Study Group: Thursday's Top 25 NCAAB Betting Notes
Duke Blue Devils at Virginia Tech Hokies (+13, 151)
Duke looks to rebound from a loss to Maryland when it visits Virginia Tech on Thursday. The No. 6 Blue Devils have lost three of their last 10 games and are a distant second in the Atlantic Coast Conference behind runaway leader Miami. The Blue Devils are playing back-to-back road games for just the second time all season. Virginia Tech has lost eight consecutive contests since defeating Wake Forest on Jan. 19.
The Hokies are experiencing a dismal season in James Johnson’s first season as coach. Virginia Tech is in last place in the 12-team conference. Duke’s loss to Maryland came in its fourth contest in 10 days and coach Mike Krzyzewski said afterwards that his squad was tired. “We’re playing on fumes and I think you could tell that,” Krzyzewski said. The Blue Devils had enough energy to force 26 turnovers but were dominated by a 40-20 margin on the boards. Coach K is tied with legendary Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp for the third-most wins (876) at one school.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
ABOUT DUKE (22-3 SU, 9-3 ACC, 13-12-0 ATS): Senior forward Mason Plumlee struggled against Maryland with a season-low four points and only three rebounds. It was the worst all-around game of the season for a player averaging 17.6 points and 10.4 rebounds. “There is so much pressure for Mason to play outstanding,” Krzyzewski said afterwards. “That wears on you as the season goes on.” Plumlee has 14 double-doubles this season and is 13 rebounds away from becoming the ninth player in Duke history to reach 1,000 career points and rebounds. Senior guard Seth Curry averages 16.9 points and has made a team-best 62 3-pointers. Sophomore guard Quinn Cook has four steals in each of the past two games and has a team-leading 44 to go with a 12.3 scoring average.
ABOUT VIRGINIA TECH (11-14 SU, 2-10 ACC, 10-10-2 ATS): Freshman forward Marshall Wood had 14 points and 16 rebounds against North Carolina State for his first career double-double. Wood’s big outing raised his season averages to 4.7 points and 4.3 rebounds and repeating his stellar game against Duke would rate as a huge accomplishment. Senior guard Erick Green leads the nation with a 25.3 average and had 29 points and eight assists against the Wolfpack. Green is adept at getting to the free-throw line and is making 6.9 free throws per game. Junior forward Jarell Eddie averages 13 points.
* Under is 7-1 in the last eight meetings.
* Blue Devils are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings in Virginia Tech.
* Road team is 8-3-1 ATS in the last 12 meetings.
1. Duke is 40-8 against Virginia Tech and is 11-3 against the Hokies during Krzyzewski’s tenure.
2. Curry has 12 20-point outings this season, including four of the past six games.
3. Green has scored 20 or more points in 23 of Virginia Tech’s 25 games.
California Golden Bears at Oregon Ducks (-6, 132)
Oregon looks to end a 10-game losing streak to California on Thursday when the 23rd-ranked Ducks host the Bears in a key Pac-12 matchup. Oregon leads the conference by one game over Arizona and UCLA and holds a two-game lead over Arizona State and surging California. The Bears have won five of their last six games behind the play of junior guard Allen Crabbe, who was named Pac-12 player of week for the second time in a row.
After losing three straight, the Ducks have bounced back with three consecutive wins, including a 79-77 overtime victory over Washington State on Saturday. Center Tony Woods was ejected in the first half for throwing a deliberate elbow to the back of Brock Motum’s head, but he will be available against the Bears. The 6-11 senior had 14 points and eight rebounds in the Ducks’ 58-54 loss to California on Feb. 2.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPNU.
ABOUT CALIFORNIA (16-9, 8-5 Pac-12, 9-13-1 ATS): Crabbe averaged 19.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in wins over UCLA and USC, but most everyone is talking about his altercation with coach Mike Montgomery during the Bears’ 76-68 win over the Trojans. Crabbe briefly left the game in the second half after being shoved by Montgomery, but the 66-year-old coach has apparently avoided a suspension. The incident has overshadowed the Bears’ recent surge, which includes wins over Oregon and Arizona. Junior forward Richard Solomon has scored 31 points over his last two games, and guard Justin Cobbs is averaging 14.8 points while shooting 85.5 percent from the foul line.
