NCAA Basketball Betting 3-Point Play: Three Interesting Jan. 26 Opening Lines
by Alan Matthews - 1/25/2016
Chances are, you didn't pay any attention to Saturday's Ball State at Eastern Michigan game unless you are an alum of one of those schools or perhaps of another Mid-American Conference university. If not, I urge you to Google the end of that game, in which Ball State hit a 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds left in double OT for the win. I'm not sure I've seen a more poorly officiated possession than what happened there. I counted at least two clear fouls on Ball State trying to strip the ball from EMU, two potential jump-ball situations and one EMU player traveling about six steps before he was stripped. Nothing was called. Two of the three officials -- not sure why not all three -- have been suspended by the MAC and won't be allowed to referee in the conference tournament. And they shouldn't be. It was embarrassing but also quite hilarious.
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Texas Tech at No. 1 Oklahoma (-13)
This Big 12 matchup is at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2. On Monday, something happened you don't see often in that the nation's top-ranked team stayed there despite a loss the previous week. That's the case for OU (16-2, 5-2), which got 36 first-place votes to stay atop the AP poll, with No. 2 North Carolina getting 29 first-place votes. UNC did replace Oklahoma at No. 1 in the USA Today poll. I don't have any problem with OU staying put as it lost a close game early last week at an excellent Iowa State team and then beat then-No. 13 Baylor in its gym on Saturday, 82-72. Big 12 scoring leader Buddy Hield scored 14 of his 19 points in the second half as OU snapped the Bears' 15-game home winning streak. Oklahoma had a season-high 16 3-pointers, one shy of the school record. The Sooners are shooting 46.4 percent on 3-pointers this season, on pace to be the highest for any team since Green Bay hit 46.7 percent in the 1991-92 season. The Sooners' 29 assists were their most in a game in the past 20 seasons.
Texas Tech (12-6, 2-5) lost at No. 6 West Virginia on Saturday, 80-76. Four Red Raiders scored in double figures, led by Zach Smith with a career-high 18. The second half was played within one possession until the closing three minutes. TTU has now lost three Big 12 contests to Top 25 teams by seven points or less. Coach Tubby Smith gave walk-on Matthew Temple his first start because the Red Raiders lost forward Norense Odiase for 4-6 weeks with a broken bone in his foot in the previous game. Odiase averages 9.0 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. TTU lost both meetings with OU last year, including an 81-36 wipeout in Norman.
Key trends: Texas Tech is 6-14 against the spread in its past 20 road games. It is 1-5 ATS in its past six after a loss. OU is 0-5 ATS in its past five at home.
I'm leaning: Oklahoma.
No. 7 Xavier at No. 10 Providence (+2)
Big East game at 8:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1. Xavier (17-2, 5-2) bounced back from an early-week home loss to Georgetown with an 84-76 home win over Seton Hall on Saturday. Senior James Farr had the game of his life with a career-high 24 points and game-high 15 rebounds. He added four assists (also a career best) and three blocks. Farr leads the team in rebounding at 9.1 rpg. (third in the Big East) and is fourth in scoring at 10.8 ppg. Xavier was a school-record fifth in last week's AP poll. The Musketeers have now been in the Top 10 of the AP poll for seven straight weeks.
Providence pulled one of the big upsets of the weekend by winning 92-87 in overtime at No. 4 Villanova, ending the Wildcats' 22-game Big East winning streak. That game was moved back a day to Sunday because of the winter storm in the Northeast. Sophomore forward Ben Bentil, the Big East's leading scorer, had a career-high 31 points and a game-high 13 rebounds in the win. He had 10 of Providence's 16 OT points. All-American guard Kris Dunn had 13 points, a career-high-tying 14 assists, five rebounds and four steals. It was Providence's first road win over a Top-5 team since Jan. 24, 2004 -- 12 years to the day from Sunday. The Friars and Musketeers split last year, each winning at home.
Key trends: Providence is 7-2 ATS in its past nine Big East games. Xavier is 5-2 ATS in its past seven on the road.
I'm leaning: Can't say I get this line. Take the Friars.
San Diego State at Nevada (+3.5)
This Mountain West game is your latest tip at 11 p.m. ET on ESPNU. San Diego State (14-6, 7-0) won its seventh straight on Saturday with another dominant defensive performance in a 70-55 home victory over Utah State. The Aztecs outscored the Aggies 31-14 over the final 17:05. SDSU is 11-0 this season when leading at halftime. Jeremy Hemsley scored 18 points and Trey Kell had 15 for the Aztecs, who are the only MW team without a conference loss. Dating to last season, SDSU has won nine straight Mountain West games, the second-longest streak in school history. San Diego State ranks fifth nationally in scoring defense at 60.2 ppg.
Nevada (12-7, 4-3) edged visiting UNLV 65-63 on Saturday for its second straight win. Marqueze Coleman scored 21 points (just 3-for-15 from the field but 15-for-20 from the charity stripe) with five rebounds and five assists, and Tyron Criswell scored 11 off the bench and grabbed 10 rebounds. The Wolf Pack failed to hit a 3-pointer in a game for the first time this season. They already have surpassed last season's win total. Nevada leads the MW in blocks per game (6.4) and rebounds per game (41.3 rpg). Nevada is 0-5 against SDSU since the Wolf Pack joined the Mountain West three years ago.
Key trends: Nevada is 3-8 ATS in its past 11 conference games. It has failed to cover seven straight Tuesday games.
I'm leaning: San Diego State.
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