NCAA Basketball Betting 3-Point Play: Three Interesting Opening Lines Tuesday
by Alan Matthews - 1/19/2015
Coach John Beilein has done a terrific job at Michigan, which has made the NCAA Tournament each of the past four seasons and lost to Kentucky in the regional final last season. However, the Wolverines got some devastating injury news over the weekend that I believe relegates them to the NIT and not the Big Dance come March. Here's a look at Michigan's matchup and two other intriguing games on Tuesday.
Michigan at Rutgers (+1)
It's a 6:30 ET tip from New Jersey for this one, shown on the Big Ten Network, and Michigan will be less than full strength. That's because leading scorer and junior co-captain Caris LeVert has been ruled out the rest of the season due to a broken left foot. He had surgery on that foot last spring and then hurt it again on the final play of Saturday's 54-52 win over Northwestern. The Wildcats missed the tying shot at the buzzer, and LeVert leapt up to tip it away, apparently then hurting the foot when landing. He leads the team in scoring at 14.9 points per game, assists at 3.7, rebounds at 4.9 and even 3-point field goal shooting at 40.5 percent. LeVert had 18 points, seven assists and six rebounds against Northwestern. The offense now likely will run through sophomore guard Derrick Walton Jr. UM should get back guard Spike Albrecht for this one. He missed Saturday's game while recovering from an upper respiratory infection. This was the first game Albrecht, who averages 27.7 minutes, 5.1 points and 3.3 assists per game, missed all season.
Rutgers (10-9, 2-4) has lost two straight, both on the road. The Scarlet Knights fell 89-80 at Minnesota on Saturday. Myles Mack had 26 points and eight assists for Rutgers, which played Minnesota for the first time since 1979. Rutgers turned the ball over 19 times, which Minnesota turned into 29 points. Of course, this is Rutgers' first season in the Big Ten, and this will be the first time Rutgers has faced Michigan in 10 years.
Key trends: UM is 2-5 ATS in its past seven after a win. The Wolverines have covered only three of their past 13 games. Rutgers is 4-0 ATS in its past four after a loss.
Why take the underdog: Michigan is just 1-3 in true road games and will be reeling from LeVert news.
Boston College at Syracuse (-9.5)
This ACC matchup begins at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU. Syracuse (13-5, 4-1) really doesn't have a quality win yet this season. And the Orange recently lost a key piece in freshman Chris McCullough as he tore his ACL and obviously is lost for the season. The 6-foot-10, 220-pounder and potential 2015 first-round pick averaged 9.3 points and 6.9 rebounds per game, starting all of them. I suppose if there's a bright spot in this, the injury likely means McCullough now will return for his sophomore season. Syracuse didn't look good on Saturday in a 66-53 loss at Clemson. The only guy who played well for SU was Rakeem Christmas, who was 10-for-13 from the field for 21 points along with 10 rebounds. SU, which had won seven straight, shot just 36.8 percent overall and was 2-for-15 from long range.
Boston College (8-8, 0-4) lost at home to No. 2 Virginia on Saturday, 66-51, the Eagles' fifth defeat in the past seven games. Trailing by five, Virginia scored 10 unanswered points in a span of six minutes to take a 43-38 lead with 8:34 left. Junior Olivier Hanlan led Boston College with 18 points and six assists. He is one of two players (Miami's Angel Rodriguez) in the ACC to rank in the Top 10 in scoring, assists and steals.
The last time BC was in Syracuse was last February and the Eagles upset the No. 1 Orange 62-59 in overtime behind 20 points from Hanlan.
Key trends: Boston College is 4-0 ATS in its past four after a loss. Syracuse is 1-5 ATS in its past six games. Boston College is 5-2 ATS in the past seven meetings.
Why take the underdog: BC has played the good teams pretty tough all season.
Kansas State at No. 12 Iowa State (-11.5)
It's a 7 p.m. tip on ESPN2 for this one, and ISU is on major letdown alert. That's because Iowa State (13-3, 3-1) comes off playing three straight ranked teams and beating No. 9 Kansas 86-81 on Saturday in Ames. Naz Long scored 20 points for Iowa State, which has back-to-back wins over the Jayhawks for the first time in 14 years. The Cyclones lead major conference teams with 23.0 points per game in transition this season and outscored KU 31-19 in transition. ISU shot 50.8 percent from the floor and is 10-0 when shooting above 50 percent on the season. The last team to beat the Cyclones at home besides Kansas was Missouri in 2012, while the last current Big 12 member to do it was Kansas State in 2011, Coach Fred Hoiberg's first season. In the last three seasons, ISU is 40-2 in Hilton Coliseum
Kansas State (11-7, 4-1) comes off a 63-61 win over No. 22 Baylor on Saturday in Manhattan as Bears guard Kenny Chery missed a layup at the buzzer. KSU used a 17-2 run in the second half to take down the Bears. It was the school's 11th win in the last 14 home games against Top 25 opponents and sixth in a row. K-State was down as much as 14 in the first half. The 14-point deficit overcome for victory tied for the 12th-largest in school history and the largest since rallying from a 15-point deficit against Charleston Southern on Nov. 11, 2011. It was the 11th straight game that Kansas State has held a foe under 65 points. It's the longest such streak since 1982-83 for the school.
Iowa State won two of three meetings with K-State a year ago, including 81-75 at home.
Key trends: Kansas State has covered two of its past eight vs. the Big 12. ISU is 7-1 ATS in its past eight in the conference. The Cyclones have failed to cover their past four Tuesday games. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings.
Why take the underdog: I say ISU is a bit flat. It will still win but only by single digits.
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