College Basketball Betting News and Notes Friday, December 6

College Basketball Betting News and Notes Friday, December 6

SEC-Big 12 Challenge
By David Schwab

All the top action in college basketball this week has been centered on head-to-head matchups between major conferences and this Friday night features a couple of monster showdowns in the newly formed SEC-Big 12 Challenge. This is the inaugural season for this 10-game competition that kicked things off with Alabama’s 76-64 victory over Texas Tech on Nov.14. It concludes on Saturday, Dec. 21 with a matchup between Oklahoma and Texas A&M.

On Friday, we have two more battles on tap which feature three ranked schools.

South Carolina Gamecocks at No. 9 Oklahoma State Cowboys

The Gamecocks come into this contest with just four previous games under their belt in what has been a slow and steady start to the new season. They played Baylor tough on the road on Nov.12 in a 66-64 loss as 13 ½-point underdogs but failed to cover against rival Clemson their next time out in a 71-57 loss as five-point road underdogs. Overall, South Carolina is 2-2 straight-up (2-1 against the spread) and the total has been evenly split as well.

Sindarius Thornwell leads the Gamecocks in scoring with 13 points a game and the offense as a whole has shown some balance and depth with a total of six players posting at least eight points a game. However, this has all added up to an average of just 71.8 points a game and the team is shooting 42.9 percent from the field and 31.6 percent from three-point range, which could be an issue against the Cowboys. One area of strength has been under the boards with an average of 39.3 rebounds.

Oklahoma State started the season tied with Syracuse at No. 8 in the AP preseason poll and after climbing to No. 5 with seven straight wins to start the year it is basically back where it began after this past Sunday’s 73-68 loss to No. 21 Memphis as a six-point favorite. The Cowboys had already beaten the Tigers 101-80 on Nov. 19 as 9½-point favorites at home. They are 2-3 ATS on the year and the total has gone OVER in three of the five games.

Coming into this contest, Marcus Smart leads a fivesome of players scoring in double figures with 20.5 points a game. The Cowboys are ranked third in the nation in scoring with an average of 91.9 points while shooting a solid 51.3 percent from the field and 43.6 percent from beyond the arc. They should match up well against South Carolina under the boards with an average of 39.3 rebounds.

The Cowboys have been opened as prohibitive 18-point home favorites over South Carolina.

The Gamecocks are 0-5 SU and 1-4 ATS in their last five road games and the total has stayed UNDER in six of their last nine games on the road, while Oklahoma State has just one SU loss in its last seven home games. This will be the first meeting between these two in recent memory.

No. 3 Kentucky Wildcats vs. No. 20 Baylor Bears

This game will be played at AT&T Stadium from Arlington, Texas

The Wildcats have shaken off an early 78-74 loss to then-No.2 Michigan State as four-point underdogs with five straight wins that have them knocking on the door to get that No. 1 preseason ranking right back. They are 7-1 SU on the year with a 3-2-1 record ATS. The total has gone OVER in three of five games with a posted line.

Freshman sensation Julius Randle has lived up to all the early season hype with a team-high 18.1 points and 12.5 rebounds while converting on 53.6 percent of his shots from the floor. Aaron Harrison is chipping in another 13.8 points and his twin brother Andrew leads the team in assists (3.4) while scoring 10.4 points a game. Kentucky is averaging 84.5 points and it has been a force under the boards behind Randle with 46.8 rebounds a game, which is the fourth-highest total in the nation.

Baylor’s only defeat so far against seven SU wins was a 74-67 loss to No. 4 Syracuse in the Maui Invitational Championship on Nov. 27 as a 4½-point underdog. The Bears are 2-4 ATS and the total has been evenly split across the six games. This will be their fourth neutral site appearance in their last five outings with Friday night’s game being played where the Dallas Cowboys play their football games.

