Thursday night college football heads to the Pacific Northwest, when the Oregon Ducks host the Arizona Wildcats in a Pac-12 showdown.
Last season, the Wildcats upset the Ducks 42-16 and the Ducks will be looking to take their revenge.
The line has Oregon favored by 23 points on Bovada and topbet, while on betonline and sportsbook.com the point total is sitting on 79.
Arizona enters this matchup at 4-0 SU and 1-3 ATS. The Wildcats are 6-3 SU over the past 9 head-to-head games with Oregon.
Arizona is 1-4 against the number over its past 5 games as a road dog.
Oregon is also 1-4 against the spread in its past five home games as a favorite. The Ducks are also 2-7 ATS over their past 9 games overall.
In point totals, the OVER is 4-1 over the past five games Oregon has been the favorite at home.
Last season when the two met, the Ducks had been defeated by Stanford two weeks earlier and did not have an opportunity for a perfect season.
Marcus Mariota the talented Oregon quarterback will be looking to dissect the Arizona secondary and put up a number of points on the board.
The Arizona rushing offense is strong and with quarterback Anu Solomon coming off a five-touchdown effort on September 20 against Cal.
Two seasons ago, the Ducks defeated Arizona at home 49-0 as a favorite by 20 points.
Nick Wilson the talented freshman running back for Arizona helped the Wildcats to their Hail Mary win over Cal 49-45. He leads the Pac-12 in rushing.
However, Arizona on the road following a bye is 1-4 SU and ATS. The only ATS win in that stretch was against the Ducks in 2010 when the Wildcats lost 48-29 but covered an underdog spread of 20.5 points.
Oregon is coming off a September 20 win of 38-31 over Washington State, but they failed again to cover a 21.5 spread as the favorite.
At home, following a bye, the Ducks are 10-0 SU in their past 10 and 6-2 ATS over their past 8.
With both teams only covering a combined 2 of 8 games this season, the advantage of playing at home could be big for Oregon.
Some believe Arizona will score and kept it within the 23-point spread, but I think differently I am taking the Ducks in a lopsided 55-21 win.
Thursday night once again offers us some great games in both college and professional football.
Minnesota (+9) at Green Bay (O/U 48) – The good news for both teams is that they each won games last week. The bad news is that Rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater has a gimpy ankle for the Vikes and the Packers gave up three sacks and nearly 400 yards offense. It looks like Bridgewater is a ‘go’ for tonight at Lambeau.
Green Bay is 28th in defense so with all due respect to Aaron Rodgers and his “relax” comment, there are issues on this team. The Vikings have problems too and that’s why I would expect a sloppy game. I fully expect Packers’ defensive coordinator Dom Capers to ring up all kinds of different looks and blitzes in an effort to confuse the rookie Bridgewater.
Trends: The Packers are 7-2-1 in their last ten games against the Vikings… Minnesota is 1-4 against the spread in their last five games at Green Bay… The Packers are 0-3-2 ATS in their last five home games… The total has gone OVER in five of Minnesota’s last seven game at Green Bay.
The Pick: The Packers are too explosive on offense to lose but I like the Vikes and the points and I like the OVER.
Arizona (+23) at Oregon (O/U 77) – It’s pretty unusual to see two 4-0 teams go at it and one of them is a 23-point underdog but that’s exactly what we have tonight in Eugene, Oregon.
Neither team has what I’d call a dominant defense which I have to believe means you’re going to see some serious scoring in this game. The Ducks will go as QB Marcus Mariota goes and last week he rallied Oregon to defeat a very game Washington State on the road in Pullman.
Arizona Head Coach Rich Rodriguez has seen these unbeaten starts before only to see his teams falter once conference play got rolling. Freshman QB Anu Solomon has been pretty good so far throwing for 13 touchdowns and just three interceptions. Playing in Autzen Stadium however will be a new experience for the youngster.
Trends: Arizona is 1-7 straight up in their last eight games on the road at Oregon… The Ducks are 3-6 against the spread in their last nine games against Arizona… The total has gone OVER in four of Arizona’s last six games when playing the Ducks… Last season, Arizona beat Oregon 42-16 in Tucson. That was their first win at home over the Ducks since 2007.
The Pick: The Ducks will remember what happened in Tuscon last year and I think they take advantage of an average defense and they’ll cover. I also like the OVER.
Central Florida (+3) at Houston (O/U 53) – Central Florida is 4-1 against Houston with the Cougars only win coming back in 2006. Both teams have had their share of good opponents and bad already in 2014. The Cougars best game may have been a loss at BYU while the Knights lost to Penn State on a field goal at the gun.
