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College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, February 16

College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, February 16

College Knowledge

-- UConn won its last four games vs Villanova, last two by 2-3 points; five of last six series games were decided by 6 or less points. Huskies are 5-1 in last six games, coming off Syracuse win; they're 4-1 at home in Big East, with only loss to Louisville. East home favorites of 7 or less points are 3-21 vs spread. Villanova is 4-6 in its last ten games, 2-4 on Big East road; three of their last four losses were by 5 or less points.
-- Virginia (-2.5) beat North Carolina 61-52 at home January 6, just 2nd win for Cavaliers in last 11 series games; they're 1-6 in last seven visits here, with five of six losses by 15+ points. ACC home favorites of 5 or less points are 3-11 vs spread. UNC lost its last two games, is 0-6 vs teams ranked in top 40, but they're 4-1 in ACC home games, with four double digit wins. Virginia won seven of its last eight games.
-- Marquette (+10.5) upset Pitt 74-67 in OT Jan 12; Panthers missed 13 of 26 foul shots- it was second straight series win for Eagles, after losing previous four to Pitt, but Panthers are 7-1 since that game- they're 4-2 on Big East road. Marquette is 6-0 at home in conference, with last three home wins by 10-13-11 points- they've won four of last six games. Big East home underdogs of 5 or less points are 4-9 vs spread.
-- Oklahoma (-2) beat Oklahoma State 77-68 Jan 12, 8th straight series win for home side in this rivalry; Sooners made 8-13 from arc that day, but they've lost last three visits here, by 21-6-7 points. State is 5-0 in its Big X home games, with last two wins by hoop each; they've won last six overall, with last two by 13-24 points. Sooners lost three of last four road games. Big X home favorites of 8+ points are 12-4 vs spread.

-- Creighton won its last seven games vs Evansville, winning by 22-8-5 in last three visits here; they beat Aces 87-70 (-14) in MVC opener last month, but Bluejays lost four of last five road games, are 3-5 last eight games, after a 17-1 start. Aces are 6-0 at home in MVC, with last couple wins in OT; five of their last six games were decided by 6 or less points, or in OT. MVC home underdogs of 6 or less points are 14-4 vs spread.
-- UCLA won 11 of last 13 games vs Stanford, winning 68-60 (-6.5) at home Jan 5, outscoring Cardinal 23-9 on foul line, but Bruins are 3-4 in last seven games, after 10-game win streak- they were down 47-22 at the half Thursday at Cal. Stanford is 4-2 in last six games, are 4-2 at home in Pac-12. Bruins won three of last five visits to Maples, losing here by 1 LY. Pac-12 home favorites of 6 or less points are 7-18 vs spread.
-- Arkansas coach Anderson left Mizzou to come back here, where he had been an assistant; this is his first meeting with old team, which won five of last seven games but is 1-4 on SEC road, with only win at lowly Miss State. SEC home teams are 12-14 when spread is 4 or less points. Hogs are 5-0 at home in SEC with a win over Florida; they've forced a turnover on 28.6% of possessions in conference games.
-- Duke (-13.5) beat Maryland 84-64 Jan 26, its sixth win in row over Maryland, winning last two visits here, by 18-13 points; Blue Devils are 3-2 on ACC road, winning last three by 5-19-1- they've won six games in row overall, are coming off of UNC win, always an emotional contest. ACC home underdogs are 14-4 vs spread. Maryland is 4-6 in its last ten games, 1-5 in ACC games when they allow more than 60 points.
-- Visitor won four of last five Baylor-Kansas State games; Bears won two of last three visits here, also beat Wildcats in Big X tourney LY on neutral floor. Baylor is just 2-3 on Big X road, but they won last two games, by 23-20 points; they're 2-6 vs top 50 teams. K-State is 4-1 in its Big X home games, with three of four wins by 9+ points. Big X home favorites of 6 or less points are 6-5 against the spread.

-- Arizona State (even) beat Colorado 65-56 at home Jan 6, outscoring Buffs 20-6 on foul line while avenging pair of losses LY. Sun Devils lost three of last four games, are 2-3 on Pac-12 road, beating Washington St., Oregon St. Colorado won seven of last eight games, beating Arizona last game in emotional night for them; they're 4-1 at home in league. Pac-12 home favorites of 7+ points are 5-17 against the spread.
-- UNLV (+3.5) won 82-75 at San Diego State Jan 16, just second win in last eight series games, with last six all decided by 7 or less points. Rebs shot 57% inside arc in first meeting, but forced only five turnovers- they are 4-0 at home in league, winning by 5-12-12-9 points, but they're not playing well, losing three of four overall. Aztecs are 1-3 in last four road games. MWC home favorites of 6 or less points are 10-3 vs spread.
-- Utah State (+4) lost 64-51 in Las Cruces Jan 17, third straight loss to New Mexico State, by 20-11-13 points. NMS's win here LY was first in last eight visits to Logan. WAC home teams are 6-26 when spread is 8 or less points. USU had brutal OT loss to Denver Thursday, as Pioneers drained fallway 3-pointer at buzzer in OT, third straight home loss for Utah State. NM State won its last 12 games after starting 0-2 in WAC.
-- South Dakota State (even) won 59-53 at Western Illinois in Macomb Jan 17, in game where neither team led by more than 6; Jackrabbits won nine of last ten games, are 7-0 at home in Summit, with six of seven wins by 13+ points. Western won 16 of last 18 games; its two league losses are by 6-7 points, with only Summit road loss by 7 at Oakland. Summit home favorites of 5+ points are 9-16 against the spread.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, February 16

College Basketball: Streaks, Tips, Notes 

Virginia at North Carolina

UNC (16-8, 12-9 ATS) off a hard fought battle at Duke return to Chapel Hill to host Virgina Cavaliers (18-6, 14-6-1 ATS). UNC a dangerous group scoring 77.9 PPG will be tested. Virginia on a 7-1 (6-2 ATS) stretch are not as strong on the offense end netting just 64.3 points/game but Cavaliers lock-down defense holding opponents to just 52.3 PPG on 37.4% shooting won't go down without a fight. Consider taking the points, UNC is on a 2-5 ATS skid scoring =< 75 points, Cavaliers are on a 7-2 ATS streak vs Tar Heels including 3-1 ATS running the hardwood at Dean E. Smith Center.

