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Check out our quick-hitting betting notes on Monday’s ranked college basketball games:
Texas Tech at (13) Kansas State (-19.5, 137)
Kansas State shares first place in the conference with Kansas and the Wildcats have four games remaining to chase their first regular-season title since winning the Big Eight championship in 1976-77. The Wildcats, who are 13-1 at home, have won seven of their last eight, including three straight, and are coming off an 81-69 victory at Texas on Saturday. Kansas State has won the last six meetings against Texas Tech, including a 68-59 victory Feb. 5 in Lubbock. The Red Raiders are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 road games.
(8) Syracuse at (20) Marquette (Pick, 131)
Syracuse and Marquette were tied with Georgetown for first place in the Big East entering last weekend, but losses by both teams on Saturday dropped each of them a game off the pace. The Orange, who have lost three of their last four road games, will have a short turnaround against Marquette, which owns the country’s second-longest active home winning streak at 23. Syracuse is 4-4 over its last eight games and the conference’s second-highest scoring offense has failed to top 58 points in three of those contests or shoot better than 36.7 percent from the field. The Golden Eagles are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games following an ATS loss.
(9) Kansas at Iowa State (+1, 144)
Iowa State has the third-longest active home-winning streak in the nation at 22 games and is 31-2 at Hilton Coliseum over the last two seasons. The Jayhawks needed overtime to beat visiting Iowa State on Jan. 9. Ben McLemore scored a season-high 33 points in that game, but the standout Kansas freshman guard has been held under his team-high 16.2 scoring average in the last three games. The Jayhawks will have to defend the perimeter in this one as the Cyclones have made a nation-leading 260 3-pointers this season, converting 10 or more in six straight games. Iowa State is 5-0 ATS in its last five home games.
We got obliterated on our only premium play on Sunday (USC). Not sure which is worse, the aged old argument of whether you'd rather being on the wrong end of the last thirty seconds, or just get crushed. From years of experience, I can assure you it's the former. To be that far off is embarrassing and certainly doesn't put our best foot forward. There are adjustments that need to be made this time of year. More often than not, and it was the case on Saturday and Sunday, a larger percentage of favorites covered the number. That happens in November, and it starts happening again now. I don't have numbers to support that, and there always "any given day", but from experience and history, it does happen. So, we grind on.
Syracuse at Marquette: Having just said what I said, my typical reaction to this game would be to find a way to back Marquette and/or the home underdog. Both teams need to win to assure themselves of staying in the top four in the Conference and hence a bye in the Tournament, and Marquette has yet to lose at home this season. They come in off a fairly predictable loss at Villanova, knowing that 'Nova had been playing pretty well and Marquette could we be thinking more about THIS game. The 'Cuse had no excuse in looking ahead and losing at home to G-Town. They turned the ball over 16 times, only had eight assists, and shot .200 from behind the arc. They're lucky it wasn't worse. Marquette loves to pound the ball inside and get to the FT line, and they do it well. The problem is that Syracuse is a far better defensive team than offensive, and they've got a significant length advantage, hence they are the fifth best offensive rebounding team in the nation. However, they aren't a great defensive rebounding team, and Marquette is indeed a very good OFFENSIVE rebounding team, and therein lies what this game will come down to, IMO. That and the big advantage Syracuse has in both not turning the ball over (as they did against G-Town) and in creating them. I'd be quite tempted to take the under here, as this should be a methodical defensive game, but I can at the same time see a close game with some late free throws. Tough one throw down one right now, and two ways to look at it. How often can you bet on Syracuse without laying points (twice this season) or how often can you get Marquette at home just needing to win (twice this year and they won both v/Wisconsin and Pittsburgh). I've thought all along Pittsburgh was a bit over rated. I guess if I had to bet this game, I'd find a way to follow the money, if I could find it, as late as I could. It's a PK for a reason. Marquette's slightly "off" offensive numbers may well be a result of facing opponents with the #1 rated defensive efficiency, too. I suspect most "sharp" people will be on the home team, but I have my reservations at this point. Statistically, Syracuse should win the game. This time of year with this much at stake (seeding) the better team does not always win.
