As we head into another exciting weekend of action, it’s time for our weekly look back at the highs and lows of the last week of the college basketball season from a betting perspective, From the hundreds of games that were played in the last week, here are eight situations most worth mentioning:
Tennessee 69, Wichita State 60
Wichita State was undefeated heading into this game, and the Shockers were actually favored by two points in this one despite being on the road. However, they just couldn’t handle the pressure and lost. Tennessee was only 4-3 heading into the game, and this has been a directionless team for years, so this was a much needed win and something for them to build on heading into the SEC schedule. The top end of the SEC is strong, but there is certainly room for second-tier teams to shine, so if the Vols can use this win to build momentum they could be interesting.
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Georgetown 46, Towson 40
Georgetown is 8-1, and their only loss was in overtime to Indiana, so they are a team to watch. They have been a lousy 2-4 ATS, though, so they haven’t been as strong as some expect. This game is a good example of how they are winning but lacking style when they do it. The Hoyas were favored by 18 points at home, but they won by only six. They were lucky to win at all given how horrible their shooting was — they hit only 29 percent of their shots and were just 2-of-16 from beyond the arc. That’s not going to be nearly good enough — to cover spreads or to win — once the Big East schedule starts.
It seems that the very strong early start for the Wolverines has the public expecting too much of this team. They covered their first four spreads. They have won each of their last four games relatively easily — to the extent that there has been no drama late in the games — yet they have only covered one spread over that stretch. Michigan is a very public team, and they are getting a lot of attention for their play — and are ranked third in the polls — so it’s no real surprise that the public is backing them heavily or that the bookmakers are exploiting that tendency as much as they can.
Kansas 90, Colorado 54
Colorado is a team that really seems to be moving in the right direction, and they had a big chance to show that their trip to the third round of the tournament last year was just the first step in their revival with a win at Kansas. They were 11 point underdogs, so it was going to be a tough task. It shouldn’t have been this tough, though. Losing by 36 points is not what a legitimate team does, so it is suddenly much harder to believe in Colorado than it was a week ago. It’s even tougher to trust the Buffs considering that Kansas was only 2-5 ATS heading into this one.
Louisville 99, UMKC 47
In this game Louisville was favored by 29 and they won by 52. The game before they beat Charleston by 42 as 10.5-point favorites. The Cardinals had failed to cover three of their previous four games, so even though the competition hasn’t been significant recently they will certainly be building their swagger heading into huge games against Memphis and Kentucky.
Duke 90, Temple 67
Duke was favored by 7.5 points on a neutral court, so this win was an impressive one. That’s not surprising given that Duke has been wildly impressive all year against an absolutely brutal schedule. What is impressive, though, is that despite all of the attention they are getting they have covered five of their last six spreads. When a very public team is getting even more attention than normal and is still covering at this rate, then you know just how good they are playing.
Oregon 87, Idaho State 35
Oregon was a 23-point favorite at home, so they obviously were expected to win easily. This was really, really easy, though. The Bengals shot less than 28 percent from the field, and they committed 14 turnovers compared to just six assists. Oregon hasn’t played a brutal schedule, but their win at UNLV was a big one for them. Arizona looks very good, but with UCLA faltering and the rest of the conference weak there is plenty of room for a team to step up and shine in the Pac-12.
Illinois 85, Gonzaga 74
The Big Ten is ridiculously deep this year. As yet more proof of that, Illinois went into Spokane as 11.5-point underdogs. Spokane isn’t an easy place to play, yet the Illini cruised to an 11-point win. That means, of course, that they covered the spread by 22.5 points. Needless to say, that’s very impressive. Illinois is now undefeated at 11-0, though a trip to Missouri on Dec. 22 will be a huge test for them.