Kentucky at Tennessee

Tennessee notched another win away from Knoxville on Wednesday when they took down Vanderbilt 58-46 easily cashing as 2.5 point underdogs. It was the Vols' fourth win in the past six games, as they improved to 13-10 (11-10 ATS) on the season and 5-6 (6-5 ATS) in the SEC. Meanwhile, John Calipari’s team spanked 69-52 by Gators on Tuesday head to Knoxville at 17-7 (8-13 ATS), 8-3 (3-8 ATS) vs the conference. Wildcats lead by four double digit scorers netting 75.0 PPG should right the ship vs Volunteers streaky scorers managing a lowly 63.9 per/contest. Wildcats winning the first meeting 75-65 at Rupp Arena but dropping the cash as 13 point favorites remain a profitable 8-3 ATS in the series (9-2 SU) with the 'Under' dominating at 9-2 last eleven including 4-1 'Under' in Knoxville.

Texas at Kansas

After struggling through their longest losing streak in eight years, a three-game slide the Jayhawks got back to their winning ways with an 83-62 rout of K-State on Monday. Jayhawks back atop the Big 12 with a 20-4 (10-13 ATS) record, 8-3 (4-7 ATS) mark in the conference have what appears to be an easy one schedule when Texas visits Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence on Saturday night. High-Octane Jayhawks netting 73.5 PPG while allowing 60.6 PPG on a league-best 36.1% shooting should feel pretty confident going up against Longhorns scoring 64.5 on 41.4% from the floor. Jayhawks 12-1 (6-6 ATS) on home court aren't about to squander an opportunity vs a Texas team unable to solve Big 12 opponents winning just three of it's first eleven (7-4 ATS) including a horrendous 0-5 on the road (3-2 ATS). Note: Jayhawks knocked off Longhorns 64-59 earlier in Austin but did not cash as 8-point favorites marking a fourth consecutive non-cover in the series and seventh the past nine encounters. (2-7 ATS).

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, February 16

College Lean Sheet
By David Banks

Villanova at Connecticut

These are two teams heading in opposite directions. Connecticut has won five of its last six games and is flying high after upsetting Syracuse 66-58 here at home on Wednesday. The Huskies are now third in the Big East in effective field goal percentage and second in three-point shooting at 37.0 percent, which is an area they can exploit as Villanova ranks 272nd nationally and 14th in the Big East in three-point defense. The Wildcats received some national notoriety last month with back-to-back upsets of Louisville and Syracuse, but they have since come back to earth going 2-3 in their last five games with the two wins coming vs. conference lightweights South Florida and DePaul. Villanova is 8-16-1 ATS in its last 25 conference games following a straight up loss. LEAN: UCONN

Pittsburgh at Marquette

Pittsburgh just might be the most underrated team in the country right now, as with practically no fanfare whatsoever the Panthers are up to fourth overall in the country on the Pomeroy Ratings! Pittsburgh ranks ninth in offensive efficiency and ninth in defensive efficiency, making the Panthers one of only two teams to rank in the top 10 in both categories with the other being Florida. The Panthers have won seven of their last eight games with the only loss being by three points at Louisville. They are also seeking revenge for an earlier 74-67 overtime loss at home to Marquette. The Golden Eagles are 8-3 in conference, but they may be badly outscored from behind the three-point arc as they are 14th in the conference in three-point shooting and 12th in three-point defense. Pittsburgh is 9-5 ATS in its last 14 games when playing its second straight road game.  LEAN: PITT

Virginia Tech at NC State

NC State has been a disappointment after being picked by many to win the ACC this season, but at least the Wolfpack have been exciting! They rank eighth in the country in offensive efficiency, ninth in three-point shooting and 21st in two-point shooting while averaging 78.0 points overall and 82.4 points here at home, and they are the only ACC team to reach 70 points vs. the Miami Hurricanes in a 79-78 loss. However, they rank 137th in defensive efficiency, which has resulted in a lot of shootouts. Now, Virginia Tech is on a seven-game losing streak but NC State is capable of scoring 90 points in Raleigh vs. a Hokies' defense ranked 238th in efficiency, so Virginia Tech may not need to do much to help put this 'over'.  The 'over' is 19-7 in the last 26 NC State home games. LEAN: OVER

UCLA at Stanford

UCLA has not lived up to preseason expectations mainly due to two players leaving the team, but the Bruins still rank a good 31st in offensive efficiency while usually playing a four-guard set along with big man Travis Wear. The highly touted freshman class has done its part with Shabazz Muhammad, Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson combining for 42.6 points per game, but the defense has taken a hit with the smaller lineup ranking 117th in effective field goal percentage allowed. Stanford is averaging 70.3 points per game here at home this season as it ranks third in the Pac-12 in offensive efficiency, and it leads the conference in three-point shooting at a blistering 45.1 percent during league play. The 'over' is 10-3 in the last 13 head-to-head meetings between these teams. LEAN: OVER

Temple at Massachusetts

At 16-7, Temple is fighting for an NCAA Tournament berth and a big road win here would help the Owls' cause. Temple ranks 41st in the country in offensive efficiency and it has been excellent at ball protection, ranking 11th in all the land in offensive turnover percentage. That means that the Owls should be able to run whichever sets it chooses here as Massachusetts ranks only 208th in defensive turnover percentage. The Minutemen are not a great shooting team either, ranking 149th in effective field goal percentage. This is also a letdown spot for Massachusetts, who will be coming off of a battle with conference kingpin VCU on Thursday. Temple is 59-33-2 ATS in its last 94 conference games. LEAN: TEMPLE

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, February 16

Saturday's Slate
By Brian Edwards

Gamblers have a monster slate of games in college basketball on Saturday. Let’s take a look at a pair of early-evening matchups in the ACC and Big 12 before tackling a slew of topics and teams in Bonus Nuggets.