Trends: UCF is 2-4 against the spread in their last six games on the road… The total has gone UNDER in eight of Houston’s last nine games… The Knights are 7-1 straight up in their last eight games on the road… The Cougars are 2-4 ATS in their last six home games.
The Pick: The UCF roster has big game experience so I like them getting the points and I like the UNDER.
The NFL Season begins tonight! Plus I’ve got Arizona on the road in Texas.
Green Bay 0-0 (+6.5) at Seattle 0-0 (O/U 46) – The Packers had won three straight against Seattle before losing in the famous ‘fail mary’ game in September of 2012. You’ll recall that’s where the Seahawks basically ‘stole’ one from Green Bay on the game’s final play. Things have changed quite a bit since that last meeting.
The Seahawks are the defending Super Bowl champions while the Packers have re-tooled on defense and have added a more sound running game behind Eddie Lacy. The simple piece of analysis in this game starts up front where the Packers are being forced to start a rookie at center. In the earlier game I mentioned, Aaron Rodgers spent a god deal of it running for his life.
Look for the Packers to come out early and try to establish the run and the play-action pass. If those things happens then Green Bay has a great chance of knocking off Seattle at home. For Seattle, they need pressure on Rodgers defensively and offensively they need to pound away with Marshawn Lynch in order to set up Russell Wilson in play-action and on the edge.
Rodgers must be able to go through his progressions because Seahawks’ corner Richard Sherman will likely blanket Jordy Nelson. That means Randall Cobb has to find room and Lacy must also be a factor in the passing game as well. He’ll need to be good on the blitz pick-ups but he’ll need to be an effective receiver for Rodgers when called upon to.
Since the defending champion has opened the season at home the following year in 2004 during primetime, their record is 9-1. Baltimore was the defending champion last season but was forced to open on the road where they lost to Denver so I don’t count that. Therefore the only defending champion to lose in that ten years was the Giants in 2012.
Trends: Green Bay is 2-7-1 against the spread in their last ten games… Seattle is 1-3-2 ATS in their last six games against the Packers… The total has gone UNDER in four of the last five games between these two when playing in Seattle. The Seahawks are 18-1 straight up in their last 19 home games… In the teams’ last ten meetings, Green Bay has outscored Seattle 28.2 to 18.9.
The Pick: It’s hard to walk away from these trends and I’m not. I love the Packers getting the points and I like the UNDER even more. Gimme the Seahawks to win 20-17.
Arizona 1-0 (-7) at Texas-San Antonio 1-0 – These two hook up in the Alamodome after playing at Arizona last season. Last week, the Roadrunners stunned Houston 27-7 as the Cougars were celebrating the completed renovation of their stadium. Despite 14 penalties, UTSA took advantage of six Houston turnovers in the win.
Arizona beat up on UNLV 58-13 last week and in the process came just a handful of yards shy of 800 for the game. They were better than 50% on their third-down conversions and went three for three on fourth down conversions as well.
Trends: UTSA is 5-0 straight up in their last five games… Arizona is 1-4 ATS in their last five games… These two teams met for the first time last September in Tucson where the Wildcats won 38-13.
The Pick: I think UTSA gives the Wildcats a run early but I like Arizona to cover with constant pressure from the offense.
The NCAA men’s basketball season is entering its final month of the regular season with conference tournaments to follow and then the Big Dance, March Madness to cap it off.
For eight consecutive weeks, the Arizona Wildcats sat atop the AP poll, but last week two losses hurt the Wildcats chances for a national title. The Wildcats finally lost a regular season game and now sit at 21-1 SU and 13-8 ATS. Arizona was defeated on the road by a last second shot by California 60-58.
However, the second loss last week, and the bigger of the two for Arizona was watching Brandon Ashley, their forward suffer a broken foot knocking him out for the rest of the season.
The big question on the minds of Arizona coaches, players and fans is if the Wildcats can still compete for the national title without Ashley. Odds makers are not so sure.
Ashley was averaging over 11 points and nearly 6 rebounds per game. Only seven weeks remain prior to the start of the postseason. There is no possible way he could get back to playing shape even with a rushed rehab.
Ashley, standing 6-foot-8 and weighing 230 lbs, was a versatile and crucial piece of Arizona’s success. He is so versatile he could fill in for the team’s injured center in one game, and hit 3-point shots in another.
