College Basketball Betting News and Notes Thursday, March 20

College Basketball Betting News and Notes Thursday, March 20

College Basketball Information

Ohio State won its last four first round games, covered last three, winning by 29-29-25 points, but those were as 1-2 seeds; they’ve made Sweet 16 last four years. #6 seeds are 7-1 vs spread in first round last two years, after being 2-10 three years before that (9-11 last five years). Last year was just second time this century no #6 seed got beat in first round. Dayton is in tourney for first time since ’09, second time in decade; Buckeyes won’t play them during regular season. OSU is more experienced, teams play roughly same tempo, Flyers sub more. Buckeyes are 9-4 in last 13 games. Dayton is 3-6 vs top 50 teams.

There are 351 D-I basketball teams; Wisconsin ranks #338 in time per possession, American #339. Teams have roughly same experience level, sub the same amount, both play slow, just Wisconsin does it in a way better league. American was 3-5 in last eight games before going 3-0 in Patriot tournament. Last year was first time in seven years Ryan lost his first round game; last time he was #2 seed, Badgers covered by half-point in first round, laying 12.5 to Corpus Christi in ’07. Patriot League teams lost six of last seven in tournament, but covered four of last six in this round. #2 seeds went 2-2 vs spread in first round in each of the last six years.

Over last 18 years, underdogs are 44-28 (61.1%) vs spread in these 5-12 first round games, with #12's 5-3 SU last two years. Cincinnati tied for AAC title but is just 5-4 in last nine games- three of those losses were Louisville/UConn (2). Ivy League teams split last four first round games after losing nine in row before that; Harvard upset New Mexico LY, but were getting 10.5 points- this spread is little light, no? Crimson lost by 5 at UConn in its only top 50 game. Harvard hasn't played in 12 days, has won eight games in row but against bad teams. Last three years, favorites of 5 or less points are 15-22 vs spread in first round games.

Colorado rode senior G Booker to make it here after star Dinwiddie was lost for year (knee) in January; Buffaloes lost by 12 to Baylor, won by 14 vs Georgia in two biggest non-league games. Third year in row in this event for Colorado, which was 14-2 with Dinwiddie, 9-9 since. Pitt won five of last seven games, losing by 3 to Virginia after beating Tar Heels in first ACC tourney. Patterson is 14-31 from arc in his last four games- Panthers struggle when he doesn't shoot well. Underdogs covered 16 of last 20 #8-9 games over last five years. Pitt had won five first round tilts in row before they lost to Wichita State 73-55 in first round LY.

Not only is Syracuse playing couple hours from home in Buffalo, its an arena, not a dome, so their home court edge is even bigger here. Orange stumbled to 2-5 finish after being 25-0 at one point. #3 seeds are 8-4 vs spread in this round last three years. Western Michigan split pair with Eastern Michigan, which is Syracuse-clone coached by former assistant coach. Broncos won 11 of last 12 games with only loss in OT; they are 1-2 vs top 100 teams, losing by 9-6 points- their best win is over New Mexico State. MAC teams covered four of last five first round games. Boeheim is 7-3 vs spread in first round games last ten years.

BYU lost 100-96 (+9) in OT at Oregon Dec 21; Haws/Collinsworth got 41+ minutes in game, but Collinsworth blew out knee in WCC tourney, is out here, which made some say BYU shouldn't be here. Cougars won 15 of last 19 games after starting season 8-7. Oregon won eight of last nine games, getting beat by UCLA in Pac-12 tourney; Ducks are 3-0 vs WCC teams this year, with other two wins by 23-18 points- they made Sweet 16 LY, making tourney for first time under Altman. Over last five years,.underdogs are 15-5 vs spread in #7-10 games, with 12 SU upsets. Hard to imagine Collinsworth's injury not crippling BYU's chances.

Over last six years, #1 seeds are 14-10 vs spread in this round-- Albany won in Dayton Tuesday night, has to play here 45 hours later, against #1 team in country- good luck. Great Danes are in tourney for 4th time; they covered two of three in this round, losing by 12 (+20.5) to Duke in LY's event. Gators won first round game last three years by 28-26-32 points; they beat Kentucky in SEC final Sunday, so quick turnaround for them, too. chances are they've been prepping for second round game, when they'll be playing Colorado-Pitt winner. Albany is well-coached; they jumped out to 21-2 lead, but had trouble with quickness/shooting of Mt St Mary's, which doesn't bode well for this opponent.

Michigan State is finally healthy, looked sharp in Big Dozen tourney, where they beat Michigan in finals, avenging pair of earlier losses to the Wolverines. Spartans are 12-0 this season vs teams ranked outside top 100, with 10 of 12 wins by 14+ points. Over last eight years, #4 seeds are 20-12 vs spread in this round. Izzo won six of last seven first round games, winning last two years by 22-11 points. Delaware lost by 4 to Villanova, 5 to Notre Dame, 12 to Ohio State; they've won 19 of last 21 games, don't sub much, protect ball very well- they scored 84.5 ppg in their last four games.

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NCAA Betting Cheat Sheet: East Region Day 1
By Covers.com

(12) Harvard Crimson vs. (5) Cincinnati Bearcats (-2.5, 121.5)

Following last year's upset of New Mexico in the first round, the Crimson are considered veteran Cinderellas of the tournament. Harvard isn't a high-percentage shooting team, but it hits the offensive glass (10.6 per game) and works as a team to get good shots.

The Bearcats love to win, and to do more of that they're going to need to bring their defensive intensity. Cincinnati has been good this season when it feeds off its defense, so coach Mick Cronin needs to get his team to ratchet it up on that end of the floor for the next couple weeks.

TRENDS:

* Crimson are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games overall.
* Bearcats are 1-4 ATS in their last five neutral site games.
* Under is 8-1 in Bearcats last nine neutral site games.


(4) Michigan State Spartans vs. (13) Delaware Blue Hens (-14, 150.5)

The Spartans rolled to the Big Ten tournament title and are in a groove with the return of three starters - Adreian Payne, Keith Appling and Branden Dawson - from injury. The Spartans recovered from a late-season defensive slump and is holding opponents to 40 percent shooting and 65.3 points, allowing just 60.3 points in three games at the Big Ten tournament.