The Bears have had a hot hand so far shooting 50.2 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from three-point range while posting an average of 78.1 points a game. Cory Jefferson and Brady Heslip are the team’s top two scorers with a combined 26.4 points a game. Jefferson is pulling down a team-high 8.8 rebounds and Heslip is hitting 50 percent of his shots from the floor and 52 percent from three-point range.

Kentucky comes into this Big 12-SEC Challenge as a 4 ½-point favorite over the Bears in what will be the third meeting in the last three seasons.

These two teams met in the Elite 8 of the 2012 NCAA Tournament with the Wildcats moving on towards an eventual national title with an 82-70 victory as 7½-point favorites. Baylor successfully avenged that loss with a 64-55 win last December as a 6.5-point underdog on the road.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Friday, December 6

Kentucky at Baylor: What Bettors Need to Know

Kentucky Wildcats at Baylor Bears (+3.5)

The site of this season’s Final Four will get a test run Friday night when No. 4 Kentucky meets No. 20 Baylor in the inaugural Big 12/SEC Challenge at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. Both teams are led by 6-9 forwards who can score as well as they rebound. Cory Jefferson is averaging 13.5 points and 8.8 boards for the Bears, similar to what he provided last season as a junior en route to winning All-Big 12 Honorable Mention. Julius Randle, a Dallas native, is averaging 18.1 points and 12.5 rebounds in his freshman campaign for the Wildcats.

Kentucky struggled against Baylor’s zone defense alignments when these teams met last December and shot 30 percent from the field in the 64-55 loss, the lowest under coach John Calipari. Baylor still has 7-1 center Isaiah Austin manning the middle of the key, so the Wildcats will need to figure out how to counter his size, preferably with some efficient perimeter shooting. Kentucky has been hot-and-cold from 3-point range lately, shooting 3-for-16 last week against Eastern Michigan but coming back with a 6-for-8 performance Sunday against Providence.

ABOUT KENTUCKY (7-1): The Wildcats have a solid big man as well in 7-footer forward Willie Cauley-Stein, who produced 15 points, eight rebounds and nine blocked shots in Sunday’s win, the second-most blocks in program history. He has at least four blocks in the last three games and he and Randle will make it tough on Baylor’s guards to get to the rim. The other three starters for Kentucky also stand 6-6, giving the Wildcats one of the bigger starting lineups in the nation.

ABOUT BAYLOR (7-1): Brady Heslip quickly put behind a dismal performance against Dayton last week at the Maui Invitational by shooting 4-for-7 from the 3-point line the following day against No. 5 Syracuse and then making 5-of-8 Sunday against Hardin-Simmons. Heslip comes off the bench for the Bears and gives them a nice boost when he’s shooting well. The Baylor reserves combine to average 32.9 points and the first four off the bench play an average of 19.7 minutes.


* Wildcats are 4-1 ATS in their last five vs. Big 12.
* Bears are 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall.
* Under is 5-2 in Bears last seven non-conference games.
* Under is 6-2 in Wildcats last eight overall.


1. Baylor is 3-0 this season in games decided by 5 points or less after finishing 2-8 in such contests last season.

2. This marks the third straight season Baylor and Kentucky have met with the Wildcats also beating the Bears to reach the 2012 Final Four.

3. The 6-for-8 shooting from long range against Providence marked the first time the Friars shot better than 71.4 percent from beyond the arc since 1986.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Friday, December 6

College Basketball: Streaks, Tips, Notes 

Kentucky vs Baylor

Third-Ranked Kentucky with a single blemish on the campaign, a loss to MSU in the Champions Classic take on one-loss Baylor in the Big 12-SEC Challenge in Arlington. Wildcats arguably one of the most talented teams in the country net 84.5 PPG while allowing 64.0 per/contest. Bears suffering it's only loss against Orange in the Maui Invitation hit the hardwood scoring 78.1 PPG on 50.4% from the field and give up 66.5 PPG to the competition. John Calipari will have the troops primed for a little pay-back in this contest. Kentucky was trounce 64-55 by Bears last season in a game that marked Wildcats first setback at Rupp Arena in the Calipari era. Trends of note: Wildcats are 4-5 ATS in Nov/Dec neutral site games, 2-2 ATS last four revenging a loss to an opponent, 2-5 ATS L7 as favorite away from Rupp Arena. Bears dumping Gamecocks earlier this season but dropping the cash are on a 5-15 ATS skid vs SEC opponents.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Friday, December 6

