few minutes left, there is still enough time to come back. We just have to take our time with that.”

Now they face a Cardinals squad that leads the Big East with 18.8 turnovers forced per game. The Cardinals' plus-6.11 turnover margin also leads the conference, and they rank third nationally with nearly 11 steals per game.

Syracuse has won three straight in the series, though, and showed a lot of composure in its 70-68 victory at Louisville on Jan. 19.


* Louisville has covered only four times in their last 11 games..

* The home team has covered four of the past five meetings between Syracuse and Louisville.

* Syracuse has gone OVER the total in three of their last four games.

* Louisville has stayed UNDER the total in seven of their last nine games.

Alabama (19-9 SU, 10-14 ATS) at No. 8 Florida (22-5 SU, 14-10 ATS), Noon ET, ESPN

Alabama -7 Total: 118

Thursday was the first time in 138 days that Florida’s entire team practiced together.

Junior forward Will Yeguete, who had knee surgery three weeks ago, went through his first full-contact practice and should make a difference with his rebounding (6.3 per game) and defense. The Gators went 4-2 SU and 2-4 ATS without him, got outrebounded in four of those games, and gave up an average of 57.2 points per game, above their season average of 53.5.

“I feel like a kid right now,” Yeguete told the Gainesville Sun. “I'm excited to get out there.”

Florida also should have Michael Frazier, who missed the loss at Tennessee with a concussion, and Casey Prather, who suffered a head gash late in that game.

Florida is eighth in the RPI, Alabama 62nd.

Even in beating Auburn by 18 points Tuesday, Alabama went scoreless for nine-and-a-half minutes. A similar drought against the Gators would translate into a blowout.


* Alabama has covered only twice in their past seven games.

* Florida has covered only twice in their past seven games.

* Alabama has covered four of the last five meetings at Florida.

* The OVER has occurred in Alabama’s last four games at Florida.

The Linemakers’ offer leans on more of Saturday’s early tips:

Butler (22-6 SU, 15-10-1 ATS) at VCU (22-6 SU, 8-13 ATS), 12 p.m. ET, ESPN2

VCU -7 Total: 136 1/2

A matchup of two of our favorite teams and coaches in all of college basketball. Butler is a stout 8-4 ATS on the road, VCU is 7-5 ATS at home. VCU leads the nation in creating turnovers, but the well-coached Butler squad should be able to handle the Rams’ press.

Wichita State (24-6 SU, 14-11-2 ATS) at Creighton (23-7 SU, 14-13-1), 2 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Creighton -6 Total: 135 1/2

Wichita State is coming off an outright loss as a double-digit favorite against Evansville, but Creighton is on a bankroll-eating 1-8 ATS run. The Shockers have the better defense, and Kenny recommends taking the better defensive team getting points pretty much anytime you can get it.

Kentucky (20-8 SU, 10-15 ATS) at Arkansas (17-11 SU, 10-10 ATS), 4 p.m. ET, CBS

Arkansas -3 Total: 148

Kentucky has won three straight since the bad loss at Tennessee in their first game without Nerlens Noel. All three of those wins were at home, though, and at 20-8 and 11-4 in the SEC, you have to figure they're in the tournament – they are Kentucky, after all.

Arkansas has lost their last two, but their only loss at home was to Syracuse back on Nov. 30. At close to a pick ‘em, we have to love the Razorbacks in this one.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, March 2

College Basketball Point Spreads and Picks – Duke Looks For Revenge Against Miami
By: The Linemakers

Forget the notion that Duke lost Thursday at Virginia because the Blue Devils were looking ahead to Miami. Duke may just not be very good right now.

The Blue Devils (24-4 SU, 15-13 ATS) look nothing like the team that started the season 15-0 and beat Louisville and Ohio State. They’re 9-4 without senior forward Ryan Kelly, who’s nearing a return but not expected to play Saturday vs. the Hurricanes (23-4 SU, 16-7-1 ATS).

The Wynn opened Duke as a 6.5-point home favorite.

After the Blue Devils got outrebounded, 33-21, and grabbed just three offensive rebounds in the five-point loss at Virginia, coach Mike Krzyzewski all but called his team soft.

"It was a very, very physical game and we're not equipped to that type of game,” said Coach K, whose team fell behind, 9-0, and never led. “We got knocked back.”

Duke is 1-6-1 ATS in its last eight against the Hurricanes and lost at home to Miami last season. Miami’s 27-point trouncing of the Blue Devils on Jan. 23 was Duke’s worst regular-season loss in nearly three decades.

That’s the backdrop for Saturday’s top five matchup at Cameron Indoor Stadium (6 p.m. ET, ESPN), which heads a busy evening of college hoops.

"People have been looking forward to this game on Saturday since we played them last," Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. "But for us, we've had to take it one game at a time. ... Almost every team in the ACC plays better at home than they do on the road and Duke is no different. They've got great fan support. The place will be packed and rockin', probably hours before the game."

Even though Miami has won 14 of 15, including 76-58 over Virginia Tech on Wednesday, the ‘Canes have been money burners on the road lately, going 1-4-1 ATS.

Miami (14-1 ACC) clinched a share of the ACC regular-season title with Thursday’s loss by Duke (11-4). The ‘Canes can lose Saturday and still clinch their first outright conference title in program history by beating lowly Georgia Tech or Clemson at home.

Miami has the better team, but not nearly the motivational edge Duke should bring Saturday.


* Miami has covered only once in its last six road games.

* Duke has covered five of its last six home games.

* Miami has gone OVER the total in 11 of its past 12 games against winning teams.

* Duke has gone OVER the total in nine of its last 13 games,

* 11 of the past 12 meetings between Miami and Duke have gone OVER the total.

* Miami has covered five of the past six meetings at Duke.

The Linemakers’ lean: This is obviously a big revenge spot for Duke (remember Miami slapping the floor in the blowout earlier this season? Yeah, the Devils do to). And while the Blue Devils are a middling 7-7 ATS at home this season, Coach K will relish the opportunity to run the score up on Saturday. Miami has struggled on the road recently, going 1-4-1 ATS over its last six away.

More leans from The Linemakers on Saturday’s evening tips

Iowa (18-10 SU, 15-9 ATS) at Indiana (24-4 SU, 15-11 ATS), 7:30 p.m. ET, BTN

Indiana -14 Total: 146

Iowa is 18-10 and 7-8 in the Big 10, which puts them firmly on the bubble. The young Hawkeyes have played well on the road of late, losing by three at Minnesota and by four at Wisconsin. They had the lead late in both of those games.

Devyn Marble is shooting it well again, and as tough as the Hoosiers are at home, we are looking for Iowa to keep it within this very big number.

Arizona (23-5 SU, 12-14 ATS) at UCLA (21-7 SU, 11-16 ATS), 9 p.m. ET, ESPN

UCLA -1.5 Total: 146 1/2

Arizona has underachieved this season, but our lean here is on the total, not the side. Both teams like to play at a fast pace, and we’re looking for an up-and-down Pac-12 game Saturday night.

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