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Burke: Notable college basketball line moves for Monday Jan. 17

By Adam Burke  ( 

January 17, 2022 10:36 AM

Like the NBA, the college basketball schedule spans the whole afternoon and evening on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Several games have had line moves that are worth exploring. As I mentioned last week, we’ve seen a lot of college basketball totals moves of several points lately. Sides seem to be tighter than totals, where we haven’t had a lot of extensive moves there, but have with the totals.

Most college hoops line moves are going to be sharp in nature, but keep in mind that one big group or a big bet or two can move around these markets. A lot of games have low handles and the sportsbooks will react quicker and stronger than they will in other sports.

Let’s examine a couple moves of note and some handicapping angles to consider:

Towson (-10.5, 136.5) at William & Mary – This CAA matchup has seen a move on both the side and total. Towson was as high as 13.5 in the market and now sits 10.5. The total has ticked down as much as two points. When you see a line move that goes against what sites like Bart Torvik and Ken Pomeroy have for the projected final score, it is really notable. Torvik, for example, has this game lined more like -16.

You always want to check for COVID issues. Towson was missing two of its leading scorers (Jason Gibson and Terry Nolan Jr.) last time out against Elon. I looked for more info on them, but couldn’t find any this morning. That might be the reason for the line move. This is why conference specialization is so important. You can follow beat writers from those teams and get information that is hard to find. With the total and the side moving, I’m assuming at least one is out.

Weber State (-11, 138.5) at Idaho State – These are some of my favorite CBB handicaps. Idaho State just beat rival Idaho 81-74 for the program’s first Division I win of the season. It took a 14-of-29 performance from 3, which accounted for the second-most made 3s of the season for Idaho State and the third-highest number of attempts. This is a spot where I would expect regression to the mean, especially against a team like Weber State.

Pay close attention to this game. If Weber State doesn’t cover, these two teams play again, but at Weber State on Thursday. I think the Wildcats will cover and agree with the line move, but we may get another chance to bet these two teams on Thursday.

So, the two takeaways from this:

1. Do everything you can to find news. Specializing in a conference allows you to follow beat writers, find newspaper clippings and to be more of an expert on those teams than the sportsbooks.

2. Look for regression to the mean. A huge shooting night is likely to regress the following game, especially as a major outlier. Idaho State is shooting 27.7 percent on 3s in Division I games. That 14-of-29 was a major outlier. Isolate those and you should be able to win a lot of bets.

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