ABOUT NO. 23 OREGON (21-5, 10-3, 10-14 ATS): The Ducks have gradually adjusted to life without point guard Dominic Artis, who remains out indefinitely with a foot injury. Junior Johnathan Loyd has struggled to replace the talented freshman, but he had seven assists against Washington State. Senior forward E.J. Singler scored a season-high 24 points in the win, and he’s scored 20-plus points in two of his last three games. Forward Carlos Emory has averaged 15 points in the last two games, while Arsalan Kazemi ranks third in the Pac-12 with 9.6 rebounds per game. The Ducks lead the conference in rebounding margin at plus-7.8.
* Golden Bears are 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings in Oregon.
* Under is 4-1 in the last five meetings in Oregon.
* Golden Bears are 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings.
* Road team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
1. Oregon, which is 15-1 at Matthew Knight Arena this season, had its 20-game home win streak snapped by Colorado on Feb. 7.
2. Solomon had 13 points and 12 rebounds in 27 minutes in the Bears’ win over Oregon earlier this month.
3. Singler became the winningest men’s basketball player in school history on Saturday with 82 career victories.
Exposing the Top 25: Where the Polls Went Wrong
Each week throughout the college basketball season, Covers Expert Jesse Schule will dissect the new Top 25 rankings, looking for betting value. He'll showcase the most overrated team, along with the most underrated ranked team, and an unranked squad that he feels should be in the Top 25.
Most Underrated Top 25 Team - Notre Dame Fighting Irish (21-6 SU, 12-12 ATS)
The Irish barely remained in the Top 25 this week, occupying the No. 25 spot. Some have called them soft, overrated and undeserving of a place in the rankings. The Irish came into Monday's game at Pittsburgh as an astounding double-digit dog and they went on to win outright by a score of 51-42. They have now won four of five versus ranked opponents this season.
While the Irish have proved they can play with the nation's best teams, they have also shown that they can lose to lesser ones, as they demonstrated by getting blown out on the road at St. John’s and Providence. Don't fool yourself though. This Notre Dame team is capable of making some noise this March. It hosts unranked Cincinnati Sunday and then they have three more games early in March. Two of those three are on the road against ranked teams.
Most Overrated Top 25 Team - Wisconsin Badgers (18-8 SU, 9-14-1 ATS)
The Badgers have the lowest winning percentage of any of the ranked teams, yet they find themselves ranked No. 17 overall. Wisconsin has been a losing bet this year, with a terrible 9-14-1 ATS record. The Badgers are only averaging 67 points per game and they are just shooting 42.6 percent from the field.
Despite their offensive shortcomings, the Badgers have managed to upset Indiana and Michigan at home. They haven't been so good on the road though, with a record of 3-5. Three of their final five games are away from Madison.
Unranked Team That Should Be Ranked – Saint Louis Billikens (19-5 SU, 13-9 ATS)
The Billikens have won eight straight and that includes an upset win over Butler at home by a score of 75-58. They are also a profitable 8-0 ATS during their winning streak. Saint Louis has faced four Top-25 teams this season, winning three of those games.
The Billikens picked up win No. 8 with a victory over No. 24 VCU Tuesday, and they have a rematch at Butler Friday. Chances are, with the win over the Rams, they will be in the Top 25 next week.
Thursday Cliff Notes
And so many teams are bubble teams and really, really need to win in the next week. This time of year, experience matters to me more than it does earlier in the season, and stats matter much, much, less. It's all about motivation. Here's some "bubble" teams that need to win, IMO, and this year V-Tech is not one of them. I'm sure there's many more, but we'll get to those soon.