Kansas at Iowa State: Welp, people will be tripping over themselves to take ISU here, especially with the overtime loss earlier this season at Kansas, and the fact that they are undefeated at home this year. Couple that with the fact that most people will remember that Kansas lost to TCU outright. Losing ATS in that game was actually predictable since it was sandwiched between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State (two losses). I wonder if that overtime win over Oklahoma State on the road has put these guys heads back on straight. Last year these teams split their games, each winning on their home floor. Both teams have a ton of experience, and Kansas has the height. But, against a shooting team like Iowa, that may only be a factor if Iowa cannot grab the defensive rebounds, which they've actually been pretty good at. Perhaps the biggest advantage Iowa has here is depth. Kansas just isn't that deep off the bench, and Iowa is going to push the pace. That is a given. Neither team turns it over much, and neither team creates a ton, either, which would make me think this is one game that may well go over the number, although 144 is a big number. On the flip side, Kansas hasn't had a road game come anywhere near this number except for their win at Ohio State way back when. Conversely, the last nine Iowa State games have gone over this number. Hard to think, after rethinking, that another "over" is that easy, and that Kansas won't mitigate SOME of ISU's shooting and have just enough deliberate possessions to keep it under given that is that Iowa State simply does not go to the free throw line, and that could be costly if their not hitting their jump shots. This is surely another one of those games that the most talented team (with the better stats) may not win. Clearly the biggest home game for ISU this season, if not for several seasons, and just like Marquette, you got to wonder how much of this game will be won by emotion and how much be sheer talent. Kansas is tied for the Big 12 lead with K-State, who they've beaten twice. After this game the Jayhawks have to "gimme" games against WVU (sorry Dub) and T-Tech at home before finishing up at Baylor, in a game that may not mean much, other than to Kansas' designs on a high seed. Given ISU's relatively low RPI their really playing for revenge and a top four seed, which is obviously a lot, but a loss here would hurt Kansas far more than ISU going forward. One other point of interest is although Kansas has had a relatively easy (if there is such a thing) conference schedule, Iowa State has played, to date, the easiest Conference schedule. So, not unlike the Syracuse game, we have the "trendy" Iowa State team at home against the more "talented" Kansas team. With that in mind, I will have to work harder to find the winner(s) here.
Villanova at Seton Hall: Well, Villanova has all of a sudden become the trendy team to take, and is more than a one possession road favorite. Does Seton Hall suck that bad? I don't think so. However, they only other time in conference play this season they were a road favorite was at DePaul, who they promptly destroyed. Less than a week ago Seton Hall was only a five point underdog at home to Marquette, a game they lost by nearly twenty. A couple of weeks ago they were +5.5 at home to Cincinnati, and lost by six. So, just to put things in perspective, that would thereby put Villanova in the same class as Marquette, and as fate would have it Villanova just beat the Golden Eagles. See how this all starts to make sense after a while! A month ago I would have taken Seton Hall without even thinking about it, but please refer back to paragraph one and this weekend, when I said that good teams start winning and covering this time of year. I know Villanova beat UConn on the road (they've won at DePaul and South Florida as well) but that UConn win was right after the Huskies had beaten Syracuse, and again, predictable. The value here could also like in the total. Villanova scores 27% of their points from the line, which is bar none the highest number in the country. Seton looks at this game as perhaps one of their last chances to actually win a game. Both teams have serious turnover issues at times. Villanova is good, and playing well, but they simply aren't as talented (and are much younger) than some of the teams they're mentioned with, and the one thing they do not do is defend the perimeter. So, I have to think Seton may be jacked up enough to run with Villanova and this one goes over. They very early money at Pinnacle pushed this to -4 while it still sits at -3.5 most other places. Remember it doesn't take much money to move a line in the very early stages, and with CRIS and Greek still sitting at +3.5, that would, at least this early, make me lean Seton Hall. Obviously that could change in a nano-second, but we have to start, and end, somewhere. Still think this one may well inch over 130.
