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CBB • Thursday Service Plays • 3/10/16

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    NCAA Basketball Betting 3-Point Play: Three Interesting March 10 Opening Lines
    by Alan Matthews

    The fans at both Ohio State and Michigan can go ahead and turn their focus totally to spring football if the Buckeyes and Wolverines lose in their Big Ten Tournament openers on Thursday. Both schools are very much on the NCAA Tournament bubble. Michigan also missed the Big Dance last year, while OSU hasn’t missed it since 2008.

    Northwestern vs. Michigan (-2)

    Game tips at noon ET on the Big Ten Network from Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. NU is the No. 9 seed and Michigan the No. 8. The winner faces regular-season champion Indiana on Friday. I’ll flat-out admit that I’m rooting for Northwestern (20-11) to win this tournament, although I highly doubt that happens. That remains the only current Power 5 school to never make the NCAA Tournament, although Coach Chris Collins appears to have the Cats headed in that direction sooner or later as the 20 wins are a school record for a regular season. Maybe NU will be dangerous in this event as its closed the season on a three-game winning streak, all by double digits, albeit against lightweights Rutgers, Penn State and Nebraska. Still, it’s the first time Northwestern has won three straight Big Ten games by 10 or more points since 1954.

    Michigan (20-11) is listed among ESPN’s “Next Four Out”, so it probably needs not just a win here but then an upset of the Hoosiers to get an at-large bid. The Wolverines closed the regular season losing four of their final five games. Their season went down the tubes when star Caris LeVert was essentially lost for the season in a Dec. 30 game. UM’s lone win in its final five was 72-63 at home against Northwestern. A 3-pointer by Aubrey Dawkins put Michigan ahead for good at 57-54 with a bit over four minutes to play. Northwestern had led by as many as 13 points.

    Key trends: The Wildcats are 2-5 against the spread in their past seven vs. teams with a winning record. The favorite is 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings.

    I’m leaning: Michigan has won its past nine opening tournament games. I think that continues and it covers.

    Arkansas vs. Florida (-2.5)

    SEC Tournament game from Nashville at 1 p.m. ET on the SEC Network. The Razorbacks are No. 9 seeds and Gators are No. 8, with the winner facing No. 1 seed Texas A&M. Arkansas (16-15) had a four-game winning streak end in a 76-61 home defeat to South Carolina on Saturday. The team’s best player is junior forward Moses Kingsley, who is likely the SEC’s most improved player. He was named second-team All-SEC and landed on the league’s All-Defensive Team. Last year he played just 10.9 minutes a game and averaged 3.6 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.1 blocks. This season: 16.1 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks. His 15 double-doubles are second in the conference. Kingsley is the lone player in the conference to rank in the top five in rebounds, field goal percentage (.556) and blocked shots.

    I’m frankly tired of writing about Florida (18-13), so I hope the Gators lose and they can just go to the NIT. Right now they are listed among the “Next Four Out.” I don’t even think they deserve that designation with a single win over a ranked team this season and really no great nonconference wins (Saint Joseph’s being the best). We wouldn’t even be talking about UF on the bubble had it not ended a four-game losing streak in the regular-season finale at Missouri, but Mizzou is awful. The Gators beat visiting Arkansas 87-83 on Feb. 3. UF star Dorian Finney-Smith had 22 points and nine rebounds. UF has won nine of the past 10 in this series.

    Key trends: Arkansas is 2-5 ATS in its past seven after a loss. UF is 2-8 ATS in its past 10 games. The underdog is 5-0 ATS in the past five.

    I’m leaning: Florida (unfortunately).

    Penn State vs. Ohio State (-5.5)

    Game tips at 6:30 p.m. ET from Indianapolis on ESPN2. The Nittany Lions are No. 10 seeds and Buckeyes No. 7, with the winner drawing No. 2 Michigan State on Friday. Penn State (16-15) will miss the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight season but maybe gets a bid to the CIT or something. PSU closed the regular season with an 86-79 double-overtime win over Illinois. Penn State had a bye in the first round of this tournament for the first time in program history. With seven Big Ten wins, the Nittany Lions have the most league victories in five seasons under Coach Patrick Chambers. Penn State is 11-18 in the Big Ten tourney since it began in 1998. The Lions went 2-1 last season, advancing to the quarterfinals as the No. 13 seed.

    Ohio State (19-12) is also listed among the “Next Four Out” for the NCAA Tournament. It definitely would need to win here and then upset the Spartans, who have beat OSU handily twice over the past two weeks or so. But the Buckeyes have played pretty well since early February otherwise. They routed visiting Penn State 66-46 on Jan. 25. It should be noted that the Buckeyes had Jae’Sean Tate then (15 points), but he’s out for the season. PSU was without one of its better players, freshman guard Josh Reaves. He’s healthy now.

