College Basketball Futures With Value

With college football and the NFL now in the sport bettors’ rearview mirror and the NBA postseason still another three months away, college basketball has taken center stage.

The next big event will be March Madness, which means bettors will be paying close attention to what is taking place on the hardwood on college campuses across the nation.

Since only a few weeks remain before the regular season ends, it is an ideal time to check the futures that have value in college basketball.

Kentucky the top ranked team in the nation at 24-0 is the big favorite to win the national title. Most shops have the Wildcats as 5 to 7 favorites. The Wildcats are the clear favorite but stranger things have happened in college basketball hence March Madness.

However, paying for a huge favorite this early does not have that much value.

However, the following teams might.

Duke is 8 to 1 at this point on the futures board according to Bovada and betonline. The Blue Devils this season are underrated, if that is possible, as some people have soured on the team for their lack of success during the NCAA tournament of late.

However, this season the team has beaten Wisconsin and Virginia and will be tough in March.

The Gonzaga Bulldogs are 12 to 1. This season the Bulldogs might have the best chance to reach the Final Four and at that point, anything can happen. The value is there as the Bulldogs have a talented offensive group.

The Wisconsin Badgers are at 9 to 1. Last season Wisconsin nearly reached the national championship game and this season’s team is as good if not better than last year.

For long shots, you might like Iowa State. At 60 to 1, the Cyclones have value when it comes to a dark horse. The team has not played as well as some thought they would, but the upside is huge for the team. Last season, without their best player, Georges Niang, in the tournament, the Cyclones reached the Sweet Sixteen.

A real long shot with value are the San Diego State Aztecs. According to topbet and, the Aztecs are currently 100 to 1 to win the tournament. Offensively the team is not that strong but they are primed to record a few upsets under Steven Fisher. The Aztecs are tremendous workers on defense. They can slow down the tempo of a game to make it shorter and keep them in games that other teams might be blown out of.

Saturday College Basketball Bits and Pieces

This weekend has a number of good college basketball matchups.

After visits to the Elite Eight four straight seasons, it looks as if Florida will miss March Madness this season. The Gators are 12-10 straight and 7-13-1 against the spread. If they do not go to the Big Dance, it will be their first miss since 2008.

Nevertheless, if Florida can defeat the nation’s top ranked and undefeated Kentucky Wildcats they would be back in the bubble conversation once again.

However, if the Gators lose then their only hope for postseason play is spelled N-I-T.

Kentucky on the other had is an entirely different story. The Wildcats are an impressive 22-0 SU and 11-11 ATS. Kentucky defeated Georgia on Tuesday at home in its last game. The Wildcats did not look that well but sill won by 11.

UK’s size is almost unheard of with three players who are 7-footers and six in all that are 6-foot-9 or taller.

Bits and Pieces

Arkansas could be without Michael Qualls its second leading scorer in its showdown on Saturday with Mississippi State. Qualls sprained a knee and is listed as questionable.

Georgia could get leading scorer as well as rebounder Marcus Thornton back for its game on Saturday against Tennessee. Georgia is 0-2 without Thornton in the lineup.

Alabama’s Rickey Tarrant, the second leading scorer is doubtful for the Crimson Tide’s games against LSU. He injured his leg in Alabama’s loss to Florida and has sat out two straight games.

Georgia Southern leads the nation with a 12-1-2 against the spread record.

Pepperdine is 15-8 straight up and 15-4-2 against the spread with its 80-74 win on Thursday over BYU. Pepperdine swept BYU this season. The Cougars slim hopes of an NCAA bid were destroyed completely with the loss.

Kourtney Roberson from Texas A&M is a question mark for the Aggies Saturday game versus Missouri because of an injury that has not been disclosed.

As of late in the day Friday, it was unknown what the playing status of  Malek Harris and Marcus Foster was. Both were suspended just prior to Kansas State’s game against Texas Tech.

Already without Briante Weber their starting guard, VCU must face their opponents this weekend without Treveon Graham who is scoring over 16 points per game while grabbing 6.6 rebounds. He is doubtful against St. Bonaventure after spraining an ankle last Wednesday.

Kentucky Remains No. 1 on NCAA National Championship Futures Board

The NCAA men’s basketball regular season has entered its stretch run as conference play continues. Most teams have another half dozen conference matchups before playing in their conference tournaments to end the regular season before March Madness begins.