Because of that versatility and importance to the team, odds makers at Bovada, topbet, betonline and sportsbook.com have all knock down Arizona’s chances for a national title to 8 to 1.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson a freshman forward will step into Arizona’s starting lineup to take Ashley’s spot. While the freshman is talented and athletic, it is still up in the air as to whether he can adjust and make a significant impact at this point in the season.
Arizona plays against Oregon on Thursday. The Ducks are 15-6 SU and 8-10-2 ATS. On Sunday, Arizona is home to Oregon State which is 13-8 SU and 8-9-1 ATS. Those two games will give coaches and players the chance to see how they can overcome Ashley’s absence.
As of now, odds makers still expect Arizona to be a No. 1 seed. However, that decision will have to wait until selection committee members get to see the Wildcats against tough competition during their conference tournament.
The Oregon Ducks meet the Arizona Wildcats in a Pac-12 showdown with Oregon trying to keep faint national championship hopes alive, while Arizona looks to play the spoiler role.
The Ducks lost their only game of the season two weeks ago to Stanford and enter this matchup 9-1 SU and 7-3 ATS. On the road, Oregon is 3-1, while the OVER has cashed 6 times and the UNDER 4 times in their 10 games.
Arizona is 6-4 SU and 4-6 ATS. The Wildcats are 3-2 at home, while the OVER has cashed 3 times and the UNDER 7 times in the 10 Arizona games this season.
Oregon’s quarterback Marcus Mariota says his team must first win their remaining games and see what happens when December rolls around.
One example was when Oregon defeated Utah 44-21 they kept pace with Stanford, which turned around and lost to USC 20-17. The loss for Stanford put Oregon back atop the North division in the Pac-12 and in contention to battle of the conference championship.
If Oregon can win their next two conference games they will earn that right to play in the championship game and have a chance to play in the Rose Bowl.
Mariota’s knee looked to be injured against UCLA in early November and then he seemed to be limited in movement with a knee brace on in their 26-20 loss to Stanford.
That loss knocked Oregon from a direct route to the national championship game and appeared to knock them from the conference championship game. Appearances however can be very deceiving.
Oregon does not discuss player injuries, but Mariota did not have mobility in their win against Utah, but they won anyone. However, playing Utah is not the same as Arizona.
Arizona lost at home last weekend to Washington State 24-17, on a late touchdown pass by the Cougars. Ka’Deem Carey had two touchdowns on the day for Arizona and recorded his 13th straight 100-yard rushing game. Carey is second in the nation in rushing at 150 yards a game.
Stanford plays California and is favored by seven touchdowns, before ending their season playing Notre Dame.
After Arizona, the Ducks play in-state rival Oregon State in the year’s annual Civil War game.
The Ducks are favored against Arizona by 20.5 points, with the over under point total sitting on 67.5; however check with online sites Bovada, topbet, betonline and sportsbook.com prior to kickoff for the most up to day odds on the game.
The hard-hitting action of the NCAA Tournament returns to the hardcourt today as the Sweet 16 round gets underway with four extraordinary games. Four teams will advance to the Elite Eight and four teams will see their season come to and end. And as always, these games present some excellent betting opportunities, so check our breakdown of each contest and find out who to take on those point spreads.
Marquette Golden Eagles +5 vs. Miami Hurricanes -5
After two rounds in the tournament, the Hurricanes are looking more and more like a legitimate title contender, whereas the Golden Eagles can consider themselves lucky to still be playing at all. Bases on what we’ve seen so far, it would be easy to take the Hurricanes to cover -5, but Marquette has shown a great deal of resilience and ability to keep games close down the stretch, which forces us to take a closer look at the match-up.
The biggest glaring knock against Miami in this one is that the Canes will be without their leading rebounder Reggie Johnson, who will be out with an injury. This will give Marquette far more opportunities in the paint on offense and will likely give it plenty of offensive rebounds and second-chance buckets.
Marquette may not have enough talent on its side to earn the win and the upset, but look for this to be one of the more highly contested games of the day and take Marquette to cover +5.
Arizona Wildcats +4 vs. Ohio State Buckeyes -4
After seeing Gonzaga go down last round, the Buckeyes are now the heavy favorite to take down the West region, but they’ll have another tough test to pass today against the Arizona Wildcats.
The Cats have looked strong in their first two games, but they haven’t faced a team yet with the capabilities of Ohio State. Arizona’s wins over Belmont and Harvard may have made the school look a little better than it really is.
