With the NBA still on hiatus and not much for me to talk about in NHL or MLB (sad face), I’ll go ahead and run another rematches article on Monday. Hopefully these have been helpful, as Iona cashed another one yesterday and the read on the Wright State/Detroit line proved accurate. I think this is a really valuable handicapping tool.
Before I get to today’s games, I wanted to put a request out there for questions for the Monday Mailbag. I know we recently did the VSiN Help Desk and that was a popular and beneficial endeavor. If you have questions about betting (or any other topic within reason), shoot me an email to email@example.com. I’d love to help out and steer you in the right direction, or at least find somebody that can if I don’t know the answer. Your Mailbag question(s) may be used in a future blurb, so let’s see what’s on your mind.
Baylor Bears (-4.5, 138.5) at Oklahoma State Cowboys - Oklahoma State locked down on defense in the first meeting back on Jan. 15 to get a 61-54 win in Stillwater. Baylor’s .834 points per possession rank as the second-lowest of the season, with only that Kansas rout on Feb. 5 coming in lower. The total in that game closed 142 and the spread was Baylor -14. We’ve seen a huge market adjustment in the spread for the rematch, even though Okie State is just 4-6 SU since that win. I can’t help but feel like this line has been adjusted a bit too much, keeping in mind a significant outlier performance from Baylor.
Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio State Buckeyes (-6.5, 135.5) - The Hoosiers drew first blood against the Buckeyes back on Jan. 6 with a 67-51 win in Bloomington. Ohio State, who ranks 10th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 15th in eFG% per Bart Torvik, had .754 PPP in that game. It was OSU’s second game following a long COVID pause. Indiana was -3.5 in the first game.
So, we have a huge line adjustment, Ohio State losing by 16 in the first game and the Buckeyes off of a terrible performance against Iowa and they’re laying almost a touchdown? Indiana has dropped four in a row and market confidence is low, as their offense has totally fallen apart. This line seems justified, no? Not saying I’ll bet Ohio State, but the context clues tell me that’s the side.
New Mexico State Aggies (-2.5, 143.5) at Seattle Redhawks - We’ve got a recent data point here, as these teams played 16 days ago. In that Feb. 5 game, NMSU won 79-64 as an 8-point favorite with a total of 140. Seattle was trailing and fouled a lot to extend the game, but the Redhawks had 29 personals (two guys fouled out) leading to 36 free throw attempts for New Mexico State. The Aggies made 24 shots from the floor and 24 shots at the stripe to get to 79 points in a game played to 79 possessions. Seattle was -12 at the free throw line and made just one fewer shot from the floor. This short number, with NMSU off of an emphatic road blowout of Grand Canyon, looks suspect to me. Seattle’s .811 PPP in the first game is the team’s second-lowest output to date.
American Eagles at Colgate Raiders (-17, 137) - Aw, yeah. I’ve saved my favorite one for the last one. American and Colgate played on Feb. 5 and the Raiders won 86-68 in a game that flew over the 134.5 total. This total opened 139.5 and has been bet down to 137. One of the reasons I love small conferences is because you can easily isolate sharp line moves. This is one. The first game was only played to 62 possessions, but Colgate had 1.378 PPP, the team’s second-highest output of the season. Blowouts tend to slow down in the second half as well, so I think the context clues and the line move are pointing us towards the under.