The Blue Hens won the Colonial regular-season and tournament titles for the first time and are in the NCAA tournament for the first time in 15 years. Devon Saddler (19.7 points) ranks third on the Division I active career scoring list (2,201 points) while Davon Usher and Jarvis Threatt add 19.4 and 18.1 points, respectively.

TRENDS:

* Blue Hens are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
* Spartans are 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall.
* Under is 12-3 in Blue Hens last 15 non-conference games.


(10) St. Joseph's Hawks vs. (7) UConn Huskies (-4.5, 131.5)

The Hawks upset Virginia Commonwealth in the conference title game 65-61, and have won nine of their past 11 contests entering their first NCAA tournament since 2008. They are the top-shooting team in the Atlantic 10, hitting 46.8 percent from the field.

The Huskies are 9-3 in their past 12 games and own several signature victories, including beating No. 1 overall seed Florida in December and defeating Memphis and Cincinnati on consecutive days in the conference tournament. Connecticut, which lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament, in 2012, won the 2011 national title and reached the Final Four in 2009.

TRENDS:

* Hawks are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record.
* Huskies are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 NCAA Tournament games.
* Under is 8-1 in Huskies last nine non-conference games.


(15) Wis.-Milwaukee Panthers vs. (2) Villanova Wildcats (-16.5, 140)

Wisconsin-Milwaukee isn’t considered a great team by many, but the Panthers boast an impressive resume after winning five straight, including four games in eight days at the Horizon League tournament. The Panthers were just 7-9 in league play during the regular season, but they peaked at the right time and won the conference tournament as the fifth seed.

The Wildcats won the Big East regular-season title and set a school record with 28 regular-season victories, and they had the league’s second-most efficient defense while allowing an average of 66.6 points. Senior guard James Bell received All-Big East first-team honors after averaging a team-high 14.5 points along with 6.1 rebounds for the Wildcats, who attempted 44.6 percent of their field goals from 3-point range.

TRENDS:

* Panthers are 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall.
* Wildcats are 0-5 ATS in their last five NCAA Tournament games.
* Under is 4-1 in Wildcats last five NCAA Tournament games.

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NCAA Betting Cheat Sheet: South Region Day 1
By Covers.com

(11) Dayton Flyers vs. (6) Ohio State Buckeyes (-6, 131.5)

The Flyers boast a deep and balanced scoring attack led by junior guard Jordan Sibert, (12.5 points) who is averaging 14.6 points over his last five games while shooting 59 percent from the floor. Devin Oliver (12.1) and Dyshawn Pierre (11.1) are the other double-digit scorers while Vee Sanford - who had 23 points on a remarkable 9-of-9 shooting effort in a win over Fordham in the first round of the A-10 tourney - comes in at 9.9.

This marks the last tournament run for Buckeyes seniors Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr., two players who are no strangers to March pressure. Craft averaged 10.4 points, 5.2 assists and 3.2 steals as a sophomore in Ohio State's 2012 Final Four run while Smith clocked in with three double-digit scoring efforts, and both were factors en route to the Elite Eight in 2013.

TRENDS:

* Dayton is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 non-conference games.
* Ohio State is 0-6 ATS in its last six games overall.
* Over is 4-1 in Dayton's last five games overall


(9) Pittsburgh Panthers vs. (8) Colorado Buffaloes (+5.5, 128.5)

Pittsburgh, in its first season in the ACC after spending 31 years in the Big East, stumbled down the stretch with six losses in its last 10 regular-season games, but regrouped to win two games in the conference tournament before falling to eventual champion Virginia in the semifinals. Senior forwrd Talib Zanna  has been a wrecking ball on the backboards down the stretch, collecting at least 14 rebounds in four of the last 10 games and putting up a monster 19-point, 21-rebound effort in the ACC quarterfinals.

It's no surprise that offense has been the biggest issue for the Buffaloes since a knee injury KO'd leading scorer Spencer Dinwiddie and his 14.7-point per game. Colorado failed to surpass 65 points in its last eight games and was limited to an average of 53.7 points in its three Pac-12 tourney games, including 43 against Arizona.

TRENDS:

* Pittsburgh is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 NCAA Tournament games.
* Colorado is 6-1 ATS in its last seven non-conference games.
* Under is 6-0 in Colorado's last six games overall.


(14) Western Michigan Broncos vs. (3) Syracuse Orange (-13, 128)

The Broncos lost five of nine games in December and early January, but are 14-2 since and shot a blistering 67.9 percent from the field in the second half of the MAC title game. Conference player of the year David Brown led the MAC in scoring at 19.4 and won tournament MVP honors after scoring 48 points in the Broncos’ two victories.

Syracuse brings the ninth-stingiest scoring defense (59.5 points per game) into the tournament but has struggled on offense down the stretch, shooting 40 percent or lower seven times in its past eight contests. Leading scorer C.J. Fair finished with just nine points in a 66-63 loss to North Carolina State in Friday’s ACC quarterfinals.

TRENDS:

* Western Michigan is are 6-1 ATS in its last seven games vs. a team with a winning SU record.
* Syracuse is 1-6-1 ATS in its last eight games overall.
* Over is 4-0 in Syracuse's last four games overall.


(16) Albany Great Danes vs. (1) Florida Gators (OFF)

TRENDS:

* Albany is 11-1 ATS in its last 12 non-conference games.
* Florida is 5-1 ATS in its last six games overall.
* Under is 6-1 in Albany's last seven non-conference games.

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NCAA Betting Cheat Sheet: Midwest Region Day 1
By Covers.com

(12) North Carolina State Wolfpack vs. (5) Saint Louis Billikens (-3, 131.5)

T.J. Warren, the ACC Player of the Year, posted his 18th consecutive 20-point game (and school-record 30th overall) to increase his season total to 843, surpassing the previous single-season school-record mark held by David Thompson (838). The Wolfpack have never faced the Billikens, but enter Thursday’s contest with wins in five of their last six contests.

Following early-season losses to Wisconsin and Wichita State, Saint Louis ripped off a school-record 19-game winning streak. The Billikens started to spring leaks thereafter, most notably on defense, as they wrapped up the season losing four of five. Four of the nine times Saint Louis surrendered at least 67 points came over the final five contests, all of which resulted in losses.