    Key trends: PSU is 1-5 ATS in its past six after a win. OSU is 7-1-1 ATS in its past nine after a loss. The Buckeyes are 7-2 ATS in the past nine meetings.

    I’m leaning: Ohio State.


    NEWSLETTER NCAAB Futures/Prop Prediction From Raphael Esparza

    Take Indiana +300 To Win Big Ten Conference Tournament
    Indiana is coming off a big home win against Maryland, beating them 80-62, and they won the Big 10 Conference. Now the Hoosiers head to the Big 10 Conference tournament red hot. Indiana comes into this tournament winners of 5 Straight games, and three of them were by double-digits. The Hoosiers can struggle on the road as they have lost two straight road games to Michigan St and Penn St. I’m not saying that Indiana is the best team in the conference, but they are the hottest team. The thing that does worry me is that if they can’t hit the open ‘J’ they could lose early in this tournament. Overall, Indiana is hot and riding an outstanding winning momentum coming into this tournament, and I see them in the championship game. If they make it at least we can hedge this +300 bet. Take the Hoosiers at +300 because I believe there is great value here!


    NEWSLETTER College Basketball Prediction From Allen Eastman

    Take UC-Santa Barbara (-7.5) over UC-Davis (3 p.m., Thursday, March 10)
    I have been getting hot at the right time. I have gone 12-4 (75%) with my NBA selections and I have gone 5-1 with my last six college basketball picks. I will have my 7-Unit College Basketball Conference Game of the Year on Thursday, and you don’t want to miss out on this big end-of-the season run.
    Santa Barbara would also love to make a big end-of-the-season run. This team is a real dark horse to win the Big West tournament. But first you can expect a blowout here over a bad UC-Davis team. Davis is just 1-6 in its last seven games. This is a team that couldn’t win the league title as a big favorite last season. Now they won’t have any more luck with most of their best players gone. Santa Barbara has beaten Davis twice in the last four weeks and won on the road by seven points. It should be a blowout here on a neutral court. Santa Barbara is as hot as they come, winning eight straight games heading into the tournament. Their last four wins have been by almost 20 points apiece! I expect another blowout in this one. Lay the points.


    NEWSLETTER College Basketball Prediction From Robert Ferringo

    Take New Mexico (-2.5) over Nevada (5:30 p.m., Thursday, March 10)
    I am in the middle of an astounding college basketball run and have banked over $11,500 in profit for my clients over the last six weeks alone. But I am not satisfied! There is still more money to be made, and this week I will have a 7-Unit College Basketball Play on Wednesday followed by my 8-Unit College Basketball Game of the Year on Thursday. This is one of my highest-rated plays of the year, and I nailed my only other 8-Unit Play this season when Georgia Tech sprung an outright upset (which I called) over Notre Dame. I don’t see an upset in this Mountain West game, though. New Mexico is a decent team that’s played bad basketball. But they should be on their game here knowing that their season is on the line. This is a team that swept Boise State, beat Northern Iowa and played USC and Purdue tough. The Lobos have one of the best backcourts in the league, and when Elijah Brown and Cullen Neal are making shots they are tough to beat. Nevada just lost its leading scorer and go-to guy, Marqueze Coleman, for the season. They are now without the two guys that were their best two players at the start of the season. New Mexico just beat Nevada on the road last week, and I think it will be more of the same here in Vegas.


    Big 14 tournament (Indianapolis)
    Michigan lost four of last five games as they limp off bubble; only win was 72-63 over Northwestern Feb 24, after Wildcats jumped to a 17-4 lead. Wolverines won their first Big 14 tourney game the last nine years; they miss injured star LeVert now, though. Northwestern is 3-7 in first tourney game last decade; they’re 1-8 in last nine games with Michigan, beating Wolverines at home in OT LY. Wildcats won last three games vs stiffs of the league, allowing 58 ppg.

    ACC tournament (Washington DC)
    Not often a team allows 1.30 ppp and wins; Duke did yesterday; they shot 12-27 on arc, trailed 53-50 at half against tired NC State team that played day before. Four Dukies played 32:00+. Notre Dame won ACC tourney LY, upsetting Duke in semis; they’re 4-1 vs Duke in ACC tilts, winning 95-91 at Cameron, scoring 1.36 ppp. Duke split last six games overall. Irish are 6-1 in their first tournament game last seven years.

    Big East tourney (NYC)
    Providence swept Butler this year, 81-73 in Indy (made 12-26 on arc), 71-68 at home; they’re 4-2 in Big East tournament last two years, with title in ’14, 5-1 vs Bulldogs in Big East play. Butler is 2-3 in this event; last two years they lost first game by 1-6ot. Friars won last three games, scoring 82.3 ppg. Butler also won three in row, scoring 90 ppg; they’re an older team than Providence, with three senior starters.