Duke at Maryland

Duke (22-2 straight up, 13-11 against the spread) is in second place in the ACC standings, trailing loop-leading Miami by two games. The Hurricanes are unbeaten in conference play, while the Blue Devils are 9-2 against ACC adversaries.

Mike Krzyzewski’s club won a 73-68 decision over arch-rival North Carolina on Thursday as a 10.5-point home favorite. Mason Plumlee led the way with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while sophomore guard Quinn Cook also had 18 points.

Duke owns a dismal 1-4 spread record in five games as a road underdog. Since getting thumped at Miami 90-63, the Blue Devils have won six in a row while going 3-3 versus the number. They are 7-2 against RPI Top 50 opponents and 12-2 against RPI Top 100 foes.

With only seven regular-season games remaining, Maryland (17-7 SU, 7-9-1 ATS) is starving for a quality win in this spot. The Terrapins have just three games left against RPI Top 100 teams: vs. Duke (#1), vs. North Carolina (36) and at Virginia (71). They are 70th in the RPI Rankings due to an abysmal 2-7 record against the RPI Top 100. Their two best wins came at home vs. North Carolina St. and Stony Brook. Therefore, forget the starving for a victory, it’s mandatory for the Terps to beat Duke if it hopes to entertain any semblance of hope for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Maryland has won 14 of its 16 home games but has failed its backers in the process, limping to a 3-6 spread record. This is the Terps’ first game as home underdogs this year.

Mark Turgeon’s team fell to 5-6 in ACC play with Sunday’s 80-69 loss to Virginia as a 2½-point home favorite. Dezmine Wells scored a team-high 13 points in the losing effort. Maryland failed miserably at defending the 3-point line, allowing UVA to bury 11-of-19 from beyond the arc.

Duke senior power forward Ryan Kelly remains ‘out’ with a foot injury. Kelly, who is hoping to return in the next 2-3 weeks, averages 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. He also shoots at a 52.1 percent clip from 3-point land.

Plumlee averages 18.2 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. He is shooting 60.3 percent from the field and has a team-high 40 blocked shots.

When these teams met on Jan. 26 at Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke trounced Maryland 84-64 as a 12-point home favorite. The 148 combined points jumped ‘over’ the 139-point total. Rasheed Sulaimon, a freshman guard from Houston, lived up to his McDonald’s All-American billing by scoring a game-high 25 points on 6-of-8 shooting from 3-point land. All five Duke players scored in double figures with Cook finishing with 11 points and nine assists. Wells and Charles Mitchell scored 13 points apiece for the Terps.

The ‘under’ is 8-7 overall for Maryland, but the ‘over’ has hit in four of its last five games. The ‘under’ is 6-3 in its nine home games with a total.

The ‘over’ is 12-11 overall for Duke, 3-2 in its five true road assignments. With that said, the ‘under’ has cashed in three of the Blue Devils’ last four games.

Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.
Baylor at Kansas State

Since losing three in a row, Baylor (16-8 SU, 10-9 ATS) has won back-to-back games at home in blowout fashion. The Bears routed Texas Tech 75-48 before blasting West Va. by an 80-60 count. Freshman forward Rico Gathers scored 22 points and pulled down nine rebounds, while Brady Heslip torched the Mountaineers for 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc.

Scott Drew’s squad is 49th in the RPI Rankings with a 2-6 record against the RPI Top 50. However, Baylor does have four wins compared to zero losses against teams ranked from 51-100 in the RPI.

Baylor has one of the best point guards in America in senior Pierre Jackson, who has lighting-fast speed off the dribble that reminds me of former Wake Forest PG Ismael Smith. Jackson is averaging 18.9 points and 6.7 assists per game. The Bears also have one of the nation’s best perimeter shooters in Heslip, who is burying treys at a 40-percent clip. (Don’t get caught up in that not-so-impressive percentage, Heslip can stroke it!)

Kansas St. (19-5 SU, 9-10-1 ATS) will be in bounce-back mode after getting thumped 83-62 Monday at Kansas as a 7.5-point underdog. Bruce Weber’s team had a four-game winning streak, going 3-1 ATS, before venturing into Lawrence. Rodney McGruder tallied 20 points, six rebounds, four assists, four steals and one blocked shot at KU. Angel Rodriguez added 17 points, six assists and three steals.

Kansas St. has won 11 of its 12 home games while posting a 6-3 spread record. The Wildcats are a perfect 4-0 ATS as single-digit home ‘chalk.’

McGruder is the catalyst for K-St., averaging 15.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per contest. He averaged 19.6 PPG in three head-to-head meetings against Baylor last year, including a 30-point effort in a narrow loss in Manhattan.

Baylor has been a road underdog five times, compiling a 3-2 spread record.

The ‘over’ is 8-7 overall for K-St., 3-1 in its four home games with a total.

Totals have been an overall wash (9-9) for Baylor, but the ‘over’ is 4-2 in its last six games.

ESPNU will have television coverage at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets

When Florida power forward and defensive stalwart Will Yeguete went down with a knee injury that will sideline him until at least early March, and perhaps beyond, I noted that the Gators needed Casey Prather to step up in his absence. Right on cue, Prather has produced his two best games of the year since Yeguete’s unfortunate injury. Prather played 23 minutes in Tuesday’s run-away-and-hide win over Kentucky, filling the stat sheet with 12 points, three rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots. He also had 12 points last Saturday against Mississippi St. In those two games, Prather made 11-of-17 shots from the floor (61%).

Colorado St. could be in a letdown situation Saturday at Air Force. The Rams pulled away late to beat San Diego St. on Wednesday by a 66-60 count as six-point home favorites. On the same night, the Falcons sent UNLV back to Las Vegas with a 71-56 loss.