TRENDS:

* Wolfpack are 6-0 ATS in their last six games overall.
* Billikens are 1-8 ATS in their last nine games overall.
* Over is 8-2 in Wolfpack last 10 overall.


(13) Manhattan Jaspers vs. (4) Louisville Cardinals (-16, 142.5)

The Jaspers punched their ticket to the dance by upsetting top-seeded Iona 71-68 in the MAAC final March 10 to earn its first NCAA berth since 2004. Manhattan, a No. 13 seed, ranks second in the nation in wins on the road or neutral courts with 16.

The Cardinals dominated the American Athletic Conference tournament winning the three games by a combined 110 points. They shook off a bit of turmoil during the season with the dismissal of forward Chane Behanan but they are rolling now and got a career-high 42 points from standout guard Russ Smith in its 94-65 AAC semifinal win over Houston. Louisville trailed in the tournament for less than a minute and defeated Connecticut 71-61 to win the inaugural conference title.

TRENDS:

* Jaspers are 6-1 ATS in their last seven neutral site games.
* Cardinals are 17-7 ATS in their last 24 non-conference games.
* Over is 6-0 in Cardinals last six NCAA Tournament games.


(10) Arizona State Sun Devils vs. (7) Texas Longhorns (-1.5, 142)

Arizona State secured a berth to its first NCAA tournament since 2009 despite losing three games in a row. The 10th-seeded Sun Devils finished 10-8 in the Pac 12, but dropped four of their last six regular season games before being ousted in the semifinals of the conference tournament by Stanford. It's not all doom and gloom for Arizona State, which is one of only four teams to beat Arizona this season after a 69-66 double-overtime win over its fierce rival Feb. 14 that helped strengthen its claim to be included in the field of 68.

Jonathan Holmes tops the Longhorns in scoring at 13 points per game but was held to just six points on 3-of-12 shooting in the loss to Baylor. Isaiah Taylor leads the Longhorns in assists (3.9) and has dished out five or more in seven of his last 10 outings and has finished in double figures in scoring on 24 occasions this season. Texas is ranked fourth nationally in rebounding and is led by Cameron Ridley (8.1), who has notched nine double-doubles, including three in his last six games.

TRENDS:

* Sun Devils are 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall.
* Longhorns are 0-4 ATS in their last four NCAA Tournament games.
* Under is 9-2 in Longhorns last 11 neutral site games.


(15) Wofford Terriers vs. (2) Michigan Wolverines (-16, 127.5)

The Terriers rely on strong defense, allowing a Southern Conference best 62.4 points per game just one year after posting the second-best defensive scoring mark (59.1) in conference history. Junior guard Karl Cochran leads the team in scoring (15.7) and assists (three), and ranked second in the Southern Conference in steals (1.7) while earning first team all-Southern Conference honors.

The Wolverines are making their fourth straight NCAA tournament appearance and fifth under coach John Beilein. The No. 2 seed is the highest for Michigan since the Fab Five-led Wolverines received a No. 1 seed in 1993 and eventually lost to North Carolina in the national title game in New Orleans. Nik Stauskas has led Michigan in scoring 20 times this season and scored in double-figures in 11 consecutive games.

TRENDS:

* Terriers are 11-3-1 ATS in their last 15 neutral site games.
* Wolverines are 5-1 ATS in their last six games following a ATS loss.
* Over is 17-8-1 in Wolverines last 26 neutral site games.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Thursday, March 20

NCAA Betting Cheat Sheet: West Region Day 1
By Covers.com

(15) American Eagles vs. (2) Wisconsin Badgers (-13.5, 121.5)

American center Tony Wroblicky (12.2 points, 7.3 rebounds) was the league’s Defensive Player of the Year and had 61 blocked shots and the supporting cast includes guards Jesse Reed (13.9), Darius Gardner (11.5 points, 4.2 assists) and John Schoof (11.4 points, team-best 68 3-pointers). American finished strong with five victories in its last six games.

The Badgers have a battled-tested starting five and the attack was bolstered by the emergence of freshman forward Nigel Hayes (eight points per game) as the Big Ten’s Sixth Man of the Year. Wisconsin can shoot from outside (7.8 3-pointers per game) and six players have more than 20 steals on the defensive end.

TRENDS:

* American is 6-0 ATS in its last six neutral site games.
* Wisconsin is 1-4 ATS in its last five games overall.
* Over is 4-0 in Wisconsin's last four games overall.


(10) Brigham Young Cougars vs. (7) Oregon Ducks (-5.5, 158)

The Cougars, who are third in the country in scoring (84.2), will be without sophomore point guard Kyle Collinsworth, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee against Gonzaga.  Brigham Young likely will rely more on junior guard Tyler Haws, who averages a team-high 23.4 points and scored a game-high 32 against Oregon.

The Ducks rank 11th in the country in scoring (81.8 points per game). Three players are averaging double figures in scoring - redshirt junior guard Joseph Young (18.6), redshirt senior forward Mike Moser (13.5) and redshirt senior guard Jason Calliste (12.4), who has started only one game but played in all 32 this season. The 6-foot-8, 211-pound Moser leads Oregon in rebounding (eight per game).

TRENDS:

* BYU is 4-9 ATS in its last 13 NCAA Tournament games.
* Oregon is 5-1-1 AS in its last seven games overall.
* Over is 11-1 in Oregon's last 12 non-conference games.


(12) North Dakota State Bison vs. (5) Oklahoma Sooners (-3.5, 150.5)

The Bison were the top seed in the Summit League tournament but barely squeaked past Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne 60-57 in the title game on Taylor Braun's three-point play with 12 seconds left. Braun, a senior guard, is the team's leading scorer at 18.2 points and is shooting 13-of-21 from 3-point range over his last six games.

The Sooners are talented and balanced, with four players averaging double figures - all of whom shoot at least 75 percent from the foul line and 35 percent from 3-point range. Sophomore guard Buddy Hield leads the way at 16.8 points, including a team-high 89 3-pointers. The X-factor for Oklahoma could be sophomore forward Ryan Spangler, who averages 9.8 points and 9.4 boards but has gone six straight games without a double-double.

