ACC Tournament Favorites, Dark Horses and Prediction

Last season the Virginia Cavaliers won the ACC tournament. This season the Cavaliers won the regular season title and come in as one of the favorites to win the ACC tournament, which starts Tuesday in Greensboro. Many questions remain unanswered heading into the tournament. Virginia lost its last regular season game to Louisville, while Duke has played exceptionally well since losing two straight earlier in the season. Miami is looking for at least two wins to assure themselves of a spot in the NCAA tournament.



Virginia will be the No. 1 seed, but Duke heading into the tournament is the team to beat. With Tyus Jones running the show and Jahlil Okafor the sensational freshman center, the Blue Devils look tough to beat. Duke can be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament with a victory in the ACC tournament. The only concern with the Blue Devils is they are just 8 deep.


Virginia has the best defense in the nation with the exception of Kentucky with clutch offense that has kept them in the top 5 all season.


The Cardinals must be given credit as they lost starting point guard Chris Jones but have not let up. Montrezl Harrell is able to take control of games, while Terry Rozier is great with the game on the line.

Notre Dame

The Irish have not received that much attention since losing to Duke last month, but with Jerian Grant, a great player no one talks about and Pat Connaughton the Irish can win the big games. Bonzie Colson has come on of late down low and at the wing making them even more dangerous on the offensive end.

Dark horses:

North Carolina, North Carolina State and Miami

Most on the Line:

Miami needs at least two wins to have a good shot at making the NCAA tournament field. NC State should make it as long as they are not routed in a game in this tournament. Both Duke and UVA are playing for possible No. 1 regional seeds, though both could get one.


The Syracuse Orange are gone due to a self imposed ban for the postseason even prior to the harsh penalties set down last week by the NCAA. The 2-3 suffocating zone will not be missed, but the talented Jim Boeheim on the Orange bench will be.

Look for Duke, Virginia, Notre Dame and Louisville to reach the semifinals with Duke and Virginia playing in the finals.


Duke 69-63

NCAA Finals Dream Match Up: Kentucky vs. Duke

March has arrived and that means the NCAA Tournament more appropriately called March Madness. Sitting at the top of the odds chart to win the National Championship are the Kentucky Wildcats. Kentucky is 29-0 and can move to 30-0 on Tuesday with a win over the Georgia Bulldogs.

Looking down the road if we may, odds makers through their crystal ball or algorithms whichever you believe, see Kentucky, Duke, Wisconsin and Arizona as the teams with the best odds of winning the national championship.

Many believe it could be a battle between Duke and Kentucky with Kentucky sitting at 39-0 in the national championship game against the Duke Blue Devils and Coach K.

Duke would be the only team that could beat Kentucky and they are peaking just at the right time. The Blue Devils have won 9 straight games after losing back-to-back games to North Carolina State and Miami.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski said his team has played well all season with the exception of a few games where they did not shoot well. He added that you do not beat teams like Wisconsin, Stanford, Michigan State and Notre Dame unless you are good. He claims his players have also matured since the season started.

Duke has Jahlil Okafor as well, arguably the best player in the nation, just ask Coach K, he will be more than happy to tell you that.

That would mean the year’s best player would be against the country’s best team, what other matchup would anyone really want to see.

Since 1984-85, when the tournament was expanded to 64 teams, just four national championship games have had two No. 1 seeds. Some of the best final games came from the matchups, including Duke vs. UConn in 1999, North Carolina vs. Illinois in 2005, Florida vs. Ohio State in 2007 and Kansas vs. Memphis in 2008.

With Kentucky vs. Duke, you will also have the most hated and most loved teams in the nation in the eyes of college basketball fans. This matchup might not reach the 24.1 rating and 35 million viewers that the Indiana State/Larry Bird vs. Michigan State/Magic Johnson drew but it could especially if Kentucky reaches the final at 39-0.

Mike Krzyzewski is 8-1 at Duke against Kentucky. Kentucky coach John Calipari is attempting to reach his third Final Four in the past three years and his second national title in three years.

It might be a long shot, but that is what sports betting is all about, long shots. Let’s hope the Basketball Gods are looking down upon college basketball and the NCAA Finals feature Kentucky vs. Duke.

Odds Makers Release 2015 Heisman Trophy Futures

With the NBA entering its final stretch to the postseason, college basketball closing in on March Madness, the NHL winding towards the Stanley Cup playoffs and Major League Baseball preparing to open its season in just over a month, many sports fans and bettors might not have college football at the top of their list.