So, there is the full (almost) slate of Monday games. And Sunday, of the ten games either finished or well underway that involve upper echelon conferences, every single favorite has covered and/or is at the moment. See paragraph one, and how I remember this is that last March that trend did the same thing and I was way behind it. I was also trying to get ready for baseball and spread entirely too thin. Not doing that again, as it is the dictionary definition of insanity. We learn from our mistakes, and do not need six weeks to get ready for baseball. If we hadn't had three straight winning seasons, I'd worry about it. For now, I am only concerned with finding all our clients and anyone else that has the desire to read, more winners than losers.
-- Syracuse is 4-4 in last eight games after 18-1 start, losing three of last four road games; Orange won five of last seven games with Marquette, but lost 76-70 in last visit here two years ago. Big East home teams are 12-27 if spread is 5 or less points. Marquette is 7-0 at home in Big East, with last four wins by 10+ points- their last six wins overall are also by 10+. 46 points Syracuse scored Saturday were their least ever in Dome.
-- Kansas State beat Texas Tech 68-59 in Lubbock Feb 5, making 8-20 from arc; it was State's 6th straight series win, despite forcing only four turnovers. Tech lost last three visits here, by 12-34-19 points. Wildcats won seven of last eight games; they're 6-1 at home, with five of six wins by 9+ points. Tech lost its last eight games; they're 0-6 on Big X road, with five losses by 16+. Big X double digit home favorites are 12-5.
-- Villanova won five of last six games, winning at UConn, also beating Marquette; Wildcats won last ten games vs Seton Hall, winning four in row here, by 14-9-4-3 points. Seton Hall lost its last nine games, with five of last six losses by 11+ points. Big East home underdogs of 6 or less points are 7-16 vs spread. Pirates turn ball over 23.8% of time.
-- ESPN's first Big Monday visit to Ames in seven years; Iowa State got beat 97-89 in OT at Kansas Jan 9, Jayhawks' 14th win in last 15 series games- they lost by 8 here LY. Big X home teams are 9-13 when spread is 5 or less points. ISU was 14-38 from arc at Kansas, 16-35 inside arc; they're 7-0 in Big X home games this year, and scored 86+ points in last four games. Kansas lost two of last three on road, with win in double OT at Oklahoma State.
The Orange look to bounce back from their 57-46 loss to Georgetown on Saturday and build on their 9-4-1 ATS record in their last 14 games following a double-digit loss at home. Syracuse is the pick (-1) according to Dunkel, which has the Orange favored by 3. Dunkel Pick: Syracuse (-1). Here are all of today's games.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 25
Time Posted: 7:00 a.m. EST
Game 709-710: Syracuse at Marquette (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Syracuse 72.286; Marquette 69.302
Dunkel Line: Syracuse by 3; 135
Vegas Line: Syracuse by 1; 131
Dunkel Pick: Syracuse (-1); Over
Game 711-712: Texas Tech at Kansas State (7:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Texas Tech 50.644; Kansas State 73.268
Dunkel Line: Kansas State by 22 1/2; 129
Vegas Line: Kansas State by 19; 137
Dunkel Pick: Kansas State (-19); Under
Game 713-714: Villanova at Seton Hall (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Villanova 67.736; Seton Hall 60.627
Dunkel Line: Villanova by 7; 135
Vegas Line: Villanova by 4; 130
Dunkel Pick: Villanova (-4); Over
Game 715-716: Kansas at Iowa State (9:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas 71.879; Iowa State 67.755
Dunkel Line: Kansas by 4; 140
Vegas Line: Kansas by 1; 144
Dunkel Pick: Kansas (-1); Under
Play On - Road underdogs of 10 to 19.5 points (TEXAS TECH) playing with one or less days rest, in February games.
115-62 over the last 5 seasons. ( 65.0% 46.8 units )
21-11 this year. ( 65.6% 8.9 units )
CBB VILLANOVA at SETON HALL
Play On - A road team vs. the money line (VILLANOVA) average offensive team (67-74 PPG) against a poor offensive team (63-67 PPG), after allowing 65 points or less 2 straight games.
