College Basketball Look Ahead Spots

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LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) - When college basketball programs have a big game against a top ten team, an elite conference squad or a chief rival coming up next, they often overlook the team they play before that game.

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 I call this a "look-ahead" game because let's face it, most of these college basketball players that are 18-22 years old, have a clue about who they are playing next. A basketball coach will tell the media, it's all about "one game a time", but in betting circles, the "look-ahead" theory is a pretty successful trend if you take the time to pay attention.

This does happen and one of the games I gave you last week was a perfect example. California had been playing lights out in the Pac-12 and has a big game with Arizona coming up on Saturday, February 1. They also came off a game against UCLA (76-64 loss), so you could say that there was a bit of a letdown and look-ahead game. On Wednesday, they lost at home to Arizona State, 89-78.  I'll give you three instances of teams that play against inferior opponents, with a much more important game on the schedule afterwards. Will they overlook that current opponent because they have their minds on the next game? 

Here are the top three possibilities of a look-ahead game for this weekend:

Indiana State (16-5 SU, 9-10 ATS, 7-2  Missouri Valley Conference) is having a great year in the Missouri Valley  Conference, but they are still in second place, well behind Wichita State.  They take on the Shockers on Wednesday, Feb. 5. Before that showdown takes  place on Saturday, they face Northern Iowa on Saturday at home. Northern Iowa  is 5-4 in the Missouri Valley Conference and just 11-10 overall, but this is a  game they could overlook with Wichita State coming up at home. 

Stanford (13-7 SU, 11-6-1  ATS, 4-4 Pac-12) is coming off a very tough home loss at home against Stanford  on Wednesday night. Now they have to face Arizona State (5-3 Pac-12) at home  and they have a big game coming up. Not to say Arizona State isn't important,  but on Wednesday, they take on their biggest rival in California on the road.  That game outweighs all others for the Cardinal who may have trouble covering  on Saturday in kind of a look-ahead and letdown game.

Oregon (14-5 SU, 9-7-2 ATS, 2-5 Pac-12) faced UCLA at home on Thursday and then they take on USC at home on Saturday. USC is just  1-6 and it's understandable why they may be looking ahead to a certain number  one team they have to face next Thursday, Feb. 6 when they take on undefeated  Arizona on the road.

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