    Road team won both Creighton-Seton Hall games this year; Pirates won rematch 75-65, three weeks after Bluejays won 82-67 in Jersey. Jays are 8-1 in first conference tourney game last nine years; they lost four of last five games overall, with win vs St John’s. Seton Hall is 5-2 in first game of last seven Big East tourneys; they’re 9-2 in last 11 games, with both losses to Butler. Teams split six games since becoming Big East rivals.

    Big 12 tournament (Kansas City)
    Shaka Smart was 15-4 in conference tourneys in six years at VCU; this ain’t the A-14 or CAA. Texas won first tourney game 10 years in a row; they split pair with Baylor this year, winning 67-59 in Waco, losing at home 78-64 (was 40-22 at half). Longhorns won three of last four games overall; Baylor lost three of four since win in Austin. Bears are 4-2 last two Big X tourneys; they’ve lost in finals twice in last four years.

    Kansas State damn near blew 40-23 halftime lead yesterday, in its 75-71 win; four Wildcats played 35:00+. K-State lost six of last nine overall; they lost 77-59/72-63 to Kansas this year. Jayhawks are 13-3 in last six Big X tourneys, since losing in first round back in ’09; they are 12-1 in first tourney game- three of last five wins in first game were by 7 or less points. Kansas won its last 11 games; four of its last five wins were by nine or less points.

    TCU snapped 7-game skid last nite, with first road win since Dec 23, at Bradley; Horned Frogs got swept by West Virginia this season, 95-87 at home, 73-42 in Morgantown. Since 2003, TCU is 0-5 in second tourney game- they lost 64-59 to Kansas LY. WVU won Big East tourney in ’10, is 0-5 in conference tourneys since then, going 0-3 in this event- they are 4-0 in last four games overall, winning last game at Baylor by 11.

    Iowa State won last two Big X tourneys, after going 1-8 in its previous eight tourneys; Cyclones lost 87-83 at Oklahoma Jan 2, then won 82-77 at home 16 days later- both teams scored 1.11+ ppp in both games. ISU is #4 in country in experience but is just 5-6 in its last 11 games, losing last four road games. Oklahoma is just 4-10 in Big X tourney the last 10 years- last time they won this tournament was in 2003- they lost first tournament game five of last seven years.

    SEC tournament (Nashville)
    Ole Miss is 8-4 in its last 12 games; they’ve won five of last six games vs Alabama, beating Crimson Tide 74-66 at home Jan 7, outscoring Tide on line 24-13 after trailing by 8 at half. Rebels won first SEC tourney game four of last five years. Alabama lost four of last five games after 5-game hot streak raised hopes in early February. Tide lost by 12-8 points in its first SEC tourney game last two years; this is Johnson’s first tourney.

    Howland was 10-8 in Pac-12 tourneys at UCLA, winning two of them; Miss State won four of last six games after starting 3-9 in its SEC games. Georgia won its last three games to finish 10-8 in SEC; they won 66-57 in Starkville Feb 13, surviving 20 turnovers (-11), holding State to 30.9% from floor. Dawgs won first tourney game seven of last nine years; they lost five of last seven road games, but won last one, at South Carolina.

    Pac-12 tournament (MGM, Las Vegas)
    Washington lost six of last nine games after starting 7-3 in Pac-12; they pounded Stanford yesterday; it was 50-22 at half, so mostly stress-free day. Huskies are 3-6 in last nine games, losing 86-73 in Eugene 11 days ago; Ducks shot 615 inside arc, were +14 on boards- they’ve won six of last eight games vs U-Dub. Oregon is 6-2 in Pac-12 tourney last three years; they won first tourney game in last five Pac-12 tournaments.

    Colorado is 11-4 in conference tourneys the last five years; they waxed Wazzu yesterday, stress-free day. Buffs beat Arizona 75-72 at home on Feb 24, ending 6-game skid vs Wildcats. Arizona won Pac-12 tourney LY, first time in over a decade; they’ve won first tourney game last five years, all by 8+ points. Wildcats won seven of last nine games overall, losing last two on road. Colorado won three of last four games overall.

    Mountain West tournament (Las Vegas)
    UNLV had three kids play 54:00+ yesterday in 108-102 triple OT win over Air Force; they had a walk-on play 19:00, when he had played only 17:00 all year before that. Rebels got swept by experienced Fresno team, 69-66 at home Dec 30, 111-104 in double OT Feb 6. UNLV won its last five home games, despite having decimated roster. Frenso is #19 team in country in experience; they’ve won last six games- they’re only 1-6 in Mountain West tournament the last six years.