However, Ohio State proved to be plenty vulnerable in its near-loss to Iowa State last week, relying on an Aaron Craft buzzer-beater to advance.
Whatever happens and whoever prevails, one thing is certain. This game will also be a nail-biter, so take Arizona to cover +4 here.
Syracuse Orange +5.5 vs. Indiana Hoosiers -5.5
The Hoosiers are another team that narrowly escaped an early round exit last week, but they still bring one of the country’s most experienced and balanced teams into today’s match-up against the Orange of Syracuse.
Even though Indiana has all the weapons and the pieces to win a title this season, Syracuse is playing its best basketball of the season right now and if the Orange continue to bring their A game into today’s battle, they’ll have a great chance to knock off the Hoosiers and claim the East region.
I expect another close here. Take Syracuse to cover +5.5 and don’t be surprised if the Orange win outright.
La Salle Explorers +4.5 vs. Wichita State Shockers -4.5
Both the Explorers and Shockers have impressed tournament watchers and hoops fans thus far with their upset victories, but Wichita State seems to have the more athletic squad and the tournament experience needed for a deeper tournament run.
La Salle has thrived on the three-point line so far during the tourney, but once it starts missing, it will die on the three-point line as well and with the Shockers’ quick and pesky defense, that could easily happen today. Look for Wichita State to take control in the second half and cover -4.5 in the win.
This season of college basketball continues to throw surprises at us from every direction. Last weekend alone we were railroaded by Miami’s first conference defeat and Georgetown’s Big East-topping win over Syracuse.
Monday night saw both #6 Kansas and #13 Kansas State take care of business in the Big 12, while #22 Marquette unexpectedly handed #12 Syracuse a second consecutive loss.
Here at Casino Review, we’ve scoured the remainder of this week’s schedule to pick out 10 of the most unmissable games out there. Our findings? This Saturday really is going to be a super Saturday.
Read on to find out which games you need to be following.
#7 Georgetown @ Connecticut (Wed)
If #7 Georgetown (21-4, 11-3 Big East) is to hold on to the Big East top spot it snatched this past weekend, John Thompson III’s side will need to handle a tough Connecticut (19-7, 9-5 Big East) team. Marquette served a notice of intent by defeating Syracuse on Monday night, so the Hoyas have to win to stay atop the conference.
San Diego State @ #14 New Mexico (Wed)
Having handed Colorado State a loss last weekend, #14 New Mexico (23-4, 10-2 MWC) controls its own destiny. Thanks to a tiebreaker advantage over the Rams, the Lobos need just two wins from four games to lock-up the Mountain West regular season title, and with MWC bottom-feeders Wyoming and Nevada on the schedule, that looks a dead cert. A win over San Diego State (20-7, 8-5 MWC) on Wednesday might not be essential, but it would go a long way in the eyes of the selection committee.
#2 Gonzaga @ Brigham Young (Thu)
Having leapt into second place on the AP poll, Gonzaga (27-2, 14-0 WCC) has just two games left to impress. A trip to Brigham Young (20-9, 9-5 WCC) represents the toughest remaining game on the schedule for the side from Spokane. The Cougars would like nothing more than to avenge an 83-63 loss on Jan. 24, putting a big dent in the Zags’ season in the process.
#5 Miami (FL) @ #3 Duke (Sat)
Undoubtedly the biggest game of the week, and one nobody is going to want to miss, takes place in Durham on Saturday. Having succumbed to a first conference loss of the season this past weekend, all eyes will be on #5 Miami (22-4, 13-1 ACC) and whether or not the side can rebound. The Hurricanes will get a first chance to do at home to Virginia Tech on Wednesday, before a trip to #3 Duke (24-3, 11-3 ACC) on Saturday. The Blue Devils will be looking to make amends for a 90-63 loss in Coral Gables, and with an unbeaten home record, could well make this year’s ACC race even more interesting.
#10 Louisville @ #12 Syracuse (Sat)
Back-to-back losses for #12 Syracuse (22-6, 10-5 Big East) all of a sudden has the Orange looking vulnerable. Louisville (22-5, 10-4 Big East) meanwhile is slowly ascending the Big East standings thanks to a favorable schedule. That schedule takes a turn for the wicked this weekend, beginning with this trip to the Carrier Dome and followed by home games against Cincinnati and Notre Dame. Winning on Saturday is essential for both schools.