College Basketball Information

Arizona State lost twe of three in SoCal last weekend; losing by three to Miami when Carson shot 2-14 with tweaked ankle; have to see him run before deciding anything here. DePaul is 0-3 vs top 100 teams, losing by 7-18-18 points; they're turning ball over 20.4% of time but are shooting 39.5% from arc. ASU won its only true road game, 66-60 at UNLV.

LMU won both its road games so far, winning by total of five points in wins at Long Beach/Riverside; Lions lost by 9 points each to only two top 200 teams they've played, No Iowa/Vandy. Pittsburgh is 8-0, with five wins by 21+ points; Panthers force turnovers 20.4% of time, grab 40.5% of own missed shots. LMU is making only 28.1% from the arc.

South Carolina gets Ellington back from football team, will help depth in backcourt; Gamecocks are shooting just 31.6% from arc but force TOs 20.6% of time. Carolina hasn't played in 12 days; they lost at Clemson by 14, Baylor by 2 in only two road games. Oklahoma State got beat by Memphis is Disney finals; this is their first home game in 17 days.

First road game for Cal team that beat UCSB by 9-20 points last couple years; Gauchos shot 25% inside arc in LY's 68-59 loss that Cal led by 22 with 8:17 left. UCSB made 13-30 from arc to make it closer; they lost at UCLA by 13 Tuesday- they led by 1 with 10:00 left, but Bruins had a 27-7 edge on foul line. Gauchos lost three of their last four games.

7-1 Kentucky is least-experienced team in country, but they played PC in Brooklyn Sunday, face Baylor here in Jerry World, so they're gaining experience while grabbing 48% of their missed shots (#1 in US), holding foes to 37.2% inside arc. Baylor is 3-1 vs top 100 teams, losing by 7 tio Syracuse in Maui final. Bears are turning ball over 22.7% of the time.

Manhattan is 8-3 in its last 11 games vs Marist; they're 3-2 in last five visits here, by 19-1-17 points. Jaspers are 0-2 at home, 4-0 on road; all six of their games were decided by 9 or less points. Red Foxes are 0-8, losing by 9 at Iona (+18) in MAAC opener after losing to Morgan State in OT in game before that. Marist has 5th-worst eFG% (39.5%) in US.

Siena is 2-7, but won by 1 at Cornell in only game vs team outside top 200; they led Purdue by 13 at half in last game Sunday but lost by 5, its fourth loss in row, all vs top 100 teams. 1-7 Niagara lost last six games, all on road/neutral sites; Eagles won last four series games. Siena lost last five visits here, by 15-13-14-4-23 points. Niagara's new coach isn't as good as the last one; their opponents make 57.1% inside the arc.

St Peter's won four of last six visits to Canisius, but Peacocks got swept by 9-12 points by Canisius in LY's series. St Peter's is 2-4 with three losses by 7 or less points and two wins vs stiffs- they're making 30.2% on arc. Griffins haven't played in ten days since losing to a D-II team by 14 on neutral floor. St Peter's had won nine of ten series games before getting swept LY.

Fairfield lost its last six games, losing by 7 at Loyola, 9 at Providence in only true road games; stags turn ball over 25.3% of time, 4th-worst rate in country. Fairfield beat Quinnipac by 12 on neutral court couple years ago; this is MAAC debut for Bobcats, who are 3-0 vs teams outside top 200, winning by 5-3-41 points- they grab 43.4% of their own misses.

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