NCAA Basketball Betting 3-Point Play: Three Interesting Opening Lines Wednesday
by Alan Matthews - 1/27/2015
Nothing gets an opposing fan base riled up quite like a visit from hated Duke, so it should be a zoo at Notre Dame's Purcell Pavilion on Wednesday night in a Top-10 ACC showdown. The Irish have been very successful at home against Top-10 teams under Coach Mike Brey. Duke is the +800 second-favorite at Sportsbook.ag to win the national title while Notre Dame is way down at +7500. Here's a look at that matchup and two other games that caught my eye Wednesday.
No. 4 Duke at No. 8 Notre Dame (-1)
The clear game of the night tips off at 7:30 p.m. ET from South Bend and will be shown on ESPN2. It's quite a week for the Blue Devils as on Saturday they visit No. 2 Virginia. You wonder if it's possible to have a bit of a trap game against the No. 8 team in the nation, but this might set up as one for Duke with the Cavs up next and coming off a 77-68 win Sunday at St. John's, the 1,000th career victory for Coach Mike Krzyzewski. Tyus Jones scored 22 points and the Blue Devils (17-2) went on an 18-2 run down the stretch to rally from a 10-point hole and put the game away. Jahlil Okafor had 17 points and 10 rebounds. Coach K still has 99 wins to go to set the all-time Division I mark. Former UT women's coach Pat Summitt has 1,098 victories.
Notre Dame (19-2, 7-1) is much better this season than I think many expected. The Irish have won four straight since a close home loss to Virginia. Notre Dame won at NC State 81-78 in overtime on Saturday. Star Jerian Grant scored 25 points and blocked a last-second shot in overtime as the Irish rallied from an 18-point first-half hole. The Wolfpack still led by four with about a minute to play. Notre Dame's 19-2 record is the best 21-game start for the Fighting Irish since the 1973-74 team posted a 20-1 mark. The Irish are 4-0 in conference road play for the first time ever.
These schools met just once last season, a 79-77 win at home for unranked Notre Dame over No. 7 Duke.
Key trends: Duke has covered just three of its past 14 vs. the ACC. Notre Dame is 0-7 ATS in its past seven Wednesday games. It is 0-8 ATS in its past eight at home vs. teams with a winning road record.
Why take the underdog: You don't get Duke as a dog often.
No. 18 Northern Iowa at Southern Illinois (+6.5)
No national TV for this Missouri Valley Conference game that begins at 8 p.m. It could be a major trap game for the Panthers if they get caught looking ahead to Saturday's huge home game with No. 12 Wichita State. Northern Iowa (18-2, 7-1) nearly got caught in a trap game on Sunday, escaping from Illinois State with a 54-53 win, the school's seventh straight victory. UNI rallied from a 12-point deficit and won it on Nate Buss' 3-pointer with 5.1 seconds left. Buss is a reserve who averages only six points a game. The score came after ISU's Daishon Knight missed the front end of a one-and-one with 12 seconds left and the Redbirds up by two. Knight then had a chance to win it, but his driving 5-footer hit the bottom of the rim as the horn sounded.
Southern Illinois (9-12, 2-6) had a two-game winning streak snapped with a 75-66 loss at Evansville on Saturday. Anthony Beane scored 19 points and Jordan Caroline added 15 more to lead the Salukis. They are one of the nation's worst offensive teams, ranking 320th in scoring (60.9 points) and nearly dead last in assists (8.6 per game). NIU is one of the country's best defensive teams. It ranks No. 6 in the nation and No. 1 in the MVC in scoring defense (54.8 ppg). It also leads the conference in field goal percentage defense (37.8 percent).
These schools met Jan. 7 in Cedar Falls and NIU won 55-39. The Salukis had just eight field goals and 18 points at the half. Overall, UNI has won 11 of the last 15 meetings between the two schools.
Key trends: NIU is 9-1 ATS in its past 10 road games. SIU is 3-7 ATS in its past 10 games. It is 2-5 ATS in its past seven vs. teams with a winning record. NIU is 0-3-1 ATS in its past four at SIU.
Why take the favorite: I had talked myself into SIU here until that low line surprised me.
Stanford at Washington (+1.5)
This is the final game of the night Wednesday with an 11 p.m. tip and shown on ESPNU. The Huskies' chances of getting to the NCAA Tournament took a big hit with the news that center Robert Upshaw was dismissed from the team Monday. Upshaw, a transfer from Fresno State, allegedly has failed multiple drug tests while at both schools; he was kicked off the Fresno State team as well. The 7-footer leads the nation in blocks with 4.4 per game and also averages 10.9 points and 8.2 rebounds. He played Saturday in a 77-56 loss at No. 12 Utah and had 13 points, nine rebounds and five blocks. The loss ended a three-game winning streak for UW (14-5, 3-4 Pac-12). The Huskies had won their previous five games in which they trailed at halftime.
Stanford (14-5, 5-2) bounced back from a loss to Arizona with an 89-70 rout of Arizona State on Sunday. The Cardinal made 70.4 percent of their shots in the first half (best half of shooting since Nov. 8, 2007) on the way to 51 points and finished at a season-high 58.5 percent. Chasson Randle, Stefan Nastic and Anthony Brown each scored at least 20 points. It was the first time Stanford had three players score at least 20 points in the same game since March 3, 2007. Randle became Stanford's all-time leader in minutes played in the game.
Back on Jan. 4 the Cardinal hosted No. 21 Washington and won 68-60 in overtime. Randle's driving layup over Upshaw with 2.2 seconds left in regulation sent it to overtime. Upshaw missed a pair of free throws with 40.2 seconds remaining in OT and the Huskies missed all three of their field goal tries in the extra period. The Cardinal are 3-10 against Washington under seventh-year coach Johnny Dawkins.
Key trends: Stanford is 5-2-1 ATS in its past eight after a win. The Cardinal have covered one of their past six on Wednesday. Washington is 1-4 ATS in its past five after a loss. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings.
Why take the favorite: That Upshaw loss is significant for Washington.
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