Baylor - Toughest games are at home
Villanova - Not enough experience
Cal - Have felt they were soft all year
Boise State - One reason I lean that way tonight
Colorado - Tough road week - Be Careful against Utah
LaSalle - Must beat Temple tomorrow
Cincinnati at UConn: The Huskies played and won their GOY against Syracuse as we predicted, and we also called the letdown against Villanova. The truth of this team is somewhere in the middle, and now they may actually be coming to the realization that there season is about over. Cincinnati, for all their experience and size, simply cannot score nor shoot free throws, so it's tough to back them on the road. Right now they're projected as in, but they could conceivably lose three more games, have Notre Dame (a bigger game for them) this weekend, and play Uconn again as well as L'ville on the road. Simply can't trust them, but not sure which UConn team shows up. I lean to the Huskies, but lean a lot more to the under. When the line comes out at around 127 I suspect others will, too, so sooner is better than later unless you like the over.
LaSalle at Temple: Did we not just mention LaSalle needing this win? Well, the Owls are a bit of a bubble team, too, so the loser of this game may find themselves in a play-in game or perhaps even out. Temple's loss at Duquesne was a killer for their chances, but there was some redemption beating UMass. Now it's all on this game, and next Thursday when they host Detroit. Their last game of the season is home to VCU, and honestly if that game were played right now Temple would be my GOY if I were to have one. LaSalle, aside from some BS loss to Central Connecticut (which WILL be factored in) doesn't have any bad losses and does have some great wins. I do love the LaSalle defense and the fact that Temple has been awful at defending the perimeter, which is what LaSalle does, shoot three's. It's almost always tough for me to back those kinds of teams on the road, especially when they don't get to the FT line, but this may be one of those instances where the world loves Temple because they are Temple. I love Dunphy, but he is not Chaney. Leaning to the Explorers if the price is right, because Temple cannot rebound offensive misses and we know LaSalle won't hesitate to run. Temple won't want to play quick, but because there's so much riding on this game, I don't expect LaSalle to patiently wait to try and dictate pace, which is also why I may lean over what might be a low enough total, should there be one.
Stanford at Oregon State: Clearly the public team here will be the Cardinal, so well look to back the un-public team that's at home. Stanford beat these guys a month ago at home, but have inexplicably lost to SoCal and UCLA at home, and must face the Ducks in two days. This is a brutal spot for them, and barring winning out it looks like they get to defend their NIT Championship, which has to be a disappointment. Since this week are the last two home games for the Beavers, I'd expect at least a spirited effort here. Quite frankly, if there is a total, I have to like the over. Obviously Oregon State simply cannot play much defense, and they'll fire three's when they've got the ball, and that is clearly the Achilles Heel of the Cardinal (defending them). So this one is the home team and the over, more than likely.
Cal at Oregon: Cal needs this in a big way, since we did mention they may be a bubble team. Cal beat Oregon 58-54 in their last meeting and will be favored in their remaining four games. I guess we don't know if Artis is going to play, and with the Ducks winning the last three without him, I would guess they'd sit him as long as they can, because there's little Oregon can do to improve their standing other than win the Pac-10. If I were the Ducks coaching staff, even he were able to play, I'd sit him til the next to last game against Colorado, because that one will matter much more, and it'd give him (and them) some idea as to where he's really at. I guess all things being equal, it depends on how badly Oregon wants to win this game. Not that they'd WANT to lose, but winning at what cost is the question. Cal has win three straight and five of six, including a nice win at Arizona, so beating Oregon is not out of the question. They do match up well and have a huge size edge inside, but they're bench is super short and if the Ducks play their tempo, that could hurt. I guess this one is a "duh". If Artis plays, I cannot take Cal unless it effects the line so much I cannot resist.