    Thursday’s Notebook
    By Brian Edwards

    — Florida (18-13 straight up, 14-14-1 against the spread) and Arkansas will square off today at 1:00 p.m. Eastern in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. This is the 8/9 game with the winner advancing to face top-seeded Texas A&M at the same time early Friday afternoon. With four losses in its last five regular-season games, Mike White’s team needs to win at least two, and probably three, games to get an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament.

    — Those optimistic hopes were diminished Tuesday when starting sophomore center John Egbunu sustained a torn ligament in his right thumb. He has been fitted for a brace but is nonetheless listed as ‘doubtful’ against the Razorbacks. Egbunu averages 11.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. The transfer from South Florida scored 27 points against Kentucky on March 1 and 22 points at LSU on Feb. 27. I made this number UF -3.5, but that was before the news of Egbunu’s injury leaked out Wednesday afternoon. The Westgate SuperBook opened the Gators as 2.5-point favorites and considering the injury, I agree with the number.

    — Arkansas (16-15 SU, 15-12 ATS) had won four in a row going into its regular-season finale at home this past Saturday vs. South Carolina. The Gamecocks had been struggling and were down their best player, Michael Carrera. However, none of that mattered as the Gamecocks went into Bud Walton Arena and dominated in a 76-61 win as 6.5-point underdogs. When Mike Anderson’s squad went to Gainesville this year, the Hogs lost an 87-83 decision at UF but took the money as 7.5-point underdogs. The SEC Network will have the telecast.

    — In the opener of the night session in Nash’Vegas, Alabama and Ole Miss will meet with the Rebels favored by three. The Crimson Tide has thrived in the underdog role this season, compiling a 12-7 spread record with nine outright victories. These teams met in Oxford on Jan. 7 with Andy Kennedy’s team collecting a 74-66 win as a 5.5-point home favorite.

    — Georgia has won three in a row both SU and ATS, including last week’s win at South Carolina to sweep the season series from USC. If UGA can beat Mississippi St. in a 6/11 matchup tonight at 9:30 p.m. Eastern, it’ll get a third shot at the Gamecocks at the same time Friday night. UGA and MSU is listed as a pick ‘em. They squared off once this year at The Hump in Starkville, with Mark Fox’s team capturing a 66-57 win as a four-point road underdog. UGA hit +160 money-line payouts for his backers.

    — Creighton and Seton Hall will collide tonight at around 9:30 p.m. Eastern in the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden in NYC. As of early this morning, most books had the Pirates installed as three-point favorites with a total of 146. Kevin Willard’s squad owns an incredible 16-5 spread record in its last 21 games. When it hosted Creighton on Jan. 9, I ignorantly backed Seton Hall -4.5 and took a fat loser when the Bluejays dominated in an 82-67 victory. In the rematch in Omaha, the Pirates exacted revenge in a 75-65 triumph as 5.5-point underdogs.

    — Like the Creighton-Seton Hall matchup, Butler and Providence will air on Fox Sports 1 at 2:30 p.m. Eastern. As of early this a.m., most spots had the Bulldogs favored by 3.5 points with a total of 146. They have won seven of their last nine games while cashing tickets at a frenetic 8-1 ATS clip. However, the Friars swept the season series from Butler. The ‘over’ has hit in five straight for the Bulldogs.

    — Texas center Cameron Ridley is expected to be a game-time decision for today’s early Big 12 Tournament tilt against Baylor. Most spots had the Bears favored by one early this morning.

    — Oklahoma is a three-point favorite vs. Iowa State for a 9:30 p.m. Eastern tip tonight on ESPNU. The ‘under’ has cashed in eight consecutive games for the Sooners, who lost 82-77 in Ames but beat the Cyclones 87-83 in Norman.

    — USC smashed UCLA for a third straight time this year last night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The Bruins will miss the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012 and the first time on Steve Alford’s watch. The Trojans advance to face Utah tonight. The Utes have won seven in a row while posting a 5-2 spread record. They have seen the ‘under’ cash in four straight.

    — Tennessee crushed Auburn in Nashville last night, easily covering the number as a short ‘chalk.’ The Volunteers advance to face Vanderbilt tonight.

    — After TCU stunned Texas Tech as a 7.5-point underdog last night at the Big 12 Tournament, most books sent out West Virginia as a 16-point favorite for the opening line vs. the Horned Frogs tonight.


