College Hoops Notes and Thoughts for Monday 2/17

Presidents’ Day College Basketball Notes

Memo to ESPN and other networks: Let’s get some daytime college hoops on Presidents’ Day next year. Schools are closed. A lot of people have off work. You should have plenty of eyeballs. Needless to say, tonight’s slate doesn’t bring much to the table. Let’s see if we can find a little something to keep us entertained this evening. 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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Kansas -16 vs. Iowa State – Betting groups had some fun with this total in the overnight market. This game opened at 141 offshore, got bet up to 147, then got hammered back down to 142. There are three elite defenses in the Big XII this season: Kansas, Baylor and Texas Tech. Iowa State has played those teams four times. In those four games, they scored 53, 55, 52, and 53 points. Tyrese Haliburton played in all four of those games for the Cyclones. He won’t be out there on Monday night. I certainly lean toward the under in this one, but if you want to avoid any late-game shenanigans with players that don’t see the court too often, take a look at the first half total of 66. In those four games that I previously mentioned, Iowa State averaged 24.5 points in the first half.

Portland State -11 vs. Idaho – Here’s a goofy one: Portland State is the best offensive rebounding team in the Big Sky Conference, and they are the worst defensive rebounding team. No clue how that happens. Idaho has plenty of issues, but it’s hard to justify laying double-digits with Portland State in this spot. Portland State doesn’t have the makeup of a team that you want to lay double-digits with. They are last in the Big Sky in effective field goal defense, last in defensive rebounding, and last in two-point defense. They are seventh in effective field goal offense and eighth in three-point shooting, so it’s not like they light the world on fire when they have the ball. Portland State hasn’t been a double-digit favorite over any team this season. The Vikings are 3-4 against the spread as a favorite in conference play, with three outright losses. Idaho has been a double-digit underdog in conference play four times. They’ve covered the spread in all four and won two of those games outright.

North Carolina A&T -2 vs. NC Central – It’s tough to find good basketball in the MEAC, but this one should be pretty entertaining (and it’s on ESPNU). These two teams sit atop the conference (NC Central 8-2; NC A&T 8-3) and will play again to close the regular season in a couple weeks. This will be a battle of polar opposites. North Carolina A&T plays at a lightning pace, averaging 14.3 seconds per possession in conference play. North Carolina Central plays at the slowest pace in the MEAC, and ranks No. 1 in the conference in almost every defensive metric: Defensive efficiency, effective field goal percentage defense, forcing turnovers, and three-point defense.

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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