TRENDS:

* North Dakota State is 10-3 ATS in its last 13 neutral site games.
* Oklahoma is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games overall.
* Under is 8-2 in North Dakota State's last 10 games overall.


(13) New Mexico State Aggies vs. (4) San Diego State Aztecs (-6.5, 128)

The Aggies have been bounced in the first round of the tournament in each of the last two seasons and managed only 44 points in a loss to Saint Louis in 2013. New Mexico State has not scored fewer than 61 points in any of its last 23 games and was only once held under 60 this season - a 74-48 setback at No. 1 seed Arizona on Dec. 11.

The Aztecs have enjoyed plenty of regular-season success under Fisher but only once advanced out of the first weekend of the NCAA tournament, suffering a Sweet Sixteen loss to Connecticut in 2011. San Diego State has not allowed an opponent to reach 70 points since Jan. 12 but did not have quite enough offensively to sneak past New Mexico in a 64-58 loss in the Mountain West championship game.

TRENDS:

* New Mexico State is 2-8-2 ATS in its last 12 vs. the Mountain West Conference.
* San Diego State 5-1 ATS in its last six neutral site games.
* Under is 5-0 in San Diego State's last five non-conference games.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Thursday, March 20

NCAA East Regional Betting News and Notes
By Brian Covert
Covers.com

The Round of 64 gets underway in the East Regional Thursday. We look at the biggest betting news and notes coming out of that side of the bracket.

No. 12 Harvard Crimson vs. No. 5 Cincinnati Bearcats (-3, 121.5)

In games against Top-75 opponents this season, Harvard took 32.6 percent of its shots from behind the 3-point arc (versus 28.2 against all other opponents) hitting 40 percent. In their first-round upset of New Mexico last year, Harvard took 42.6 percent of its shots from downtown, hitting 44.4 percent of those attempts.

No. 13 Delaware Blue Hens vs. No. 4 Michigan State Spartans (-14, 153)

Michigan State won its Big Ten tournament games by at least eight points. Since 1985, 19 of 51 major tournament champions who won all their conference tournament games by at least seven points have made the Final Four. The Spartans are +160 favorites to win the East Regional.

No. 10 St. Joseph’s Hawks vs. No. 7 UConn Huskies (-4.5, 131.5)

The Huskies have only four seniors and three juniors on their team, which means UConn has seven players, along with head coach Kevin Ollie just two years into his tenure, who have never played in an NCAA tournament.

"It's been a while," star guard Shabazz Napier told reporters "Guys were asking me how to react, and I didn't know. It's been two years since I've experienced this."

No. 15 Milwaukee-Wisconsin Panthers vs. No. 2 Villanova Wildcats (-16.5, 140)

The Panthers face a tall task in No. 2 Villanova, with only two starters over 6-foot-2 and no forwards over 6-foot-9 that play any significant minutes. The Wildcats' starting backcourt has two guards at 6-foot-6 and a forward corps that tops out at 6-foot-11.

"We have to go in there and not back down,” 6-foot-8 forward Matt Tiby told reporters. “We're ready for that competition. We have to go in with the mindset that we're not going to back down."

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Thursday, March 20

NCAA South Regional Betting News and Notes
By Brian Covert
Covers.com

The Round of 64 gets underway in the South Regional Thursday. We look at the biggest betting news and notes coming out of that side of the bracket.

No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. No. 11 Dayton Flyers (-6, 131.5)

The Buckeyes have history on their side, at least from a defensive perspective. Ohio State comes in ranked fourth in the nation in defensive efficiency. Twenty-one of the previous 24 Final Four participants in the past six years ranked in the Top 30, while 10 of 24 were in the Top 5.

No. 1 Florida Gators vs. No. 16 Albany Great Danes (-21.5, 121)

The Great Danes' best shot at a monumental upset is getting to the free-throw line, but it won't be easy. While Albany shot 75.2 percent from the stripe - better than any team in America East or the SEC - the Gators held opponents to 20 or fewer foul shots a whopping 23 times in 34 games this season.

No. 8 Colorado Buffaloes vs. No. 9 Pittsburgh Panthers (+5.5, 128)

A look at the teams' respective turnover ratios should raise major alarm bells for Colorado fans. The Buffaloes' 0.87 assist-to-turnover ratio is the worst of any No. 8 seed, while the Panthers have the best assist/turnover ratio of any ninth-seeded team at 1.48.

No. 3 Syracuse Orange vs. No. 14 Western Michigan Broncos (-13, 128)


Western Michigan head coach Steve Hawkins notes that Syracuse plays a "non-normal" zone defense that prevents teams from using traditional zone-busting tactics like relaying the ball to either corner or overloading one side. Hawkins added that Eastern Michigan plays the same kind of zone. Western Michigan split a pair of games with the Eagles but shot just 30-of-86 (34.9 percent) from the field in those two games.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Thursday, March 20

NCAA Midwest Regional Betting News and Notes
By Chase Ruttig
Covers.com

The Round of 64 gets underway in the South Regional Thursday. We look at the biggest betting news and notes coming out of that side of the bracket.

No. 15 Wofford Terriers vs. No. 2 Michigan Wolverines (-16, 129)

Michigan head coach John Beilein is careful that his Wolverines don’t overlook the Terriers in the Round of 64.

“Now I just speak for me and maybe I’m naïve as heck, but that’s not (my team’s) makeup right now,” Beilein said to Michigan Live. “They understand how good teams are in the country and they’re excited to play in this NCAA tournament."

No. 12 North Carolina State vs. No. Saint Louis Billikens (-3, 131.5)

North Carolina State pushed its way into the field of 64 thanks to an impressive win over Xavier Tuesday. The Wolfpack have history on their side going against Saint Louis, as VCU (2011), South Florida (2012) and LaSalle (2013) have all won as No. 12 seeds after winning in the First Four.

No. 10 Arizona State Sun Devils vs. No. 7 Texas Longhorns (-2, 142)


The most intriguing battle in the Longhorns-Sun Devils matchup will be between one of the best rebounding teams in the nation and Arizona State center Jordan Bachynski. Texas is third-best rebounding team in the land (42 rebounds per game) while Bachynski is one of the best centers in the Pac-12 with 8.3 boards per night.