    StatFox Super Situations™ – FoxSheets

    Play Against – Underdogs of 10 to 19.5 points (COLORADO) after allowing 30 points or less in the first half in 2 straight games, with 3+ more starters returning from last year than opponent
    62-28 since 1997. ( 68.9% | 31.2 units )
    6-4 this year. ( 60.0% | 1.6 units )

    Play On – Favorites of -165 to -500 vs. the money line (BUTLER) after scoring 85 points or more 2 straight games against opponent after a combined score of 165 points or more
    110-23 since 1997. ( 82.7% | 52.6 units )
    7-6 this year. ( 53.8% | -6.5 units )

    Play Under – All teams where the first half total is 60.5 to 65.5 after 2 or more consecutive unders, an good offensive team (74-78 PPG) against an average defensive team (67-74 PPG) after 15+ games
    67-31 over the last 5 seasons. ( 68.4% | 32.9 units )
    16-10 this year. ( 61.5% | 5.0 units )


    SEC Conference Tournament Second Round Betting Preview

    After just one game in the First Round, the Second Round of the SEC Tournament is full of teams that need an improbable four-game run to an SEC Championship starting Thursday, if they have any hope of going Dancing this March.

    Tournament to be played at Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN

    Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Florida Gators (-3, 144)

    * The ninth-seeded Razorbacks had won four games a row, including a 20-point victory over LSU, before falling 76-61 at home to South Carolina in their regular-season finale. Coach Mike Anderson’s team can score points in a hurry thanks to its 3-point shooting (40.2 percent, tops in the SEC), senior point guard Jabril Durham’s on-court leadership (39 assists and only three turnovers in the last six games) and the inside presence of 6-10 junior Moses Kingsley (16.1 points per game, 9.2 rebounds).

    * Offense hasn’t come as easily for the eighth-seeded Gators, who rank ninth in the SEC in field-goal percentage (42.4), 12th in 3-point percentage (31.4) and 13th in foul shooting (64.3). Making matters worse, center John Egbunu (11.5 points on team-best 56.1 percent shooting) tore ligaments on his right (shooting) hand in practice on Tuesday and though he has been cleared to play, he will be wearing a brace on the hand and coach Mike White admits he doesn’t know how effective the redshirt sophomore can be.

    Betting Stats:

    Arkansas – 16-15 SU, 15-12 ATS, 11-16 O/U
    Florida – 18-13 SU, 14-14-1 ATS, 16-13 O/U


    * Underdog is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings.
    * Florida is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games overall.
    * Under is 4-0 in Arkansas’ last four games overall.
    * Over is 4-0 in Florida’s last four games overall.

    Tennessee Volunteers vs. Vanderbilt Commodores (OFF)

    * The Volunteers limped into the tournament on a four-game losing streak but looked like a different team Wednesday, shooting 58.6 percent while holding the Tigers to 29.8 percent from the field. Even with leading scorer Kevin Punter Jr. done for the season and Robert Hubbs III limited by a knee injury, Tennessee shot a season-best 34-for-58 from the field versus Auburn, thanks to Armani Moore going for 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting.

    * The Commodores are trying to reach the semifinals for the fifth time in the last seven years, but they’ll have to buck an alarming trend – they’re 1-7 against the Volunteers in the SEC tourney. A win likely would be enough to lock down a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the Commodores, who rank in the top 50 in RPI and strength of schedule. The Commodores are one of the nation’s top defensive teams, ranking in the top 10 nationally in 3-point defense (29.1 percent) and overall field-goal defense (38.6 percent).

    Betting Stats:

    Tennessee – 14-18 SU, 15-15-1 ATS, 12-16-3 O/U
    Vanderbilt – 19-12 SU, 15-14 ATS, 15-13-1 O/U


    * Tennessee is 0-7-1 ATS in its last eight games following an ATS win.
    * Vanderbilt is 4-1 ATS in tis last five games overall.
    * Over is 5-0 in Tennessee’s last five versus a team with a winning SU record.
    * Over is 8-1 in Vanderbilt’s last nine games overall.

    Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Mississippi Rebels (-3, 134)

    * Alabama is one of the stingiest defensive teams in the league, allowing just 67.1 points per game. The Crimson Tide still looked like a possible NCAA Tournament team as recently as three weeks ago, but they lost four of their last five in the regular season. Senior guard Retin Obasohan (17.7 points) is the Crimson Tide’s leader at both ends of the floor and was named to the All-SEC first team and to the league’s all-defensive team.

    * Despite another 20-win campaign, Ole Miss needs a deep run in the Southeastern Conference Tournament – and likely a tourney title – to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Ole Miss boasts the SEC’s leading scorer in guard Stefan Moody, who was tied for seventh nationally in scoring (23.1 points) through Tuesday. Ole Miss has won seven of the last 10 meetings with Alabama, including a 74-66 home victory in which the Rebels erased a 10-point deficit.

