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College Basketball Betting News and Notes Friday, November 8
College Basketball Betting News and Notes Friday, November 8
Friday's Betting Notes
By Brian Edwards
Maryland vs. Connecticut
These schools will collide at Barclays Center in Brooklyn for a 6:30 p.m. Eastern tip on ESPN2. As of early Thursday night, most betting shops had UConn favored by 5 ½ or six points.
Most preseason publications have Maryland predicted to finish sixth or seventh in the ACC. The Terrapins are seeking their first NCAA Tournament bid since Mark Turgeon took over for Gary Williams. Turgeon’s first season ended with 17 wins and last year the Terps won 25 before losing in the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden.
Maryland lost 7-1 center Alex Len to the NBA Draft following his sophomore campaign. Len averaged 11.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocked shots per game. The Terps also lost Pe’Shon Howard, who transferred to Southern Cal. Howard dished out a team-high 3.6 assists per game.
Turgeon’s troops will be led by Dez Wells, who scored a team-high 13.1 PPG after transferring to College Park from Xavier. Wells, who can play the 2 or the 3, averaged 4.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists per contests in 2012-2013. Junior guard Nick Faust is another wing player who averaged 9.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.0 steals per game as a sophomore. Seth Allen (7.8 PPG) was expected to be the starting point guard before suffering a fractured foot that’s going to keep him on the sidelines until January. Look for Wells to play a lot of PG in Allen’s absence.
Maryland has three key newcomers. Michigan transfer Evan Smotrycz sat out last year but is ready to contribute. The stretch-4 with range averaged 7.7 points and 4.9 boards a game for the Wolverines in 2011-2012. Penn St. transfer Jonathan Graham is still awaiting word from the NCAA on whether or not he can play this season. Graham averaged 3.9 points and 3.3 rebounds for the Nittany Lions last year. Roddy Peters, a local D.C. product, is a combo guard who was ranked No. 48 by Rivals.com in his 2013 recruiting class.
UConn enters its second season since Jim Calhoun’s retirement looking to get back to the postseason. The Huskies are in the newly-formed AAC after going 20-10 overall and 10-8 in its last season in the Big East. They weren’t allowed to play in the postseason due to a one-year ban from the NCAA for recruiting violations.
UConn has one of the country’s premier backcourts with senior Shabazz Napier and junior Ryan Boatright. Napier averaged 17.1 points, 4.6 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game last season, while Boatright averaged 15.4 points and 4.4 assists per contest.
Kevin Ollie’s squad has an excellent third wheel in DeAndre Daniels, who averaged 12.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Daniels also blocked a team-high 45 shots. He is looking to get help in the paint from incoming freshman Kentan Facey, who was New York state’s Gatorade Player of the Year.
UConn power forward Tyler Olander (4.3 PPG, 3.7 RPG) has been suspended indefinitely after being charged with DUI.
UConn will get backcourt depth from George Washington transfer Lasan Kromah, who averaged double figures in scoring in each of his three seasons with the Colonials. The Huskies have also added North Carolina St. transfer Rodney Purvis, but he must sit out the season and will only be able to contribute in practice.
St. John’s vs. Wisconsin
This Big East-Big Ten showdown will take place at the Sanford Sports Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Eastern on the Big Ten Network.
As of early Thursday night, most betting shops had Wisconsin favored by 4 ½-points
Wisconsin is ranked No. 20 in The AP Top 25 peseason poll. The Badgers were bounced from last season’s NCAA Tournament in their opener against Ole Miss.
Bo Ryan has led Wisconsin to the Big Dance in each of his 12 seasons as head coach. The Badgers, who have never finished worse than fourth in the Big Ten under Ryan, are a solid bet to be back in the NCAAs again this year thanks to the return of Traevon Jackson, Josh Gasser, Sam Dekker and Ben Brust. Gasser is returning from a torn ACL that caused him to miss the 2012-2013 campaign.
Brust is the team’s leading returning scorer (11.1 PPG) and rebounder (5.1 RPG) despite standing just 6-1. He does all the little things and is a vintage player in Ryan’s program, one that takes charges, devours loose balls and is always in the right place. Jackson and Gasser can both play PG and create for others. Dekker is a 6-7 forward that can step out and stroke it from 3-point range.
St. John’s is expected to finish in the middle of the pack in the new Big East that has 10 teams, including newcomers like Xavier, Butler and Creighton. The Red Storm was decimated by injuries and a key suspension in 2012-2013 when they won only 17 games. Steve Lavin’s squad was in the bubble conversation in early February before losing seven of its last eight games. D’Angelo Harrison (17.8 PPG) was suspended for the last six games but was reinstated over the summer.