Odds makers released this week an updated futures board for the 2015 NCAA tournament. Three teams now have the same odds in second place. Arizona and Duke were joined this week by Wisconsin with the second best odds for the national title at 8 to 1.

All three trail Kentucky the odds on favorite at 4 to 5. The Wildcats have been at the top of the futures board since the start of the season thanks to such a deep lineup of talent, and remain the only undefeated team in the top 25.

Wisconsin however has won five consecutive games including wins on the road at Iowa and Michigan. The Badgers are 13-1 over their past 14 games overall, with the only blemish an embarrassing loss to Rutgers. Their only other loss of the season was in early December against Duke.

Duke has been on an emotional rollercoaster of sorts. On January 25, the Blue Devils defeated St. John’s to hand their coach his 1,000 win. Since, they have blown a second half lead of 10 points to lose to Notre Dame, kicked Rasheed Sulaimon their sixth man off the team and hand the Virginia Cavaliers their first loss of this season.

In the eyes of odds makers such as Bovada and topbet it has been just a wash, as the Blue Devils odds remained unchanged from this same time last week.

On the other hand, the loss to Duke pushed the Virginia odds for the national title higher to 10 to 1 from last week’s 8 to 1.

The Gonzaga Bulldogs continue to get very little respect in the eyes of odds makers. On most national polls, the Bulldogs are ranked No. 2 with just one loss on the season. However, odds makers such as betonline and have Gonzalo no higher than tied for fifth with odds of 10 to 1 to win the national title.



Restoring Paterno’s Wins is No Cause for Celebration

Joe Paterno had his 112 wins restored but in the end does it really matter?

Ya know what? I don’t know every fact there is to know about what happened at Penn State University when Jerry Sandusky was there abusing children. In fact, there are very few among us who know everything but at least I’m willing to admit it.

Yesterday, the NCAA, who completely botched the investigation from the start, restored 112 wins to the record of Joe Paterno. Those wins had been stripped from the school and Paterno as punishment for the Sandusky Child Sexual Abuse case. With the restoration of those wins, Paterno now has 409 career victories which once again makes him the leader in total wins among college football coaches.

As you might imagine, there was great joy throughout Happy Valley when this announcement came down.

Let me tell you exactly what I know. First, the NCAA screwed this whole thing up from the very beginning and once-again proved when there are criminal activities involved they need to step aside until the authorities can do their jobs. Secondly, there is no disputing that Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulted many children. Perhaps more than we’ll ever know.

Jerry Sandusky is where is belongs but could he have been there sooner had Paterno used his power in the proper way?

He used his power as a football coach to coerce and dominate over kids. He’s in prison where he belongs.

Third, Joe Paterno did not do enough to end Sandusky’s reign of terror and there is no denying this. To say Paterno “did enough” when he contacted Athletic Director Tim Curley is laughable if only this were a laughable situation.

Curley was a former Paterno player who had been positioned by Paterno himself to become the AD. To suggest that Curley was going to act without input from Paterno who was Penn State, is ridiculous.

But let’s strip of all that away though. The culture of football being the horse the moves that cart at many universities is true, especially at Penn State but take all of that away for a second. A boss is told that one of his top assistants is committing horrible crimes and that boss then reports this to his own boss.

Chain of command right? Once the boss did his job by telling his own superiors, his job was done right?

This is the argument by those who have always defended Joe Paterno. He did his duty to report the witnessed crime to his superiors and then moved on to other things. In the world outside of college campuses where a football or basketball coach is a god, this is appropriate behavior.

Unfortunately, Paterno abused his power by not using it. If you think for one minute that Paterno didn’t hold court over that university then your blind. This doesn’t mean that Joe Paterno was not a good man, a good coach and a father figure to many because he was and that shouldn’t be forgotten.

The problem is that Paterno made one, awful choice. He chose to stand pat and let those “above him” handle a situation that he could have handled it himself. Paterno would have even added to his legacy if that were possible by choosing what’s right over loyalty and probably some disbelief.

The wins restored are being celebrated as a justification of Paterno doing nothing wrong. This isn’t true. They have been restored because the NCAA couldn’t find its’ way out of a paper sack and screwed this thing up from day one.

Lost in all of this is not how fans of the Nittany Lions are reacting to the restoration of 112 wins. What is lost is the regard for the victims who once again see themselves being shoved aside by the very same things that kept their stories from being revealed in the first place.