If Miami’s Jim Larannaga is the national Coach of the Year, then Colorado St.’s Larry Eustachy is a strong candidate to be runner-up. The Rams’ senior-laden squad is 20-4 overall and second in the Mountain West standings with a 7-2 record, one-half game behind first-place New Mexico. They are No. 13 in the RPI Rankings.

Whatever Shaka Smart said to his VCU troops at halftime of Thursday’s game against UMass, it worked! Trailing 42-37 at intermission, the Rams erupted with a 21-1 run to start the second half en route to an 86-68 win as 12-point home favorites. VCU improved to 20-5 overall and 8-2 in the Atlantic-10. The Rams have now posted seven straight 20-win campaigns. As I’ve been saying all year, watch out for this squad in March.

Gonzaga stayed unbeaten in WCC play and improved to 9-2 against RPI Top 50 teams by rolling to a 77-60 win at Saint Mary’s on Thursday night as a one-point road underdog. Gary Bell Jr. drained 4-of-5 treys en route to scoring a team-high 20 points. In the losing effort, Gaels’ stud Matthew Dellavedova knocked down 6-of-12 from beyond the arc and finished with a game-high 22 points.

Going into the weekend, Miami has the country’s best against-the-spread record at 15-4-1. The second-best ATS ledger belongs to Western Illinois (15-5 ATS), a team that’s been given no credit this year despite leading the Summit League standings. This space and others have noted the play of Nate Wolters and Travis Bader at South Dakota St. and Oakland, respectively. But the Leathernecks (yes, that’s really their mascot) are looking down at those teams from atop the Summit standings. They won 49-36 at North Dakota St. as 9.5-point underdogs Thursday and will be ‘dogs again Saturday at South Dakota St. Western Illinois is 4-1 ATS in five games as a ‘dog this year.

Is Akron worthy of an at-large bid if it doesn’t win the MAC Tournament? Well, let me start by saying that I wish the Zips would’ve scheduled a little tougher non-conference slate. Nevertheless, I say they are certainly deserving of a bid if they win out from here but lose in the MAC Tournament finals (or at any point in the league tourney). Keith Dambrot’s team owns a 16-game winning streak, a 20-4 overall record and an unbeaten mark in MAC play. Two of Akron’s four losses came in overtime (at Coastal Carolina and vs. Oklahoma St. on a neutral court), while the two other defeats came at Creighton (RPI: 50) and at Detroit (RPI: 75). The Zips’ two best wins came over Middle Tennessee (RPI: 29) and Ohio (RPI: 80), but they can add two more quality wins (vs. North Dakota St. (RPI: 77) and at Ohio) in the next two weeks.

Creighton is ok with eight wins over RPI Top 100 foes, but the Bluejays need to tighten up soon. They have lost three in a row and five of their last eight. They play at Saint Mary’s next weekend in their BracketBuster game.

Colorado avenged its controversial loss at Arizona on Jan. 3 by hammering the Wildcats 71-58 Thursday night as a 2.5-point home underdog. Spencer Dinwiddie was the catalyst with 21 points and seven assists.

The ‘under’ has hit in nine consecutive games for Alabama, which will host South Carolina on Saturday. Looking at the Crimson Tide’s resume, I just don’t think they are going to be able to recover from home losses to Tulane, Dayton and Mercer unless they win at Florida on March 2.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, February 16

Saturday's Top 25 NCB Betting Notes

Check out our quick-hitting betting notes on Saturday’s ranked college basketball games:

(21) Notre Dame at Providence (PICK)

This is a matchup of two of the worst scoring defenses in the league. Providence is 13th (out of 15 teams) at 69.1 points, while Notre Dame ranks 14th at 69.4. The Irish have been forced to play seven overtimes in four games this month, winning each of the three contests not decided in regulation. Notre Dame has taken the last nine meetings, including four in Providence. The Friars are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games.

(17) Pittsburgh at (20) Marquette (PICK)

The Panthers have won seven of eight after dispatching then-No. 17 Cincinnati on Saturday, their third straight 10-point victory. After scoring a season high-tying 89 points in a rout of DePaul, the Golden Eagles had 19 turnovers and scored just 55 points in a loss at Georgetown on Monday. Since playing eight straight games decided by single digits, including three that went to overtime, Marquette has had five consecutive games decided by 10 points or more. The underdog is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings.

(6) Florida at Auburn (+15.5)

All of Florida’s 10 SEC victories have been by double digits, including a 69-52 triumph over Kentucky on Tuesday. The Gators lead the conference in field-goal shooting and field-goal defense, among other categories, and are one of the most balanced teams in the nation. Auburn started the SEC season with two victories, but has dropped eight of its last nine contests. The Gators are 5-1 ATS in their last six road games.

Oklahoma at (16) Oklahoma State (-8)

The Sooners, who are 4-4 on the road, never trailed in a 77-68 victory over the Cowboys on Jan. 12 in Norman, shooting a season-high 61.5 percent from 3-point range. The Cowboys, who are 12-1 at home, have a six-game win streak and are coming off a 91-67 victory at Texas Tech on Wednesday. Oklahoma State has dropped 11 of the last 17 meetings with Oklahoma. The home team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings.

Purdue at (2) Indiana (-18.5)

The last time Indiana and Purdue met, the Hoosiers handed the Boilermakers their worst home loss in school history. The Hoosiers rolled to a 97-60 victory on Jan. 30, draining a season-high 12 3-pointers en route to scoring the most points ever allowed by one of coach Matt Painter’s Boilermaker teams. Purdue has dropped 16 of its last 19 matchups against ranked opponents, including five straight by an average of 19.6 points. The Boilermakers are 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall.