#21 Notre Dame @ #22 Marquette (Sat)
Thanks to its streaky record this season, #21 Notre Dame (22-6, 10-5 Big East) needs wins to impress as well as climb the Big East ladder. The Irish has fared well of late but #22 Marquette (20-7, 11-4 Big East) has proved a tricky opponent. Whichever side loses will be out of the regular season picture and the road to a Big East title will be that much tougher.
Alabama @ #8 Florida (Sat)
#8 Florida (22-4, 12-2 SEC) has been the class of the SEC this season but losses to Arkansas and Missouri means the conference is still there to be lost. After traveling to Tennessee on Tuesday, the Gators will host Alabama (18-9, 10-4 SEC) on Saturday. The Crimson Tide is currently two games back of Florida (and tied with Kentucky) so a win this weekend would be huge. In all likelihood, the regular season title will go to Florida, but with a trip to Kentucky still on the schedule, the Gators can’t afford to lose.
#11 Arizona @ UCLA (Sat)
A win for UCLA (20-7, 10-4 Pac-12) on Wednesday night against Arizona State would see the Bruins enter this game with an identical record to Arizona (23-4, 11-4 Pac-12). That record could be – depending on Oregon’s result against Oregon State on Friday – enough to top the Pac-12. Add to that the fact that the Bruins defeated the Wildcats 84-73 on Jan. 24 and you have the recipe for a game Arizona must not lose. If the Wildcats do drop this one, it’ll be tough to win the regular season title.
#20 Butler @ Virginia Commonwealth (Sat)
Losing to Saint Louis for a second time this season this past Friday was a huge blow for #20 Butler (22-6, 9-4 A10). Now the Bulldogs face a Virginia Commonwealth (22-6, 10-3 A10) side that, along with the Billikens, sits above them in the Atlantic 10 standings. A Butler loss on Saturday would be fatal.
#9 Michigan State @ #4 Michigan (Sun)
We have to wait until Sunday to enjoy the second biggest game of the week, when Michigan State (22-6, 11-4 Big Ten) travels to Ann Arbor to take on Michigan (23-4, 10-4 Big Ten). Back-to-back losses to Indiana and Ohio State last week means the Spartans are only one-half game ahead of their bitter rivals, while Michigan has won two straight since falling to Michigan State. Michigan will need to avoid a slip-up against Penn State on Wednesday before taking to the court on Sunday. The Wolverines are unbeaten at home, which adds another dimension to this one. It’s not quite winner takes all, but it’s not far off.
Worth Keeping an Eye On
If we’ve learned nothing else this season, we’ve certainly learned that nothing can be taken for granted in college basketball. Here’s a choice selection of games that could prove interesting this week. Whilst we expect the ranked sides to come out of these games with the ‘W’, that upset bug could strike at any time.
Three more AP ranked sides fell to unranked opposition on Saturday, the most noteworthy of which was #2 Duke’s two-point loss to “rivals” Maryland. That result will generate another shakeup in the AP poll to be released on Monday and in the NCAAB futures to be released on Wednesday.
#21 Notre Dame and #25 Kentucky joined Duke on the loser’s list, falling to Providence and Tennessee respectively. Both teams will be struggling for an NCAA tournament berth now.
Sunday’s college hoops slate features a host of ranked teams looking to avoid a similar fate. Whilst we expect #4 Michigan and #12 Louisville to handle business against Penn State and South Florida respectively, the remaining three AP top 25 fixtures have more than a little intrigue about them.
#13 Ohio State @ #20 Wisconsin
1:00 PM ET
The ultra-tough Big Ten conference has made it tough to gage just how good #13 Ohio State (18-6, 8-4 Big Ten) and #20 Wisconsin (17-8, 8-4 Big Ten) are this season. Both have their fair share of wins this year, but losses have begun piling up as well. The same can be said of Michigan and Minnesota.
The Buckeyes and Badgers will both be looking to add a win to their tally Sunday afternoon in Madison. Ohio State grabbed a victory over Northwestern on Thursday, snapping a two-game losing streak. Wisconsin lost in Minnesota that same day, putting the brakes on a three-game winning streak.
Wisconsin has been solid at home this season. The Badgers have won their last three at the Kohl Center and 13 of the last 14. Ohio State has been less than stellar on the road, going 3-4 away from Columbus. They’ll be extra cause for concern for the Buckeyes; the side is 1-6 against opponents ranked in the AP top 25. Wisconsin is 4-4 in that same category.
Wisconsin’s last three games have gone to overtime, a testament to how tough the Badgers play opponents in their very deliberate offense. That very deliberate offense has generated just 237 turnovers (9 ½ per game) which ranks the side the third best in the country.
