Which teams will get caught looking?

Louisville SLU SMU college basketball odds teams rankings

LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) – Which top 25 college basketball teams could be caught looking ahead this week? Let’s take a look.

View Carlos Salazar’s Expert Picks

As the college basketball regular season winds down, there are still some great edges you can find as a handicapper. There are teams that are reeling and some that are desperate to win because they considered to be on the edge of making the NCAA Tournament.

One of my favorite angles in college basketball handicapping is going with teams that are possibly looking ahead to their next game. That angle is called the look ahead theory, which can be pretty successful. On Monday, there was a perfect example of that theory as Syracuse was looking ahead towards a meeting with Virginia on March 1. They faced Maryland on the road as a 4.5-point favorite and won the game by 2, 57-55. Going with Maryland was the right play since Syracuse was "looking ahead" to a match up with Virginia, who has won 11 straight games.

 Let's take a look at the latest look ahead games involving top-25 teams.

 #7 Louisville (23-4 straight up, 14-11 against the spread) takes on 7-19 Temple on Feb. 27. The Cardinals beat Temple on the road by 24 as a 14-point favorite and will probably be favored by over 20 points at home. On March 1, Louisville travels to Memphis to take on the 22-6 Tigers. On Jan. 9, Memphis upset Louisville on the road, 73-67. There's no doubt that Rick Pitino's team will have their minds set on revenge against the Tigers. They can coast and beat Temple, but they probably won't cover the big double-digit number at home.

 #10 Saint Louis (25-2 straight up, 9-15 against the spread) has won 19 straight games, but that streak could be coming to an end on March 1, when they visit Richmond to take on VCU. However, on Wednesday, they face Duquesne, a 11-15 team that they barely by four points on Jan. 22, giving 9. They should be a huge favorite at home against a team that is playing for pride. The game against VCU means a lot more than this game, so they are probably looking ahead. Don't expect this team to cover against Duquesne, as they've gone 0-4 against the spread over their last four games.

 #23 SMU (22-6 straight up, 16-8 against the spread) has been playing some great basketball this season. But they also seem to take it easy on the sub-par teams as they have been getting overvalued. They beat Houston by four giving 14 on Feb. 19 and defeated Temple by seven, laying eight on Feb. 16 on the road. The have a winnable game against UCF (10-15) at home on Saturday, March 1. This is a team they defeated by 12 on Jan. 18 on the road giving 4.5 They should be at least at 14-point favorite in this game and it's easy to understand why they might not be focused. That's because #7 Louisville comes to town on March 5, as the Mustangs are looking for the revenge game (they lost by eight on Jan. 12 at Louisville). The UCF game on March 1 is a typical look ahead game.

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