    Betting Stats:

    Alabama – 17-13 SU, 14-14 ATS, 12-16 O/U
    Mississippi – 20-11 SU, 17-12-1 ATS, 16-14 O/U


    * Alabama is 0-5 ATS in its last five fames overall.
    * Mississippi is 3-0-1 ATS in the last four meetings.
    * Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
    * Ubder is 4-0 in Mississippi’s last four neutral site games.

    Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Georgia Bulldogs (-1.5, 138)

    * Mississippi State posted victories down the stretch over Vanderbilt, Alabama and South Carolina after a difficult start to conference play, winning five of their final eight after beginning conference play 2-8. Freshman guard Quinndary Weatherspoon earned all-conference freshman team honors in averaging 12.2 points per game, teaming with forward Gavin Ware (15.8 points) and Sword (12.8 points) to give the Bulldogs three viable offensive options.

    * Georgia won the only matchup of the season with Mississippi State, riding a career-high 25 points from sophomore center Yante Maten in a 66-57 road victory. Maten has emerged as one of the most improved big men in the nation, ranking 11th in the SEC in scoring at 15.9 points per game and sixth in rebounds at 8.0 per contest.

    Betting Stats:

    Mississippi State – 14-16 SU, 17-10 ATS, 14-13 O/U
    Georgia – 17-12 SU, 16-13 ATS, 16-13 O/U


    * Georgia is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings.
    * Mississippi is 5-1 ATS in its last six games overall.
    * Under is 4-1 in Mississippi State’s last five games overall.
    * Over is 5-0 in Georgia’s last five games overall.


    AAC Tournament First Round Betting Preview

    The final conference to tip off their tournament is the American Athletic Conference. This event is up for grabs with six solid teams who all have at least 20 wins this season.

    Tournament to be played at Amway Center, Orlando, Florida.

    South Florida Bulls vs. East Carolina Pirates (-3, 130)

    * Seven wins all season and just four in conference play haven’t deadened USF coach Orlando Antigua’s optimism heading into the AAC tournament. Antigua sees his team as capable of putting together a few wins, especially considering the lack of pressure on his team, which isn’t expected to even advance to Friday.

    * Some coaches like to get a bad game out of their teams’ system prior to postseason play so it can help players focus on playing better. Jeff Lebo got that whether he wanted or not with an 83-53 blowout loss to Memphis in the Pirates’ regular-season finale, and he’s hoping the horrible play his team showed doesn’t last to Thursday’s contest against USF.

    Betting Stats:

    South Florida – 7-24 SU, 14-12 ATS, 15-11 O/U
    East Carolina – 12-19 SU, 14-10-2 ATS, 12-13-1 O/U


    * Bulls are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 neutral site games.
    * Pirates are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. American Athletic Conference.
    * Over is 8-2 in Bulls last 10 vs. American Athletic Conference.
    * Under is 5-1-1 in Pirates last 7 overall.

    Tulane Green Wave vs. Central Florida Knights (-3.5, 133)

    * Louis Dabney, who leads the team with 14.6 points, moved into 10th-place on the school’s all-time scoring list in the regular-season finale with 1,434 points and has played in a school-record 128 games. Malik Morgan (12.7 points) averaged 17.4 points during the last seven game of the season, starting with a career-high 26 against East Carolina on Feb. 10.

    * Sophomore forward A.J. Davis leads the Knights with 11.8 points and 5.9 rebounds. 7-6 freshman Tacko Fall, the reigning AAC rookie of the week, averages 7.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks after recording double-figure points in his last three games.

    Betting Stats:

    Tulane – 10-21 SU, 9-15-1 ATS, 14-11 O/U
    Central Florida – 12-17 SU, 17-10 ATS, 10-17 O/U


    * Green Wave are 3-12-1 ATS in their last 16 games overall.
    * Knights are 8-0 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
    * Under is 14-3 in Knights last 17 Thursday games.
    * Green Wave are 1-10-1 ATS in the last 12 meetings.


    ACC Conference Tournament Quarterfinals Betting Preview

    We finally get our chance to see the top four regular season teams from the ACC Thursday in Washington, D.C. North Carolina, Virginia, Miami (Florida), and Notre Dame all hit the floor for their first taste of 2016 post-season action.

    Tournament to be played at Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.

    Pittsburgh Panthers vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (-7.5, 148.5)

    * The Panthers were feeling positive about their NCAA Tournament chances after Wednesday’s win, which marked their third this season over Syracuse. “We’ve lost to quality teams,” Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon told reporters. “Our strength of schedule is one of the best in the country overall, which is what you look at.

    * The win at Duke on Saturday avenged a loss from earlier in the season and gave the Tar Heels some confidence heading into the postseason. North Carolina reached the ACC tournament final last season only to fall to Notre Dame and expects to come out on top this year.