The Red Storm returns most of its key pieces like sophomore JaKarr Sampson, who averaged 14.9 points and 6.6 rebounds per game last year. Sir’Dominic Pointer is back after leading the Johnnies in assists, steals and field-goal percentage.
St. John’s went to its first NCAA Tournament since 2002 in Lavin’s first season, losing in the first round to Gonzaga. But Lavin missed most of his second year as he battled prostate cancer and the Red Storm limped to a 13-19 record. Coming off a 17-win season, Lavin is determined to get St. John’s back in the NCAAs in his fourth year at the helm.
Oregon vs. Georgetown
This game will be played at Camp Humphreys in Seoul, South Korea, in front of United States troops. Both schools will wear camo-style uniforms in the second edition of the Armed Forces Classic. ESPN will have the telecast at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
As of early Thursday night, most spots had Georgetown as a four-point ‘chalk.’
Oregon advanced to the Sweet 16 last season before falling to eventual national champ Louisville. The Ducks finished the year with 28 wins and won the Pac-12 Tournament with a win over UCLA in the finals.
Oregon will be without starting guard Dominic Artis and reserve forward Ben Carter. Both sophomores have been suspended indefinitely for selling team gear (shoes in this case). Artis averaged 8.5 points, 3.2 assists and 1.5 steals per game as a freshman. When he missed nine games with a foot injury, the Ducks weren’t the same team.
Dana Altman’s team will have its second leading scorer from last year in sophomore Damyean Dotson, who averaged 11.4 points and 3.5 assists per game as a freshman. The Ducks lost a pair of solid post players in E.J. Singler and Tony Woods, but they add UNLV transfer Mike Moser after he struggled with injuries for the Rebels last season.
Speaking of transfers, Georgetown could be in business if former UCLA center Josh Smith can keep his weight down. Smith has outstanding post moves and reminds me a lot of Dametri Hill, who led the Florida Gators to their first Final Four appearance in 1994.
Georgetown will be without Greg Whittington (12.1 PPG) for the time being due to a torn ACL suffered in the spring. The Hoyas will also be trying to replace the void caused by the loss of Otto Porter, who was the No. 3 pick in the NBA Draft.
Senior guard Markel Starks was the Hoyas second-leading scorer last season when he averaged 12.8 points and 3.0 assists per game.
Georgetown was the first victim of Florida Gulf Coast in last year’s NCAA Tournament, losing 78-68 as a 14-point favorite and a No. 3 seed.
Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Friday, November 8
NCAAB tip off: What Bettors Need to Know
Maryland Terrapins vs. Connecticut Huskies (-7, 144)
Site: Brooklyn, New York
The Terrapins are predicted to challenge for that middle tier in the ACC, though another year of maturity from swingman Dez Wells could get them closer to the top. Wells is expected to take on more ball-handling duties and averaged 13.1 points on 52.6 percent shooting as a sophomore last season, including a 30-point outburst in an ACC tournament win over Duke.
The Huskies managed 20 wins despite sitting out both the Big East and NCAA Tournaments last season and will run out a starting lineup with two seniors and two juniors to go along with sophomore Omar Calhoun. Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright combined to average 32.5 points and nine assists in one of the most productive backcourts in the country last season.
* Under is 8-2 in Huskies last 10 vs. Atlantic Coast.
* Over is 6-2 in Terrapins last eight neutral site games.
* Terrapins are 5-1 ATS in their last six neutral site games.
Davidson Wildcats at Duke Blue Devils (-17, 152)
The Wildcats are coming off consecutive 25-win campaigns and lost on a last-second shot to third-seeded Marquette in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Davidson, which will move to the Atlantic 10 in 2014, begins its final season in the Southern Conference with the league’s preseason player of the year in De’Mon Brooks (13.7 points, 6.2 rebounds).
Despite the loss of its top three scorers from a season ago, the expectations remain high for No. 4 Duke. The Blue Devils lost Seth Curry, Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly to graduation – a trio that accounted for 54.8 percent of the team’s scoring – but highly-touted freshman Jabari Parker was the crown jewel of a recruiting class that is expected to help Duke win the ACC.
* Under is 7-1 in the last eight meetings.
* Under is 4-1 in the last five meetings in Duke.
* Wildcats are 5-2 ATS in their last seven vs. Atlantic Coast.
St. John's Red Storm vs. Wisconsin Badgers (-3.5, 132)
Site: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Despite having five starters and 11 letterwinners returning, the fortunes of this year's St. John's squad could come down to a newcomer Rysheed Jordan. St. John's has a pair of solid scorers returning in D'Angelo Harrison (17.8) and JaKarr Sampson (14.9), as well as the nation's blocked shots leader in sophomore Chris Obekpa (4.03).