No. 14 Manhattan Jaspers vs. No. 4 Louisville Cardinals (-16, 142.5)

Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello has inside information on the defending national champions. Masiello was a former Louisville assistant under Rick Pitino and recruited their leading scorer Russ Smith during his time with the Cardinals.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Thursday, March 20

NCAA West Regional Betting News and Notes
By Colin Kelly
Covers.com

The Round of 64 gets underway in the West Regional Thursday. We look at the biggest betting news and notes coming out of that side of the bracket.

No. 15 American U. Eagles vs. No. 2 Wisconsin Badgers (-13.5, 121.5)

The Badgers (26-7 SU, 17-16 ATS), in a virtual home game in Milwaukee, are 13.5-point favorites against No. 15 seed American (20-12 SU). The Eagles have had only four lined games all season, but cashed in all four, including a 3-0 SU and ATS run through the Patriot League Tournament.

No. 10 BYU Cougars vs. No. 7 Oregon Ducks (-5.5, 158)

In the WCC tournament final loss to Gonzaga, BYU lost second-leading scorer Kyle Collinsworth (14 ppg) to a torn ACL. The team says the best way to offset that loss is to make more 3-pointers. The Cougars were just 6 for 33 from beyond the arc (18 percent) in the WCC tournament but went 6 for 16 from distance in an overtime loss to Oregon in December. The Ducks took 32 3-point attempts in that game, knocking down 10.

No. 12 North Dakota State Bison vs. No. 5 Oklahoma Sooners (-3.5, 150.5)

Since 1990, a No. 12 seed has defeated a No. 5 seed every year except 2000 and 2007. Three times – including last year – three No. 12 seeds knocked off No. 5 seeds. North Dakota State is the 12th seed in the West and is certainly hot enough to pull off the upset, having won nine in a row.

No. 13 New Mexico State Aggies vs. No. 4 San Diego State Aztecs (-6.5, 128)

The Under has gone 22-7 for SDSU this season, and though half of those Unders came on the Aztecs’ home floor, the total has also gone low in five of their six neutral-site games. That includes three straight Unders in last week’s Mountain West Tournament in Las Vegas.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Thursday, March 20

College Basketball Information

Ohio State won its last four first round games, covered last three, winning by 29-29-25 points, but those were as 1-2 seeds; they’ve made Sweet 16 last four years. #6 seeds are 7-1 vs spread in first round last two years, after being 2-10 three years before that (9-11 last five years). Last year was just second time this century no #6 seed got beat in first round. Dayton is in tourney for first time since ’09, second time in decade; Buckeyes won’t play them during regular season. OSU is more experienced, teams play roughly same tempo, Flyers sub more. Buckeyes are 9-4 in last 13 games. Dayton is 3-6 vs top 50 teams.

There are 351 D-I basketball teams; Wisconsin ranks #338 in time per possession, American #339. Teams have roughly same experience level, sub the same amount, both play slow, just Wisconsin does it in a way better league. American was 3-5 in last eight games before going 3-0 in Patriot tournament. Last year was first time in seven years Ryan lost his first round game; last time he was #2 seed, Badgers covered by half-point in first round, laying 12.5 to Corpus Christi in ’07. Patriot League teams lost six of last seven in tournament, but covered four of last six in this round. #2 seeds went 2-2 vs spread in first round in each of the last six years.

Over last 18 years, underdogs are 44-28 (61.1%) vs spread in these 5-12 first round games, with #12's 5-3 SU last two years. Cincinnati tied for AAC title but is just 5-4 in last nine games- three of those losses were Louisville/UConn (2). Ivy League teams split last four first round games after losing nine in row before that; Harvard upset New Mexico LY, but were getting 10.5 points- this spread is little light, no? Crimson lost by 5 at UConn in its only top 50 game. Harvard hasn't played in 12 days, has won eight games in row but against bad teams. Last three years, favorites of 5 or less points are 15-22 vs spread in first round games.

Colorado rode senior G Booker to make it here after star Dinwiddie was lost for year (knee) in January; Buffaloes lost by 12 to Baylor, won by 14 vs Georgia in two biggest non-league games. Third year in row in this event for Colorado, which was 14-2 with Dinwiddie, 9-9 since. Pitt won five of last seven games, losing by 3 to Virginia after beating Tar Heels in first ACC tourney. Patterson is 14-31 from arc in his last four games- Panthers struggle when he doesn't shoot well. Underdogs covered 16 of last 20 #8-9 games over last five years. Pitt had won five first round tilts in row before they lost to Wichita State 73-55 in first round LY.

Not only is Syracuse playing couple hours from home in Buffalo, its an arena, not a dome, so their home court edge is even bigger here. Orange stumbled to 2-5 finish after being 25-0 at one point. #3 seeds are 8-4 vs spread in this round last three years. Western Michigan split pair with Eastern Michigan, which is Syracuse-clone coached by former assistant coach. Broncos won 11 of last 12 games with only loss in OT; they are 1-2 vs top 100 teams, losing by 9-6 points- their best win is over New Mexico State. MAC teams covered four of last five first round games. Boeheim is 7-3 vs spread in first round games last ten years.

BYU lost 100-96 (+9) in OT at Oregon Dec 21; Haws/Collinsworth got 41+ minutes in game, but Collinsworth blew out knee in WCC tourney, is out here, which made some say BYU shouldn't be here. Cougars won 15 of last 19 games after starting season 8-7. Oregon won eight of last nine games, getting beat by UCLA in Pac-12 tourney; Ducks are 3-0 vs WCC teams this year, with other two wins by 23-18 points- they made Sweet 16 LY, making tourney for first time under Altman. Over last five years,.underdogs are 15-5 vs spread in #7-10 games, with 12 SU upsets. Hard to imagine Collinsworth's injury not crippling BYU's chances.