(23) Creighton at Evansville (+5.5)

Creighton rolled out to a school-record 17-1 start this season, thanks to an offense that averaged 79.7 points. Over the last eight games, however, the Bluejays’ scoring has dipped to 70.4 points. The Purple Aces fell to the Bluejays 87-70 on Dec. 29 and have lost three of four overall after Wednesday’s loss to league-worst Southern Illinois. Creighton is 0-5 ATS in its last five games overall.

(10) Butler at Fordham (+12)

Another loss by Butler has put the Bulldogs in a tight spot heading into their Atlantic 10 game Saturday at Fordham. Butler, the only ranked team in the conference, lost to Charlotte on Wednesday, knocking the Bulldogs out of first place. Butler is also expected to be without one of its key big men, while the Rams are expected to welcome one back. Andrew Smith, the second-leading scorer (11.4) and rebounder (5.4) for Butler, will reportedly miss a second consecutive game with an abdominal injury. Erik Fromm, a 6-8 junior forward, will make his second start of the season in Smith’s spot. Fordham will reportedly have Chris Gaston back in the starting lineup. The 6-7 senior forward, who led the team in scoring and rebounding the previous three seasons, missed the last seven games with knee issues. The Rams are 7-1 ATS in their last eight home games.

(24) Colorado State at Air Force (+3)

This is the second of a very difficult four-game stretch for the Rams that started with a 66-60 win over San Diego State at home on Wednesday and continues with games at UNLV and at home against league-leader New Mexico next week. The Rams crushed Air Force 70-49 in the first meeting on Jan. 16, but the Falcons are 6-0 ATS in their last six home games.

(3) Gonzaga at San Francisco (+12)

Gonzaga won its seventh consecutive game Thursday at Saint Mary’s, a convincing 77-60 victory that gave the Bulldogs a two-game lead in conference play. San Francisco is tied for sixth in the WCC, but six of its eight losses have come by six points or less. If the Dons can shoot the way they did the last two games, they could join the list of teams who have toppled top five opponents this season. San Francisco combined to shoot 23-for-45 from beyond the arc the last two games, including a 9-for-10 performance in the second half of last Saturday’s victory against BYU. The Bulldogs are 0-4 ATS in their last four Saturday games.

(1) Duke at Maryland (+5)

Maryland’s NCAA Tournament hopes could be on the line Saturday when the Terrapins host top-ranked Duke, which is looking to extend its winning streak to seven. Maryland has had six days off since a demoralizing 80-69 loss at home to Virginia, while Duke is riding a wave of emotion after beating rival North Carolina 73-68 on Wednesday. Duke beat the Terrapins by 20 at Cameron Indoor on Jan. 26. The Blue Devils are 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings.

Baylor at (11) Kansas State (-5.5)

Two of the premier scorers in the Big 12 will go head-to-head in this matchup. Pierre Jackson, a 5-foot-10 senior guard for the Bears, averages a conference-leading 18.9 points, reaching double-digits in the last 31 games - also the longest-active streak in the Big 12. Kansas State will lean on 6-foot-4 senior guard Rodney McGruder, who is fourth in the Big 12 in scoring at 15.2. The Wildcats are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games.

(25) Memphis at Marshall (+8)

Memphis looks to remain unbeaten in Conference USA when the Tigers visit Marshall. Memphis, which is 6-0 on the road, beat the Thundering Herd 73-72 at home on Jan. 26. The Tigers have a 15-game win streak, including the nation’s longest road win streak (10), and are coming off a 93-71 victory at home against Central Florida on Wednesday. Marshall is 1-4 ATS in its last five vs. Conference USA foes.

(7) Syracuse at Seton Hall (+8.5)

The Orange have dropped three straight league road games, but still sit tied atop the Big East with Georgetown and Marquette. The Pirates have lost 10 of 11, including four losses against ranked teams, and sit near the bottom of the Big East standings. Things are so bad that junior guard Fuquan Edwin called a players-only meeting after Tuesday's 57-55 loss to Rutgers. Syracuse is 1-4 ATS in its last five road games.

(8) Michigan State at Nebraska (+9)

Nebraska has been pesky at times, giving the top teams in the league such as Michigan, Ohio State and the Spartans a scare. The Cornhuskers struggle to score, averaging 58.6 points – last in the Big Ten and have dropped three of their last four games. The Spartans have been sharp since 2013 began, losing only once in 11 games – 75-70 at Indiana on Jan. 27. Michigan State is 5-1-1 ATS in its last seven games overall.

Texas at (13) Kansas (-16)

Now that Texas has Myck Kabongo back with the team, the Longhorns will try to play spoiler when they travel to  Kansas for a Big 12 game. Kabongo played his first game of the season Wednesday against Iowa State, ending a 23-game suspension by the NCAA. He produced 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the 89-86 overtime victory that put a big dent in the Cyclones’ title hopes. Kansas is tied for first atop the Big 12 with Oklahoma State and Kansas State, which the Jayhawks beat on Monday to avoid their first four-game losing streak since 1988-89. Kansas is 1-4 ATS in its last five games overall.

(22) San Diego State at UNLV (-4)

San Diego State is coming off a 66-60 loss at streaking Colorado State, while UNLV has dropped three of its last four games. The Rebels won at San Diego State 82-75 earlier in the season, their only win on the road in conference play. The Runnin' Rebels are a different team at home going 14-1, but are 1-5 ATS in their last six Saturday games.

Boise State at (18) New Mexico (-8.5)

The Lobos rallied from nine points to force overtime a month ago and hand Boise State its only home. The Broncos are 3-4 since that loss while the Lobos have grabbed first place in the Mountain West Conference. Boise State is one of five teams with multiple road victories against a ranked team (beat Creighton and Wyoming). The Lobos are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five home games.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, February 16

Saturday Cliff Notes
By Dave Essler

UVA at North Carolina: I guess the obvious first question is whether UNC has any energy/emotion after playing Duke to the wire, and getting mauled by Miami before that. The only home loss they've got was to Miami. They're sitting at 6-5 and actually two full games behind UVA in the ACC. The slight issue with UVA is that they also travel to Miami on Tuesday, but in this particular situation, and the fact that UVA is not a perennial power, they're not (probably) looking ahead here. They lost here badly to the Heels last season. The dichotomy here is that you've got one of THE slowest teams against perhaps THE fastest team, so this really will come down to a battle of will for tempo. I like UVA to take them down. If they're going to shoot three's all day, then that's the worst part of the UNC defense. Neither team gets to the FT line a ton, but UNC doesn't make them when they do. Even though neither team has much experience, if certainly feels like the Cavaliers have a lot more. They haven't been impressive on the road, but after that Maryland beating, I wouldn't put it past them here.