This Season: Ohio State defeated Wisconsin 58-49 in Columbus on Jan. 29.
Last Season: The two sides split a pair of regular season meetings, with each school winning on its opponent’s floor.
Favorite: Wisconsin Spread: 2 Total: 119½
Take: WISCONSIN – Ohio State hasn’t proved itself on the road this season and the Badgers are very good at home. That should be enough for the straight up victory. Ohio State (12-10-0 ATS) has fared better than Wisconsin (9-14-0 ATS) against the spread this season, but with the spread at just two points it’ll be hard to cover. Take the Badgers t cover. Although both teams trend towards the under, take the total to go over, especially if this one goes to overtime.
#9 Arizona @ Utah
3:00 PM ET
With consecutive losses, #9 Arizona (20-4, 8-4 Pac-12) has slipped to third in the Pac-12, just one game ahead of rivals Arizona State in the loss column. UCLA and #23 Oregon – both winners on Saturday – are ahead of the Wildcats.
Utah (11-13, 3-9 Pac-12) will welcome the slumping Wildcats with open arms. The Utes may look a mess in terms of their record, but Sunday’s game will provide the side with a good opportunity to knock-off a quality opponent. The Utes came close to doing exactly that when the two sides met earlier in the year.
Utah scored a victory over Arizona State on Wednesday, snapping a two-game losing streak in the process. The side limits opponents to just .386 shooting (25th in the nation) and will look to put the shackles on an Arizona side used to scoring.
This Season: Arizona scored a narrow 60-57 win over Utah when the two met Tucson on Jan. 5.
Last Season: Arizona won both games between the two schools last year, including a 77-51 win in Salt Lake City.
Favorite: Arizona Spread: 8½ Total: –
Take: ARIZONA – Expect the Wildcats to grab a bounce back win, but expect it to come at a cost. Utah (14-8-0 ATS) has been tremendous against the spread this season, compiling an 8-5-0 ATS record at home and a 10-5-0 ATS record as underdog. Take the Utes to cover again on Sunday.
#3 Miami (FL) @ Clemson
6:00 PM ET
Duke’s loss to Maryland on Saturday leaves #3 Miami (20-3, 11-0 ACC) way out front in the ACC standings. A win on Sunday would put the Hurricanes three games ahead with six to play. That loss also opens up the possibility that Miami can take the #2 spot in the AP poll on Monday (with two wins, Indiana will stay at #1).
The trick now is to stay ahead of the game and not to lose focus, particularly against a Clemson (13-11, 5-7 ACC) side that will be all too happy to play spoiler. The Tigers don’t have a quality win on their résumé this season, which should give Miami all the more reason to be wary.
This Season: This is the first meeting between the schools this season. They’ll meet again on Mar. 9 in Coral Gables.
Last Season: Miami defeated Clemson 76-73 in Coral Gables in the only meeting between the schools last season.
Favorite: Miami Spread: 6½ Total: 120
Take: MIAMI – It’s hard not to expect the Hurricanes to slip up somewhere along the way, but the side seemingly is refusing to do so. It wouldn’t be a stretch to the imagination to see the side head into Duke on Mar. 2 with a 15-0 ACC record. The side won’t slip up against Clemson, a side that is 0-4 against AP ranked opponents. The game could be close though, particularly as the Tigers have won seven of the last nine at home. Still, take Miami (14-4-2 ATS) to cover the spread. With both teams able to stop opponents scoring, take the total to go under.
#1 Indiana travels to Columbus on Sunday to take on #10 Ohio State in a huge Big Ten showdown. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00 PM ET from Value City Arena.
Both sides will be looking to rebound from tough midweek losses. The Hoosiers lost 74-72 on a last second buzzer beater in Illinois, whilst the Buckeyes fell in controversial circumstances at Michigan. That game finished 76-74 after overtime.
With a loss already this week, both sides can expect to take a hit when the AP poll is released on Monday, but how much of a hit will depend on how the sides fair on Sunday. One thing is all but certain; Indiana will not be #1 next week.
#2 Michigan came up short on Saturday, losing in overtime at Wisconsin. That result added a new outlook to the Big Ten standings.
A win for #12 Michigan State means the Spartans currently top the conference, but a win for Indiana – currently sitting in second place – would see the Hoosiers leapfrog the side from East Lansing. A win for Ohio State would see the Buckeyes pass Michigan, Wisconsin, and Indiana for second place.