BYU at St. Mary's: Right now, some bracket guru's have St. Mary's in a play-in game, which is a bit tough to fathom, but likely a by-product of a weak non-conference schedule. They beat the Cougars by one earlier this season, but what really concerns me is that they've got a game this weekend against Creighton. Yes, Creighton has fallen from grace a but, but it's not likely the St. Marys' kids know all about that, and it IS a home game for them. BYU is probably OUT, unless they win this game AND beat Gonzaga at home this weekend. Very tough for both teams here. St. Mary's will probably be favored by a few more than they should be, and with their occasional lack of actually playing defense and the speed of BYU, I wouldn't put it past the Cougars to at least stay within the number. There is no (ok, slim) chance I will lay three possession or more in a game of this magnitude this time of year. Tough for me to back St. Mary's when they simply cannot beat good teams and perhaps their best win was at Santa Clara. BYU or nothing here.
Free Play from Doc's Sports.
#537 Take Stanford over Oregon State (Thursday 11 pm ESPN U)
The Cardinal have a lot of talent, they just have not played up to that level on a consistent basis this season. Stanford is coming off two bad beats at home after upsetting Arizona State in Tempe on Feb. 9th. Stanford has already beaten Oregon State once this season and we fully expect them to complete the trifecta on Thursday since they have a nice size advantage against the Beavers. Oregon State is known as having the coach that is the President’s brother in law and he has had little success in Corvallis since he arrived. The Beavers have just three wins on the season and they have all come against teams that will not be making the NCAA Tournament. Stanford has some quality wins on the season and a few of them came on the road and they will not be intimidated by playing in the state of Oregon. Stanford is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS loss in their previous game. Oregon State is just 3-8 ATS in their last 11 home games.
College Basketball Prediction from Doc's Sports.
#537 Take Stanford (-1.5) over Oregon State (Thursday 11 pm ESPN U)
The Cardinal have a lot of talent, they just have not played up to that level on a consistent basis this season. Stanford is coming off two bad beats at home after upsetting Arizona State in Tempe on Feb. 9. Stanford has already beaten Oregon State once this season, and we fully expect them to complete the trifecta on Thursday since they have a nice size advantage against the Beavers. Oregon State is known as having the coach that is the President's brother in law, and he has had little success in Corvallis since he arrived. The Beavers have just three wins on the season, and they have all come against teams that will not be making the NCAA Tournament. Stanford has some quality wins on the season, and a few of them came on the road. They will not be intimidated by playing in the state of Oregon. Stanford is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS loss in their previous game. Oregon State is just 3-8 ATS in their last 11 home games. Do not miss Doc's Sports weekend card featuring a strong selection on Saturday. Get on board now with a veteran handicapper that has 42 years of experience in the business.
Free College Basketball Prediction From Jason Sharpe:
Take #529 California (+7.5) over Oregon (9 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 21)
I'm a big fan of this Cal hoops team, who only look like they are getting better the deeper into this season we go. A lot of high expectations for this group early on, but many came crashing down when the Bears dropped three straight big games back in mid-December. They beat Oregon earlier this month by four points at home and have a nice win on the road against Arizona in their last road contest.
The Ducks are a very solid 21-5 on the season, but they are playing arguably their worst basketball of the season right now, losing three of their last six games overall and also needed overtime in their last game to beat a Washington State team that most felt they should have had little problems with. Oregon is known to have a very strong home court edge, but keep in mind they have been nothing special at home in conference play this season with zero wins above nine points in of their six home contests this season.
Look for Cal to keep things very close here in this one. Play California plus the points here. My NBA Game of the Month is Friday night, a huge 6-Unit selection that I hit the last time I released a play of this size. This huge play comes exactly one week after I nailed my CBB Conference Game of the Year, which was another big-game winner for me and my followers. No one has been hotter than I have in 2013 on the hardwood as my $100-a-unit clients have already pocketed well over $5,500 in profits so far this year. Saturday will be another big play in CBB action as I have been hitting well over 60% of my all college basketball releases in conference play this season. If you're looking to build your betting bankroll up before the MLB season begins, then look no further than my way as I am locked and loaded right now.
