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Burke: College basketball rematches for Mar. 2

By Adam Burke  ( 

March 2, 2022 10:59 AM

Another day of college basketball is here, including some conference tournament action across the country. I’ll be plugging in some best bets into our main file throughout the week, so I’ll try to stick mostly to regular season rematches in the Blurbs.

There are a few that really stand out today, so let’s take a look at those.

UConn (-4.5, 135) at Creighton – Just about a month ago, UConn lost 59-55 to Creighton as a 10.5-point favorite. That Feb. 1 game had a total of 135, but came nowhere close. That game was played to 64 possessions and featured 28 combined offensive rebounds, but the teams were 30-of-85 on 2-point shots and just 12-of-51 on mid-range jumpers. While mid-range jumpers are bad shots in general, that is an outlier type of performance.

This total has been bet up a little bit market-wide and I tend to agree. I like the over here.

Middle Tennessee (-2, 139.5) at Charlotte – Middle Tennessee took it to Charlotte in the first meeting with 1.309 points per possession. That Feb. 13 game is still the high point in terms of PPP for the Blue Raiders. Charlotte still had 1.057, but it wasn’t nearly enough. The teams only played to 60 possessions, which is one the slowest games of the year for both teams and we still had 141 points. Interestingly, that total got bet down from 143.5 to 139.5 and we’re seeing the same today.

MTSU was -6 in the first game and I think this is just a really good matchup for them against a Charlotte team that can score, but doesn’t defend well. I like the Blue Raiders here.

Stephen F. Austin at New Mexico State (-6, 139) – In the first meeting on Jan. 22, New Mexico State won 72-58, despite 19 turnovers in a game played to just 66 possessions. The Aggies’ TO% in that game remains their second-highest of the season, yet they still scored 1.098 points per possession, due in large part to going 14-of-28 from 3. Stephen F. Austin was -2 in that game at home, so we’ve seen an eight-point adjustment in the line here.

I tend to agree and think that may not even be enough. Conference opponents facing SFA’s high-pressure defense have had a lower TO% in the rematch with the exception of Lamar. A well-coached team like NMSU should take better care of the ball. Both Sam Houston State and Abilene Christian both improved quite a bit and I’d expect the same here. I’ll lay it with the Aggies.

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