Over last six years, #1 seeds are 14-10 vs spread in this round-- Albany won in Dayton Tuesday night, has to play here 45 hours later, against #1 team in country- good luck. Great Danes are in tourney for 4th time; they covered two of three in this round, losing by 12 (+20.5) to Duke in LY's event. Gators won first round game last three years by 28-26-32 points; they beat Kentucky in SEC final Sunday, so quick turnaround for them, too. chances are they've been prepping for second round game, when they'll be playing Colorado-Pitt winner. Albany is well-coached; they jumped out to 21-2 lead, but had trouble with quickness/shooting of Mt St Mary's, which doesn't bode well for this opponent.

Michigan State is finally healthy, looked sharp in Big Dozen tourney, where they beat Michigan in finals, avenging pair of earlier losses to the Wolverines. Spartans are 12-0 this season vs teams ranked outside top 100, with 10 of 12 wins by 14+ points. Over last eight years, #4 seeds are 20-12 vs spread in this round. Izzo won six of last seven first round games, winning last two years by 22-11 points. Delaware lost by 4 to Villanova, 5 to Notre Dame, 12 to Ohio State; they've won 19 of last 21 games, don't sub much, protect ball very well- they scored 84.5 ppg in their last four games.

UConn won nine of last 12 games, is in 5th NCAA in seven year, but in for first time since Calhoun retired. Three of Huskies' last five losses are Louisville. UConn is making 38.7% of its 3's. St Joe's won nine of last 11 games, using 6-man rotation- TV timeouts are longer in NCAAs, so short rotation shouldn't matter- they sub less than any team in country, need to stay out of foul trouble. Hawks make 64.1% of foul shots, 38% of 3-pointers- they lost 77-69 to Temple, their only game vs AAC foe. Huskies' last NCAA win was '11 title game; they're 3-10 vs spread last 13 first round games, usually as a big favorite.

Michigan won/covered four of last five first round games; they're 7-1 in last eight games overall, 19-4 in last 23. Wolverines are 4-0 this season vs teams ranked outside the top 200, with all four wins by 27+ points. Wofford won 12 of its last 14 games, but finished T3 in weak Southern Conference; Terriers don't have a senior in their rotation. Wofford lost its high profile games this year by 21-21-20-14-15 points; they're 0-7 vs teams ranked in top 200. Over last seven years, #2 seeds are 15-13 vs spread, with three SU upsets last two years, after they were 40-0 SU in the decade before that.

If you bet every underdog in 5-12 games over last 18 years, you would be 44-28 (61.1%) vs spread. Saint Louis lost four of its last five games after being 25-2 at one point; eight of its last nine games were decided by 7 or less points. Billikens are very good at defending arc (29.1%, #3) but NC State doesn't shoot lot of 3's, mkaing just 30.2% (#326). Wolfpack has momentum after winning play-in game Tuesday; at-large teams that won play-in games are 3-3 vs spread in next game. Billikens have edge in experience; they're 7-5 vs top 100 teams, 19-1 vs everyone else. State is 5-1 in last six games, has best player on court in Warren.

Summit League teams are 0-5 SU in NCAAs last five years (2-3 against spread) with four losses by 8+ points. North Dakota State won its last nine games and 23 of last 26; they've got big edge in experience here, as well as win at Notre Dame before Grant got hurt, but they also lost by 17 at Ohio State, 13 at St Mary's, 1 at home to Southern Miss. Sooners won five of last seven games; six of nine guys in their rotiation are either frosh/sophs. Oklahoma plays at much faster pace; neither team subs a lot. Unlike last year, when Sooners lost last three games to end season, Oklahoma won five of its last seven games.

Milwaukee won its last five games, winning an unusual four games in the Horizon tourney; they won eight of last nine games Aaron played, after going 1-3 during four games he was suspended for. Panthers lost 80-71 to DePaul, only Big East team they've played. Villanova is 0-4 vs spread in last four first round games, losing last two (both 8-9 games); they are 0-4 vs spread last four times they were double digit favorite in 1st round with last cover in 1996. Not fond of teams that get upset in conference tourney first round like Villanova did. Teams play roughly same tempo, Milwaukee is more experienced but Wildcats will use its bench more.

Texas went 5-6 in last 11 games, Arizona State 2-5 in last seven, losing last three; ASU lost its last six neutral/road games, but beat Texas Tech by 14 in only game vs Big X opponent. Longhorns are 1-4 in last five NCAA tourney games, with all four losses hy 5 or less points- they do not have senior in their rotation, are 11-2 outside Big X. Sun Devils have big edge in experience but don't sub very much- teams play at roughly same tempo. ASU won last four first round games. Over last five years, underdogs are 15-5 vs spread in first round 7-10 games. Key to game is whether young Texas guards can neutralize ASU's PG Carson.

Manhattan coach Masiello was Knick ballboy for Pitino, both played, coached for him at Kentucky so he knows all there is to know about the Cardinals' system, but his players aren't as good. Jaspers played a weak schedule; their 80-74 loss to George Washington was only game they've played vs top 75 team. Manhattan will do same things Louisville does, but they haven't tried to do them vs players this good. Defending champ Lousiville crushed its opponent in AAC tourney last week, has chip on its shoulder now after being given 4-seed by committee. Over last eight years, favorites are 20-12 against the spread in 4-13 games.

New Mexico State played in a horribly watered-down WAC, just a bad league, but they won it and they also split with New Mexico, winning in Pit- they also lost by hoop at Colorado State, so they were 1-2 against teams in San Diego State's league and also swept UTEP, so they've got some players Aggies have 7-5 center; their opponents shot 42.8% inside arc against them. Aztecs won six of last seven games, losing to Lobos in Mountain West tourney in Vegas; they don't shoot ball especially well, tend to drift a little against inferior opponents. Over the last eight years, favorites are 20-12 against the spread in 4-13 games.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Thursday, March 20

Session 4 Cheat Sheet
By Brian Edwards
VegasInsider.com

Manhattan vs. Louisville

Rick Pitino's team is absolutely on fire and its seeding as a No. 4 in the Midwest Region was an egregious error by the Selection Committee. Louisville has only tasted defeat once since the start of February, blowing an eight-point lead late in the second half of a 72-66 loss at Memphis on March 1. But the Cardinals breezed through the inaugural AAC Tournament with three blowout wins, including a 71-61 triumph over UConn in the finals as eight-point favorites.