Nevertheless, odds makers never slow down and never put any sport to bed for more than a few hours. This week, the 2015 Heisman Trophy futures were released by on large online bookmaker. The season does not even begin until the latter part of August, but there is nothing like getting a head start and finding a player or players with some value on this futures board.

Last season the prestigious award was won by Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota. The junior quarterback won in a landslide but already has entered the 2015 NFL draft.

As is usually the case, the player at the top of the list with the shortest odds to start the Heisman Trophy futures is a quarterback and this year it is TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Trevone Boykin.

The athletic Boykin is a dual threat who can beat defenses through the air with his arm or on the ground with his legs.

After the talented Boykin is Ezekiel Elliott a running back for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Bettors might be indecisive when it comes to backing the talented runner considering there are three of his own teammates on the newly released futures list that will be bet on as well.

Ohio State has three quarterbacks on the list. Braxton Miller is 25 to 1. Miller was supposed to be the starter last season, but injured his shoulder prior to the start of the season and was lost for the year. J.T. Barrett is at 25 to 1 as well. He replaced Miller only to become injured himself late in the season. Cardale Jones is sitting at 15 to 1. He replaced Barrett and helped lead the Buckeyes to the National Championship.

Rounding out the top five with the shortest odds is Dak Prescott the dual threat quarterback for the Mississippi State Bulldogs, Leonard Fournette a running back for the LSU Tigers and Paul Perkins a running back for the UCLA Bruins.

2015 Heisman Trophy Futures

  1. Trevone Boykin (TCU) +750
  2. Ezekiel Elliott (Ohio State) +800
  3. Dak Prescott (Mississippi State) +850
  4. Leonard Fournette (LSU) +1150
  5. Paul Perkins UCLA) +1200
  6. Nick Chubb (Georgia) +1200
  7. Cody Kessler (USC) +1300
  8. Derrick Henry (Alabama) +1400
  9. Samaje Perine (Oklahoma) +140
  10. Cardale Jones Ohio State) +1500

No. 3 Gonzaga Faces Rival Saint Mary’s

The No. 3 ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs visit the Saint Mary’s Gaels on Saturday night. Gonzaga is 27-1 straight up and 12-11-2 against the spread. Saint Mary’s is 20-6 SU and 16-6-2 ATS. Gonzaga opened as an 8.5-point favored by currently is -6.5.

Even though Gonzaga has just 1 loss straight up this season, the Bulldogs are 1-4 ATS over their past five games played. Of course, it makes it a bit more difficult when those five games the Bulldogs were favored by 10 points or more.

Besides a win by 8 points over Pepperdine, none of the past five games has been close even though they have failed to cover.

Gonzaga has one of the country’s best offenses even if the competition it faces is not the best in the country. The Bulldogs have the best field goal percentage in the nation and score an average of 80 points per game.

The defense for St. Mary’s is just average but on offense they are competitive. However, the first time the two meet earlier this season Gonzaga covered a 15-point spread.

Gonzaga is in the top 20 in the country for defensive field goal percentage. In January in the first meeting between the two, the Bulldogs held St. Mary’s to 36% shooting, while Gonzaga hit 53% of its shots. St. Mary’s could only score 47 points, which is its lowest output of this season.

Gonzaga has won 20 straight games for the third time in team history. The Bulldogs have won 10 of the past 12 regular season titles outright. St. Mary’s, who are in second place this season, was the winner of the conference in 2011-12 one season after both teams split the title.

Gonzaga has won 7 straight against St. Mary’s, with the past 6 by an average margin of 19.7 points.

St. Mary’s has won 9 of its past 10 on its home court. The Gaels will retire the jersey of former Gaels star Patty Mills, who now plays for the San Antonio Spurs, at the game tonight.

It is the first time all season that St. Mary’s will be the underdog at home. Gonzaga has not covered a spread in any of its past six games on road, but remember the spreads have been large in each game.

Pick: Gonzaga 62-57

ACC and Pac-12 Games Highlight Sunday College Basketball Schedule

Betting action for the weekend in college basketball ends with two Sunday games involving Pac-12 and ACC teams. Miami hosts Clemson in ACC action, while USC is on the road against Stanford.

