The feedback for this feature in the Burke’s Betting Blurb has been really positive, so I’ll try to do more of these going forward. Yesterday’s assessments picked up a winner on Creighton and that sharp money was right on the James Madison/Charleston total. Hopefully today’s update yields similar results with the small card. (For reference, I wrote about using the first game as a guide for the second game and what to look for)
Ohio at Kent State (-1, 137.5) – This is a really good MAC matchup tonight and a rematch of the Jan. 7 game that Ohio won 80-72. Both teams played well offensively in that game, which was played to just 69 possessions and closed with a total of 135 after opening 132.5. It seems like a bad sign for the Golden Flashes that they lost because they had 65 field goal attempts to 50 for the Bobcats. Both teams took 23 free throws.
The Golden Flashes only had seven turnovers and Ohio’s 10.1% TO% was the team’s lowest takeaway output of the season. In spite of that, the Bobcats still won. Kent State has won seven in a row and Ohio has won 22 of 26 this season. Both conference losses have been to Toledo. Really intriguing game here, but the first game suggests to me that Ohio matches up well.
Princeton (-2, 144) at Brown – Some action from the Ivy here with a rematch of the Jan. 15 game between Princeton and Brown. Princeton was -3 at home in that game with a total that was bet down from 143.5 to 140. The Tigers won 76-74, so they failed to cover and the game went over the total.
Brown’s 1.115 points per possession rank third for their Ivy games this season and the 1.145 PPP the Bears allowed is the most they’ve given up in a conference game. Princeton is a very efficient offensive team, ranking in the top 30 in both 3P% and 2P%, along with ranking 11th in eFG% offense and 16th in TO% on offense. Brown, meanwhile, is outside the top 180 in every one of those categories. It seems kind of telling that Princeton is favored by about the same on the road as they were at home earlier this season.
Butler at St. John’s (-7.5, 141.5) – These two teams played 13 days ago in Indianapolis and St. John’s escaped with a 75-72 road win as a 1.5-point favorite with a total of 140. In that game, St. John’s was just 2-of-16 from 3, but still won the game. Butler was also 10-of-28 from 3, which is not bad for a team that ranks 309th in the country in 3P%. Given that the Johnnies were outscored by 24 points from deep and still won, that is an impressive nugget going into the rematch.
St. John’s had 20 more free throw attempts and went 21-of-25 at the stripe. They also shot better in the mid-range. This game was played to 62 possessions, which is remarkably slow for a Johnnies team that is fifth in adjusted tempo. Butler is 341st, so this is a true pace war game. Butler and the over have been the popular plays so far based on line movement, but this first meeting had some oddities. No play for me, but it is an interesting matchup.