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NCAA Basketball – Conference play heats up

Posted on February 16th, 2010

A lot of upsets in college basketball recently, adding another level of unpredictability onto the already explosive road to March Madness. A great thing and a frightening thing for sports gamblers. When you start running out of teams you can trust, sometimes you’re less likely to take bigger risks on the other end. And once a ranked team betrays you, it can be easily to leave them out in the cold next time a big game comes around. But we all must forgive (but not forget), and press on. That said, here’s a few interesting matchups coming up.

The Big 10 is an intriguing conference right now, with a logjam of “pretty good” teams vying for first place. And only a game separates Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue, Illinois and Wisconsin in conference record. Ohio State hosts Purdue on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. With both teams on a roll (Purdue has won 7 in a row, Buckeyes have won 6), and both teams right at 74 points per game, you have to start digging into other statistics here. OSU is 15-0 at home, and although Purdue is a very respectable 5-2 on the road, that’s a tough thing to walk into. If Ohio State’s defense can keep Moore below 14 points, they’ll have a good chance to cover the spread, which should be in their favor by 3 or 4 points. If it’s there, I’d bet Ohio State to cover on the strength of their home record and the fact that they kept the last 3 teams they played under 60. And let’s not forget the last time these two met in January – in Purdue – OSU won by 4.

Another Wednesday NCAA basketball betting matchup pits free-falling Texas against equally unimpressive Missouri in Columbia. Surprisingly enough, both these teams share the same 6-4 conference record. What’s not surprising is that Mizzou might actually be favored in this one. MU is 18-7 overall, but they just lost to Baylor, and are starting to thing they’re on the wrong side of the bubble if they don’t make a few convincing statements in the last few weeks here. I don’t see anybody getting through KU in the Big 12 tournament, so it’s do or die. Texas, once thought of as the top team in the country, has it’s own demons these days, but it’s mostly about positioning once the tournament rolls around. In the end, the oddsmakers don’t trust Missouri and their sporatic offense, and Texas will be favored by 4 or 5 points, and likely cover.