    Betting Stats:

    Pittsburgh – 21-10 SU, 12-16 ATS, 12-16 O/U
    North Carolina – 25-6 SU, 13-17-1 ATS, 16-15 O/U


    * Panthers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. Atlantic Coast.
    * Tar Heels are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.
    * Under is 9-1 in Panthers last 10 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
    * Under is 8-2 in Tar Heels last 10 overall.

    Duke Blue Devils vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (+2, 133)

    * Duke went seven deep against North Carolina State on Wednesday and one of those seven, center Marshall Plumlee, finished the game with a broken nose. Plumlee scored the go-ahead basket with just over a minute left and made a key defensive play down the stretch in the 92-89 triumph. Krzyzewski suggested that Plumlee would play on Thursday with a mask to protect the nose, and the team drew inspiration from his performance on Wednesday.

    * The Fighting Irish are the defending ACC tournament champions and came into this year’s tournament with some momentum after knocking off North Carolina State 89-75 in the regular-season finale. The offensive performance in the easy win marked a departure from the previous two games, which Notre Dame lost while averaging 53 points.

    Betting Stats:

    Duke – 23-9 SU, 13-16-2 ATS, 13-18 O/U
    Notre Dame – 20-10 SU, 13-14-1 ATS, 14-14 O/U


    * Blue Devils are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games.
    * Fighting Irish are 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings.
    * Under is 6-0 in Blue Devils last 6 games following a straight up win.
    * Under is 5-1 in Fighting Irish last 6 vs. Atlantic Coast.

    Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Miami (Florida) Hurricanes (OFF)

    * The surging Hokies, who defeated Florida State 96-85 on Wednesday for their sixth win in a row, took control early against Miami in Blacksburg and dominated for a surprising 77-62 win. The emergence of freshman point guard Justin Robinson (7.3 points, 2.8 assists), who had 27 points in the two games against Miami and scored 15 against FSU, has been a big reason for the Hokies’ recent success.

    * With an upset loss to No. 6 seed Virginia Tech that cost third-seeded Miami (Fla.) a share of the ACC regular-season championship still a fresh memory, it gets an immediate opportunity for revenge in the ACC tournament quarterfinals. Sheldon McClellan (team-leading 15.7 points) had his shooting percentage dip below 50 percent for the first time this season (49.5) with a 7-of-19 effort against the Hokies and will need to regain his stroke for Miami to make a deep run this weekend and in the NCAA Tournament.

    Betting Stats:

    Virginia Tech – 19-13 SU, 17-9 ATS, 13-12-1 O/U
    Miami (Fla.) – 24-6 SU, 18-10-1 ATS, 13-16 O/U


    * Virginia Tech is 13-3 ATS in its last 16 games overall.
    * Miami is 5-0 ATS in its last five neutral site games.
    * Under is 7-1 in the last eight meetings.
    * Under is 6-1 in Virginia Tech’s last seven games versus a team with a winning SU record.

    Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Virginia Cavaliers (-10)

    * The Yellow Jackets moved into the quarterfinals by rallying from 18 down for an 88-85 overtime victory over Clemson on Wednesday and have won six of their last seven contests overall. The Yellow Jackets have shown progress down the stretch, losing only a three-point decision at Louisville since mid February.

    * ACC Player of the Year Malcolm Brogdon leads the way on both ends of the court for Virginia, averaging 18.4 points and shooting 41.1 percent from beyond the arc while garnering the award for being the league’s top defender. The Cavaliers will try to avenge a 68-84 loss at Georgia Tech on Jan. 9 when they were pounded on the boards 41-29 and shot just 40.4 percent from the field.

    Betting Stats:

    Georgia Tech – 19-13 SU, 17-12-1 ATS, 13-17 O/U
    Virginia – 24-6 SU, 15-13 ATS, 11-17 O/U


    * Virginia is 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings.
    * Under is 9-1 in Virginia’s last 10 games overall.
    * Over is 7-3 in Georgia Tech’s last 10 neutral site games.
    * Georgia Tech is 4-1 ATS in its last five games overall.


    Pac-12 Conference Tournament Quarterfinals Betting Preview

    It’s quarterfinal time for the Pac-12 in Las Vegas. We get our first post-season look at Oregon, Utah, California, and Arizona with the highlight of the day being Colorado (5) taking on Arizona (4).

    Tournament to be played at MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, NV.

    Washington Huskies vs. Oregon Ducks (-7, OFF)

    * The key for the Huskies will likely come down to the play of their own 1-2 punch, starting guards Andrew Andrews and Dejounte Murray. The duo combined to average 38.5 points and 9.3 assists during regular-season Pac-12 play, including 41 points and 10 assists in the loss to the Ducks last month and 39 points and 13 assists in the rout of Stanford.