-- Temple's last five games (3-2) were all decided by one point, first time that happened in at least 15 years; Owls won last seven games against LaSalle, winning last three played here, by 12-8-6 points. Explorers are 8-2 in last ten games, winning last four, three by 9+ points- they've won last three road games. Temple is 3-2 in conference home games. A-16 home teams are 3-10 when spread is 2 or less points.
-- UConn won six of last nine games vs Cincinnati, but Bearcats won last two visits here, by 12-3 points; road teams won four of last five series games. Huskies won five of last seven games, are 4-2 at home in Big East games, with three wins by 8+ points. Cincy lost three of last four games, but they're 4-2 on Big East road, with losses by 2-4 points. Big East home teams are 9-26 if spread is 5 or less points.
-- Georgia won its last three games vs Arkansas by 13-1-22 points; they turn ball over 23.4% oftime, bad news vs Arkansas team forces foes to turn ball over 25.1% of time. SEC double digit home favorites are 10-14 vs spread. Hogs won four of last five games, beating Florida/Mizzou in last two home games; they're 6-0 in SEC home games, with four wins by 11+ points. Dawgs are 3-3 on SEC road, losing by 33-17-10 points.
-- Delaware (+5.5) won 66-64 at Drexel Jan 28, making 53% inside arc, just second win in last six series games for Hens; Drexel lost three of its last four visits here, losing by 3-4-11 points. CAA home favorites of 5 or less points are 11-15 vs spread. Last three Delaware games were won by total of five points. First road game for Drexel in 19 days; they're 3-4 in last seven games, with three losses by 7 or less points.
-- Ark-Little Rock (-5) beat FIU 88-76 at home Jan 12, third series win in row for Trojans, by 8-14-14 points. UALR is 3-2 in last five visits to FIU. Panthers won their last three home games by 3-19-5 points; eight of their last nine wins are by 6 or less points. Sun Belt home favorites of 6 or less points are 14-12 vs spread. UALR lost three of last four games; five of their last seven were decided by 5 or less points.
-- Middle Tennessee (-7.5) won 60-56 at South Alabama Jan 5, in game they led by 15 with 9:00 left; Raiders are 9-2 in last 11 games vs USA, winning last four by 23-16-21-4 points. Jaguars lost last three visits to MTSU by 27-23-16 points; they're 7-1 in last eight games overall, with three of last four wins by 4 or less points. MTSU is 8-0 at home in Sun Belt games, with seven wins by 13+points. Sun Belt double digit home favorites are 11-4 vs spread.
-- Duke didn't play true road game in pre-conference; they're 3-3 in ACC road games, winning by 5-19-1 points (won by 19 at FSU). ACC home underdogs are 16-5 vs spread; double digit favorites are 10-5, but 0-2 on road. Virginia Tech lost last eight games, losing last four at home by 16-9-5-10 points. Duke won last four series games, beating Hokies twice in LY's games, by 4-5 points- they won four of last five visits here, with wins by 13-17-7-15 points.
-- Cal (-1.5) beat Oregon 58-54 at home Feb 2, despite Ducks shooting 60% inside arc; they've beaten Oregon 10 times in row, with last four wins here all by 10+ points. Ducks are 5-1 in Pac-12 home games, with loss to Colorado. Bears won last three games, by 8-13-8 points, scoring 76+ points in all three; they've won five of last six games but are 3-4 on Pac-12 road. Pac-12 home faves of 6 or less points are 11-23 vs spread.
-- Colorado (-5) lost 58-55 at Utah Feb 2, game Utes led by 22 in second half; Buffs won six of last eight games, with four of last five decided by 4 or less points. Utah is 1-5 on Pac-12 road, losing by 1-13-10-18-9; three of their last five games were decided by 5 or less points. Last three Colorado home wins were all by 10+ points, but four of their last five games overall were decided by 4 or less points. Pac-12 double digit home favorites are 3-8 vs spread.