Clemson Tigers at Miami Hurricanes

Odds: Miami -7

Clemson has put together a run of 4-0 straight up and 3-1 against the spread in its past four games overall. The Tigers defeated Florida State their last time out 62-56, as a road dog by 2.5 points. The total has cashed UNDER in seven straight games for Clemson.

Miami is below .500 in conference play. The Hurricanes are 0-3 SU and ATS in their past three games overall, including a loss on Tuesday to Louisville 63-55 as a home dog of 4.5 points.

Clemson is 4-1 ATS over its past 5 games on the road and 5-1 ATS in it past 6 games versus an opponent with a winning record straight up.

Miami has not covered in 4 of its past 5 games at home and is 0-3-1 ATS during its past 4 games after a loss straight up. The total has cashed UNDER in 16 of Miami’s past 21 home games.

The underdog is 12-3-1 ATS in the past 16 games between the two teams. The total has cashed UNDER in 6 of the past 8 games between the two in Miami. Over the past 6 head-to-head games, the series is 3-3 SU, with Clemson 5-0-1 ATS.
Pick: Miami 69-65

USC Trojans at Stanford Cardinal
Odds: Stanford -13.5

USC is buried at the bottom of the Pac-12 conference standings with a 1-9 SU and 5-5 ATS record. Thursday night as a road dog of 7.5 points, USC covered in a one-point loss to Cal.

The total has cashed on 4 of the past 7 games for USC. One bright spot for USC has been Jordan McLaughlin a freshman guard who scored 20 points and pulled down 5 boards in Thursday’s loss.

Stanford trails Arizona by three games in the Pac-12 race at 6-4 straight up and 4-5-1 against the number. Stanford is 0-2 SU in its past two games versus UCLA and Washington State.

USC is 6-2 ATS in its past 8 games on the road and 9-3 ATS in its past 12 games away from home versus a team with a straight up home winning record. The total has cashed OVER in 4 of USC’s past 5 games played on Sunday.

Stanford is 9-3-1 against the number in its past 13 games versus a team with a losing record straight up and is 4-2-1 against the number in its past seven games at home. The total has cashed UNDER in 8 of its past 11 games played at home.

Pick: Stanford 65-59

Updated Futures for College Basketball National Champion

The college football national champion has been crowned and now college basketball takes center stage. The field for the NCAA basketball championship has opened up as favorites have started to stumble during the ongoing conference schedules.

Kentucky the No. 1 team in the preseason and through Monday of this week has started to shown some vulnerability.

The Wildcats are struggling in their opening games of the SEC. Kentucky is nevertheless 2-0 SU, but 2-0 ATS and has played three overtimes in its first two conference games.

Duke was the No. 2 team in the country with most observers believing the Blue Devils were one team that could defeat Kentucky. However, Duke lost to North Carolina State in an ACC showdown.

Despite the best efforts of the media and fans, a national champion will not be crowned in college basketball in January or February.

While Kentucky sitting at 10 to 11 and Duke at 8 to 1 are still the two favorites to be cutting the nets down in early April, it is far too early to write off a number of other legitimate contenders.

Included in those is Virginia at 8 to 1 and Wisconsin at 10 to 1

Virginia is with Duke heading the list of teams just below Kentucky.

Wisconsin lost as home favorites 80-70 against Duke this past December, but neither of the Badgers two losses clouds anyone’s perception of Wisconsin being a legitimate title contender.

The Badgers have an efficient offense, experience and size, led by Frank Kaminsky the 7-footer. The Badgers also have the seventh best scoring defense in the nation, giving them the ingredients needed to win the national championship.

When it comes to defense, Virginia can boast the top scoring defense in the country and will have their shot at Duke when they play host to the Blue Devils January 31, likely entering that encounter at the top of the ACC standings with the Blue Devils.

Of course, more than half of January and all of February remain before the conference tournaments take place followed by March Madness. However, there should be shifting in the top 25 and on the national championship futures board, as teams get deeper into their respective conference schedules.

NCAA 2015 National Championship Odds


Oregon vs. Ohio State Line, Trends and Prediction

Monday night, the inaugural College Football Playoff Championship Game, will kick off from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The Oregon Ducks led by Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota will face the Ohio State Buckeye led by quarterback Cardale Jones.

In its semifinal game, Oregon defeated the Florida State Seminoles 59-20, easily covering the spread. At the same time, Ohio State defeated Alabama 43-35, winning outright as an underdog.

