All of the talk is still about Super Bowl LVI, but we still have a week’s worth of college hoops, NBA and NHL on the docket. Let’s look at some rematches for tonight and some indicators from the first game that may lead to a bet.
Illinois at Purdue (-6, 146) – The first game back on Jan. 17 fell in Purdue’s favor 96-88 in 2OT. Illinois was -1.5 with a total of 147. The game was tied 69-69 at the end of regulation, so it was a stone cold under, but overtime is never good for an under. Of note in that first game, Kofi Cockburn only played 22 of the 50 minutes due to foul trouble. He eventually fouled out with just 10 points. Purdue also had 32 free throws and was 14 at the line compared to 15 attempts for Illinois. Given the first game, and the situation was Cockburn, six feels high here.
Wichita State at UCF (-1.5, 136) – The total is what stands out here. The first game between the two teams was played to 71 possessions and featured Wichita State’s second-best offensive performance of the season with 1.184 points per possession. UCF had 1.113, which is tied for the most Wichita State has allowed in any game. The game was played to an 84-79 final and featured 63 free throw attempts, 40 of those for Wichita State. The teams actually shot 40% and 40.6% from the floor, but the game featured 48 made free throws. The total in the first game closed 134.5 or 135. This one might be a good under candidate.
Ohio at Toledo (-3, 151) – This is a prime example of a game that speaks volumes. Toledo won the first meeting 87-69 in Athens on Jan. 21 and had 87 points in a game played to 71 possessions. The Rockets only had eight free throw attempts and made them all. They were 29-of-44 on 2s and 7-of-17 on 3s to win outright as a 4.5-point underdog. If we flip home court, the Rockets should be around PK or -1, but they opened -4.5 here. Sharp bettors (only sharp bettors are taking overnight MAC basketball) have bet this number down to -3. That is a very telling indicator to me that the sharp bettors involved think Ohio is the side, despite the result of the first game.
I’m not telling you to bet it, but I’m telling you that the context clues are telling. Ohio allowed 1.23 PPP in that game, easily the most all season. The only game that comes close is the 77-59 loss to Kentucky on Nov. 19 when the Wildcats had 1.195 PPP. The next closest game was 1.073 against Bowling Green on Jan. 11. I typically like to bet against previous outliers.
It’s a big card with several rematches. See if you can get in the practice of finding some of these things for yourself and maybe you’ll find some good bets.