Last Updated: 2018-02-06
It’s all college hoops now. With the Super Bowl behind us, March Madness is the next main event in the sports betting world. If you are placing your first bets in college hoops for the year, tread carefully as you get started. Been around for the whole year in college basketball? Know that there are some changes in the marketplace this time of the year. The public will drive up prices on the favorites in the biggest name games, but lines in general will become sharper.
I will be doing a weekly college basketball situational spots to watch article for BangtheBook.com. I have done these articles for both college football and college basketball for the last few seasons. The games mentioned aren’t necessarily going to be plays of my own. The goal is to help readers learn to isolate situational spots that could give you an edge on the book.
Tuesday February 6
Georgetown at Providence – Georgetown was up by four at Xavier with less than 30 seconds remaining in regulation. Trevon Bluiett converted on a four point play and the game went into overtime, where Xavier went on to win. That was a really tough way to lose for the Hoyas. Providence is coming off a road win at Marquette. The argument could be made that this is also a letdown spot for Providence. I still couldn’t take Georgetown after the way they lost last game.
Baylor at Oklahoma State – I can’t leave this one off the list. Oklahoma State goes into Kansas and wins at Phogg Allen on Saturday, and then plays a fairly quick turnaround game on Tuesday at home against Baylor. The Bears are down quite a bit this year at only 13-10 on the season thus far. Oklahoma State does have revenge to play for from earlier this year against Baylor, and the line is pricing in the spot to some degree in my opinion.
Wednesday February 7
Utah State at Wyoming – This is a pretty good spot for the road team. Utah State lost at home to Wyoming earlier this year. The Aggies will go for some road revenge in this one. Wyoming has played a total of five overtimes in their last four games. That kind of work load wears anyone down, and in the altitude it is a bigger problem. Both of these teams are accustomed to the altitude, but only one of them has been playing a bunch of extra time.
Iowa State at Texas Tech – Speaking of revenge, how about Texas Tech looking for revenge here? Texas Tech played easily their worst game of the season so far in a blowout loss to Iowa State at Hilton Coliseum. Hilton is a tough place to play, but that performance was terrible from the Red Raiders. You have to think Chris Beard’s team will be ready to play this time around. If you want to play the revenge angle here, you’ll have to pay up. It will likely be too expensive for me.
Thursday February 8
SMU at Houston – SMU can’t really afford to lose games right now. The Mustangs are on the bubble right now. In fact, they are listed as one of the first four out in Joe Lunardi’s latest Bracketology projection. Why is this still a bad spot for SMU? They are expected to be without Shake Milton, and he is the guy that everything goes through for the Mustangs. Milton is averaging 18 points per game. Houston is on the bubble (probably on the right side of it for now) as well, and the Cougars have the advantage of likely playing against an SMU team without their star.
Washington at Oregon – We all saw how Washington won at home against Arizona in their last game. That was a great win and the celebration was massive. They deserved to celebrate after that one. This is a tricky spot though. Oregon is down this year, but the Ducks are still dangerous enough, and they are coming off a thumping at the hands of Stanford.
Saturday February 10
Iona at St. Peter’s – If you haven’t followed the MAAC very closely over the years, Iona and St. Peter’s have played some very tight games. St. Peter’s physical style of play has been more difficult than you would think for Iona in the past few seasons. St. Peter’s led almost the whole way in the first meeting between these two, but Iona came back on their home floor and won in the final minutes. The Peacocks look for revenge here.
Dayton at VCU – I look at a lot of scores on a daily basis, and there aren’t many scores that surprised me more than Dayton’s 106-79 win. In fact, I remember my four year old son telling me he saw Dayton had won 106-79 in that game, and I didn’t believe him. Turns out he was right! VCU has to remember that game very well. The Rams aren’t as good this year, but if they have any pride they’ll be highly motivated for this game.
Cal at Utah – This is the Pac 12 back to back games at altitude spot. It isn’t easy for teams not accustomed to this kind of elevation. Cal is terrible, so you’ll have to lay a big number with Utah. I’m not sure I’ll be able to lay the price, but I definitely won’t have Cal.
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