Wisconsin has long been a top defensive squad under coach Bo Ryan, who also preaches balance offensively. Senior guard Ben Brust was the team's leading scorer a year ago, averaging 11.1 points, and he'll be a key to the team's success again this year.
* Red Storm are 2-5 ATS in their last seven non-conference games.
* Red Storm are 0-4 ATS in their last four neutral site games.
* Badgers are 1-4 ATS in their last five non-conference games.
Oregon Ducks vs Georgetown Hoyas (-5, 131)
Site: Camp Humphreys Army Base, South Korea
With the loss of three frontcourt starters, Oregon coach Dana Altman will once again rely on transfers to carry the Ducks back into the NCAA tournament. Mike Moser is with his third program and is expected to start at forward, while Jason Calliste and Joseph Young will vie for a spot a shooting guard.
Josh Smith, a 6-10, 350-pound transfer from UCLA, should help to offset the loss of Otto Porter, who led the Hoyas in scoring, rebounding and steals. Greg Whittington was expected to take over Porter's role in the offense, but a torn ACL will leave him sidelined for the entire season.
* Ducks are 5-0 ATS in their last five neutral site games.
* Ducks are 4-0 ATS in their last four non-conference games.
* Hoyas are 18-8 ATS in their last 26 neutral site games.
Alabama Crimson Tide vs Oklahoma Sooners (-5, 132)
Site: Dallas, Texas
Alabama must depend on senior guard Trevor Releford to carry the load early after a rough offseason which saw three players from the rotation leave the program. Trevor Lacey, Moussa Gueye and Devonta Pollard have all left. Algie Key, who averaged 17.6 points in community college last season, joins the group and more will be expected from guard Retin Obasohan along with forward Nick Jacobs.
For the Sooners, Ryan Sprangler, Cameron Clark and Tyler Neal highlight a new frontcourt with leading scorer and rebounder Romero Osby gone. Buddy Hield joins fellow sophomores Je’lon Hornbeak and Isaiah Cousins in the backcourt and coach Lon Kruger will be hoping to increase the 16 points combined they produced last season.
* Under is 4-1 in Sooners last five neutral site games.
* Under is 5-0 in Crimson Tide last five neutral site games.
* Crimson Tide are 1-5 ATS in their last six vs. Big 12.
Florida Gulf Coast Eagles at Nebraska Cornhuskers (OFF, OFF)
No longer an unknown after last season's improbable NCAA Tournament success, the Eagles come into the season with not only high expectations, but with a new head coach. Former Kansas assistant Joe Dooley takes over for Andy Enfield, who departed for Southern California after leading the Eagles to the Sweet 16 last season.
After a dismal season in head coach Tim Miles' first season, Nebraska will move into the new Pinnacle Arena, which has already sold out for every Cornhusker game this season. Starters Ray Gallegos, Shavon Shields and David Rivers return to a team that finished 10th in the Big Ten last season.
* Under is 43-21-1 in Cornhuskers last 65 home games.
* Over is 4-1 in Eagles last five non-conference games.
* Eagles are 5-0 ATS in their last five non-conference games.
Colorado Buffaloes vs. Baylor Bears (-4.5, 145)
Site: Dallas, Texas
The Buffaloes will have a hard time replacing Andre Roberson (10.9 points, 11.2 rebounds), who left early for the NBA, but have a player expected to join Roberson in the world's top league next season. Spencer Dinwiddie (team-leading 15.3 points) is a 6-6 junior guard capable of dominating a game and considered making himself available for the most recent NBA draft before his father encouraged him to stay in school.
After reaching the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament twice in three seasons, Baylor settled for the NIT in 2013 and crushed Iowa 74-54 to win the tournament title. The Bears will be led by All-Big 12 preseason selections Isaiah Austin - a 7-1 sophomore center who averaged 13 points and a team-high 8.3 rebounds - and senior forward Cory Jefferson (13.3 points, eight rebounds). Both players were considered potential first-round picks in the NBA draft if they opted to leave after last season.
* Over is 9-4 in Bears last 13 neutral site games.
* Buffaloes are 12-5-1 ATS in their last 18 neutral site games.
* Over is 4-1 in Buffaloes last five vs. Big 12.
Boston College Eagles at Providence Friars (-2.5, 146)
The Eagles could have one of the nation's better backcourts with sophomore guards Joe Rahon and Olivier Hanlan, who opened eyes coast-to-coast by scoring a freshman-record 41 points in the ACC tournament. Hanlan averaged a team-high 15.4 points and shot nearly 40 percent from long range while Rahon scored 10.1 per game and handed out 123 assists.