Indiana (20-3, 8-2 Big Ten) will look to utilize its offense to take care of the Buckeyes. The Hoosiers average 83.3 points per game, second in the nation behind Northwestern State (84.3 PPG). This high-scoring output comes on the back of .501 shooting (6th) and .426 three-point shooting (2nd).
Ohio State (17-5, 7-3 Big Ten) will turn to its defense to get the job done. The Buckeyes hold opponents to 58.1 points per game, a mark good enough for 20th in the nation. The side also holds opponents to .383 shooting (21st). Indiana may have held opponents to .380 shooting (20th), but the deliberate pace set by Ohio State limits scoring.
After Indiana’s loss on Thursday, Ohio State is the favorite entering the game. The Buckeyes are 12-1 at home, having lost only to Kansas, back on Dec. 22. Meanwhile, Indiana is 4-1 in true road games. That one loss came midweek in Illinois.
Ohio State has a hurdle to leap though. The Buckeyes have gone 1-5 against teams ranked in the AP top 25. Losses to Duke, Kansas, Illinois, Michigan State, and Michigan have many wondering if Thad Matta’s side has what it takes to defeat top tier sides. Those five losses have come by an average of 7.4 points per game. The Buckeyes’ one ranked win was at home to Michigan on Jan. 13.
Indiana has had no such struggles against AP top 25 sides. The Hoosiers have defeated North Carolina, Minnesota, Michigan State, and Michigan.
There’s a twist in the tale though. Ohio State has met Indiana twice previously when the Hoosiers were the top-ranked side. On Jan. 8, 1983, the Buckeyes handed the Hoosiers a 70-67 defeat. On Feb. 23, 1993, the Buckeyes scored an 81-77 overtime victory over the Hoosiers. That makes Ohio State 2-0 against a #1 Indiana side. If that wasn’t enough; both of those games were played at Ohio State.
The two sides split a pair of regular season games last year, with both sides winning on their home court. Indiana won 74-70 in Bloomington, while Ohio State won 80-63 in Columbus.
The point spread opened at 1½.
ATS records favor Ohio State. The Buckeyes has compiled a 12-8-0 ATS record this season, which includes an 8-4-0 ATS record at home, and a 10-7-1 ATS record when playing as the favorite. Indiana meanwhile is 11-10-0 ATS all told, with a 3-4-0 ATS record on the road. The Hoosiers will be an underdog for the first time this season going into Sunday’s game in Columbus.
The total opened at 139½.
Indiana has split its games evenly between the over and under, posting a 9-9-1 record. Ohio State meanwhile has favored the under, compiling a 7-11-1 record.
The Big Ten’s remaining ranked side, #18 Minnesota (17-6, 5-5 Bog Ten) will host Illinois (16-8, 3-7 Big Ten) on Sunday also. The Fighting Illini of course handed Indiana that shock loss on Thursday. They’ll look to do likewise against the Golden Gophers. Minnesota is favored in this one, with the spread opening at 9½. The total is 138½.
Elsewhere in college basketball on Sunday, #2 Duke (20-2, 7-2 ACC) will also look to take advantage of Michigan’s loss on Saturday. In all likelihood, a win over Boston College (10-12, 2-7 ACC) will be enough to regain the top-spot in the AP polls on Monday. The Blue Devils are favorites, with the spread at 11½. The total stands at 143½.
#7 Arizona (20-2, 8-2 Pac-12) will have one eye on ascending the polls this week. The Wildcats will need to fend-off California (13-9, 5-5 Pac-12) first. Arizona is favored over the Golden Bears, with the spread opening at 13½.
Finally, #9 Syracuse (19-3, 7-2 Big East) will look to build on Monday’s win over Notre Dame and regain a share of the top spot in the Big East. The Orange will need to defeat St. John’s (15-8, 7-4 Big East) to do just that. Syracuse is a 16-point favorite at home, with the total at 134.
Thursday night saw three more ranked teams fall to non-ranked opposition, including top-ranked Indiana. That now makes seven upsets of ranked sides since the AP Top 25 was released on Monday, and we’ve not even reached Saturday’s crux of basketball action.
It also makes 18 ranked losses since Casino Review last reported on this trending phenomenon back on Jan. 27. Furthermore, that makes it 31 upsets in less than three weeks! Now do you believe us when we say it’s not great being AP ranked at the moment?
#1 Indiana 72, Illinois 74 (Thursday)
Having knocked-off top-ranked Michigan in last Saturday’s primetime showdown, Indiana (20-3, 8-2 Big Ten) returned to the top of the polls and looked like it might be set to stay there. The Hoosiers had won five straight and 11 of 12 before heading to Champaign, Ill.