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 Opens as Early 7.5-Point Favorite in National Championship Game

The first ever College Football Playoff had its opening games on January 1 with the Oregon Ducks routing the Florida State Seminoles, and the Ohio State Buckeyes outscoring the Alabama Crimson Tide.

The final for the national championship will be played on January 12 and Oregon has opened on Bovada and topbet as a 7-point favorite.

After the spread was posted, the Ducks were quickly bet up on betonline and to -7.5 points and it looks to go even higher.

The moneyline has Oregon at -290 and Ohio State at +245, while the over/under point total opened with 70.5, but was bet up quickly to 73.5.

Oregon reached the national championship game with is rout of 59-20 over FSU on Thursday in the Rose Bowl.

Oregon, led by quarterback Marcus Mariota, the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner, is 9-0 ATS in its past 9 games overall.

This will be the third consecutive game that Ohio State has been an underdog. The Buckeyes were an underdog against Wisconsin for the Big 10 championship and to Alabama in Thursday’s Sugar Bowl.

Ohio State routed the Badgers and upset Alabama 42-35 behind Cardale Jones its third string quarterback.

Urban Meyer the Ohio State head coach was startled when he heard that Oregon had won by 39 points. He quickly left the news conference in jest after hearing of Oregon’s routs saying they need to get going to prepare for the Ducks.

Both Ohio State and Oregon were amongst the favorites during the preseason to win the inaugural College Football Playoff.

Oregon lost to Arizona October 2, but won 9 straight to reach this point, for the second time in the past 4 seasons.

Oregon was beaten by Auburn 22-19 in the 2011 National Championship game.

Ohio State lost to the Virginia Tech Hokies at home on September 6 as underdogs by 10 points. The loss was just one of numerous roadblocks Meyer’s team was able to overcome to make it to the championship game.

This past August, Braxton Miller the starting quarterback was lost for the entire season with an injury to his shoulder.

The odds on many futures boards dropped for Ohio State to 50 to 1 after Miller was hurt.

Money continued flowing in on Ohio State. In fact, more bets at season’s end had been placed on the Buckeyes winning the national championship that with any other team.

Even though Florida State ended its season 13-1 SU the Seminoles were just 3-11 ATS. Alabama was just 4-9-1 ATS this past season.

The line will move up and down for the next 10 days until kickoff of the national championship game. Early betting however shows great support for the Oregon Ducks.

College Football Bowl Games and NFL Action Highlight Saturday Lineup

Saturday’s football lineup has both NFL and college as the NFL enters Week 16 and college football starts its bowl season.

While the first round of college bowl games does not have the marquee names or matchups, every game can be riveting when there is a wager on the line.

According to data taken from Bovada and, Saturday’s lineup includes two NFL games and five bowl games.

College Bowl Games

New Orleans Bowl – Louisiana Lafayette vs. Nevada

According to topbet and betonline, this matchup is a pick’em with the point total at 62. This is a neutral site, but ULL has a big edge playing in their home state. On any other neutral field, Nevada is a 3.5-point favorite.

Gildan New Mexico Bowl – Utah State vs. UTEP

The Utah State Aggies are 10-point favorites with a point total sitting on 44.5. The Aggies will start a fourth string quarterback but nevertheless will likely cover.

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl – Colorado State vs. Utah

Utah is favored by 3 points with the point total at 58. Colorado State will be without Jim McElwain it head coach, but it will be the strong pass rush of Utah that will be the game changer. Utah looks too tough for CSU.

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl – Air Force vs. Western Michigan

Western Michigan is favored by 1.5 points with a point total sitting on 56.5. Both teams will run and run effectively in this matchup. A number of points will be scored in this matchup and the OVER is the way to go.

Camellia Bowl – Bowling Green vs. South Alabama

South Alabama is favored by 2.5 points with the point total on 54. South Alabama will feel like this is a home game. Rain is expected which will push both teams towards a running game.

NFL Saturday Lineup

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins

The Eagles are favored by 7.5 points with the point total sitting on 50.5. Philly has the edge in motivation as they try to maintain pressure on the Dallas Cowboys and find a way to secure a wildcard berth if not the NFC East title. The Eagles will look to shut down the Redskins offense and use their up-tempo offense to put a number of points on the board.

San Diego Chargers vs. San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers are favored by 1.5 points with the point spread on 41. The defense for the 49ers is always tough. The San Diego offense is not the best. The Chargers have not lived up to expectations, nor have the 49ers. The play here is the UNDER.