The Friars return their top three scorers from a squad that closed the regular season with seven wins in nine games before advancing to the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament. The one key loss was point guard Vincent Council, but the Friars have a replacement in sophomore Kris Dunn, one of the nation's top recruits two years ago.
* Underdog is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings.
* Eagles are 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings in Providence.
* Over is 5-1 in Eagles last six vs. Big East.
Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Friday, November 8
Oklahoma lost three starters from a 20-12 team that lost its last three games LY, getting upset by TCU in regular season finale, then getting beat in both Big X tourney and first NCAA game. Alabama has three starters back from 23-13 team that went 1-5 during a December non-conference skid that cost them at tournament time.
SMU beat TCU 64-61 LY in local rivalry, when Frog subs missed 8 of 9 free throws; TCU shot 55% for game inside arc, but Mustangs hit 18-27 foul shots. SMU has all five starters back from 15-17 team, but this is second year in Coach Brown's system. TCU lost four starters from LY's 11-21 team, but they're bringing in good young players to rebuild.
Baylor is 5-3 in its last eight games with Colorado, but they lost 60-58 to Buffs LY despite Colorado bricking 14 of 18 foul shots. Year before, Bears hammered Colorado by 17 in NCAAs. Buffs have quality PG in Dinwiddie, one of four starters back from 20-12 team. Baylor has three starters back from 23-12 team that won the NIT championship.
Boston College won four of last five games with Providence, its former rival in Big East; they lost 64-57 in last visit here two years ago. Friars suspended two freshman this week, one of whom (Austin) is supposed to be bigtime talent. BC is expected to finish in top half of ACC, even with Syracuse/Pitt/ND joining league- they have all five starters back from LY's and have seven juniors who have played a lot.
Maryland PG Allen (foot) is out for few weeks, so freshman will have to do most of ball handling until he gets back; Terps were 25-13 LY, but only 10-11 in league play. UConn is off probation, has all five starters back from LY and has very good guards- they went 20-10 playing under cloud of no postseason play LY.
Oregon suspended G Artis for selling his sneakers; they stumbled LY when he out injured. Ducks lost three other starters from LY's 28-9 club that went 12-6 in Pac-12, but they've added couple of excellent transfers. Georgetown lost two best players from their 25-7 team that went 14-4 in Big East. This game is on an Army base in South Korea.
Wisconsin gets PG Gasser back from ACL injury, but not sure if he is 100% yet; Badgers has two starters back from 23-12 team that lost to Ole Miss in first round of NCAAs. St John's has its five top scorers back from LY, including 6-4 G Harrison, who was suspended for last six games. Ryan-Lavin is immense coaching mismatch in Badgers' favor.
Enfield makes USC coaching debut at Utah State, where Aggies seldom lose; State has four starters back from 21-10 team as it moves up from WAC to Mountain West. Trojans have three starters back from 13-18 team that had its coach fired during season- they're going to play faster now, but may not have all the players yet to make it translate to wins.
Cal-Irvine won 58-51 at Fresno State LY, outscoring Bulldogs 23-13 in final 10:00 of game; Anteaters lost three starters from 21-16 team, are expected to be a contender in Big West. Fresno also lost three starters but one of them was 7-0 Upshaw in offseason, which hurt; Bulldogs had trouble scoring LY, ranking 342nd out of 347 teams in 2-point FG%.
Louisiana Tech lost four of last five games LY after a 26-3 start, missed out on NCAAs, but shared regular season WAC title; they've moved to C-USA, are expected to contend with four starters back and Memphis off to AAC. St Mary's is always good but they lost Dellavedova, their PG for last three years. Gaels have three starters back from 28-7 team.
Duke beat Davidson by 17-13 points the last two years; word is that Duke is more athletic than usual, less experienced, but they're going to run more and attack on defense more. Davidson is really well-coached but they lost four seniors off LY's 26-8 team- they were 29-all at half vs Duke LY, but got outscored 19-5 in first 10:00 of 2nd half, lost by 17.
BYU beat Weber State the last ten years; Wildcats lost last five visits to Provo, all by 15+ points. Weber is picked to win Big Sky this year with three starters back from 30-7 team that #2 in nation in 3-point shooting- they lost by 10 at home to BYU, witrh Cougars shooting 61% inside arc. Difference in class: WCC is #10 league in country, Big Sky is #27.
Alford makes coaching debut at UCLA vs Drexel squad that returns four starters from 13-18 team that went 9-9 in CAA but had ton of injuries and didn't defend as well as they usually do. Bruins have three starters back from Pac-12 regular season champs that went 10-7 in last 17 games and then lost by 20 to Minnesota in first round of NCAAs. Alford has a tough job; his predecessor made three Final Fours and still got fired.