Pittsburgh at Marquette: I'm not a huge fan of either right now, Marquette was completely owned by G-town, and I said this morning I felt that the Panthers were the worst team in the top 20. However, this is a rematch of an earlier Marquette win this season AT Pittsburgh. That was their only decent road win, too. And the Panthers will be favored and will have had an extra few days to prepare for this game. You have to like the Panthers inside game against a size-challenged Marquette front-court, but what does concern me is Pitt's free throw shooting (or lack of at time) while Marquette, at home, should get some calls and has been an excellent FT shooting team. FT's and rebounding are what's going to win these wars in the last couple of weeks. Have to give the Panthers' defense the over riding, scale-tipping lean here, but I'll be damned if I'll lay points on the road in most any conference. This could be case of using Marquette in a teaser, because they'll already catch a couple, and this will (should) be a low scoring (hint) game.

San Diego State at UNLV: Well, I guess everyone assumes now that UNLV is back in Las Vegas that it's showtime, especially given SDSU's loss at Colorado State. The Aztecs lost to the Rebels a month ago in San Diego (obviously) in a game where they (UNLV) owned everything. They dominated the boards, took 51 shots, and held SDSU to 3-19 from behind the arc. Almost for that reason we SHOULD take SDSU here, but we've got to get past their road woes, first. Their only road wins were at Nevada and at Fresno (barely). And well these two have been under-performing, it;s now New Mexico and CSU that pretty much own the MWC's first and second seeds. UNLV probably doesn't give a shit, seeing as how that tournament's on their home court. Rebels clearly have the easier schedule going forward with for game at home, but they've got perhaps a bigger game with CSU Wednesday. Obviously my biggest concern is UNLV's turnovers. SDSU is number #1 in protecting the ball, too. Don't trust either team at the line. Comes down to another battle for tempo here. These guys played two two-point games last season, and this one could be no different. I suppose it will depend on the number, Scotty, or someone in Las Vegas who knows which team(s) will show up. But, since it's a late game we'll all wanna know, one way or the other. Clearly more value to me in lesser marquee games, so far.

Baylor at K-State: Very big game for both teams. K-State in a three way tie for first in the Conference and Baylor sitting a game back. I suppose people will now assume K-State sucks because they got reamed by Kansas, which was predictable. But, their only home loss was to those same Jayhawks. (K-State will beat them the third time) so winning here is not going to be easy for Baylor. I've said it several times, teams seeing K-State for the first time are seeing Bruce Weber, not Frank Martin. Baylor hasn't played anyone any good over the last couple of weeks, and really has zero quality road wins. Honestly, with the schedule they've got left if they're not careful it's the NIT for these guys. K-State will S-L-O-W this game down, and they have typically owned the offensive glass, so right off I lean under here, given that neither team gets to the line (surprising for Baylor's height, actually) and when they do neither one shoots 70%, which is not good enough for the over.

Missouri at Arkansas: Well, are the Tigers back now or is the the Arkansas team that drilled Florida. I'd like to have been catching a few more points with the Hogs, because even though this is a rivalry of sorts, Missouri is at Florida. That's not a situation I want to back them in, so it's probably going to be Hogs or pass. No doubt that total will be set high, since Missouri doesn't create a lot of them, I could make a case for the total going over. But, my guess is that the number will be bet up fairly quickly. Both defenses are near the bottom of the SEC in defending three pointers, so this really could be the race to 80. Missouri shooting nearly 78% from the line in Conference play, and Arkansas just doesn't rebound well (Missouri does) which also means some fast break chances. If and how Arkansas scores is probably totally dependent on their mindset. The team that hit them from the rafters against Florida is not the team we know, but we DO know that the capability is there. Best bet here is the over, IMO.

Detroit at Valpo:
Who knew that Valpo would be a full two games clear of Detroit in the Horizon League, with a shot a essentially clinching it at home this early, or at least the number one seed. New landscape without Butler. The downside is that Detroit will do anything and everything here, because obviously a loss and they are simply playing for post season somewhere, and they've got to avenge at loss Valpo handed them in Detroit a while back. Valpo been freakish at home, and Detroit did lose on the road to Cleveland State. The issue I have with Detroit is that they've got the Bracketbuster game at Witchita State next week, so they can ALMOST afford a loss, win that (not likely) and do well in the Conference Tournament and play somewhere in March. Valpo gets EKU at home next Saturday, but the do have a Conference road game Tuesday AT Loyola Chicago. Valpo will turn the ball over and Detroit won't, so that could be the great equalizer. Between that and both teams rebounding well, if Valpo can play it more at their pace, I lean under.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, February 16

Saturday's NCAABK Action


Two of the teams in the hunt for a Big East regular-season title square off Saturday afternoon when No. 16 Pittsburgh visits No. 18 Marquette.

The Golden Eagles are 8-3 in conference play, tying them with Syracuse and Georgetown for the top spot. The Panthers are just a half-game behind the trio at 8-4, winning seven of their past eight games (5-3 ATS). Marquette is just 1-3 ATS this month, but is a perfect 13-0 SU at home this season, winning these games by 12.0 PPG. When these two schools met last month in Pittsburgh, the Eagles were tabbed as a 10.5-point underdog and pulled off a 74-67 overtime upset. They also beat the Panthers 62-57 at home last season, which ended a four-game win series win streak for Pittsburgh.