-- San Francisco (-7) beat LMU 62-53 at home Jan 19, holdng Lions to 28.3% from floor; it was 6th win in last nine series games for Dons, who lost four of last six games overall, but won three of last four road games. Lions lost last ten games; they're 1-5 at home in WCC, with three of last five losses by 4 or less points. WCC home underdogs of 5 or less points are 0-6 vs spread. USF is 5-2 vs teams ranked outside top 200.
-- Stanford made 14-25 from arc, turned ball over only four times in its 81-73 (-9.5) win over Oregon State Feb 3, its third straight series win, by 2-5-8 points- they won here LY 103-101 in four OTs. Beavers lost five of last seven games, are 2-5 at home in Pac-12, beating Wash/Utah. Stanford won five of last seven visits to Corvallis. Underdogs are 16-6 in Pac-12 games if spread is 3 or less points.
-- Dellavedova hit running 3-pointer at buzzer to give St Mary's a 70-69 (+5) win Jan 16 in Provo, its third straight series win. BYU lost 98-82 in its visit here LY. Gaels were 10-25 from arc in Provo; they've won 10 of last 11 games, are 5-1 at home in WCC, with four wins by 12+ points- their last four wins are by 10+. WCC single digit home favorites are 6-9 vs spread. BYU is 0-5 vs teams ranked in the top 60.
-- Elon (-12) beat Samford 77-66 at home Feb 2, despite Bulldogs hitting 11-18 inside arc, 11-32 inside it; Phoenix won 10 of last 11 games, with last three wins by 4 or less points, or in OT- they're 5-2 on road in their league games. Samford won three of last four games; they're 5-2 at home in league, but tun ball over 21.2% of time. Samford is 1-12 vs teams in top 225; Elon is #201. SoCon home underdogs are 15-9 vs spread.
DCI College Basketball
The Daniel Curry Index
Straight Up: 3130-1065 (.746)
ATS: 1425-1469 (.492)
ATS Vary Units: 4138-4472 (.481)
Over/Under: 394-378 (.510)
Over/Under Vary Units: 414-447 (.481)
Atlantic 10 Conference
La Salle vs. TEMPLE: TOO CLOSE TO CALL
Atlantic Coast Conference
Duke 82, VIRGINIA TECH 67
Atlantic Sun Conference
JACKSONVILLE 73, USC Upstate 71
MERCER 76, Lipscomb 60
NORTH FLORIDA 72, East Tennessee State 65
Northern Kentucky 63, KENNESAW STATE 60
Big East Conference
CONNECTICUT 64, Cincinnati 60
Big South Conference
CHARLESTON SOUTHERN 87, Vmi 72
Big Ten Conference
ILLINOIS 74, Penn State 54
Iowa 67, NEBRASKA 59
Colonial Athletic Association
DELAWARE 66, Drexel 61
BRYANT 86, Central Connecticut State 77
Long Island vs. MOUNT ST. MARY'S: TOO CLOSE TO CALL
Quinnipiac 76, SACRED HEART 74
ROBERT MORRIS 78, Monmouth 63
SAINT FRANCIS (PA.) 74, Fairleigh Dickinson 65
Wagner 73, ST. FRANCIS (N.Y.) 71
Ohio Valley Conference
TENNESSEE TECH 77, UT Martin 64
COLORADO 68, Utah 54
OREGON 69, California 66
OREGON STATE 73, Stanford 72
ARKANSAS 69, Georgia 59
CHATTANOOGA 77, UNC Greensboro 71
SAMFORD 65, Elon 63
Wofford vs. GEORGIA SOUTHERN: TOO CLOSE TO CALL
Sun Belt Conference
FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON 70, Ualr 68
MIDDLE TENNESSEE 74, South Alabama 58
NORTH TEXAS 70, Florida Atlantic 65
UL LAFAYETTE 71, Troy 68
WESTERN KENTUCKY 74, Ulm 61
West Coast Conference
SAINT MARY'S 80, Byu 70
San Diego 65, PORTLAND 63
San Francisco 73, LOYOLA MARYMOUNT 68
BOWLING GREEN 81, New Orleans 57