338-227 since 1997. ( 59.8% 96.7 units )
33-23 this year. ( 58.9% 14.3 units )
CBB SYRACUSE at MARQUETTE
Play Against - Road teams where the 1rst half line is +1.5 to -1.5 (SYRACUSE) off a loss by 10 points or more to a conference rival, top level team, winning 80% or more of their games on the season.
39-14 since 1997. ( 73.6% 23.6 units )
2-1 this year. ( 66.7% 0.9 units )
Monday night comp play will be Syracuse to edge Marquette in their Big East battle.
Not too much separating the teams, as the Orange enter with a 22-5 mark, while the host Golden Eagles stand at 19-7. Both schools were on the wrong side of the win/loss column on Saturday, as Syracuse laid an egg at home versus Georgetown, while Marquette came up short at Villanova.
The loser tonight is likely eliminated from grabbing the regular season Big East title, and while Marquette is a perfect 14-0 at home this season, prefer to side with Syracuse to bounce-back after their ugly loss and notch their second straight series win over the Golden Eagles.
The Orange do possess the conference’s best field goal defense and they have yet to allow an opponent to shoot 50 percent this season. That fact coupled with the fact Buzz Williams' team has struggled with the jump-shot at times this season tells me there is a reason why Syracuse is the small road favorite against a team that has not lost a home game yet this season.
Going small with the 'Cuse tonight in this battle.
Rewards: 23,748 [Donate]
Indian Cowboy's Picks For College Basketball
4-Unit Play. #711. Take Texas Tech +19.5 over Kansas State (Monday @ 7pm est).
4-Unit Play. #713. Take Villanova -4.5 over Seton Hall (Monday @ 9pm est).
4-Unit Play. #716. Take Iowa State +1 over Kansas (Monday @ 9pm est).
I thought about the Tech game a bit back and forth. But, at the end of the day getting 19.5 points on a total of 137 is important. Plus, Tech can play a half-court style you'd think and they fell short by about 10 points earlier this year at home so it is a revenge game of sorts on the road at Kansas State. Its a good public fade on a Monday as well as the public of course is on State who is a top 15 team. Kansas State also has Baylor on deck on the road and might be looking ahead. Plus, if Chris Walker's team can lose to Iowa State by 20, a team that has revenge against Tech from an earlier season loss, then I certainly think that Tech can hang within 20 against a Kansas State team who they have revenge against themselves at home. This is a game that Villanova can win going away. This is a team desperately need in the hung for a Big Dance bid and these are the type of contests that they have to win. This team still plays in arguably the best college ball conference in America and stands tall at 18-10 and 9-6 in conference play. Getting double-digit wins in Big East play is a big deal and this puts them at 10-6. These two teams have not met this year but do note that this team is now 5-1 of late in conference play and this team has not lost to a team outside the top 100 since December 1st. So, the contests such as Rutgers, Depaul, Delaware, South Florida are all comparable games to this contest against Seton Hall. Combine that with big wins against UConn, Syracuse, Louisville and Marquette and you have a fairly dynamic team playing well as they hook up against Seton Hall today who is outside the top 100. Seton Hall has lost 9 straight conference games and it seems that they very well might have packed it in for the season and with Villanova with much to play coming into this game, don't be surprised to see Villanova pick off this game on the road and win by about 8 points this evening. As per the Iowa State game, this is a big revenge game for Iowa State. They face a Kansas team who comes off a big win against Texas Christian which was a revenge game for them. I'm not a huge fan of going against Kansas, but this is a good public fade and there is a reason why this game stands at a pick-em. Iowa State and Fred Hoiberg's team is 19-8 right now and they need a big staple win to confirm their ticket to the dance. This team is 5-2 in conference play of late and lost to Kansas on the road in overtime earlier this year. This team does have plenty of senior leadership and the fact that this is the same State team that nearly beat Baylor on the road by 5 points, look for State to get some revenge here at home. This is a game that Iowa State has to have to punch their ticket to the dance and I suspect that motivation is there for them to do well and with the revenge angle works well for them here. Besides, you don't think the Big12 wants another team in the Dance? I'm not saying - but I'm just saying.