Illinois (16-8, 3-7 Big Ten) on the other hand was trending downwards. The Fighting Illini had lost three straight and six of seven. John Groce’s side had won just two Big Ten games all year; an upset of Ohio State at home and a road win in Nebraska. Nobody expected Illinois to get anything out of this one, especially bookies who had Indiana as a 7½-point favorite on the road.
For much of the game it looked like the Illini wouldn’t get anything from the game, but a surge in the last four minutes, and a Tyler Griffey buzzer beater from an inbound with 0.9 seconds on the clock changed all of that.
Indiana is all but assured of losing the top spot in the AP poll this week, the fifth straight week a top-ranked side has fallen from its high perch.
#2 Florida 69, Arkansas 80 (Tuesday)
Second-ranked Florida (18-3, 8-1 SEC) would have been in the reckoning for the top spot had it not been for an embarrassing loss on Tuesday night.
Playing on the road in college basketball is a tough ask of any team, but few would have expected Florida to come out of Fayetteville with anything short of a win. Nobody expected the nine-point favorite Gators to lose in the manner they did.
Arkansas (14-8, 5-4 SEC) added a crowning moment on an otherwise indifferent season, handing Florida an 11-point lead. For much of the game it looked like it was going to be a much bigger margin.
Whilst the Gators may still be at the top of the SEC table, Billy Donovan and Co. will be looking over their shoulder at Ole Miss and a seemingly resurgent Kentucky. They’ll be looking up the rankings also. Fittingly, having snapped a 10-game winning streak, the Gators will host the Wildcats next Tuesday.
#5 Kansas 55, TCU 62 (Wednesday)
Kansas (19-3, 7-2 Big 12) earns double honors on the upset roll this week. Having fallen to Oklahoma State on Saturday – a loss that dropped the Jayhawks out of the #2 spot – the side also came up short against the Horned Frogs on Wednesday.
Favored by 19½ heading into the game, the Jayhawks scored just 13 points in the first half. The second half was marginally better, with the side scoring 42 points, but TCU (10-12, 1-8 Big 12) would ultimately pick-up the huge upset win, sending Kansas crashing to its second straight loss.
With a trip to Norman to take on the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday, Kansas is looking at leaving the top 10 altogether this week.
Thursday also saw #19 Oregon (18-5, 7-3 Pac-12) lose a close game to Colorado (15-7, 5-5 Pac-12). That’s three straight losses for the side from Eugene. A fourth loss on Saturday (at home to Utah) could well see the Ducks stumble out of the AP rankings completely.
#21 Missouri (16-6, 5-4 SEC) dropped a second game in three on Thursday, losing 70-68 to Texas A&M (14-8, 4-5 SEC). The Tigers now face the very real possibility that they’ll be on the outside looking in on Monday, particularly with a game against Ole Miss this Saturday.
We’ve added a list of all of the ranked sides that have been beaten by non-ranked opponents since Jan. 27 below.
Michigan, Duke: You Have Been Warned
#3 Michigan (21-2, 8-2 Big Ten) will be the favorite to take over the top spot in the rankings. The Wolverines held on to defeat #10 Ohio State on Tuesday. A win over Wisconsin (16-7, 7-3 Big Ten) on Saturday should cement that position. But John Beilein’s side will be on upset alert, particularly against a tough Badgers side that has defeated both Indiana and Minnesota this season.
#4 Duke (20-2, 7-2 ACC) is the other frontrunner for the #1 spot after a 98-85 revenge victory over NC State on Thursday night. The Blue Devils travel to Boston College (10-12, 2-7 ACC) on Sunday, with no plans of slipping up.
Were Michigan or Duke to slip up, #6 Gonzaga (22-2, 9-0 WCC) – winners of five straight and 13 of 14 – would look to make the jump upwards. The Zags entertain Loyola Marymount (8-15, 1-9 WCC) on Saturday.
Meanwhile, #7 Arizona (20-2, 8-2 Pac-12) will be lying in wait too. The Wildcats have won four straight, and six of seven, and will be looking to move on up. The side will look to fend-off California (13-9, 5-5 Pac-12) on Sunday.
With upsets well and truly in the air, make sure you take some time to contemplate just what you’re up against when you place your bets this weekend.
Casino Review will bring you betting tips relating to this weekend’s biggest games tomorrow.
Ranked Teams Losing to Unranked Teams (since Jan. 27)