The Panthers have played very well away from home this season, going 6-3 (SU and ATS), including 4-2 (SU and ATS) in true road games, and winning these six road contests by an average of 8.2 PPG. And even though the Eagles haven't lost yet at home, they haven't been dominant in Milwaukee, sporting a 4-5 ATS mark. Pittsburgh is simply the better team here, shooting 48.3% FG, while Marquette makes just 46.1% of its shots, including a dreadful 29.5% from three-point range. And the Panthers probably would've beaten Marquette last month if their best player, PG Tray Woodall, hadn't suffered a head injury after just four minutes of action.

Pittsburgh doesn't score a ton at 71.0 PPG, but the school is very unselfish, as its 17.2 APG ranks sixth in the country. That helps lead to a stellar 48.3% FG clip, good for 14th-best in the nation. Ten different Panthers average at least 11.5 MPG this season, with nobody seeing even 28 minutes per game. Senior PG Tray Woodall (10.9 PPG, 5.4 APG) has made a career-best 47% of his shots, including 38% from downtown. He's scored in double-figures in four straight games, averaging 13.0 PPG during this stretch. Woodall played just four minutes in last month's home loss to Marquette after leaving the court following a loose-ball collision. Junior PF Talib Zanna (10.6 PPG, 6.0 RPG) hasn't been shooting well in his past five games (33%, 12-for-36 FG), but has pulled down 9.3 RPG over his past four contests. Zanna had a horrible night against Marquette on Jan. 12, scoring just three points on 1-of-9 shooting. SF Lamar Patterson (10.1 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 3.2 APG) was nearly perfect in last month's loss to the Eagles, scoring 22 points on 7-of-9 FG (6-of-7 threes). But he's been slumping over the past four games with a mere 9.5 PPG on 40% FG. Freshman C Steven Adams (7.2 PPG, 6.5 RPG) shoots 59% from the floor, but just 40% from the free-throw line. Adams was a beast in the paint versus Marquette last month though with six rebounds and four blocked shots. Freshman SG James Robinson (6.1 PPG, 3.6 APG) also played well in that game with 12 points and four assists before fouling out.

Marquette's offense is slightly better than average with 69.4 PPG (128th in nation), but it really struggles to make three-point shots at 29.5% threes. This is mostly an issue of the starting backcourt forcing shots, as SG Vander Blue (14.6 PPG, 3.2 RPG) hits just 29% of his threes, while PG Junior Cadougan (8.8 PPG, 4.3 APG) shoots 22% (9-of-41) from downtown. Blue made only 1-of-4 threes against Pittsburgh last month, but still scored a team-high 22 points with 6-of-12 FG and 9-of-10 free throws. PF Davante Gardner is the team's second-leading scorer at 11.6 PPG, making 57% of his high-percentage shots. He also leads the team in rebounding (5.0 RPG) and has made an incredible 86% of his free throws (95-for-111) despite weighing nearly 300 pounds. Gardner was a perfect 6-of-6 FG in the upset win at Pittsburgh last month, finishing with 13 points and eight rebounds. Junior SF Jamil Wilson (8.4 PPG, 4.4 RPG) scored 11 points in that surprising victory before fouling out. Wilson has also scored in double-figures in three straight games, netting 13 points on 3-of-4 FG, 2-of-2 threes and 5-of-5 FT in Monday's loss at Georgetown.


With Maryland announcing its intentions to join the Big Ten earlier this season, Saturday could be its final ACC matchup with No. 2 Duke.

The Blue Devils initially struggled to find their groove after the loss of senior forward Ryan Kelly, dropping two of three games, but that turned around with an 84-64 romp of the Terrapins at Cameron Indoor Stadium, jump-starting their current six game win streak (3-3 ATS). Since that defeat, the Terrapins have struggled to find their mojo, going 2-2 with losses to Florida State and most recently by 11 points at home to underdog Virginia. They do have a major edge in one category though, grabbing 42.2 RPG (2nd-most in D-I), which is 6.8 RPG more than Duke has. The Blue Devils have owned this rivalry, going 9-1 SU and 7-3 ATS in the last 10 games between these two teams, and winning each of the past six meetings by margins of 7, 18, 16, 13, 18 and 20 points. Duke's recent dominance in this series includes going 3-1 (SU and ATS) at College Park, a notoriously difficult place to play. And even though Duke is just 1-4 ATS on the road this season, it is 7-4 ATS (64%) in non-home games, while the Terrapins are 1-4 ATS in their past five home games.

Duke brings a potent offense to the table averaging 78.0 PPG, good for 10th in Division-I. Freshman G Rasheed Sulaimon (11.5 PPG) had his best game of the year in the win against Maryland on Jan. 26, tallying 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting, including 6-for-8 from beyond the arc. Hitting at a 39.8% clip from deep, he is just one of Duke’s dangerous outside shooters. SG Seth Curry (16.5 PPG) is making 41.8% from long range while PG Quinn Cook (12.0 PPG, 5.8 APG) is hitting 40.9% of his attempts. Cook has emerged as an elite floor general (2.50 Ast/TO ratio), but has struggled with turnovers in his past two games, tallying just five assists and nine turnovers. That followed a span of 13 games in which he gave it up more than twice just two times. Ultimately though, this offense is led by PF Mason Plumlee (18.2 PPG, 10.7 RPG), a National Player of the Year candidate who scored 19 points on 9-for-12 shooting when these two teams first met. That reflects his efficiency all season—he is making 60.3% FG.