The last time the two teams met was in the Rose Bowl in 2010 with Ohio State winning 27-16 and covering a 4.5-point spread by winning outright as the underdog.

This is the first time in eight seasons that no SEC team will by for the national championship.

Oregon on the season is 13-1 straight up and 10-4 against the spread. Ohio State is 13-1 SU and 9-5 ATS.

The over-under for Oregon this season is 7-7 and for Ohio State 12-2.

Oregon is 9-0 SU and ATS, since is only loss earlier in the regular season to Arizona. In each of the 9 games, the Ducks covered a spread of seven points or more on eight occasions.

According to Bovada and betonline, Oregon is 5-1 SU against schools from the Big 10 since 2007.

Ohio State ended the season with a run of 8-3 ATS and since 2007 is 13-2 against the number while an underdog and covering six straight when receiving 7 points or more.
According to topbet and, the line opened at Oregon -6.5 and has fluctuated between there and -7.5 the past 10 days.

The point total opened at 72.5 on most sites, but has gone as high as 75.

Offensively, Oregon has the nation’s No. 2 offense scoring 47.2 points per game against the No. 27 ranked defense of Ohio State that is allowing 22.1 points per game.

The Ducks passing game averages 311 yards a game, while the Buckeyes allowed 191.5 yards per game through the air.


  • Ohio State has covered the spread in 8 of its past 12 games overall.
  • Ohio State has won 5 consecutive games straight up.
  • Oregon has won straight up and covered the spread in each of its past 9 games overall
  • Oregon is 4-0 against the number in its past four bowl games.
  • The OVER has cashed in 12 of the past 13 games played by Ohio State.


 Both teams will score and often. The OVER even though it seems high, looks to be a good play.

Between the teams, they average 92 points per game, which should make for fireworks on the offensive side.

The Ducks do not matchup as well with Ohio State as they did with Florida State. The spread seems high. I like the OVER and Ohio State covering.

Ducks Laying 9 Points to Undefeated Seminoles

The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California will kick off the first ever College Football Playoff when the Florida State Seminoles meet the Oregon Ducks.

The last two winners of the Heisman Trophy will be facing off against one another in this highly anticipated national semifinal matchup.

Florida State is unbeaten at 13-0 this season and 29-0 in their past 29 games played, but enters this game as a 9-point dog against the 12-1 Ducks.

This is because the Seminoles have not been anywhere near as good this season as they were last. Over their past 14 games played, the Seminoles are 3-11 ATS.

In addition, Oregon has won its past 8 games by an average of more than 26 points and covered the spread in each of them.

The Seminoles are 29-0 straight up and 15-14 against the spread in their past 29 games played.

The Seminoles are 8-1-1 against the number in their past 10 bowl appearances, while going 8-2 straight up in the same 10 games.

The UNDER has cashed in each of the past 3 games Oregon has played and 5 of the past 6 bowl games the Ducks have played in.

Preparing for the country’s most dangerous offense takes time, and the Seminoles have had it. However, the defense for FSU has been unimpressive the entire season and could use every piece of help they can get when facing Oregon.

This matchup features the newly crowned Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota the quarterback for Oregon and Jameis Winston the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner the starting quarterback for Florida State.

Statistically the years each won the Heisman were similar. However, Mariota is more of a dual threat as he rushed for 669 yards and scored 14 rushing touchdowns on the season.

However, Florida State has not lost a game with Winston at quarterback and is 26-0 in his two seasons. Oregon is 35-4 in the three seasons that Mariota has quarterbacked the Ducks.

The weather should not be a factor as it is expected to be sunny and in the 50s in Pasadena.

Oregon has won as well as covered 8 straight games since their only straight up loss this season to Arizona. However, Florida State has covered the spread in just 1 of its past 5 games played.

The Seminoles have seen their rating fall 10 points since the start of this season, which for an undefeated team is unheard of.

However, 9 points or more is a great deal to give a team that has won 29 consecutive games.

FSU has been involved in close games the entire season. They are 7-0 in games that have been decided by 6 or fewer points. They come in battled tested and even though they are getting 9 points, they could win outright.

Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl: Preview and Pick

The North Carolina State Wolfpack will face the Central Florida Knights in the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl on Friday, December 26.

During the regular season, North Carolina State was 7-5, while Central Florida was 9-3.

The current line has Central Florida favored by 2.5 points with the point total sitting on 49.