Montrezl Harrell dominated the paint against the Huskies, producing 22 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots. Russ Smith dropped 19 points on UConn and he had a career-high 42 points vs. Houston in the AAC Tourney semifinals.

Louisville (29-5 straight up, 19-13 against the spread) is the defending national champion and still has many of the key parts that were so pivotal in last year's run to the national title with a win over Michigan in the finals. Smith, the senior combo guard who was the catalyst for last year's squad, has improved and appears poised to lead U of L on another deep run. He is averaging a team-high 18.3 points per game and is dishing out 4.7 assists per conteState Luke Hancock is averaging 11.7 PPG and can get hot from 3-point land at anytime. Point guard Peyton Silva isn't around anymore, but juco transfer Chris Jones has played well. Jones averages 10.3 PPG and has a 92/43 assists-to-turnovers ratio. Jones also has 68 steals.

As of early this morning, most books had Louisville installed as a 16.5-point favorite with a total of 142.5. The Jaspers have 15/1 odds to win outright.

U of L owns a 15-9 spread record in 24 games as a double-digit 'chalk.'

Manhattan (25-7 SU, 15-14-2 ATS) has won 11 of its last 12 games, including a 71-68 win over Iona as a two-point favorite in the MAAC Tournament finals in Springfield, MASS. George Beamon led the Jaspers against the Gaels, scoring 16 points and pulling down eight rebounds.

Manhattan won 10 of 14 games against teams in the RPI Top 150. The Jaspers have five victories over RPI Top-100 foes, including a pair of wins over Canisius and Iona, in addition to a 99-90 double-overtime triumph at La Salle. Other games of note for Jasper including an 86-68 win at South Carolina and an 80-74 loss vs. George Washington.

The winner will face the survivor of a great second-round showdown between fifth-seeded Saint Louis and 12th-seeded North Carolina State Tip-off is scheduled for around 9:50 p.m. Eastern in Orlando.

Wisconsin-Milwaukee vs. Villanova

If you want to look at the glass as half-full rather than half-empty, then Villanova (28-4 SU, 21-9 ATS) comes into the Tournament with fresh legs. On the flip side, the half-empty view is that the Wildcats are coming off a bad loss to a mediocre Seton Hall team in their opener at the Big East Conference Tournament. The defeat on a buzzer shot by the Pirates might have cost Jay Wright's team a No. 1 seed that ended up going to Virginia instead.

UW-Milwaukee (21-13 SU, 20-12 ATS) won the Horizon League's Tournament to garner the conference's automatic bid. The Panthers won outright as underdogs in the last three games of the tourney, including a 69-63 win over Wright State in the finals. They won outright as 6.5-point 'dogs behind Kyle Kelm's 20 points and nine rebounds. Jordan Aaron added 18 points. -- Villanova, a No. 2 seed, was a 16.5-point favorite this morning, while the total was at 140. UW-Milwaukee had 14/1 money-line odds.

Villanova has thrived in the role of a double-digit favorite, producing an incredible 11-2 spread record.

UW-Milwaukee has an RPI of 127. The Panthers are 4-4 vs. RPI Top-150 foes, 2-4 vs. RPI Top-100 opponents.

To get you more familiar with UW-Milwaukee, I've chosen a few of its results against teams with bigger names than its Horizon rivals. The Panthers lost 78-52 at Wisconsin. They won 81-77 at Davidson and also beat No. Iowa at home.

UW-Milwaukee was a double-digit 'dog five times, going 3-2 both SU and ATS.

The 'over' has hit in back-to-back games and three of the last four for the Panthers, who have seen the 'over' go 16-15 overall.

The 'over' is 18-11 overall for 'Nova.

Texas vs. Arizona State

As of early this morning, most spots had Texas (23-10 SU, 14-16 ATS) as a two-point favorite for this 7/10 game in the Midwest region. The total was 142.5. This contest is in Milwaukee with the winner advancing to face the Michigan-Wofford survivor.

Arizona State (21-11 SU, 14-15-1 ATS) got sent packing from the Pac-12 Tournament quickly, dropping a 79-58 decision to Stanford as a 1.5-point underdog. The Sun Devils bring a three-game losing streak into the Tournament and they've lost five of their last seven while going 2-4-1 ATS.

ASU is led by point guard Jahii Carson, who averages 18.6 points and 4.5 assists per game. He can shoot the three and get to the rim off of dribble penetration.

Rick Barnes has UT back into the Tournament following a solid bounce-back campaign that was preceded by the worst season of his tenure. The Longhorns missed the NCAA Tournament in 2012-2013 after participating in each of Barnes's first 14 years in Austin. All talk of Barnes being on the hot seat subsided when he molded this young and talented team into a winner.

Texas didn't finish the regular season as strong as it would've liked, yet earned a No. 7 seed nonetheless. The Longhorns have lost five of their last eight games while going 2-6 ATS. They beat West Va. 66-49 to get to the Big 12 Tournament semifinals, only to get thumped 86-69 by Baylor, which had lost to UT in both regular-season meetings.

Texas has outstanding size in the frontcourt with Jonathan Holmes and Cameron Ridley. Holmes averages a team-best 13.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, while Ridley averages 11.2 PPG and 8.1 RPG.

The 'under' is 5-1-1 in Texas's last seven games. The Longhorns have watched the 'under' go 15-14-1 overall.

The 'under' is 17-11-1 overall for ASU.

New Mexico State vs. San Diego State

As of early Wednesday night, most books had San Diego State (29-4 SU, 18-12 ATS) installed as a seven-point favorite with a total of 128. The Aggies are +260 on the money line (risk $100 to win $260).

Steve Fisher's team saw its six-game winning streak snapped by New Mexico in the finals of the Mountain West Conference Tournament at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. San Diego State dropped a 66-63 decision to the Lobos as a one-point 'chalk.'

San Diego State is led by Xavier Thames, who averages team-highs in points (16.8 PPG), assists (3.2 APG) and steals (1.7 SPG).

New Mexico State (26-9 SU, 8-5 ATS) earned its 21st bid to the NCAA Tournament thanks to a 77-55 win over Idaho in the WAC Tournament finals at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The Aggies took the cash as 10-point favorites against the Vandals thanks to 18 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals from Daniel Mullings.

