College Basketball Notes and Thoughts for Wednesday 2/26

College Basketball Opening Lines

As the regular season winds down this week for almost half the country, there are several big games on Wednesday night to keep an eye on. Navy-Loyola (MD) is a big one in the Patriot League standings. Furman vs. UNC-Greensboro and East Tennessee vs. Wofford should be a great preview of the upcoming SoCon Tournament. Keep an eye on WagerTalk’s Live Odds page for updated numbers from a variety of offshore and Las Vegas sports books.

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Southern Illinois -3 vs. Indiana State – No one gets revenge quite like the Salukis of Southern Illinois. From Marc Lawrence’s Playbook: Since 2008, Southern Illinois is 23-2 against the spread when looking to avenge a conference loss from earlier in the season. Indiana State beat the Salukis back in December to kick off their Missouri Valley schedule. Southern Illinois’ senior guard Eric McGill didn’t play in the first meeting between these two teams. He’s averaging 13.3 points per game in conference play. Don’t expect either team to light up the scoreboard. The under is 12-4 in the Sycamores’ conference games. The under is 11-5 in the Salukis’ conference games. Indiana State is 1-6-1 against the spread in their eight conference road games this season.

Penn State -6 vs. Rutgers – I’m allowed a homer pick every once in a while. Penn State has had this one circled on the calendar. In their first meeting in Piscataway, the Nittany Lions got called for ten more fouls and Rutgers shot 16 more free throws and there was no late-game fouling (Penn State only fouled twice in the last two minutes). Jamari Wheeler, Lamar Stevens, Mike Watkins, and Myles Dread all finished with four fouls. It was a mess of a game. Penn State has dropped its last two games, but the Nittany Lions can still hang their hat on defense. In those losses to Illinois and Indiana, Penn State gave up 62 and 68 points. The defense has been great, they just haven’t been able to hit an outside shot while Myreon Jones is out of the lineup. Rutgers only has one road win this season (against 2-14 Nebraska). Rutgers shot 75.9-percent from the free throw line in their first meeting, but they are No. 319 in the country at 65.3-percent for the whole season.

Richmond -7.5 at George Washington – As of Tuesday night, Richmond is listed as the first team OUT of the NCAA Tournament according to ESPN.com. Obviously that puts some “must win” pressure on the Spiders. You don’t want to get into the habit of betting on “must win” teams because you’re almost always laying an inflated number. However…Richmond is a nightmare matchup for George Washington. The Colonials start three freshman, and none of them are equipped to defend 6-10, 250-pound junior Grant Golden. Golden scored 20 points in 21 minutes in the Spiders’ 22-point win over GW earlier this month. He’s shooting 61.9-percent from two-point range over his last ten games. GW has played the No. 207 schedule in the country compared to Richmond at No. 100. GW still hasn’t played Dayton or VCU in the A-10, and didn’t play a single team in KenPom’s top-70 during their non-conference schedule.

Don’t wait until March Madness to brush up on your college basketball betting strategy. Direct from the WagerTalk TV Studios in Las Vegas, host Kelly Stewart talks with sports betting experts Marco D’Angelo and Dave Cokin about some of their personal college basketball betting tips.

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