In the prior meeting, more impressive than Plumlee’s scoring were his defensive exploits, limiting Maryland star C Alex Len (12.5 PPG, 8.0 RPG) to just eight points in 34 minutes of action. Len and his 7-foot-1 are destined for the NBA Draft lottery, but he is also raw and that has shown through lately with his meager 8.8 PPG in his past four games since the Duke loss. Len and SF Dez Wells (12.0 PPG) are the team’s only double-digit scorers. Wells began the game hot against Duke, scoring a number of early points, but ultimately fell victim to Sulaimon’s exploits and finished 5-of-13 FG and 1-for-4 threes. Wells is an efficient scorer though, making 54% FG, including 58% FG in four games since the meeting with the Blue Devils. The other Maryland player to watch out for is 6-foot-6 G Nick Faust, who like the 6-foot-5 Wells, owns a size advantage over the Duke backcourt that tops out at 6-foot-4. Faust (8.3 PPG, 2.8 APG) has struggled to score this season, making 36.7% FG and 28.6% threes, but has the tools to be a dangerous player. There’s also freshman F Charles Mitchell (5.9 PPG, 6.0 RPG) who is second on the team and rebounding and actually led the Terrapins with 13 points and seven boards in just 13 minutes in the first meeting with Duke.


After stopping its surprising three-game losing skid on Monday, No. 14 Kansas will look to keep it going against a sub-.500 Texas team on Saturday night.

Texas has had a dreadful season, but its star PG Myck Kabongo finally made his season debut on Wednesday, and helped lead his team to an 89-86 win versus Iowa State in double overtime. Kabongo scored 13 points with seven assists in that victory, but now he's tasked with helping the Longhorns win their first true road game of the season, as they are 0-7 SU on the road, losing these games by 12.1 PPG. Kansas is 12-1 SU (6-6 ATS) at home this season, and is coming off an 83-62 pounding of No. 10 Kansas State in its most recent game. Although the Jayhawks are 10-2 SU in the past dozen meetings of this series, the 'Horns are 4-1 ATS in the past five contests, which includes a stunning 74-63 win at Allen Fieldhouse two years ago when they were a 7-point underdog.

While Texas is 7-4 ATS in conference action this season, the Jayhawks are just 4-7 ATS in Big 12 play. And they really struggled to score when they visited Austin last month, scoring 64 points on 39.2% FG. The Longhorns actually lead the nation in both FG Pct. defense (36.1%) and three-point defense (26.1%), which will make it very hard for KU to run away and cover this huge spread. Kansas is just 5-8 ATS (39%) this season with 3+ days of rest, while the 'Horns are on a 6-2 ATS run in their past eight contests.

Texas is a horrible offensive basketball team with just 64.5 PPG (247th in nation) and a woeful 41.4% FG clip (265th in D-I). But the Longhorns lead the nation in both FG Pct. defense (36.1%) and three-point defense (26.1%), which is why they are 6-2 ATS in their past eight contests. Sophomore swingman Sheldon McClellan (14.5 PPG, 4.3 RPG) is coming off a big performance in Wednesday's victory over Iowa State, scoring 18 points (5-of-10 FG, 8-for-8 FT) with eight rebounds. But he continues to misfire from long range, going 0-for-3 from behind the arc, to make him 11-for-53 (21%) on threes since Dec. 8. McClellan had a game-high 18 points against Kansas on Jan. 19, but was just 8-of-18 from the floor with one rebound and one assist in 28 minutes of action. Sophomore SG Julien Lewis (10.5 PPG, 3.2 APG) scored 11 points with seven rebounds in that game, but has struggled to find his shooting rhythm lately with a paltry 8.5 PPG on 12-of-40 FG (30%) over his past four contests. Kabongo, who was suspended by the NCAA for the first 23 games of the season after lying about taking impermissible benefits, wasted no time getting back to action on Wednesday. He logged 35 minutes before fouling out, compiling 13 points, seven assists and four rebounds, but also had four turnovers and made just 1-of-5 threes. He was horrible in the two games versus Kansas last season, scoring a total of three points on 1-of-11 shooting. He failed to score, going 0-for-7 FG (0-for-3 threes) in the loss at Lawrence, but did dish out six assists.

But for Texas to keep this game close, its big men will have to step up. Sophomore F Jonathan Holmes (7.5 PPG, 6.8 RPG) is finally back healthy after breaking a bone in his hand on Jan. 21. The injury forced him to miss five games, but he returned to the court on Wednesday, scoring a paltry four points in 18 minutes before fouling out. He also fouled out of last month's loss to Kansas in just 14 minutes, but was still able to score 10 points on 4-of-5 FG. Freshman PF Ioannis Papapetrou (8.4 PPG, 4.7 RPG) has played solid basketball in the past four games (13.0 PPG, 6.8 RPG) but posted a subpar six points and five rebounds in 30 minutes of action against the Jayhawks last month.

Although Kansas scores 73.5 PPG (49th in nation) on an efficient 46.9% FG (32nd in D-I), the team had reached 70 points just once in nine games before exploding for 83 points against Kansas State on Monday. Freshman SG Ben McLemore (16.8 PPG, 5.5 RPG) scored 30 points on 9-of-13 FG (6-of-10 threes) with seven rebounds and three steals versus the Wildcats, marking his 12th straight game with at least 10 points. McLemore also had a team-high 16 points while grabbing six rebounds in the win in Austin last month. C Jeff Withey (13.2 PPG, 8.3 RPG) also had a well-rounded stat line of 14 points (4-of-6 FG), nine rebounds, four assists and three blocks in that victory over the Longhorns. He dominated KSU too, with 17 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks, upping his season average to 4.1 BPG, good for third in the nation. In each of his past eight games, Withey has at least 11 points and six rebounds. PG Elijah Johnson (9.1 PPG, 4.6 APG) continues to shoot horribly in his senior season with a career-worst 36.5% FG. In his past four games, he's made just 10-of-43 shots (23%), and was a dreadful 1-of-11 FG in the victory over Texas on Jan. 19. But fellow senior G Travis Releford has been red-hot all season, making 59.4% FG and 43.3% threes. Another senior that is key to the success of this team is Kevin Young (7.7 PPG, 6.8 RPG) who had a big game on Monday with 13 points (6-of-9 FG) and nine rebounds.

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