New Mexico State has the biggest player in the Tournament field. That would be Sim Buhllar, a 7-foot-5, 355-pound center from Toronto. He had 14 points and nine rebounds against Idaho. In addition, Buhllar had one blocked shot against the Vandals to bring his season total to 99.

Mullings averages a team-high 16.8 PPG.

New Mexico State's K.C. Ross-Miller will miss the NCAA Tournament due to a suspension levied after an end-of-the-game incident in the Aggies' last loss at Utah Valley. Ross-Miller was averaging 8.3 PPG and was second on the team in assists with 104. On the bright side, NMS has won five in a row since he was suspended.

The 'under' has cashed in four straight games for the Aztecs to improve to 22-7 overall.

The 'under' is 7-3 overall for the Aggies.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Thursday, March 20

Session 2 Cheat Sheet
VegasInsider.com

(14) Western Michigan vs. (3) Syracuse

Line Report

The Orange opened as 12½-point favorites, but has moved up to 13. The total has held steady at 128.

Non-Conference Record

Western Michigan (7-5): The best victory for the Broncos came in the season opener against eventual WAC champ New Mexico State as 7 ½-point underdogs, 70-64. Western suffered road losses at Hawaii, Missouri, Northwestern, and Drake, while also falling to Summit League champ North Dakota State at home.

Syracuse (13-0): The Orange played their best basketball during this stretch, including wins over Baylor (74-67) and Villanova (78-62). Syracuse went 6-3 ATS in non-conference lined action, which included a 1-2 ATS record as a double-digit favorite.

Road/Neutral Record

Western Michigan: 10-7

Syracuse: 11-3

Current Form

Western Michigan: The Broncos stepped up down the stretch with 12 wins in their final 13 games, including knocking off MAC regular season champ Toledo in the conference title game, 98-77.

Syracuse: Following a 25-0 start, any thoughts of a top seed in the NCAA Tournament were squeezed with a 2-5 reecord down the stretch, which included home losses to Georgia Tech (62-67) and Boston College (59-62).

Betting Notes

Western Michigan: The Broncos were 16-12-1 ATS this season, including a 9-6 ATS record in the underdog role.

Syracuse: In spite of a 14-12-2 ATS record, the Orange stumbled to a 1-6-1 ATS record in the final eight contests.

(10) BYU vs. (7) Oregon

Line Report

The Ducks opened as 5½-point favorites, as that number has creeped to six at some books. The total is sitting between 158½ and 159.

Non-Conference Record

BYU (8-5): The Cougars suffered losses to Wichita State, Iowa State, and Oregon, but did knock off Stanford and Texas in a decent non-conference slate.

Oregon (12-0): The Ducks were one of the early-season surprises out of the gate, but they played only one true road game, an overtime victory at Ole Miss, 115-105. Oregon's only wins in non-conference against a team in the tournament field are over BYU and Cal Poly SLO.

Road/Neutral Record

BYU: 8-10

Oregon: 8-6

Current Form

BYU: Down the stretch, the Cougars won 10 of their last 12 games, but lost the WCC tournament championship to Gonzaga.

Oregon: Following a 3-8 start in Pac-12 play, the Ducks took off with wins in nine of their last 10 games, including victories over UCLA and Arizona.

Betting Notes

BYU: The Cougars went 13-18 ATS, capped off by three ATS losses in the WCC tournament. .

Oregon: The Ducks cashed the 'under' in 12 of the last 17 games, while posting a 6-1 ATS record the past nine away from Eugene.

(16) Albany vs. (1) Florida

Line Report

Florida is hovering between a 21 and 22-point favorite as the top overall seed in its opener. The total currently sits at 121.

Non-Conference Record

Albany (6-7): The Great Danes were anything but against teams outside of the America East, but did beat lower-tier postseason squads Yale and Siena. Albany lost at Pittsburgh, 58-46 in late December.

Florida (11-2): The Gators slipped up in early-season tests against Wisconsin (53-59) and UConn (64-65), but managed to knock off Kansas and Memphis.

Road/Neutral Record

Albany: 10-11

Florida: 14-2

Current Form

Albany: The Great Danes have won seven of their last eight games, including all four games in the America East tournament.

Florida: Billy Donovan's team is rolling with a 26-game winning streak, which included a perfect 21-0 record in the SEC (including the conference tournament). UF has covered five of its last six games, while limiting six of its last seven opponents to 61 points or below.

Betting Notes

Albany: Although they were listed in four lined games (all in postseason play), the Great Danes covered all four times, while cashing the 'over' three times.

Florida: As a double-digit favorite, the Gators managed a 7-6-1 ATS record, while going 2-1-1 ATS when laying at least 10 points to non-SEC competition.

(13) Delaware vs. (4) Michigan State

Line Report

The Spartans opened as 14-point favorites and have stayed at the number for most of the week. The total opened at 149, but has moved all the way up 154 at some books.

Non-Conference Record

Delaware (8-7): The Blue Hens had their hands full prior to CAA play, losing at Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Villanova. Delaware didn't have any impressive wins over out of conference, with the only win over a tournament team coming against Cal Poly SLO, who finished under .500 on season.

Michigan State (11-2): The Spartans knocked off Oklahoma and Kentucky in neutral-site wins, but Michigan State suffered defeats to Georgetown and North Carolina MSU put together an average 5-5-2 ATS record against non-Big Ten opponents..

Road/Neutral Record

Delaware: 15-7

Michigan State: 14-4

Current Form

Delaware: Following an 11-0 start in CAA play, the Blue Hens went 3-2 in their final five conference games. However, Delaware pulled it together in the Colonial tournament for three wins, including a late comeback victory in the title game over William & Mary.

Michigan State: After losing four of its final six regular season games, the Spartans bounced back to win the Big Ten tournament title with three victories, including a huge triumph over rival Michigan in the championship game.

Betting Notes

Delaware: In the final 11 games, the Blue Hens were a coin-flip proposition at 6-5 ATS, as Delaware went 16-9-1 ATS on the the campaign.

Michigan State: Since losing to Georgetown in early February, the Spartans have covered nine of their last 12 contests, while owning a solid 20-11-2 ATS record on the season.

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