The last time we saw UFC, the Knights stormed the field Hail Mary catch from Breshad Perriman was completed to beat East Carolina. That win helped UCF claim a three-way share of the American Athletic Conference title.

The win is what helped the UCF team to earn a berth in this bowl game against the Wolfpack, which has won 3 of its past 4 games.

The teams split their 2 previous meetings, with NC State enjoying a 28-21 win back in 2010.

While UCF seeks its 4th consecutive victory, North Carolina State returns to bowl action following a disappointing 2013 season where the team was 3-9.

The Knights have one of the best defenses in the nation, which is led by Terrance Plummer a linebacker and Jacoby Glenn a cornerback, who is tied for No. 3 in the nation with 7 interceptions. Plummer has 92 tackles, which is a team-high for the Knights. UCF is allowing only 17.5 points per game.

UCF’s strong defense will be tested by the Wolfpack offense that easily outscored its previous 2 opponents.

The Knights defense is ranked No. 5 in the nation against the rush, but NC State rushed for 388 yards in a victory over the North Carolina Tar Heels in the final game of the regular season.

Shadrach Thornton has 161 yards rushing on 28 attempts to lead the Wolfpack in their win over UNC.

After leading during the first quarter 24-7 against Florida State on September 27, the Wolfpack fell apart and lost, and followed that loss with two more consecutive losses.

Jacoby Brissett the Wolfpack quarterback is the owner of a 22-to-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio this season.

He has also run for 498 yards and 3 rushing touchdowns.

The Wolfpack defense is led by Mike Rose who has recorded 14 tackles-for-a-loss to lead a defense that allowed only 15.7 points in the team’s 7 victories.

The Knights opened their regular season with losses against Missouri and Penn State before 5 consecutive wins, including a victory against BYU in overtime 31-24.

While their defense has stood out this season, the offense had its problems scoring prior to averaging 33 points during its 4 games winning streaks to close the regular season.

Justin Holman the Knights’ quarterback has thrown for 20 touchdowns while giving up 13 interceptions.

Pick: UCF 28-13

Marcus Mariota Heavy Favorite to Win Heisman Trophy This Weekend

The Heisman Trophy chase is coming to an end. Three finalists have been named and Marcus Mariota the talented quarterback from the Oregon Ducks is far and away the favorite.

During the chase for the Heisman this season, many players came upon tough times that made them fall off the pace.

Kenny Hill the quarterback for Texas A&M had the second-best odds on Bovada and topbet during late September. However, he ended his season as the backup quarterback for the Aggies.

Dak Prescott the signal caller for Mississippi State was one of the three top contenders for over two months. However, he lost his chance after suffering three interceptions in a loss to Alabama.

Jameis Winston the reigning Heisman Trophy holder could not stay out of the news for incidents off the field and unrelated to football and was intercepted 17 times while on the field.

Usually four and at times five players are selected as finalists and invited to the ceremony in New York City. However, this weekend only three will be in the Big Apple for the announcement.

Marcus Mariota

The Oregon quarterback is -900 chalk. If he does not win, it would be a huge shock. The junior quarterback led the Ducks to the College Football Playoff as the No. 2 seed.

Mariota has completed 68% of his passes, thrown for 3,772 yards and has 38 touchdowns passes to just 2 interceptions.

Mariota also had 669 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns.

Amari Cooper

The talented wide receiver for Alabama is 20 to 1 to win according to betonline and Cooper, in three seasons has shredded the receiver’s record book at Alabama.

He has helped the Crimson Tide to the No. 1 seed for this year’s College Football Playoff. In three games, he had 200 or more yards receiving. He caught 8 or more passes in 11 of the team’s 13 games. He ended the regular season with 115 receptions.

Melvin Gordon

The running back for Wisconsin is 25 to 1 to win. Gordon was huge down the stretch. However, his team lost in the Big 10 championship.

Gordon broke the NCAA single game rushing mark with 408 yards rushing against Nebraska in only three quarters of playing.

He had 122 yards or more in 11 of the team’s 13 games. He ran for 5 touchdowns in one game. His 2,336 yards led the country. He added 26 touchdowns.

However, Mariota has performed at a high level in each of his team’s game this year. Even in a losing effort earlier in the season to Arizona, Mariota played well and was able to avenge that loss in last week’s Pac-12 championship by routing the Wildcats 51-13.