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.

Baylor Bears Need to Impress CFP Committee against Texas Tech

College football’s weekend of rivalries continues on Saturday with a number of great betting choices.

On such game features, the Baylor Bears against the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

The Bears are ranked No. 7 in the country and need a huge showing today to help their chances of landing one of the four spots in the College Football Playoff.

Bettors have noticed the importance of a huge game by Baylor after TCU routed Texas.

The Bears opened as 23-point chalk but that has grown to 27 points.

Baylor could leapfrog TCU with strong wins in its last two regular season games versus Texas Tech and next week Kansas State.

Baylor defeated TCU October 11 by a score of 61-58 staging a huge comeback. Both teams might have to enlist the help of Ole Miss and the winner of the Big 10 game on Saturday between Wisconsin and Minnesota to reach the final four.

Ole Miss hosts Mississippi State Saturday in the annual Egg Bowl. The Badgers or Golden Gophers will play Ohio State in the Big 10 Championship.

Baylor needs the No. 6 Buckeyes to lose one of their final two games.

Ohio State is on the outside looking in and needs to impress the CFP selection committee. The Buckeyes host Michigan Saturday as 20.5-point chalk.

Ohio State is expected to be a strong favorite against either Wisconsin or Minnesota but defeating Michigan and either team after that will not mean the same as Baylor winning its last two games.

Mississippi State is in the No. 4 spot in the CFP rankings and could drop out even with a win over Ole Miss due to the way TCU manhandled Texas.

Baylor will also have work to do and it will not be easy. The Bears have to impress against Texas Tech. If they play well and cover the spread the Bears could pass Ohio State if the Buckeyes struggle against Michigan or lose.

Big Line Moves

Cincinnati went from a -4 to -7 versus Temple.

Wisconsin is up to -14 after opening at -11.5 versus Minnesota.

Tennessee has seen its line increased from -14.5 to -17 on the road at Vanderbilt.

Arkansas State opened at -21 but has been bet up to -23.5 at home to New Mexico State.

The point spread and over/under total points are constantly changing and one much always be on the lookout leading up to the games. Bovada, betonline, topbet and are all legitimate and reputable companies in the sports betting realm.

Saturday College Football Lineup Full of Intriguing Matchups

Week 13 has arrived in college football. The nation’s top ranked teams are big favorites this week and not much change should take place on the College Football Playoff front.

However, there are plenty of great opportunities to pick winners straight up or against the number.

Lines as well as totals for a number of games on Saturday follow, but make sure you check on Bovada, topbet, betonline or for the up to the minute line moves and last minutes changes prior to kickoff.

Indiana at Ohio State

The Buckeyes are favored by 34.5 points with the point total sitting on 65.5. This could be a letdown game for Ohio State and the Hoosiers have held their own against Ohio State from a wagering standpoint.

Boston College at Florida State

The Seminoles are favored by 19.5 points with the point total at 57. Boston College has won each of its 4 road games this season and covered three of them. Florida State at the same time is 0-5 ATS playing at home this season.

Mississippi at Arkansas

Mississippi is favored by 3.5 points with the point total sitting on 45.5. Arkansas has defeated LSU 17-0 this season, while Mississippi defeated Alabama 23-17.

Louisville at Notre Dame

The Fighting Irish are favored by 4 points with the point total sitting on 53. Both teams have disappointed their supporters this season and the game should be close. An OVER lean looks like a solid play.

Arizona at Utah

The Utes are favored at home by 4 points with the point total resting on 54. Utah has been profitable this season against the spread, but against a strong team like the Wildcats, the Utes could fall.

Colorado at Oregon

The Ducks are favored by 32.5 points with the point total resting on 72.5. Oregon should light up the scoreboard in this game. Look for Marcus Mariota to have his way with the Buffaloes defense. The total could reach 100.

Vanderbilt at Mississippi State

The Bulldogs are favored by 30.5 points with the point total at 52. This could be an overlook game for Mississippi State. The Bulldogs meet Ole Miss next week in the Egg Bowl and could overlook Vanderbilt.


The line has UCLA as the favorite by 3.5 points with the point total at 61. UCLA has won four straight overall and two straight in this series. The Bruins offense is clicking once again. The game should be high scoring thanks to talented quarterbacks on both sides of the line of scrimmage.