College Basketball Betting: Weekday Primer
by Matt Severance - 3/1/2010
You know the end of the regular season is near in college basketball when I spotlight two games between mid-majors among the best ones to watch during this week. And check back on Saturday for our Game of the Day preview.
Georgetown at West Virginia (7 p.m., ESPN): At one point, the Georgetown Hoyas looked like they might be worthy of a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament but now GU is probably just going to sneak into the Big Dance. Since starting 13-2, the Hoyas are just 6-6 (and ATS) and have lost three of their past four. Saturday’s 14-point home loss to Notre Dame is unacceptable, especially with the Irish not having star Luke Harangody. Hoyas leading scorer Austin Freeman had a season-low five points in 23 minutes as he battled an illness. He didn’t practice Sunday and will be a game-time decision tonight. The Hoyas have no depth at all, so if Freeman doesn’t play they won’t have much of a chance tonight. WVU, which has won three of four games overall but is 0-2 in Big Monday games this year, can earn a bye in the first two rounds of the Big East Tournament with a win tonight. Last year West Virginia beat Georgetown by 17 in D.C.
Illinois at Ohio State (9 p.m., ESPN): This is OSU’s final game of the regular season, and the streaking Buckeyes will clinch at least a share of the Big Ten title with a win over the Illini. Ohio State is 13-4 in league play after winning 12 of its last 13 games following a 1-3 start to the Big Ten schedule. It leads both Michigan State and Purdue by a half-game entering play this week. The Spartans and Boilermakers both play twice this week and will be favored in both, so we should finish with a three-way tie for first. The Illini have dropped three of four (2-2 ATS), including a 72-53 home loss to these Buckeyes as two-point dogs back on Feb. 14. Evan Turner nearly had a triple-double for OSU, while not a single Illinois player had double-figure points. Ohio State is 16-1 at home (9-8 ATS) and shooting 53 percent from the field there. The Buckeyes have won six of the last eight games in this series, including three of the last four in Columbus.
Duke at Maryland (9 p.m., ESPN): I chose this game over Kansas State-Kansas because the Blue Devils and Terps are playing for the ACC lead, while Kansas has the Big 12 locked up. Duke, which has won eight in a row (4-2-2 ATS), currently holds a one-game lead on Maryland and spanked the Terps, 77-56, at Cameron Indoor Stadium back on Feb. 13. But then Duke has been crushing pretty much everyone at home this year. The Terps haven’t lost since that game (five wins in a row) and enter off a 104-100 OT win over Virginia Tech (the Hokies’ first home loss) behind a career-high 41 points for Greivis Vasquez. Maryland has had to come from behind in each of its past four wins. It is 14-1 at home this year (7-4 ATS), with the lone loss coming to William & Mary.
Dayton at Richmond (7 p.m., CBS College Sports): Many experts believe the deep Atlantic 10 could get four, maybe five, bids to the NCAA Tournament, but Dayton needs some major help to grab one of those. The Flyers are tied for sixth in the conference and are slumping at the wrong time, having lost two of three overall and three in a row on the road (0-3 ATS). Richmond, which is second in the A-10, enters off a double overtime loss at Xavier but is probably close to an NCAA Tournament lock. Fourth place is Richmond’s highest A-10 finish since joining the league for 2001-02, and the Spiders last qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2004. Richmond guard Kevin Anderson (17.4 ppg) is an A-10 Player of the Year candidate. This is the only meeting of the regular season between these two. Dayton swept two games from Richmond last season.
Kent State at Akron (8 p.m., ESPN2): The regular season title in the Mid-American Conference is on the line in this one, with both teams having pretty good shots at an NCAA bid regardless. However, Akron probably could use this more since Kent State beat the Zips, 87-70, on Jan. 23 behind 23 points and 13 rebounds from Justin Greene. The winner of this one gets the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament, while the loser drops to No. 3 because the West Division champ claims No. 2 despite an inferior record. KSU has won 12 of its past 13 games overall (8-4-1 ATS). KSU is 22-2 this year when scoring over 62 points and has won 12 in a row when doing so.
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