    * Elgin Cook and Dillon Brooks certainly haven’t had to win games by themselves, as 6-4 guard Tyler Dorsey has delivered a strong freshman campaign, averaging 13.2 points and shooting a team-high 42.2 percent from 3-point range. He’s entering the tournament on a high note as well, combining for 39 points in the last two games while shooting 15-for-25 from the floor and 5-for-10 from beyond the arc.

    Betting Stats:

    Washington – 18-13 SU, 17-12 ATS, 19-10 O/U
    Oregon – 25-6 SU, 17-11 ATS, 12-16 O/U


    * Huskies are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games.
    * Ducks are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
    * Under is 7-1 in Huskies last 8 neutral site games.
    * Under is 4-0 in Ducks last 4 vs. Pacific-12.

    Colorado Buffaloes vs. Arizona Wildcats (-8.5)

    * George King scored 17 of his 21 points in the first half of Wednesday’s first-round blowout victory against 12th-seeded Washington State, helping cover for Scott, who went scoreless in the opening 20 minutes before finishing with six points. King is still relatively unknown in the Pac-12 after playing very little as a freshman in 2013-14 and then red shirting last season, but the Wildcats should be familiar with the 6-6 forward after he scored 14 in the win against them earlier this season.

    * A key player in this matchup figures to be 7-footer Kaleb Tarczewski, who will likely draw the assignment of guarding Josh Scott at the outset and will be counted on to contribute offensively, especially if Ryan Anderson is consistently double-teamed. Tarczewski is averaging 9.6 points and shooting 56.2 percent from the field, very similar to the numbers he put up the last two seasons, but has upped his rebounding average to 9.1 after finishing at 5.2 last season and 6.3 the year before.

    Betting Stats:

    Colorado – 22-10 SU, 18-11 ATS, 14-15 O/U
    Arizona – 24-7 SU, 16-15 ATS, 20-11 O/U


    * Buffaloes are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs. Pacific-12.
    * Wildcats are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
    * Under is 5-1 in Buffaloes last 6 games following a ATS win.
    * Over is 5-0 in Wildcats last 5 games following a straight up win.

    Oregon State Beavers vs. California Golden Bears (-7.5)

    * Oregon State likely already has secured its first NCAA Tournament berth in 26 years, but it doesn’t want to leave anything to chance. Gary Payton II and the sixth-seeded Beavers bolstered their case with a 75-66 win over No. 11 seed Arizona State in the opening round. Payton, the two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, had a quiet 10 points and nine rebounds against the Sun Devils.

    * Cal enters the quarterfinals winners of eight of its last nine games. Payton faces a tough matchup against Cal senior point guard Tyrone Wallace, who closed the regular campaign by matching his season high of 24 points in a 68-65 win over Arizona State. Freshmen Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb were both All-Conference picks for the Bears, who led the Pac-12 in scoring defense at 66.2 points per game but were 4-9 away from Haas Pavilion.

    Betting Stats:

    Oregon State – 19-11 SU, 16-13 ATS, 19-10 O/U
    California – 22-9 SU, 18-13 ATS, 14-17 O/U


    * Cal is 8-1 ATS in its last nine games overall.
    * Favorite is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings.
    * Over is 6-0 in Oregon State’s last six neutral site games.
    * Under is 5-1 in Cal’s last six overall.

    USC Trojans vs. Utah Utes (OFF)

    * Seventh-seeded USC, which will look to snap a six-game losing streak against No. 2 seed Utah. The Trojans landed on the NCAA Tournament bubble after closing the regular season by losing six of their final eight games but dominated the boards and never trailed in a 95-71 rout of 10th-seeded UCLA in Wednesday’s opening round. The Trojans likely secured an NCAA Tournament berth with their first-round win but can eliminate any doubt with an upset of the Utes.

    * Utah has won seven in a row and finished one game behind Oregon in the Pac-12 standings. The Utes snapped the Trojans’ 15-game home winning streak on Feb. 21 as Jakob Poeltl dominated with 29 points on 11-of-13 shooting and grabbed 13 rebounds in the 80-69 victory. Poeltl was named Pac-12 Player of the Year while averaging 17.5 points and 9.1 rebounds during the regular season, and the sophomore figures to be the focal point of USC’s defensive efforts again on Thursday.

    Betting Stats:

    USC – 21-11 SU, 18-13-1 ATS, 17-14-1 O/U
    Utah – 24-7 SU, 14-14-1 ATS, 15-13-1 O/U


    * Over is 6-1-1 in the last eight meetings.
    * Favorite is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
    * Utah is 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings.
    * Over is 4-1-1 in USC’s last six last games overall.

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